Gemstones are the most sought after tourist item in Sri Lanka. From ancient times Sri Lanka has being renowned for its high quality gems fit for royalty. One of the reasons for high demand for Sri Lankan gems is that you can get a high quality product for a very low cost compared to countries like US and UK. Since gems and birthstone jewelry are expensive items the difference in cost is vast and buying it in Sri Lanka saves you a lot of money. Rough uncut diamonds can be bought around half the price compared to US,UK markets and prices of cut and polished diamonds can be ten times high in the UK. If you are buying jewelry with gems embedded in them the variation in price is even higher. So it is not surprising that gems are in high demand. Because of this high demand you will find few crooked salesman prying upon gullible tourists. The government has taken strict measures to cut down cheating and protect the tourists. There are gem testing centers in major cities popular for gem trading and since this is a considerable investment its advisable to get them tested for a price. If you can visit The National Gem and Jewelery Authority, they have test centers where you can get your gem tested for free. Another measure the government has taken to cut down on selling fake gems is licensing gem selling stores. If you are buying a gem in Sri Lanka it is always a good idea to buy from a licensed gem store. One of the best places to buy gems is the National Gem and Jewelery exchange in the world trade center, there are many shops there so you are sure to find somethings that matches your taste and because of the competition you can get a very reasonable price too. This is definitely a bit more expensive than buying from various other shops but you are guaranteed of quality and authenticity. The best and the most cheapest way is to buy it via a local who knows about gems. The trust factor plays a major part here but many foreign traders take this route because it is far more cheaper. A friendly chat with your hotels manager or someone you already know in Sri Lanka can lead you to such a guy, so always make sure to explore this option.