Seilan to Marco Polo, Ceilao to the Portuguese, Zeilan to the Dutch and finally Ceylon to the British, the Island of Sri Lanka off the southern tip of India has supplied the world with fine sapphires and rubies for over 2000 years.
In fact, Sri Lanka was most probably the original source of these gems producing almost all varieties including the padparadscha for which it is one of the world's premier localities. However, the blue gems are what Sri Lanka is primarily famous for and it is these that it has produced in huge quantities in all shapes and sizes.
While the mines of Kashmir were renowned for their cornflower blue stones and Burma for their royal blue colours, the Sri Lankan mines are capable of producing sapphires in all of these colours and also the typical violetish blue of the region.
The fine selection of Sri Lankan sapphires offered in the sale are therefore a rare group of stones from one of the world's oldest mines with lot 17 exemplifying the best the mine has to offer.