28th April 2011, www.dailynews.lk
The Export Development Board in association with the Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association wanted to highlight the Royal family's deep and long-standing connection to the Ceylon Sapphire over many generations, dating back to Henry V and more recently with the Princess Diana and Kate Middleton.
SLGJA and EDB has launched an innovative and informative website targeting Royal wedding to promote Ceylon Blue sapphires www.ceylonsapphire.co.uk.
The target was 250 UK and international media that are covering the Royal Wedding, featuring the areas of news, fashion, culture and lifestyle.
The Export Development Board having identified the gem and jewellery sector as a thrust Industry to reach an Export target of US$ 1 billion by 2015 saw the opportunity for the gem industry to raise the profile of the Ceylon Sapphire on the back of the Royal Wedding, EDB Chairman Janaka Ratnayake said.
"This will reinforcing our belief that Ceylon Sapphires today are extremely valuable and more rare than diamonds. This unique campaign by the EDB and the SLGJA, reinforces the unmatched superiority of the Sri Lankan gem mining industry globally and the richness of our history going back hundreds of years with the association of precious stones.
SLGJA Chairman Macky Hashim said, "This is the first time that SLGJA have embarked on an international campaign of this nature to raise awareness about the rarity and value of the Ceylon Sapphire.
The second stage of the campaign was the creation of a replica Ceylon Sapphire and diamond hair pin, which was gifted on behalf of the Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association, as a gift to Kate Middleton to wear on her wedding day.
The purpose of this extremely valuable, Ceylon Sapphire hair pin surrounded by diamonds was to act as Kate's 'something blue' in the tradition of most weddings where the Bride must wear 'something new, something old, something borrowed and something blue'.
The hair pin was being delivered to Kate Middleton's family home in Berkshire this week.
The story was fed into the press, getting coverage on popular wedding blogs.
The ring itself, crafted by the Crown Jewellers - Asprey & Garrard of London, at the time was valued at 28,500 pounds, it is now estimated to be worth a whopping 32 million, in short it is priceless.
Some of the other famous sapphires, including the Logan Sapphire, and the Asprey & Garrard designed "Heart of the Ocean" Sapphire, are from the mines of Sri Lanka.
With the announcement of the Royal wedding, jewellers have been overwhelmed with orders for replica rings, with some retailers reporting an increase in sales of 800 percent for Ceylon Sapphires.
Related Info :
• Prince William's Royal Engagement Ring Boosts Sri Lankan Gem Trade
• Sri Lanka Sees Over 20pct Growth in Gem, Diamond & Jewelry Sector during First Half of 2010