Sometimes, good fortune is bestowed upon us when we least expect it. And in a glittering stroke of serendipity, a Sri Lankan man discovered the world’s largest sapphire cluster while renovating his home in the gem-abundant Ratnapura area.
Discovered by workmen who were digging a well in the homeowner’s backyard, third-generation gem trader Mr Gamage has said that the cluster weighs about 2.5 million carats or roughly half a ton. It also has an estimated value of up to US$100 million in the international market.
“The person who was digging the well alerted us about some rare stones,” Mr Gamage told BBC. “Later we stumbled upon this huge specimen.”
Aptly named the “Serendipity Sapphire”, Mr Gamage also informed the authorities about the find, but took more than a year to clean the stone of mud and other impurities before it could be analysed and certified. He has said that throughout the cleaning process, some stones fell out of the cluster, and they were found to be high quality star sapphires.
“It is a special star sapphire specimen, probably the biggest in the world,” Thilak Weerasinghe, Chariman of the National Gem and Jewellery Authority of Sri Lanka said to BBC. “Given the size and its value, we think it will interest private collectors or museums.”
Renowned gemologist Dr Gamini Zoysa also told the publication that such a large specimen is a great rarity, and is estimated to have formed around 400 million years ago. However, experts have pointed out that while the cluster has a high carat value, all the stones within may not boast a high quality.
Original article and image appeared on BBC . Featured image is for illustrative and representational purposes only.