Sri Lanka or Madagascar? Blue Sapphire

Lotus Gemology

Sri Lanka or Madagascar?

Many clients have asked why some of their blue sapphires get a Sri Lankan origin from one laboratory and a Madagascar origin from another. One of the reasons is because these stones sometimes show similarities in their features. Why is this?

Hundreds of millions of years ago, ruby and sapphire formed in the Mozambique belt. At the time that these gems crystallized, the land masses that now make up Madagascar and Sri Lanka were located almost adjacent to one another. They formed part of the supercontinent, Gondwana.

This means that the sapphires found in both Sri Lanka and Madagascar formed near each other in similar geologic events and conditions, like corundum cousins. Because of their similar ancestry, they share some similar features.

Over millions of years, these land masses drifted apart to their current positions.

Hundreds of millions of years ago, when ruby and sapphire were forming in the Mozambique belt, Earth’s large land masses were arranged differently from today. The former supercontinent, Gondwana, shows the proximity of important ruby and sapphire deposits of East Africa, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, and southern India some 750–500 million years ago.

Want to learn more about the origins of gems?
Check out this article: The geology of Myanmar’s famous Mogok Stone Tract.

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