Gemmologists Association of Sri Lanka celebrates 50 years Issuance of Commemorative Stamps & AGM

Gemmologists Association of Sri Lanka celebrates 50 years Issuance of Commemorative Stamps & AGM

The Gemmologists Association of Sri Lanka (GASL), a professional body in Sri Lanka, celebrated its 50th Anniversary on the 6th of November 2021. To mark this important milestone, ten new postage stamps with images of gemstones were issued by the Sri Lanka Philatelic Bureau of the Department of Posts at a special ceremony held at the Taj Samudra Hotel.

The function was graced by the Chief Guest, Chairman of the University Grants Commission and the Patron of the association, Prof. Sampath Amarathunga and Guests of honour, Retired Major General Vijitha Ravipriya, Director General of Customs; Mr. Thilak Weerasinghe, Chairman of National Gem & Jewellery Authority; Mr. Sisira Kumara, Deputy Postmaster General; Mr. Harsha Pathberiya, Director Export Development Bureau and well attended by the GASL members.

For the first time in history stamp-issuing in Sri Lanka, these stamps were produced using modern technology, where the photographs of gemstones were used for printing instead of manual drawings, which has been the practice that prevailed up to now. This technique certainly improves the quality of the stamps and objects depicted being printed. The photographs of the gems and specimens were the diligence of the GASL members themselves.

GASL organized this issue of stamps featuring unique Sri Lankan Gemstones to create local and international awareness of gemstones unearthed from the Island of Gems - “Rathnadeepa.”
Further, arrangements have been made to distribute these stamps along with the brochure, covers, and descriptions to major museums and gemmological associations around the world for displto shareinsharingowledge among foreign enthusiasts, collectors, and consumers of Sri Lankan gemstones.

Plans have also been made to issue another set of stamps highlighting rare gemstones of Sri Lanka shortly to create global awareness as well as interest in rare Gemstones found in Sri Lanka. Both these endeavors shall improve the demand for our gemstones throughout the world thereby helping the gem and jewellery industries of Sri Lanka to prosper.

As part of the day’s proceedings awards were presented to the students who completed the Diploma DGem (SL) which is conducted by the GASL annually. A special award was presented to Mr. Ajith Siriwardena, a past president of the association, for his outstanding contribution to the association by pioneering “Jewels” and “DGem (SL)” which are two of the major projects of the Association while Samantha Gunasekara was also awarded in recognition for his role as immediate past president of GASL.

Along with the 50th anniversar50th-anniversary important lectures were organized to enlighten the membership and stakeholders of the gem and jewellery industry, highlighting the way out of the current pandemic-affected situation, during a period where the movement of traders and industrialists are immensely restricted both locally and internationally. Mr. Ajith Siriwardena and Dr Gamini Zoysa, .both past presidents of GASL, were the resource persons for these lectures.

Even in the past, GASL has come forward in many instances to assist the industry during its difficult times. Hopefully, the content imparted at this lecture will assist many affected industrialists and traders to overcome their marketing and trading shortcomings to a noticeable degree.

Followed by the ceremony, the annual general meeting of the association was held, with Mr. Rohan Fernando, president of the association, chairing the meeting and new executive committee members being appointed for 2021/22. Mr. Rusiru Doraliyagoda was appointed as the new president of the association.

Going back to the beginning, the inception of the association took place at the Ceylon Tea Propaganda Board Hall on 7th July 1970, as the Gemmologists Association of Ceylon with 13 founder members and Prof. C. Kularatnam being elected the Founder President.

Our vision is “To be the leader in the science of gemmology and industry” with the mission of providing leadership to the gemmologiscience by maintaining professionalism and high standards in the gem & jewellery industry. Being the only government accepted professional association in the field of gemmology, we have conducted an array of activities to meet the objectives of the association to raise funds and to popularize Gemmology, in 1972 the GASL endeavored to organize an Introductory course in Gemmology, further developed in 2009 as the Diploma in Gemmology Examination in Sri Lanka, a qualification of international standards here in Sri Lanka for an affordable fee.

Among the many activities carried out by the Association to educate the general public about the gem wealth of Sri Lanka is the arrangement of educational programs in Diamond Grading and Geuda heating techniques, several field trips and lectures by Sri Lankan and eminent foreign gemmologists, and the gems and mineral show conducted biannually, which was initiated in the year 2001. In 2008, this Mineral Show of Sri Lanka was renamed “Jewels”, Annual Gem and Jewellery Trade Exhibition and Competition of Sri Lanka” with the main sponsorship of the National Gem and Jewellery Authority.

The Gemmologists Association of Sri Lanka is determined to grow from strength to strength despite these turbulent times working towards upholding the credibility of the Sri Lankan gem and jewellery industry while creating a genuine appreciation for the gemmological riches of our country.

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