BBC: World's Largest Blue Star Sapphire Found in Sri Lanka

Mining and Exploration
05/01/2016 13:51

Gemologists in Sri Lanka claim that the largest blue star sapphire ever found has been discovered in a mine in the country. A gemology institute in the capital Colombo has certified that the gem weighs 1,404.49 carats and says it has not certified anything larger, according to a BBC report. "The gem is valued at least $100 million and the current owner estimates that it could sell for up to $175 million at auction," according to the report. That would dwarf Sri Lanka's annual gem exports of $103 million.

"The moment I saw it, I decided to buy," the owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the BBC World Service's Newsday program. "When the stone was brought to me I suspected that it might be the world's largest blue star sapphire. So I took a risk and bought it." The owner said it was "absolutely confidential" how much he paid for it. The previous record-holding stone weighed 1,395 carats.

The gem was mined in Ratnapura, in southern Sri Lanka, which is known as the City of Gems. It has been named The Star of Adam by its current owner, after a Muslim belief that Adam arrived in Sri Lanka after being sent away from the Garden of Eden. It is claimed he then lived on the slopes of a mountain now known as Adam's Peak.