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Sri Lankan gems sparkle in London

Sep 12, 2016
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By Neville de Silva in London
Sri Lanka’s worldwide reputation as the home of Sapphires drew large crowds to the Sri Lanka (SL) pavilion at the International Jewellery London (IJL), the biggest gem and jewellery exhibition in the United Kingdom (UK) held over three-days last week.
On display at the SL pavilion at the Olympia Exhibition Centre was a premium collection of gems and jewellery organised by the National Gem & Jewellery Authority (NGJA) and the SL High Commission (HC) in London, aimed at promoting the country’s internationally-famous gems and jewellery in the international market, particularly in the UK.
The SL pavilion was officially opened by SL’s new HC in the UK, Amari Wijewardene. Exhibiting their collection of sophisticated gems and jewellery were three SL companies- Sunshine Gems & Jewellery, The Choice and McMillan Jewellers.
Among the items on display were a wide range of precious stones such as blue, pink, yellow and star Sapphires and Rubies, an array of semi-precious stones like Chrysoberyl, Cat’s Eye, Aquamarine and Garnets, and a select collection of fine jewellery.
Over 500 companies from nearly 40 countries around the world participated at the IJL exhibition this year, bringing together a large number of major brands, jewellery designers, leading suppliers and prospective buyers at this internationally-known show.
This is the third consecutive year SL participated in this exhibition under a national pavilion. The recognition SL has gained as a major supplier of precious stones has been a huge “plus factor” in attracting many international jewellery makers to the SL stand. Although the British jewellery market is heavily dominated by Diamonds, the designers have gradually begun to pay an increasing attention to coloured stones in their creations.
This shift is expected to clear the way for coloured-stone suppliers like SL to become an important partner in the overall value chain of the British jewellery industry over the coming years.
After their participation at the IJL, the SL exhibitors visited Birmingham and Hatton Garden, the two places where most British jewellers have set up their manufacturing operations.
In addition to the exhibitors who shared the national pavilion, two representatives from San Gems also joined the tour, which was organised by the SLHC in London, to provide an opportunity for the visiting exhibitors and relevant officials of the NGJA to have a better understanding of the latest trends in the jewellery market, different technologies used by the industry and the prospects for the SL Gem & Jewellery industry to foster mutually beneficial linkages with the British jewellery makers and related institutions.

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