Jewel Box of the Indian Ocean
Photo and caption by Guido Sperzaga
Running through the center of Sri Lanka, the Highland Series is a broad belt where Sri Lanka's gemstones originated. To either side is a trough where high levels of crystalline precambrian rock featured elements of quartzite, marbles and other deposits. The erosion of rock gave way to abundant gem deposits along streambeds in the lower valleys. As miners found their way to these streambeds, they discovered the jeweled deposits in the illam, or the blue and yellow clays gathered there.
Location: Sri Lanka