jewellers are generally confined to a particular caste and the skills passed
down from generation to generation.
Examples of Sri Lanka's traditional jewellery include the beautifully
handcrafted silver jewellery from the Kandy area.
Today, as jewellery exports increase, a greater number of jewellers are
creating cast jewellery - which is mass produced jewellery - aimed at the
Retailers: Gold manufacturers and retailers addressing the local market can
be separated into two distinct consumer focus groups; domestic customers
(mainly gold jewellery or pieces set with precious gemstones) and tourists
(jewellery with precious and semi-precious gemstones).
The Domestic Market - demands mainly gold jewellery in traditional designs
which are sold for weddings and special occasions. This segment is estimated
at US$50 million in annual sales.
The Tourist Market - prefer gem-set jewellery in contemporary designs.
If you are looking to buy jewellery in Sri Lanka, you will not be
disappointed because there's something for everyone. Glittering gold,
sizzling platinum, white gold, white, black and golden pearls, diamonds and
crystal - Sri Lankan consumers insist on the latest styles in jewellery.
Gold is the perennial favourite and the best seller - many consumers use
gold jewellery as a hedge against troubled times and inflation too. It is
also the traditional choice for wedding jewellery and most of the gold
jewellery sales in Sri Lanka are specifically for weddings and special
Platinum is said to showcase certain gemstones, including diamonds, better
than other metals. While it was a favourite in Sri Lanka in the 1950s and
enjoyed a brief revival in the 1970s, platinum declined in popularity after
that, due to other external factors. However today, it is back in fashion
with many younger, more affluent customers asking for white metals,
White gold is 18-karat gold with the contents of the alloy changed to give
the white colour. Platinum is a high value, extremely hard and shiny metal,
which actually costs about 50 percent more per gram than gold. It is highly
prized in Japan and the United States, where the traditional favourite for
wedding bands is platinum. Grades of platinum include Pt900, Pt950, and
Pt995 - these grades show the amount of pure platinum in your jewellery.
Sri Lanka is also home to a vibrant silver jewellery industry - in the
southern coast of the island, where many pieces are made for tourists as
well as for export. In the Kandy area beautiful silver jewellery is made in
very traditional styles, often with elaborate filigree work.
Silver jewellery is often a sector that shows the most innovation as well as
cutting-edge design trends because the relatively lower price of metal
allows designers and jewellery makers the freedom to experiment and design