Did you know many of Sri Lanka’s biggest gemstone sales happen on the street?
Street gem markets here enjoy a strong culture much like local vegetable markets or Sunday fairs. Everyone from average buyers to mine owners, mine workers, gem collectors, and traders frequent them in their thousands each morning to make trades.
Some of the most popular street gem markets can be found in Rathnapura, Nivithigala, Kahawatta, Pelmadulla, Godakawela, Embilipitiya, Kalawana, Kiriella, Haraniyaka, Eheliyagoda, and Beruwala.
Remarkably, every gem transaction at these markets is based solely on trust. The value of each gemstone is determined on the spot. There is no exchange of receipts or trade agreements. There is no cheating either. This way, the miners who supply the gems can be paid the amounts promised by the merchants at the street market.
Story by: Kusumsiri Wijayawardena
Graphic Designs: Roar Media/@jmealphonsus