Earth Minerals of Interest
Newly Found 'Star Sapphire' Is Worth $100M
It's the Largest Blue Star Sapphire Ever Found




By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2016 12:31 PM CST


(NEWSER) – Kate Middleton's $45,000 sapphire ring can't compare to this showstopper: Gemologists in Sri Lanka say they've dug up the largest blue star sapphire ever found at a mine in Ratnapura, known as the City of Gems. The star sapphire—named for the star-shaped reflection that appears on its polished surface—weighs 1404.49 carats, according to a certificate from the Gemology Institute of Colombo; the previous record-holder weighs only slightly less at 1,395 carats, reports the BBC. "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 anonymous owner says. He won't say what he paid for the stone, reportedly found last August, but experts say it's worth about $100 million.

The owner thinks he could get as much as $175 million for it at auction, but "I am not interested in selling it at the moment as it first needs international exposure," he tells Ceylon Today. He adds the rock is too big to be "set in any kind of jewelry" and is "destined to be a priceless museum piece." He is said to have called the gem the Star of Adam, based on the Muslim belief that Adam traveled to Sri Lanka after he was banished from the Garden of Eden and cried tears that became the region's gems. Sri Lanka's gem industry is on the rise: An official tells CNN exports have increased by 135% in recent years, due in part to interest in Middleton's ring.

 
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Newly Found 'Star Sapphire' Is Worth $100M