Our stones are cut in Sanjeewa’s workshop in Kuruwita, near Rathnapura in Sri Lanka.
We first met Sanjeewa, our stone-cutter, in a friend’s office in Bangkok in 2008. Sanjeewa was looking for investors for a new workshop and business venture. We agreed to invest and today the workshop has 75 employees.
Cutting a natural sapphire takes time and patience. Every gemstone refracts and reflects the light in a certain way and an experienced cutter gets to know each stone intimately as he or she works.
The first stage of cutting, called preforming, is the most important and it should always be done by an experienced master cutter. Once the stone has been preformed, the facets are cut and the stone is polished. This takes time. An experienced cutter can cut and polish around ten small stones a day. Larger stones can take several days.
The men and women working at Sanjeewa’s workshop are in their mid twenties to late fourties, the master cutters are older. They are coming from the area around the small village of Kuruwita, near Rathnapura, where this expertise has been accumulated over centuries.