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'World's Largest' Star Sapphire Cluster Discovered By Accident In Sri Lanka

Tom Wood

| Last updated 

'World's Largest' Star Sapphire Cluster Discovered By Accident In Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan authorities claim that a man has discovered the world's largest ever cluster of star sapphires in his back yard, completely by accident.

What an accident it could be, as the precious stones could be worth as much as $100 million (£72 million) on the international market.

It's a seriously coincidental find, not least because the bloke who discovered it - or at least, workmen digging at his house did - is a third generation gem trader.

Hmm, is this perhaps a bit too coincidental?


Anyway, the story goes that the stone - which is blue in colour - was found in the back yard of the property owned by Mr Gamage whilst a well was being dug.

The property is in the gem-rich Ratnapura area of the country, which stands to reason.

Credit: Mr Gamage
Credit: Mr Gamage

In total, the stone weighs in at 510 kilograms, or around 2.5 million carats, and has already been named the 'Serendipity Sapphire'.


There's certainly a lot of serendipitous events taking place here, that's for sure.

Mr Gamage, who doesn't want his full name or location disclosing for obvious safety and security reasons, told BBC News: "The person who was digging the well alerted us about some rare stones. Later we stumbled upon this huge specimen."

Upon discovering the precious stones, Gamage alerted the authorities to the find. However, it took over a year to clean the stone of mud and other impurities, before it could be properly analysed and certified.

During that clean-up process, Gamage says a number of incredibly good quality sapphires fell out of the cluster.


Ratnapura, which means 'city of gems' in Sinhalese, is the gemstone capital of Sri Lanka, and many other stones have been discovered there in the past.

In fact, the country earned about half a billion dollars from exporting gems, jewellery, and diamonds just last year.

Credit: Mr Gamage
Credit: Mr Gamage

Dr Gamini Zoysa, a leading boffin in the gemstone world, also told BBC News: "I have never seen such a large specimen before. This was probably formed around 400 million years ago."


However, experts have warned that just because it's of a high carat value, that doesn't mean there won't be lower quality stones in the cluster.

Still, it stands to be a decent little earner for Mr Gamage.

Thilak Weerasinghe, the Chairman of the National Gem and Jewellery Authority of Sri Lanka, said: "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."

Featured Image Credit: Mr Gamage

Topics: Interesting, Asia, Weird

Tom Wood
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