Gem and jewellery industry as described by the experts

Thursday, 8 June 2017 00:08 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}



For hundreds of years the gem and jewellery industry of Sri Lanka has played a vital role in the country’s cultural, social and economical development. Growing from strength to strength the industry presents tremendous opportunities of investment and value addition as explained by the experts. 

The value of gems and jewellery to the general individual:

There are two such ways in which an individual may perceive the benefits of owning an intricate piece of jewellery or a fine gemstone. 

In Sri Lanka most people buy gems and jewellery more as means of investment rather than for the sake of style and fashion. Thus, when people buy gems and jewellery, they’re faced with a number of possibilities such as: mortgage, emergency funds, storing value and future investments. It has been noted that in Sri Lanka a large majority of consumers find gold to be the preferred choice in such instances, due to the higher value of that particular mineral.

Due to the depreciation of the Sri Lankan rupee, many people perceive a piece of jewellery or a gem as a much more dependable and beneficial means of investment due to the consistency of the product’s value. 

But of course, there are a fair amount of people who purchase gems and jewellery for the sake of fashion. This has been especially noted among the younger generations who look for the perfect accessory to suit their outfits or their self-image. 

The contribution of the industry to the country’s economy:

There are two major ways by which the gem and jewellery industry contributes to the Sri Lankan economy. 

The first is via employment generation. There are between 150,000 to 250,000 people employed in the industry at different levels along the value chain including miners, dealers, jewellers, goldsmiths, retailers etc. 

The second is the foreign exchange earning that’s brought to Sri Lanka, as the gem and jewellery industry specialises primarily in export. The industry currently generates a total of about $ 350 million worth of foreign exchange on an annual basis. 

The position of the industry amongst others in Sri Lanka:

The gem and jewellery trade is ‘the best among the rest’ in comparison with any other product, due to the fact that it earns 99% of nett foreign exchange, as the entire resource is produced in Sri Lanka whereas in the case of other products, a significant percentage is impoarted into the country where the value addition takes place and then exported. When it comes to a gem 99% of the raw material is found in Sri Lanka and the remaining 1% makes up the machinery or material used in the cutting process to further enhance the item’s value.

With the expansion of the gem and jewellery industry currently occurring courtesy of the Government there will be more job opportunities available due to the large number of new establishments coming up. Various other industries, notably the tourism industry are indirectly benefitted by these expansions.

Today, the gem and jewellery industry is the seventh largest in terms of export contribution. 

The current landscape of the gem and jewellery industry and its future:

Sri Lanka is currently considered to be one of the best sources of natural sapphires in the world, having earned a top spot on the global list. The Ceylon Sapphire is one of the most renowned gemstones in the world. It has been discovered lately that sapphires and other coloured stones are now gaining popularity vis-à-vis diamonds. This offers Sri Lanka a huge opportunity as it is a certain fact that this new trend will ensure the growth and expansion of the local market.

The growth of the tourism industry also brings in new opportunities for the gem and jewellery industry, as large numbers of tourists show a keen interest in purchasing a genuine Sri Lankan gem or an authentic piece of jewellery as a keepsake or souvenir. 

Sri Lanka currently exports an enormous amount of gemstones to Europe and the Middle East where the demand is highest.  

Following a bit of research there is evidence that there are a significant number of untapped areas of resource in the country. Industry experts hope to conduct an extensive research project in order to gain more extensive information about these areas and tap into these resources in order to boost the production gemstones in Sri Lanka. 

Such circumstances ensure a bright future for the development and expansion of the Sri Lankan gem and jewellery industry. 

The impact of Facets upon the gem and jewellery industry: 

Year after year Facets has served as a means of showcasing the very best of what Sri Lanka has to offer. The exhibition provides visitors with a very concise view of the operations and products of the local gem and jewellery industry, not just in the form of exquisite gemstones and stunning pieces of jewellery but through the showcasing of machinery and equipment used for cutting, testing and other processes involved in the process of production.

Facets is an excellent starting point for anyone searching for opportunities in the gem and jewellery trade. Be it via export or import, Facets plays an important role in linking various parties so that all may reap the benefits of the various opportunities the local and global industries have to offer.