Talk about pleasant accidents! A gigantic star sapphire cluster worth over $100 million has recently been unearthed from a Sri Lankan man’s backyard. It was found by workmen who were digging a well on the site by sheer luck.
Named ‘Serendipity Sapphire,’ the pale blue stone weighs 510kg or a 2.5million carat. It was found in the garden of gem trader Mr. Gamage in Ratnapura in Southern Sri Lanka. The man stumbled upon the cluster after workmen told him that they had uncovered some rare stones on the site.
After months of cleaning it off dirt and impurities, authorities finally certified the it, although they are yet to determine how many gems in the cluster are of high quality. Commenting on it, Thilak Weerasinghe, Chairman of the National Gem and Jewellery Authority of Sri Lanka, said, ‘Given the size and its value, we think it will interest private collectors or museums’.
The cluster could also be the biggest of its kind in the world. Remarking on it, Dr. Gamini Zoysa, a renowned gemmologist, noted, “I have never seen such a large specimen before. This was probably formed around 400 million years ago.”
Ratnapura, which literally means “city of gems” in Sinhalese, has a history of producing high-value gems. The country as a whole is also a leading exporter of sapphires and other precious gems and has earned around half a billion dollars through the export of gems, cut diamonds, and jewelry last year.
However, for a $100 million cluster of sapphires to be unearthed from one’s backyard – now that’s a golden stroke of luck!