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“They force you to buy it,,,,” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Moonstone Mines

Moonstone Mines
Mitiyagoda, Ambalangoda, Sri Lanka
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Type: Caverns/ Caves, Outdoors
Attraction details
Pune
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“They force you to buy it,,,,”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2013

The gemstone mine me n my hubby went we had a bad experience, although one lady explained the process how they get a stone from the mine ,,,to how it is done in a nice jewellery. But the moment we enter thr jewellery showroom, a big fat lady, the owner, started to force me n chase me to buy one ( even though if you dont want you have to). And when i told her that in India we buy stones according to our zodiac signs,,,it also has to suit us,,,,and am not sure if this stone suits me,,,she very rudely took the piece from my hand. Be careful, unless you are sure of what you are buying.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Middlesbrough, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Be careful buying gems”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2013

We visited the moonstone mine as part of our August holiday last year. As I had previously lost my engagement ring I was delighted to be told that I could choose any gem and have it set into a ring designed to my specification. I chose a natural blue sapphire and designed the ring. The salesman said that he would deliver it to our hotel the next week. We had no problems and received and paid for the ring which I was delighted with. On return to the UK i had the gems valued and certified that they were genuine. However, a year on the ring has literally fallen apart. My insurance doesn't cover it as two independent jewellers have said that the white gold is inferior and the setting previously been altered. I feel that we have been ripped off and my only choice is to pay a lot of money to have the stones reset.
Whilst this is an interesting attraction to see the gems being mined, be very careful if you choose to purchase an expensive piece of jewellery or you might end up paying the price when you get home.

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Moonstone Mines and Gullible Tourists”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2013

Took a trip south down Galle Road from Colombo on our way to Fort Galle. Stopped at the Moonstone Mine. We enjoyed seeing the gem miner climb up from the bowels of the deep gem mine with a weaved basket filled with mud and rocks. We watched him rinse the rocks and search for any valuable stones. Next, we learned how cinnamon is grown and harvested for spice and oils. Then we were shown how the raw gems were selected, cut and polished and finally set. On the last part of our tour, we were brought to the little jewelry store where there were some pretty hard core sales tactics in play. I ended up buying many pieces set in sterling and I'm happy with my purchases but have no idea of whether or not I got a good deal, a decent deal or was ripped off. Travelers beware of their hard core sales pitch. AND, don't agree to have anything set and later delivered to your hotel. Buy what you want there. Glad I went, can't really highly recommend it, though.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Worth a look”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

If you have time visit one of the many Moonstone Mines near Galle.

You will be shown the mine shaft, how the stones are selected, cut and polished.

And of course you will have a chance to buy some of the stones set in attractive jewellery.

The prices were very reasonable.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albany, New York
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“MOONSTONE MINE & GEM P MEETIYAGODA”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

I visited the Moonstone Mine and Gem Meetiyagoda outfit on February 18, 2013. My experience follows:

Upon entering the property one encounters a mine shaft that can be peer into. It is a deep, four walled, box-like structure fortified inside against collapse. The eye follows the mine bottom to a tunnel configuration running roughly at right angles to the main shaft. Out pops a lanky worker who partially climbs up, straddles two walls while balancing himself and smiling up at customers. His big smile suggests he’s been beer-partying down there in the bowels of the earth.

A beautiful set-up. In fact, a clever, convincing mock up.
Recall the nursery rhyme: ‘Walk into my parlor said the spider to the fly……’.

The large store ahead offers much by way of unset stones as well as finished product. My wife is an ardent collector of fine jewelry. This time around she was determined on acquiring Star Sapphires indigenous to Sri Lanka.

We patiently selected two stones after inspecting, both indoors as well as in natural lighting outside. We negotiated a price for the stones being set in gold rings. The product was paid for and we left with the promise that the rings would be delivered to our hotel the following afternoon. No problem, so far.

Next afternoon the rings were delivered. Hotel lighting was poor so the salesperson delivering the rings pulled out his LED flashlight to demonstrate the gorgeous reflections from the stones. We, then packed away the rings and went about our business.

Upon returning home a week after the purchase we noticed one stone had visual blemishes on the surface near one of the prongs. The other stone reflected a subtle line down its length on one side. Closer inspection revealed both stones were severely chipped on their bottom with chunks completely missing. Such defects would have been observed and noted by the naked eye during our selection process at the store; the stones would obviously have been rejected in favor of more perfect stones.

I called the store proprietor describing my observation and conviction that the stones had been switched; that they were not the stones we had selected and paid for. The man fast talked me and swore that the described imperfections were normal to the Star Saphire. He attempted to assure me that he would make good should we revisit SL in coming years

I call this fraud, misrepresentation, and gross undermining of visitors’ intelligence.

A visit to this so-called mine does offer some learning. However, the art of switch and bait and the dexterity with which it is executed, is not limited to this trade or to this country. Do visit. But, buyer beware.

Low rating of two stars, because I was defrauded. Proprietor, Mr. Nandasiri requires a business refresher. He is not representing his people fairly.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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