A state Gem Corporation has recently been set up in Sri Lanka to help prevent smuggling and racketeering in the country's precious stones.
GV Gem digging site (2 shots)
SV Men turn which to raise gem-bearing earth
SV Baskets of soil out of pit
SV Soil heaped
CU & SV Men wash gem soil (2 shots)
SV Man picks gems from basket
CU Man shows gems on palm
GV Ratnapura Town (2 shots)
SV & CU Polishing gems (3 shots)
CU Gems inspected for flaws (3 shots)
CU Tray of citrines, a star sapphire, rubies, CU Purple amethyst & blue topaz (4 shots)
Buyers from France at gem seller's shop (4 shots)
Initials ESP/2146 ESP/2207
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Background: A state Gem Corporation has recently been set up in Sri Lanka to help prevent smuggling and racketeering in the country's precious stones.
The Corporation now buys all the gems minds by individual pit-owners and has taken over as the sole exporter. The gems are an important income earner for the country. The Corporation also helps tourists to have gems tested with sophisticated equipment and to buy them at reasonable pricer.
The town of Ratnapura -- the name means Gem City -- in the South-West of Sri Lanka bordering the highland region, is at the centre of the gem rich lands.
Amethysts, zircons, citrines, blue sapphires, star sapphires, rubies are among the gems found in the alluvium soils of the area.
SYNOPSIS: For hundreds of years precious stones have been dug out of the soil of Sri Lanka. The Portuguese who invaded the island in the sixteenth century traded in gems.
Recently the gem industry of Sri Lanka has become more highly organised. The Government has set up a State Gem Corporation. It deals with all the mines where man wash the rich stones out of the gem-bearing earth.
The Corporation buys all gems mind and is the sole exporter. It was set up mainly to prevent smuggling and racketeering in gems.
The town of Ratnapura in the south-west of the island is the centre of the gem industry. The name means literally "Gem City". Here the gems are cut and polished ready to become part of beautiful jewellery.
Modern testing instruments are made available by the Corporation to detect flaws and fakes and help with valuation.
A tray of citrines, a star sapphire, rubies and a finally cut amethyst and a blue topaz -- just some of the variety of gems fond in Sri Lanka. Tourists play an important part in the corporation's plans to increase the country's sources of valuable foreign exchange.