Splendour of global gems at Ratnapura Expo 2024

Friday, 14 June 2024 00:10 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

From left: Lanka Gem Dealers and Ratnapura Minors Association Chairman U.G. Chandrasena, National Gem and Jewellery Authority Chairman and CEO Viraj De Silva, State Minister of Primary Industries Chamara Sampath Dassanayake, Industries Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana, Industries Ministry Secretary Shantha Weerasinghe and National Gem and Jewellery Authority Director General Janaka Udaya Kumara at the launch of the International Gem and Jewellery Exhibition Sri Lanka 2024 in Colombo 

By Tania de Silva

From 29 June to 1 July, the prestigious Grand Silver Ray Hotel in Pelmadulla will host the Ratnapura International Gem and Jewellery Exhibition for the first time.

This event, organised by the National Gem and Jewellery Authority (NGJA), aims to spotlight Ratnapura’s rich gem heritage and foster new economic opportunities.

The NGJA, alongside the Ministry of Industries and the Lanka Gem Dealers and Miners Association said the collaboration underscores a concerted effort to push Sri Lanka’s gem and jewellery exports toward a $2 billion target by 2025, while establishing Ratnapura as a premier global hub for high-quality gems.

NGJA Chairman and CEO Viraj De Silva said: “This exhibition isn’t just about showcasing our extensive gem and jewellery heritage; it’s a crucial platform for shaping the future of our industry. We are committed to positioning Ratnapura as a global centre for gem trading,” he stated, inviting gem enthusiasts, industry professionals, and the public to experience this significant event.

Ratnapura, known globally as the “City of Gems,” is famous for its precious gemstones, especially sapphires from the Corundum family. With a history spanning over a millennium, Ratnapura’s gem industry is vital to Sri Lanka’s economy. The 2024 exhibition will celebrate this legacy with a spectacular showcase that merges traditional craftsmanship with modern design.

“The Ratnapura Intern-ational Gem and Jewellery Exhibition is truly a global event, drawing participants from China, India, Vietnam, Germany, Thailand, and many other countries,” added De Silva. “It provides a rich platform for knowledge exchange, fostering international collaborations that enhance the global gem industry.” He emphasised the networking opportunities the exhibition offers, allowing industry players to connect and collaborate.

The exhibition will feature 80 high-value booths displaying a wide array of precious stones and jewellery. Additionally, 12 booths will be reserved for small and medium entrepreneurs, helping them to promote their products and gain access to international markets. Attendees will also have the opportunity to witness live demonstrations by master gem cutters and jewellery designers, as well as participate in educational sessions that delve into gemmology, the history of gem mining in Ratnapura, and the sustainable practices being adopted by the industry.

The NGJA remains dedicated to promoting excellence and sustainability in Sri Lanka’s gem and jewellery sectors, ensuring the highest standards in mining, trading, and craftsmanship are maintained.