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Moonstone Mine Sri Lanka

Meetiyagoda Moonstone Mine

Moonstone Mine –Meetiyagoda is known for its valuable gems and moonstones. Moonstones are part of the semi-precious category, but they are a significant part of the gem company. Located between Ambalangoda and Hikkaduwa,  in the Southern Province, Sri Lanka, Meetiyagoda is one of the few locations where it stands at elevated levels. Villagers are of the belief that this area has the blessing of the moon.  The normal moonstone is grey, but there are finer versions in hues of blue. Once the moonstone is polished it is cool and smooth to the touch.

Meetiyagoda is a renowned name in the world of moonstone mining.  Meetiyagoda is Sri Lanka’s biggest moonstone mine.  Moonstones vary from quality, but the finest has a translucent neutral body, with a vibrant blue shine. Sri Lankan moonstones are a dark blue and very popular among tourists, which are no doubt of highest value as well.

Tourists could even experience going down the shafts, from which the moonstones are mined. There are two centers, one the small visitor center, which provides information on the moonstones and the mining process and the larger shop sells moonstones including other gems as well.

When compared to gem mining in Ratnapura, moonstone mining was not a popular one until Muslim traders discovered it in abundance during the 1906s. Muslim traders then cured the moonstone by cutting and polishing them. Thereafter they displayed them in showcases along with other gemstones and this Moonstone created a niche among especially European tourists. Quite rightly it was tourism that encouraged moonstone mining in Sri Lanka.

Moonstones are extracted from the ground below by shaft mining which is no different to the mining of other gems in the Ratnapura District.  These mines are narrow shafts, which has a lining of strong coconut wood.

Sri Lanka is famous for its gems and moonstones now take pride of place in the sale of this natural phenomenon in the country.

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