Our stones are cut in Nilanthi’s workshop in Kuruwita, near Rathnapura in Sri Lanka.
We first met Nilanthi in 2007, our stone-cutter, working in a friend’s cutting factory. We have tried to convince Nilanthi to open a partnership factory for many years.
As of 2020 we managed to persuade her and had our factory opening in January 2022. We invested money and Nilanthi invested her time and space on her property.
Today, Sunrise Facets employs 12 people, and it is our aim to keep it small, focused and friendly – we think of it as our family.
Cutting a natural sapphire takes time and patience – and a lot of experience. Every gemstone is unique and the 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 Nilanthi’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.