Sri Lanka

World’s Largest Star Sapphire weighing 510kg, discovered in Sri Lanka

The World’s Largest Star Sapphire was discovered from Ratnapura in Sri Lanka, confirmed the Gem and Jewellery Authority.

According to the Chairman of the Gem and Jewellery Authortity the star sapphire weighs 510 kg and is valued at over $200 million.

He said foreign bids have already been received for the star sapphire.

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

He did not want to give his full name or location for security reasons.

Mr Gamage, who is a third-generation gem trader, informed authorities about the find, but it took more than a year to clean the stone of mud and other impurities before they could analyse and certify it.

During the cleaning process, Mr Gamage said some stones fell out of the cluster and they were found to be high quality star sapphires. 

Ratnapura, which means city of gems in Sinhalese, is known as the gem capital of the South Asian country. Other valuable stones have been found there in the past. 

Sri Lanka is a leading exporter of sapphires and other precious gems. 

Last year, the country earned around half a billion dollars through the export of gems, cut diamonds and jewellery. 

“I have never seen such a large specimen before. This was probably formed around 400 million years ago,” Dr Gamini Zoysa, a renowned gemmologist told the BBC. 

Experts also point out however, that even though the specimen has a high carat value, all the stones inside the cluster may not be high-quality.

The find comes as Sri Lanka’s gem industry has suffered losses as a result of pandemic induced lockdowns. 

Those working in the industry hope the “Serendipity Stone” will now attract international buyers and experts. 

“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,” Thilak Weerasinghe, the Chairman of the National Gem and Jewellery Authority of Sri Lanka, said.

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