The twin Hong Kong International Trade Fairs organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), The Hong Kong International Jewellery Show and the Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem and Pearl Show, previously
JEWELS Sri Lanka 2012, International Gem, Mineral and Jewellery Fair, is scheduled to be held on 7th, 8th and 9th December 2012 at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall. The Fair will be organized
- Ownership of the mineral rights of the country is vested in the Government of Sri Lanka and National Gem and Jewellery Authority has been designated as the sole Authority responsible for the issue of licenses to carry on the gem industry whether it is carried on in or over any state or private land.
- The National Gem and Jewellery Authority (NGJA) established by Act.No.50 of 1993, is mandated with the development, regulation and promotion of the gem Industry and the jewellery industry in Sri Lanka.
- While the top soil was removed from a land in Seenukkuwa belonging to Forest Conservation Department in the Thammannawa village near Kataragama for the Kataragama Lunugamwehera road development project under the “Maga Naguma Programme”; a gem deposit was discovered and thousands of people rushed into the area to remove the gem bearing soil, which necessitated the intervention of officials from National Gem and Jewellery Authority, Forest Conservation Department, assisted by the Police, inorder to minimize the environmental damages and disruptions caused to day to day life of general public. A course of action to be carried out was finalized by the above teams of officials under the guidance of Hon.Anura Priyadarshena Yapa, Minister of Environment and the Secretary to the Ministry.
- Subsequently the above land was surveyed and demarcated in to 49 blocks with an extent of 10 – 15 perches per block and the above blocks were auctioned on Friday the 24th February 2012 at 10.00 a.m. at the Pradeesheeya Sabah Auditorium – Kataragama. The “NGJA” was successful in earning a record income of Rs.271 Million from the above auction and block No.13 fetched the highest amount of Rs.22.0 Mn. followed by block No.s 6 & 7 which fetched Rs.20.00 Mn. each.32 Blocks recorded an income of Rs.1 to 5 Mn. and 10 blocks earned a revenue of Rs.5 to 10 Mn, while 07 blocks earned an income over Rs.10.00 Mn. It is pertinent to note that, the lowest bid recorded was Rs.1.00 Mn. which was an ample testimony to the great confidence the leading members of the gem mining community had placed in this treasure trove of a land.
- The majority of gems found in this land which was auctioned, belong to corundum family and consist of well defined crystals of blue sapphire, having a deep blue body colour. It was the opinion of the Gemmologists of National Gem and Jewellery Authority that most of the above blue sapphires could be cut and polished without subjecting them for heat treatment. Further, the above gem deposit is believed to be a primary deposit in pegmatite rock. “NGJA” intends to carry out a scientific research on the neighboring land and obtain data on the availability of gem deposits therein.
- The NGJA, with the firm belief that, the benefits of this treasure which mother nature has bestowed up on the people of this area, should be divided among them in an equitable manner, has decided to allocate 03 blocks of land to 03 groups of people from the same area, certified by the Divisional Secretary. These three groups are expected to carry out the gemming under the supervision of the “NGJA” as a mining project. Gems found through these projects shall be sold by tender and the proceeds after deducting all the expenses will be divided on 30/70 basis between “NGJA” and the members of the group respectively.
It is pertinent to note that the demand for Blue Sapphires from Sri Lanka in the global market is on the increase. We hope that the gems found in the Thammanna area would be a boost to our Blue Sapphire exports with the
National Gem and Jewellery Authority (NGJA) attributed the industry’s strong performance to the dynamism, flexibility and determination of the Stake holders of the gem and jewellery industry and proactive business friendly policies of the government.
Thailand has become the top buyer of Sri Lankan Gems with an import value of USD 20.81 Mn. Narrowly exceeding the USA, which recorded USD 20.31 Mn. worth of gems imports from Sri Lanka. Hong Kong, Switzerland and Italy ranked 3rd , 4th & 5th recording import values of USD 19.43 Mn., 7.78 Mn. & 2.5 Mn. respectively.
Top 10 Export destination countries for Sri Lankan Gems
|Country||Export Value in USD Mn.||Variance %|
(Source – Statistics Division – NGJA)
Blue Sapphire boasted the pride of place by heading the variety list as always, proving yet again that Sri Lanka is the principal source for fine quality natural Blue Sapphires. In the year 2011 Sri Lanka was successful in exporting 330,318 carts of Blue sapphire to the value of USD 53.20 Mn.
Thailand and USA showing almost the same import values of Blue Sapphires; from Sri Lanka had Hong Kong, Switzerland & France trailing behind them as shown below.
Export of Blue sapphires – 2011
|Country||Export Value (USD Mn.)||% of total Blue Sapphire export value|
(Source – Statistics Division – NGJA)
It was unanimously agreed that “the Coloured gemstone industry must leverage on their products’ uniqueness, rarity and intrinsic value, and develop a more focused long term business strategy to remain competitive in the luxuary goods market”, by the trade members attending the mines to market conference held in Jaipur, India in November 2011.
The strengths and opportunities position Sri Lanka well to pursue further development of the gem and jewellery industry and make feasible the long term objective of creating Sri Lanka in to the Green & Ethical Trading hub of Asia with a wide variety of gemstones, latest designs and worldwide trusted customers.
According to this newly introduced scheme; inbound passengers would be allowed to clear rough or cut & polished gemstones; brought in by them on payment of a Service Fee of USD 200/- to Sri Lanka Customs at the Air Port it self. This proactive directive would undoubtedly benefit the gem and jewellery sector by enabling the stakeholders to procure gem material from other producing countries at competitive rates and bring them to Sri Lanka for value addition and re-export.
The strengths and opportunities position Sri Lanka well to pursue further development of the gem and jewellery industry and make feasible the vision of (NGJA) of creating Sri Lanka in to a Centre for coloured gemstones. This initiative would enable buyers to procure all varieties of gems not found in Sri Lanka.