English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

World’s largest sapphire cluster found in Sri Lanka could head to museums

A gem stone (Photo: IANS)

A Sri Lankan gem trader has literally discovered a treasure trove—accidentally finding the largest sapphire cluster in his backyard. The trader literally stumbled into wealth in Ratnapura—South Asia's gem capital, based in Sri Lanka.

It all happened when workmen were digging a well in his home. Apart from water, the prime purpose of the dig, they found the 510-kg cluster as well. The estimated value of the "find" is $100 million (£72 million) in the international market.

The pale blue sapphire cluster has been lovingly christened 'Serendipity Sapphire'.  “The person who was digging the well alerted us about some rare stones. Later we stumbled upon this huge specimen,” Gamage, the owner of the stone, told the BBC.

Gamage, a third-generation gem trader, alerted the authorities about the find.

The South Asian island nation, known for its pristine beaches, is a leading exporter of precious gems including sapphires. In 2020, the country had exported precious stones worth half a billion dollars. Currently, the gem industry is suffering due to the pandemic-induced lockdowns.

The news about the discovery has excited official circles as well. Thilak Weerasinghe, the Chairman of the National Gem and Jewellery Authority of Sri Lanka said: "It is a special star sapphire specimen, probably the biggest in the world. Given the size and its value, we think it will interest private collectors or museums”.