World’s Largest Star Sapphire Cluster Found By Workmen Digging Well
The world’s largest star sapphire cluster has been unearthed by accident in a backyard in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan authorities say that the cluster was found by workmen digging a well in the backyard of a house in the gem-rich area of Ratnapura, reports BBC. The name Ratnapura, in fact, means city of gems, and it is known as Sri Lanka’s gem capital.
The sapphire cluster, which weighs around 510 kilograms or 2.5 million carats, was discovered in the house of a gem trader who does not want to reveal his full name of location for security reasons. He was identified only as Mr Gamage by BBC. “The person who was digging the well alerted us about some rare stones. Later we stumbled upon this huge specimen,” he told the media outlet.
Mr Gamage alerted authorities to his find, but it took over one year to clean the cluster before they could analyse and certify it. During the cleaning process, a few stones fell out and were found to be high quality star sapphires, pale blue in colour – but experts have warned that though the specimen has a high carat value at 2.5 million, all the stones inside the cluster may not be high-quality.
“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,” an official of the National Gem and Jewellery Authority of Sri Lanka said.
The rock has been named the “Serendipity Sapphire.” Experts say it has an estimated value of up to $100 million in the international market. However, it has not yet been analysed and authenticated by independent international experts.
A star sapphire is a type of sapphire that exhibits a star-like phenomenon known as asterism.