Locals in Sri Lanka Accidentally Unearthed a Star Sapphire Worth $140 Million

Some of the most interesting discoveries people make seem to happen by accident. This theory came holds true for locals in Sri Lanka who recently made an epic discovery, and it happened entirely by change. According to Good News Network, a couple of residents in the area were digging a well and they then uncovered a boulder featuring two-and-a-half million carats of star sapphires. Now referred to as the "Serendipity Sapphire," the pale blue discovery is being estimated at $140 million on the global market.

"The person who was digging the well alerted us about some rare stones," Mr. Gamage, the owner of the stone, told BBC. "Later we stumbled upon this huge specimen." While a majority of the details are private at this time, Gamage did reveal that when he cleaned the stone of excess dirt, many "high quality" sapphires came loose. This indicated that similarly to the Bahia Emerald, this stone contains hundreds of star sapphires all somewhat connected based on the mineral structure.

rough uncut blue sapphires on slate
rough uncut blue sapphires on slate

Reimphoto / Getty Images

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Sri Lanka is also a country that is rich in gemstones and has one of the most profitable trades in the world. The island leads the globe in exporting sapphires and similar gems, resulting in half a billion dollars in profit just last year. The Serendipity Sapphire itself (which weighs about half a ton) was found near Ratnapura, which translates to "City of Gems" in Sinhalese. This locale the world capital in trade for gems and well known for its star sapphires.

"It is a special star sapphire specimen, probably the biggest in the world," Thilak Weerasinghe, the chairman of the National Gem and Jewellery Authority of Sri Lanka, shared with BBC. "Given the size and its value, we think it will interest private collectors or museums."