The largest single assortment of sapphire masterpieces styled ‘Day of Sapphires’ will be showcased at the Sri Lankan Pavilion situated in the Opportunity District on February 26, 2022
Sri Lanka, with its vibrant past in the gem and jewellery trade, will for the first time, display an extraordinary selection of its most exclusive sapphires for public viewing, showcasing its rich national wonders and artistry.
There are consistent records in history of Sri Lanka’s prominent position as an Island of Gemstones. Already by the first century AD, the western Roman Empire was trading in Sri Lankan gems. References to the gem riches of Sri Lanka – including sapphire, beryl, topaz, amethyst and garnet - are made by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in 2nd century, the Italian adventurer Marco Polo in 12th Century, the famous Arab explorer Ibn Battuta in 14th century and English sea captain Robert Knox in the 17th century.
“The country’s precious gems and ornate jewellery were amongst the oldest items traded over the years. Renowned for its sapphires, these precious stones have adorned some of the world’s most famous jewellery pieces and have found their way to museums around the world. We are now on a journey to give the Sri Lankan sapphire the prominence it deserves in the global arena with the goal of increasing the appreciation and desirability toward our gems,” commented a spokesperson from the Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association.
‘Day of Sapphires’ is set to transport visitors across the ages, through surviving treasures, like one engraved 14th century ring which adorns a sapphire from the 10th century with an Arabic name, thought to be from when Arab jewellers were known to travel through Sri Lanka on trading voyages as early as AD 1130.
Renowned jewellery specialist Helen Molesworth is set to lead a walk-through to explain the importance of the gemstones of Sri Lanka: their place in history, trade, and enduring fascination through time all over the world.
“I am absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to connect with visitors at the Sri Lankan Pavilion and to share my insights on the magical world of the gems of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has not only produced gemstones of remarkable quality and variety, but has done so consistently over millennia, a remarkable testament to the continual global importance of the true ‘Island of Gems’. The island’s most famous and revered gems are the sapphires of Sri Lanka, rightly so as much today as throughout history. I am honoured to be part of this wonderful showcase of Sri Lanka’s finest sapphires - these miracles of nature from one of the most beautiful places on earth - and I am excited to share my knowledge on the history of Sri Lankan sapphires and the impact they have had on the global gem industry,” said Molesworth
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