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Locals discover world's largest Star Sapphire weighing half a ton and worth $140 million

[August 24, 2021: Precious Smith]

World's largest sapphire cluster found in Sri Lanka. (CREDIT: Mr Gamage)

It takes hard work to be a farmer, that is until you get a half-ton sapphire out of the ground when you are digging a well. Then it's extremely good being a farmer.

Workmen digging a well on the Sri Lanka island dug out a boulder that has a cluster of 2.5 million carats in star sapphires. Sri Lanka is a country which, like a diamond, disparages its size when it comes to richness.

The find that is pale blue color has been named the 'Serendipity Sapphire' and could be up to $140 million on the international market, awaiting inspections and approval by world experts.

The owner of the stone named Mr. Gamage told the BBC that "the person who was digging the well alerted us about some rare stones. Later we stumbled upon this huge specimen."


Gamage did not disclose any information but kept it confidential for obvious reasons. Gamage explained that when he was cleaning the stone of mud and dirt, some high-quality star sapphires shifted, giving a suggestion that like the well-known Bahia Emerald, this massive half-ton stone is not just one structure. But possibly hundreds of star sapphires merged together with other minerals.

Bahia Emerald

Star of Adam

In a country lucky to have rich wildlife, ons of elephants, beautiful beaches, and as the story was told, the mountain which the Buddha of ages ascended to Buddhahood. One of the most crucial trade on Earth is the gemstone trade on Sri Lanka.

The island nation which is not bigger than West Virginia, is the top exporter of sapphires and other valuable stones in the world, which produces half a billion in revenue last year as one of the five biggest producers of gem.

An area in which the Serendipity Sapphire was mined is called Ratnapura. This area is a traditional gem mining region well-known for making star sapphires, like the previous one that was recognized as the largest ever seen, the Star of Adam, which weighs 1404 carets.

The Star of Adam (CREDIT: Creative Commons)


In Sinhalese "City of Gems" is the meaning of Ratnapura, and even as competitive markets for sapphires are set up in Madagascar, Ratnapura is still a world capital in the gem trade.

The Chairman of the National Gem and Jewellery Authority of Sri Lanka whose name is Thilak Weerasinghe told the BBC, "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."

Star sapphires have a gemological feature referred to as asterism. Asterisms in gems take place when tiny flakes or spines of other material is stuck in the gemstone when it starts to form, thereby producing an effect when getting light from above of a sparkling six-pointed star.

Star of India is the most famous, and it is currently held in the American Museum of Natural History.

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