A man was digging in his backyard when an accidental discovery turned him into an instant millionaire. He found the world’s largest star sapphire, and the pale blue stone is worth around $100 million!
Sri Lankan authorities revealed that a star sapphire cluster was discovered in the gem-rich Ratnapura area last year. The stone was found by workers digging a well in the backyard of a gem trader’s property.
The homeowner, Mr. Gamage, is a third-generation gem trader. He did not provide news outlets with his full name or location because he has a few safety concerns—After all, he owns a valuable treasure!
This year, experts valued the stone that weighs 510 kilograms at around $100 millionin the international market. The treasure is also roughly 2.5 million carats.
Mr. Gamage told the BBCabout the find: “The person who was digging the well alerted us about some rare stones. Later we stumbled upon this huge specimen.”
“THE SERENDIPITY SAPPHIRE”
The cluster required a lengthy cleaning process to get rid of all impurities and dirt. After a year, it could finally be analyzed and certified.
Named the “Serendipity Sapphire,” the stone was discovered when the Sri Lanka gem industry needed it. After a year of lockdowns, people working in the gem industry hope this stone will attract lots of attention.
As one of the leading exporters of sapphires and other precious gems, Sri Lanka relies on this industry, as do many gem-traders and their families.
In 2020, the country earned around half a billion dollars by exporting gems, cut diamonds, and jewelry. Renowned gemmologist Dr. Gamini Zoysa toldthe BCC that the sapphire is one of the largest he has seen.
Kinard, who hails from Maumelle, Arkansas, has a long history with the park and visited it since he was a young boy. He explainedthat he picked up the stone because it looked “kind of interesting and shiny.”
What he first thought might be some glass actually turned out to be a diamond! He said: “I was in complete shock.” The park’s “finders keepers” policy allowed him to take the diamond home.
This policy has also seen many lucky treasure hunters walk away with precious gems. In fact, since 1906, more than 75,000 diamondshave been found in the park. While it is rare, it is not impossible, as these stories have shown.
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