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Locals Digging a Well Accidentally Discover a $140 Million Star Sapphire Weighing Half a Ton

Lord Gamage

It’s hard work being a farmer, that is, until you extract half a ton of sapphire from the ground while digging a well … So it’s pretty amazing being a farmer.

A rock containing a group of 2.5 million carats of star sapphires was unearthed by workmen digging a well on the island of Sri Lanka, a country that, like a diamond, belittles its size in terms of wealth.

Pale blue in color, the find has been called ‘Serendipity Sapphire’ and could be worth $ 140 million on the international market, pending inspections and certification by world experts.

“The person who was digging the well alerted us to some rare stones. Later we came across this huge specimen, ”said Mr. Gamage, the owner of the stone, told the BBC.

Gamage, who kept most of the information confidential for obvious reasons, explained that while cleaning the stone from mud and dirt, some “high quality” star sapphires fell off, suggesting that as the famous Emerald of Bahia, this huge half-ton stone is not a single structure, but probably hundreds of star sapphires connected to each other with other minerals.

City of gems

Daniel Torres Jr

In a country blessed with beautiful beaches, rich wildlife, tons of elephants and, as the story goes, the mountain from which the Buddha of this eon ascended to Buddhahood, the gemstone trade in Sri Lanka is one of the most important parts of the Earth.

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The island nation, no bigger than West Virginia, is the world’s leading exporter of sapphires and other gemstones, generating $ 500 million in revenue last year as one of the five biggest gem producers.

The Serendipity sapphire was mined in the Ratnapura area, a traditional gem mining region famous for producing star sapphires, such as the last that was considered the largest of all time. Adam’s star, with a weight of 1404 collations.

Ratnapura means “City of Gems” in Sinhalese, and even as competitive markets for sapphires open up in Madagascar, Ratnapura remains a world capital in the gem trade.

“It is a special specimen of star sapphire, probably the largest in the world. Given the size and value, we think it will be of interest to private collectors or museums, ”Thilak Weerasinghe, president of the Sri Lanka National Jewelery and Gems Authority, told the BBC.

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Star sapphires contain a gemological feature known as asterism. Asterisms in gemstones occur when tiny scales or spines of another material get caught in the gem as it forms, creating an effect by receiving light from above from a bright six-pointed star. The most famous is the Star of India., currently in the American Museum of Natural History.

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