“When I first arrived in Sri Lanka I was fascinated by the variety of gems and precious stones that I found in the island. Until then I had only seen them mounted on jewelry. It was there that I fell in love with the incredible beauty that comes out of the earth; from their raw forms in the mines to the brilliance of their colors once carved and polished, each one is unique and pure… that’s how OONA was born (a feminine name meaning one and pure in Gaelic).”
Founder and designer
Her passion for traveling the world took Maria to Sri Lanka and there is where she decided to establish the production workshop, in the town of Galle, on the south coast of the island, where the jewelry is hand-crafted by master artisans with the utmost care and attention to detail. Maria works side by side with selected craftsmen and goldsmiths in every step of the jewelry-making process. Her aim is to return to the roots of traditional techniques and support the collective of local artisans.
Sri Lanka, the former Ceylon, is known as the Jewel of the Indian Ocean and no other place on Earth has produced such a variety of precious stones.
Due to geological phenomena of the past, in this tropical island there are large mines from where are found its world-renowned sapphires for their magnificent quality and purity, as well as other precious stones such as tourmalines, moonstones, garnets, amethysts… unique high quality gems that are extracted in an ethical and traditional way, as it was done thousands of years ago.
Gem mining in Sri Lanka is considered an excellent example of ecological, socially responsible and sustainable traditional mining. Artisanal miners extract the gemstones using age-old, environmentally friendly practices subject to fair labor laws.
Our jewels are handmade featuring a rich variety of these gems and precious stones, each one being hand selected by Maria as part of the design of the piece and choosing beautiful natural colors.