Top Quality Gems at an Affordable Price
Along with Brazil and India Sri Lanka is one of the biggest gem exporters in the world and many European businesses buy gemstones directly from Sri Lanka for jewelry making. Also gems are a highly sought after item by tourists visiting this beautiful island, because of the very low price. Compare to countries like US and UK you can buy them here for half of that price and in some cases you can get them for even less. Sri Lankan gem industry got a huge boost from the recent Royal wedding, because the gemstone in princess Kate's engagement ring was from there. Although gems are one of the best buys in Sri Lanka, if you don't know much about gems you can easily fall prey to tourist traps and the below advice will help you avoid those situations.
Things to Consider when Buying Gems in Sri Lanka
As I mentioned before if you don't know much about gemstones some sellers might cheat you and you might end up paying huge sums for a piece of glass. Below are some things to do so you can avoid those regretful situations.
Buying from Certified Merchants
Whether you are buying gems or gem jewelry it is better to buy from government certified gem sellers. Gems are one of the most sought after items in Sri Lanka, so to encourage more tourists to buy without fear, the government started certifying gem sellers. The price might be a bit high when you buy from these sellers but you can buy a quality gemstone.
Use Gem Testing Centers
To further prevent fraud the National Gem and Jewelry Authority has opened gem testing centers in towns like Ratnapura and Galle, which are two of the most popular gem trading towns in Sri Lanka. If you visit the testing center in the ministry, which is in Colombo, you can even get your gemstone tested for free. Even though you can get gems at a very low price in Sri Lanka, compared to most countries, it is still a significant investment, so paying a bit to get them tested is a wise investment.
Get Help from the Locals
Getting local help is one of the best ways to buy gemstones for a very low price. This way you are cutting out the middle men and the commissions associated with it. In cities like Galle and Ratnapura you can get uncut gems for a very low price, but you need local help to find these places, especially if you are buying for the first time and don't know your way around those cities. If you are staying in a hotel it is a good idea to contact the manager there and ask him for advice, because more often than not they will be able to help you find good local help.
Wholesale Gem Buying in Sri Lanka
Because Sri Lanka gemstones are renowned all over the world, jewelry makers from all over the world visit Sri Lanka to buy gemstones at wholesale prices. Mostly they have business relationships with gemstone dealers who are residing outside Colombo because they can get them cheaper from there. The most sought after gemstone in Sri Lanka is the blue Sapphire. There is a good demand for pink colored Sapphires as well because they are commonly found in Sri Lanka. If you are new to buying gem as a wholesale dealer it is better to contact the National Gem and Jewelry Authority because they can guide you finding a suitable and a trusted dealer. If you are looking for a one-off expedition then it is better to visit popular gem dealers in outer towns like Ratnapura.
Sri Lanka is definitely one of the best countries in the world to buy gemstones and birthstone jewelry. if you do some research and be careful in your buying you can go away with some great gem deals.