A star sapphire cluster worth up to $100million has been discovered in a Sri Lankan man's backyard by workmen who were digging a well.
28 July, 2021 | 00:02 a.m.
A star sapphire cluster worth up to $100million has been discovered in a Sri Lankan man's backyard by workmen who were digging a well. The pale blue stone was found in the garden of gem trader Mr Gamage in Ratnapura, central Sri Lanka. It weighs 510kg, a total of 2.5million carats, and was named the 'Serendipity Sapphire', the BBC reported.
The discovery comes as Sri Lanka’s jewelry industry suffers as a result of a pandemic lockout. Industry experts hope that Serendipity Stone will already attract international buyers and experts. Authorities say they have already received around 50 inquiries from foreign buyers for the world’s largest star sapphire cluster which was found in Sri Lanka.
Thilak Weerasinghe, President of the National Jewelry Association of Sri Lanka, said, This is a special example of a star sapphire, the most likely in the world. Given its size and value, we think it will be of interest to private collectors or museums.
The Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Authority Chairman said, “This was found 8 months ago, but we didn’t release the details due to the Covid situation in the country. We think we might be able to sell it even at a price of US$ 1 billion as it is a very rare stone,”
Sri Lanka is not only the most productive source for sapphire but the sapphire mines here are among the oldest known. According to historical accounts, Ceylon was already known for sapphire by the 2nd century A.D. and there was an active international trade in Ceylon gems by the 4th and 5th centuries. Many of the most famous sapphires in the world come from Sri Lanka.
In 2016, The world’s largest blue star sapphire, named weighing 1404.49 carets and valued at an astonishing $100 million, has been found in a mine in Sri Lanka. also the engagement ring for Catherine Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, included a sapphire mined in the country in the 1970s. It was previously owned by Diana, Princess of Wales.