Crazy for Ceylon

Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, is nicknamed Ratna-Dweepa – ‘The Island of Jewels’ – due to the seventy five different gemstones the country has been known to produce. It shows evidence of gems being mined in Sri Lanka from as early as 543BC, where The Great Chronicle of Ceylon mentions a gem encrusted throne belonging to a Naga King.


The most well-known gem to come out of the grounds of Sri Lanka is the Ceylon sapphire, which are regarded as the best sapphires in the world, due to their vibrant cobalt blue colour and large size. They are found in alluvial deposits of gravel that have washed down from the mountains into the flood plains of rivers and lakes. The majority of these deposits can be found in agricultural land, mainly in rice paddies, and, because the land is used is used for the dual purposes of mining and food production, there are strict regulations in place. Two of the main regulations are that there is no mechanical mining equipment allowed on site and the land must be returned to its original state once operations have ceased.  Often the people who mine the gems also cut, facet and sell them meaning that there are no middlemen involved in the process, which helps ensure that miners are not mistreated or underpaid.


The Jewellery Auction on 21 March will feature three beautiful certificated Ceylon sapphires and each of them is unheated. Unheated gems are rare as today most gemstones undergo some form of treatment to improve their colour or clarity. Gemstones that haven’t been heated have come out of the ground with the natural colour that they display. This makes these gems more sought after and they also command a much higher price.                                                        



This auction features a number of impressive certificated gemstones. Why not view the jewellery catalogue and see which gemstone is your favourite? 


To view The Jewellery Auction catalogue click here >>

Amy Cameron


McTear’s sells more jewellery than any other traditional auction house in the dedicated jewellery auctions that take place twice monthly, run concurrently live online on a platform that attracts six million visitors annually from over 120 countries worldwide.


Entries are currently invited for the next auction taking place on 9 April. For a complimentary, no-obligation valuation, contact a specialist on 0141 810 2880 or

What's it worth?

Find out what your items are worth by completing our short valuation form - it's free!

Get started

Get the McTear's News!

Sign up for our free newsletters - we'll never pass your details on to third parties. 

Get in touch

Upload images if relevant to your enquiry Add file
Select fileChange Remove