Rarely has an excavation been as lucrative as one carried out by workers in the courtyard of a Sri Lankan house.
It was behind the house of a gemstone merchant that a cluster of sapphires estimated at $ 100 million was discovered, reports BBC News.
The 2.5 million carat gem is considered the largest cluster in the world.
“The people who were digging the well alerted us about precious stones and later discovered the huge specimen,” said Mr. Gamage, owner of the house who preferred to keep his first name withheld for security reasons.
The man informed authorities of the find last year, but it took more than a year to certify and clean the stone.
Despite the fact that the town of Ratnapura – where the stone was found – is reputed to be the gem capital of the world, the find still surprised experts.
“I have never seen such a large specimen. It was probably formed around 400 million years ago, ”says Dr.r Gamini Zoysa, renowned gemologist.
Experts estimate that the gemstone, nicknamed “Serendipity Sapphire,” could be worth $ 100 million.
“This is a special star sapphire specimen, possibly the largest in the world. Given its size and value, we believe it will be of interest to collectors and museums, ”notes Thilak Weerasinghe, president of the National Gem and Jewelry Authority.