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SAPPHIRES
RATNAPURA
SRI LANKA
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Ratnapura, which in Sanskrit means "the city of gems," is a bustling little town in Sri Lanka, known for being a hub for gemstone miners and traders. It was there where the world's largest star sapphire of 1.404,49 carats was found in 2015, and where the blue Ceylon Sapphire of the famous British royal engagement ring comes from.


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The use of traditional and sustainable mining techniques ensures that the land being mined is protected. Once a mine is depleted of precious stones, miners fill the excavated areas with the soil they have extracted and leave them as they were found so the plants can grow back again.


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The lucrative gem trade comes to life every morning on the streets of downtown Ratnapura. Merchants debate and deliberate on the quality of the precious stones that arrived that day from the nearby mines.

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