By Brecken Branstrator
Monique Allen, wife of gemstone trader Crown Color’s Lewis Allen, died during the Sri Lanka bombings on Easter Sunday. She was 54.
Colombo, Sri Lanka—After news broke of several bombings across Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, members of the colored stone world grieved for one of their own.

Monique Allen, 54, was on vacation with her husband, gemstone trader Lewis Allen, president of Crown Color, and their three sons. They were staying at the Cinnamon Grand Colombo.

The family had traveled to the country from their home in Bangkok. The trip marked the first time Monique was able to see a project in which Lewis was involved—building a children’s hospital in a mining area in Ratnapura with three Sri Lankan friends who are also in the gemstone business.

“She was so happy and kept telling me how proud she was that my three friends and I were helping make this world a little bit of a better place,” Lewis told National Jeweler over email Tuesday.

The morning of the attacks, Monique had gone downstairs with one of their sons to eat breakfast at the hotel restaurant.

He survived the bombing at the Cinnamon Grand, as did Lewis and the couple’s other two sons, who were still in their hotel room and planned on meeting their mother and brother just a few minutes later.

Lewis said he and his friends involved in building the hospital had just decided to add a third floor to serve as a pediatric emergency ward. On Sunday morning, before she went down to breakfast, Monique told him again how happy and proud she was of the project and the soon-to-be-added new floor.

He is also quoted as telling the BBC shortly after her death: “She was the best wife, the best mother, the best daughter. She was very kind, very selfless. She always thought of herself last.”

He added that Sri Lanka was Monique’s favorite country.

The series of bombings in Sri Lankan churches and hotels on April 21 killed more than 250 people and wounded at least 500, rocking a country in which many in the international gem and jewelry industry have strong connections.

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