Sinhalite gets its name from Sinhala, the Sanskrit name for the island of Ceylon. It was thought to be a brownish variety of the normally green peridot, the gem variety of olivine. Sinhalite is rare mineral and known only from the gem gravels in Sri Lanka. Sinhalite has not enjoyed much success on the gemstone markets. It is used at a mineral specimen and as a gemstone.
It was first discovered to be a new species in 1952 when an unusually dark brown specimen came under scientific scrutiny. Solomon, the Biblical king, epitome of human wisdom had gems brought from Sri Lanka to woo the heart and win the hand of queen Sheba. There exists many a story of jewels from serandib traveling into kingdoms of Cathay and Arabian Gulf. Some of the gems found there have become famous under special names like 'Sinhalite', 'Ceylonite".
Occurrence: Balangoda, Sabaragamuwa province, Sri Lanka and Mogok, Sagaing, Myanmar. In Russia it has been found in Aldan Shield, Siberia.
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