Arts & Entertainment

Sri Lanka to auction ‘world’s largest’ natural blue sapphire

Colombo, Dec 13 (EFE).- A natural corundum blue sapphire weighing over 300 kilograms has been found in Sri Lanka and would be soon auctioned in the international market, authorities said on Monday.

The gem, claimed to be the largest of its kind in the world, has been named the “Queen of Asia” and weighs 310 kgs.

“It is a rare finding. We are planning to auction it (…) in Dubai on January 20th,” Tilak Weerasinghe, chairperson of Sri Lanka’s Gem and Jewelry Authority, told EFE.

The rare blue corundum was unearthed around six months ago in the city of Ratnapura – which literally translates as “the city of gems” – in the Sabaragamuwa province and unveiled on Sunday.

Presenting the stone, the president of the Gemological Institute of Ratnapura (GIR), Chamila Surnaga, told reporters that this was a “very precious specimen” and that is why they had decided to keep it in one piece. 

“Earlier we had several ideas of about we wanted to do with it, like breaking it, but now we have changed our position,” he said.

Surnaga said that the blue rock could fetch a high price in the market.

“Even if 1 kg of transparent blue sapphire was found in this, we believe it will be worth $100 million.”

According to a certificate issued by the GIR, testing on five samples from the entire rock found the gem to be natural corundum.

“To our knowledge this is indeed a rare specimen and not recorded (previously) in the gemological literature,” the certificate reads, adding that the specimen’s color changes to a “silky blue patchy appearance.”

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