In the heart of Sri Lanka’s gem-rich history lies a remarkable relic – an Ancient Natural Sapphire Large Mukkaru Bead, weighing an impressive 19.85 carats. Its dimensions, measuring 16 x 12.5 x 11.2 mm, tell the story of an era long past.
This bead, with its very light blue hue, holds within it the secrets of a time when the Mukkaru people inhabited this land. These ancient gem specialists migrated to Sri Lanka during the reign of ancient kings, bringing with them their knowledge of mining and trading gems.
Intriguingly, this bead is more than just a gemstone; it is a window into a bygone era. It speaks of a people known as the Mukkaru, who were not native to Sri Lanka but came from another land, drawn by the promise of gemstone riches hidden beneath the island’s soil. These experts in the art of gemology settled in a place now known as Galpaya, which has since come to be associated with the Mukkaru legacy.
The craftsmanship that went into creating this bead is a testament to the Mukkaru’s unparalleled skills. They worked with some of the Earth’s hardest stones, such as Sapphire, which boasts a remarkable Mohs hardness of 9. Using traditional polishing techniques involving kabarondum dust, they transformed rough stones into exquisite jewelry pieces, demonstrating a level of craftsmanship that continues to inspire awe.
As we marvel at this piece today, we are reminded that the Mukkaru people’s contributions extend beyond their creations. They played a vital role in shaping Sri Lanka’s gem industry, which remains one of the world’s most renowned sources of precious gemstones.
Intriguingly, history tells us that not all of their gems were considered valuable during their time. Stones like spinel and garnet, now cherished for their beauty and rarity, were once considered of little worth. It is a testament to the changing perceptions of beauty and value in the world of gemstones.
This particular Mukkaru bead, the second-largest in our collection, stands as a testament to their ancient technology, preserving the history of Sri Lanka’s gem industry for all to admire and appreciate. Its light blue color, while subtle, reflects the enduring legacy of a people who brought their expertise to this enchanting island, forever intertwining their story with the allure of gemstones.