Gemstone and Jewellery Industry News

Gemstone and Jewellery Industry News

“We are very pleased and thankful to all the staff at the National Gem and Jewellery Authority of Sri Lanka for giving us kind permission to reproduce articles from Gem Talk Jan-March 2008”

“Due to the efforts of National Gem and Jewelry Authority , Sri Lanka has now become one of the rapidly growing gem and jewellery trade centers in the world, we really appreciate all the hard work”

Sri Lanka The Valley of Gems From Time Immemorial


Sell Value not Price

Discounting of jewellery continues to plague many stores,especially during the festive season.”How can we fight this?”many store owners ask.

The most important thing a store owner can do ,in our view is to do what is best for oneself.In other words ,you have to decide what your business to be and then manage it accordingly.Do not let others policies pricing or sales gimmicks etc,influence you in making decisions.This is not as simplistic as it may at first seem.A study conducted by the National Gem and Jewellery Authority revealed that only about one customer in four is concerned enough about stretching a rupee to be defined as “Price Driven”. That leaves many,many potential customers to whom price ,though important is not paramount.

Every community includes consumers for whom price is less important than quality, service, thoughtfulness, friendliness, honesty, professionalism and variety of merchandise.The jeweller who seeks out such customers and caters to their needs,need not worry.You must avoid gimmicks and take pride in being honest and offer value to the customer.You have to be active in your community,friendly and helpful with the media and engage in good ,honest promotions.Discounts leads to a continued erosion of quality which puts emphasis in the wrong place.Most people buy jewellery for its beauty.Therefore the emphasis should be on the product.

The whole industry has changed vastly,largely because attitudes of customers have changed.The jewellery buying public is more knowledgeable than ever before and wants to know exactly what they are buying.Change does not mean that the industry will not prosper.Indeed for firms at all levels of the industry the outlook is very bright.The desire to own jewellery is as strong as ever.

Let us all strive to make the jewellery buying a pleasurable venture for the customer.

Editorial Customer


Chairman’s Message

The Gem and Jewellery sector has recorded an overall growth of 7.72% during the first eleven months of 2007 earning a revenue of USD 422 Million in comparison with the corresponding figure in 2006.

Gem and Jewellery and the Diamond Export sector have been identified as a lucrative money spinner which can be converted to a US$ 1 billion industry within five years.

Recognizing the importance of the sector, several concessions were introduced by the 2008 budget proposals to further strengthen the industry.The major outcome of these proposals will be to increase the global competitiveness of our gem and jewellery industry,leading to an increase in foreign exchange earnings and generation of employment opportunities. The exemption of income tax arising from gem re-exports would encourage the local lapidaries to procure rough material from other producing countries for value addition and re-export.

Permission granted to Exporters to use 50% of their foreign exchange earnings to import required raw material would increase the flow of rough gems to Sri Lanka auguring well for the industry.

“NGJA” is in the process of finalizing arrangements with Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association ;to establish a Modern Gem Testing Laboratory which will issue an internetionally accecpted testing report.

In its endeavors to promote the industry the National Gem and Jewellery Authority would venture in to new markets with the aim of making Sri Lanka the regional center for coloured sapphires and gem studded jewellery.

Hasitha Tillekeratne

National Gem and Jewellery Authority.

Hasitha Tillekeratne-Chairman National Gem and Jewellery Authority,Sri Lanka


National Gem and Jewellery Authority (NGJA) welcomes focus given to concessions to the Gem and Jewellery Industry

National Gem & Jewellery Authority (NGJA) welcomes focus given to concessions to the Gem & Jewellery Industry.
Chairman, National Gem and Jewellery Authority (NGJA), Hasitha Tillekeratne., hails the Proposals introduced by the 2008 Budget with a view to Strengthen the local Gem & Jewellery Industry so that the Local products of the Industry could be exported and become an important contributor to National Economy. “NGJA” spear headed the representations made to Finance Ministry by the Leading Trade Associations and feels confident that, the proposed reforms will convert the Gem & Jewellery export sector to a US$ One Billion Industry.

In order to further develop the Lapidary Sector, Export income arising from gems imported and thereafter Cut & Polished and re-exported will be exempted from Income Tax, which would help Sri Lanka to build a Lapidary Industry comparable in scale to the diamond manufacturing Industry.

In order to further encourage Gem and Jewellery exporters, 50 percent of Foreign Exchange earnings of such exporters maintained in Bank Accounts in Sri Lanka, will be permitted to be used for the importation of required raw material. This would undoubtedly expand and develop the gem trade with Madagascar and other producing countries by facilitating exporters to pay in foreign currency out of their export earnings, for their purchases.

The proposal to introduce a credit Guarantee Scheme by the Central Bank; to encourage Banking institutions to extend credit facilities to those industrialists engaged in the Industry would provide much needed collateral support for loans granted to the gem and jewellery sector.

High Quality Set Rings from Sri Lanka

The proposal to charge a 2.5% per cent income tax, in place of pervaling income tax; on the value realized from the Gem Auctions conducted under the supervision of the National Gem & Jewellery Authority; would create a transparent gem trading process with regularized export opportunities in an open market.

In conclusion Chairman NGJA” wished to express his appreciation on behalf of the members of the Trade, to His Excellency The President, Hon. Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Minister of Enterprise Development & Investment Promotion and Hon. Mano Wijayeratne Minister of Enterprise Development, for understanding the industry position, and taking the initiative to open up and expand the trade and place the Industry back on its track.


Identification Technology

Colours of the Sunrise

By Rosemary Dharmeratne FGA,FTCL

Lets discuss sunshine peeping through the early morning skies and adventurously landing on your bed as you try to get your eyes focused on the new day ahead.

Monday mornings certainly gives you the blues! but look at those rays of sunlight. Gold and glimmering dancing in front of your eyes telling you “wake up sleepy head” you are late.Jump out of your bed.You should have been up long ago… lazy thing up! UP! Rise and Shine.

So you jump out of bed more a test of will power.When you’d rather curl back and spend more time thinking of sunlight .Everybody is up and that’s that what light does to people.Golden rays of the morning light that tells you time to get going .Its long past working time.You should have woken up with the rise of dawn when the sun rose in a orangey red sky.Your stomach informs you of its presence.Breakfast of food,hunger.

Orange golden oranges ripe pomegranates melons and yellow plump peaches and tangerines,pale green ripened grapes sharpened with citrus flavored lemons these all blend into the changing rays of the sun that peeps into my bed room from the early morning to tell me that I should be …….up.Not in bed.But now that I am up and not planning on joining the marching driving parade outside getting off to work or coming from work.Let me discuss sunlight .From early morning to around 10am when if you turn up to works you are deemed to have taken “short leave”

We will start with Padmaraja-colour of the lotus bloom as it rises to face the morning .Reddish orange tinted with a promise of yellow.Orange fades away to red and then to greeny gold and then gold -so we discuss the colours and gems that come to our mind.Mine to begin with and yours to contemplate as you read this article.

Padmaraja name is considered to be Sri Lankan in origin and found in most sapphire producing countries and still Sri Lanka is considered to produce the best orange red yellow sapphire .I must say Africa with its virgin land is becoming very promising competition to us.

Padmaraja is a colour given to the very unusual shade of sapphire by the traders as it resembled the lotus as it blooms in the morning.The light of the bloom gives the shade which traders have been trying hard to capture in the gem and I too have been trying to describe the many splendors of tiny variation of lotus as when we visited Jaffna my husband pointed out that the colour of the sunset also gives the padparaja shade.Padmaraja became a very valuable stone.When a gem is valued it has many simulants and also the corondum family members also suffered from variations.The story is something you have probably heard.It was around the year 2000 ,quite by accident discovered that beryllium treatment of sapphires heighten the shades of yellows to padmaraja.The market got flooded and our gemmologists in Sri Lanka were also……………Finally the statement came out that it was treated and the market collapsed,but Sri Lanka stayed firm that they do NOT do it. So we recovered in time.

The corundum family in which all the shades of the rainbow are captured has almost constant values,its hardness of 9 and a specific gravity of 3.99 and a refractive index of 1.76 to 1.77 colour comes from chromium and freak colour centres.Again more work has to be done in the field of explaining the exact colour .Sri Lankan fluoresces apricot in SWUV light which makes us deal with stones apart from corundum that are yellow orange colour.I shall give tables of the constants in known gems.

Some Yellow Orange Gemstones


Refractive Index Specific Gravity



2.42 3.52 10


1.76-1.77 3.99 9

Fire Opal

1.45 2.1 6

Topaz(Orange Golden Yellow)

1.63-1.64 3.53 8


1.74 3.65 7-7 1/2


1.80 4.16 7-7 1/2

Zircon(Orange Red Golden Yellow)

1.93-1.98 4.68 7.25


1.74-1.75 3.65 8 1/2


1.70-1.72 3.33 6 1/2


1.66-1.68 3.28-3.35 6 1/2


1.65-1.68 3.16-3.20 7


1.669-1.707 3.47-3.49 6 1/2


1.63-1.64 3.18-3.22 5


1.61-1.65 3.26 7 1/2


1.63-1.64 3.00 7


1.61-1.63 3.53-3.56 8


1.60-1.62 2.98 5 1/2


1.54-1.56 2.57-2.74 6-6 1/2


1.76-1.80 3.65-3.68 7 1/2


1.54-1.55 2.65 7


1.43 3.18 4


1.52 2.56-2.62 6



Since I have dealt with most of the gemstones that are lovely orange/yellow shades,you can surmise that morning colours are many in the world and since markets are moving closer to the east with the rise of purchasing power in Asia where people consider this a lucky shade,we can expect gold to be the rising golden colour of the markets of the world! so get ready with your oranges,yellow and lime greens for the future ahead.May it be a golden era for all of us!!

Happiness consists in activity.
Its a running stream,
not a stagnant pool.


Satisfaction lies in the effort,
not the attaintment.
Full effort is full victory


To be successful,
you have to develop a hunger for it.


It is not so much where we are.
but in which direction we are moving


A leader is one who knows the way,
goes the way and shows the way


One can never consent to creep,
when one feels an impulse to soar.


Never put off till tomorrow,
what you can do today.


Do not let what you cannot do interfere,
with what you can do


Always do your best,
What you plant now.
you will harvest later


Do more than you have to do,
and do it as well as you can


People with goals succeed because,
they know where they’re going

Tips on jewellery….

Caring for your Jewellery

When you are not wearing it,keep precious jewellery in a fabric-lined case,or a box with compartments and dividers. Don’t jumble different pieces together;you don’t want them to tangle or scratch.

Precious metals and gemstones can be smudged or coated when they come in contact with things like oils,lotions,perfumes,or hairspray.Always put your jewellery on as a finishing touch.

Don’t wear fine jewellery when doing rough work.Also avoid direct contact with chlorine bleach (or a chlorinated swimming pool),because it may effect the colour of the setting.

Regularly soak your jewellery for 30 minutes in a commercial jewellery cleaner,or use an ultrasonic cleaner.You can also make your own detergent bath using a solution of equal parts cold water and household ammonia.Gently use a soft brush on both the front and back of the mounting(An old tooth brush will do the trick).Rinse and drain on tissue paper.

Bring your gemstones to your jeweler every year or so to make sure the settings are secure.


With the courtsey of
Alankara Jewellery[Pvt]Ltd
Website www . alankara. com .lk


“Gem of a Thought”

Winners and Losers

A loser sees a problem in every answer.

A winner sees an answer in every problem.

Be a Winner !


New Generation of Customers

Facets Sri Lanka 2007

17th International Gem and Jewellery Show

Opening presentation by Edward Boehm,
Geologist,G.G.,C.G.,JOEB Enterprises president

Attracting a New Generation of Customers

Its a shrinking world

Advance in air travel and shipping along with the rapidly shrinking cost of communication by phone and the internet have lowered the barriers for many businesses. However,this scenario has created more competition even while expanding the potential customer base.

Sri Lanka’s history of a agricultural adaptation from a spice trading into coffee and rubber and ultimately becoming the world leader for tea shows how,ever changing the world’s forces can lead to dramatic change within relatively short periods of time.Gemstones have always been a significant portion of Sri Lanka’s GNP but declining local production threatened its strong position.Once again Sri Lanka has adapted rapidly by encouraging rough imports and thereby preserving its global reputation as one of the primary sources for fine gems , expert cutting ,and advanced treatment techniques.


More information available to wider audience

Internet access to information from around the world has provided customers with more real time information resulting in more demanding and socially conscious customers.This flow of information has exposed customers to worldwide socio-political issues that are more likely to influence their purchases than in previous generations.


Therefore more educated customers

Young customers today are much more aware of the options available to them than any other generation before them.

When they enter a store they often have more knowledge than the sales clerk behind the counter.

Some High Quality Gemstones Cut,Polished and Set by the Traditional Skilled Sinhalese Craftsmen of Sri Lanka

How to meet the needs of this new generation of customers

Identify the new markets:
Rapid growth markets


China is the largest potential producing and consuming country.


India has the largest and fastest growning consuming market.


Is predicted to be the next Japan focusing on high quality gems and jewellery


Emerging Markets:


Has a growing middle class ,cutting edge designers,no high quality gems and jewellery,steady growth,stable currency,richest man in the world(Net worth estimate at USD59 Billion).


Has a rich history of appreciation for jewellery,repidly growing upper class that likes to purchase luxury goods.

United Arab Emirates

Dubai is a shopping and vacation destination, the gateway to the Middle East ,extremely wealthy upper class.


Recognize Customer Needs:


Young customers want to be different even though they identify heavily with brands.They are constantly looking for new and unique gems and jewellery designs.

Undervalued and underappreciated gems

They focus more attention on undervalued gems such as yellow sapphire,spinel,chrysoberyl and moonstone.

Fashion Concious

The new generation of customers today identify with current fashion trends.Fashion in clothing and accessories will continue to influence jewellery designers.They will require more new gem materials and unique cutting styles to meet the ever changing demands of the fashion world.


Customers today want to know what has been done to the product they are buying. Often they don’t mind that it has been enhanced but they want to know.

Fair Trade

This is a very important issue that will continue to influence where customers buy their gems and jewellery.

Environmental Preservation

This is another important issue that will continue to shape from whom customers buy their products.This is not only affecting mining concerns but also entire communities and even producing countries.


Strive to meet their needs:

Promote Color

Grass roots initiatives -everyone can participate in promoting color through sharing of accurate information about supply and alternative gem materials and treatments to meet demand.Contributing articles to trade journals,magazines,newspapers,and on your own website.Not all information on the net is accurate or relevant.Promote lore,provide relevent cultural and historical information to assist your customer in understanding the place and people that provide their gems.Don’t just sell a product sell a symbol of your country’s essence.

Disclose Treatment

Avoid over reaction to undisclosed treatments by sharing information with your customers,gemmological laboratories and trade organizations.Place pressure on companies that treat or enhance their stones to be more transparent about their techniques and results so that you can easily communicate the correct information to your customers.

Strive to Confirm to fair Trade Initiatives

While it may seem difficult to enforce some of the initiatives put in place by the consuming countries ,setting realistic goals and striving to acheive those goals is a step in the right direction that will eventually bring about change.

No child labour,safe working conditions,fair prices,responsible community support through health care and schools .It has already had dramatic effects on coffee producing countries .

Question mine safety procedures.

Be Environmentally Concious

Work only with companies that are environmentally friendly.

Pressure mining concerns to apply environmentally friendly practices in processing and mine reclamation.

Final Thought

There is only one boss………..the customer.

He or she can fire everybody in the company from the Chairman down,simply by spending his or her money elsewhere.

Listen to your customer and you will succeed.

3 thoughts on “Gemstone and Jewellery Industry News

  1. Priyaka says:

    Can you please send some latest informtion about gem and jewelry trade fairs.
    Also I like want to buy a book on Sri Lankan gems.
    I am a resident in Canada I like promoting Sri Lankan Gems and Jewelry in Canadian market.
    Will you help me.
    Thank you

  2. Dr Shihaan Larif says:

    You can find the latest information on gem and jewellery trade fairs on our blog and on our news subdomain ie

    Since you are resident in Canada, the best option would be to buy a book online at Amazon or any other online bookshop. Alternatively you can check your nearest public library for books on gemmology.

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