Sri Lankan officials say the world’s largest sapphire has been found in their country.
According to the BBC, the sapphire was found by some workers digging a well in the Ratnapura area of Sri Lanka, where gems are abundant. A gem trader had dug a dug well near his house.Experts say the 510-kilogram sapphire currently has an international market value of crore 100 million (Rs 11.88 billion).
“The man who was digging the well informed that he had found strange stones, but later he found such a big sapphire,” said Gamage, a gem trader. For security reasons, he declined to give his full name.Gamage’s family has been trading gems for three generations. After finding a large stone, he informed the authorities to check if it was sapphire. It took about a year to remove the mud and other things and certify it as pure sapphire.
Other types of precious gems are also found in Ratnapura. Sri Lanka is a major exporter of gems to the international market. Last year alone, Sri Lanka earned about half a billion US dollars from the sale of gems.
Experts say the sapphire found today may have been formed 400 million years ago.
“I have never seen such a big sapphire before. It must have been built about 400 million years ago, ‘said Dr. Gamini Joyce, a gemologist.