fake stones threaten to undermine sri lanka's gem trade - childrens costume jewellery
Ratnapura (Sri Lanka)(AFP)-
From Queen Sheba to the Duchess of Cambridge, Sri Lanka's Sapphire has been decorated with royal family members, but a large number of cheap imitation products threaten the reputation of the island's gems.
Ceylon sapphire, famous after the island's colonial period
Five years ago, when it was revealed that one of them was the central part of Prince William's engagement ring to Catherine Middleton, the name of the era was greatly promoted.
They are considered to be the best sapphire in the world, but gem dealers say artificial gems ---
For untrained eyes, there is little difference between stained glass and sapphire ---
Pass on as the real thing to the unsuspecting buyer.
They are concerned that this is damaging the image of the gem, which is seen as a major potential source of income that the economy is still recovering from decades of civil war.
"This is the biggest threat to our industry.
"Our reputation is at stake," said Nissanka Weerasena . " He owns an upscale jewelry store in Sri Lanka.
"These stained glass imports from Kilo are killing the gem market.
"There are many stories about buyers being cheated to buy fake goods.
Asanka Welagedara, president of the National Gem and Jewellery Authority, recalled that an Australian buyer who spent $14,000 found that almost half of the stones he sold wererun regulator --
It was too late by then.
Another scam is the opaque half of heat treatment.
Gems, let them have the color and clarity of the real sapphire.
Semi-heat treatment technology
"Precious stones originated in Thailand, but our people have now perfected the art," said Welagedara. "There is a 10-
Discount the price difference-
Processed blue sapphire and natural stone, so naturally there will be the temptation to sell treated natural stone.
"The problem is particularly common on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, a popular tourist attraction.
"We are seeing a new trend in cheating, especially in coastal tourist areas," said a senior Sri Lankan police officer who declined to be named . ". -
More than four geologists say
65,000 square kilometres of Sri Lanka (
25,000 square miles)
There may be underground gems on land. The best-
Knowing that the mining area is Ratnapura, the City of Gems, where a stone was discovered last year that is considered the world's largest blue star sapphire.
Called blue star sapphire because they reveal six
Line stars placed in the light are especially sought after. The owner --
A Sri Lankan gem dealer told AFP he wanted to be anonymous for fear of being robbed ---
Although he would not say how much he paid for the stone, he valued the stone at $0. 3 billion.
On the banks of the Kalu River, which runs through ratepra, hundreds of young people are looking for gems, hoping that they will become rich one day.
According to official statistics, a total of 200,000 miners were employed in the industry, but another person is believed to be working illegally.
The 22-year-old Eranga Kumara is an illegal surveyor, diving between 10 and 15 feet metres (three and 4. 5 metres)
Find stones by the river.
"Usually we get some stones and I make about Rs 10,000 ($70)
"One day," cumara told AFP on the banks of the River Kalu that his friends had been looking for police.
"But we can only work during the dry season from January to 3.
"Dulgalage Jayatillake in these small-
Time miners and businessmen from Colombo and other places to come to La tenapra to find gems.
On a temporary exchange on a bridge in Ratnapura, he and dozens of others lined up every morning to wait for buyers, and there were fears that artificial stones would scare buyers away.
"I met the miners directly and bought from them.
"This is to make sure I won't be caught with fakes," Jayatillake told AFP . ".
"Imitation stone has given everyone a bad reputation.
"The Gem and Jewellery Authority says it cannot stop the import of artificial gems, which is necessary for low-income people
End the clothing and jewelry industry.
But it is taking steps to prevent fraud by reviewing dealers and giving them an approval seal that buyers can trust. Rs 500 ($3. 50)
Its chairman, Welagedara, said it was "the best guarantee to prevent fraud ".
Rohan Pitigala, a gem expert, said untrained eyes are hard to find imitation stones, but not impossible.
"It would be great if you saw a stone that was perfect, it could not be true," he said . ".