Ratnapura is a city in South-western Sri Lanka. Known as the ‘City of Gems’, Ratnapura lies at the foot of Adam’s Peak and close to Sinharaja Rain Forest.
101 Km Southeast of Colombo, Ratnapura is also the gateway to the hill country from the Southern plains. The scenic route takes you passing paddy fields, rubber plantations and tea estates.
Ratnapura Gems Featured
Throughout history, Sri Lanka has been known as a land of gems. King Solomon was said to have procured a great ruby for the queen of Sheba from Serendip (Sri Lanka’s former name). Marco Polo (1293 AD) wrote about the ruby that once graced the Ruwanweliseya Dagoba at Anuradhapura…”a flawless ruby a span-long and quite as thick as a man’s fist”. It is believed that Sinbad’s visit to the mountains of Serendib, refers to Ratnapura in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka has produced three of the world’s largest blue sapphires, including the “Blue Belle of Asia”‘ (which adorned the British crown and holds the world record for any Sapphire sold at an auction); as well as the ‘Star of India’, displayed at the New York Museum of Natural History.
A visit to one of the museums or many gem workshops will give you the opportunity to see a variety of precious stone, such as rubies, sapphires, cat’s eyes, alexandrites, aquamarines, tourmalines, spinels, topaz, garnets, amethyst, zircons etc. You could also visit one of the gem mines.