Gemstones- Gem cutting

Ratnapura ("City of gems") is worldwide known for its rich gemstones, which are found since hundreds of years in the region around Ratnapura.
For every body who is interested in gems, Ratna gem Halt offers a basic gem course, where you can learn how to recognize gemstones and how to cut and polish them.

It is a basic course and you can do as much as you like. We recommend as minimum three, better five days.

Course (5 days) objectives
  • learn to appreciate the skill of a lapidary
  • cut some stones under instruction of a professional gem cutter
  • learn the basics of gemstone recognition
  • visit of the gem Market with an expert
  • visit gem mines-both underground and river sites

Each day you will spend two to four hours with a lapidary. The rest of the time will be spend with looking at both roughs and cut stones, and making local excursions. We can only offer this course to one person at a time, there is only one lapidary wheel. Working with gemstones takes patience. We ask you to bring plenty of this - as well as certain sense of flexibility to our course.

Course process-proposed timetable

(five days course)

Day one:

Watching a stone cut from rough to finish. Rough shaping of a piece of quartz into a round, ready for faceting. Visit to mine: there are several mines within walking distance from our guest house. You can visit them as well as river site mining.

Day two:

Faceting and polishing table of quartz into a brilliant cut. Afternoon free but we recommend a visit to the Gem Bureau or the Gem Chamber in Ratnapura (both short rides away). Or borrow our books and read about gems.

Day three:

Faceting and polishing the crown into a brilliant cut. Rough shaping of another piece of quartz into an oval. Afternoon: visit to river mine.

Day four:

Morning to gem market, with lots of chances to see different stones from the area. In the afternoon faceting and polishing of an oval cut: both table and crown.

Day five:

Second visit to the market, particular to buy a third stone. Advice will be given. Faceting and shaping and polishing of the third stone.

Rate: Rs. 12 000 per day

Special Offer-10 days gem cutting course

10 days intensive course (4 h cutting/day, educated by a professional gem cutter, cutting quartz and garnet).

Rate: Rs. 100 000

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Ratna Gems Halt 153/5 Outer Circular Road Ratnapura Sri Lanka; Email:; Telephone: 0094 45 2223745 (international); Telephone: 0 45 2223745 (national)