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Video: Owner of world's largest blue sapphire ponders its fate

2016-01-07 16:18:18
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The owner of the world’s largest blue sapphire, which he says is worth more than $100 million, said on Thursday he is deciding whether to auction the Sri Lankan gem or display it as an international attraction.

The polished oval sapphire is as large as a person's palm and weighs 1404.49 carats (281 grams), according to a local industry body that certified it, the Gemmological Institute of Colombo.

"I would love to keep it and have it exhibited and share it with the public," said the owner, who requested anonymity for security reasons, "but I have to balance it out with my security concerns."

"My estimate (of its value) is about $100 million," he told Reuters during an interview in Sri Lanka, but declined to say exactly how much the stone cost when he bought it in September.

In 2014, a 392.5 carat Sri Lankan sapphire known as the "Blue Belle of Asia" sold for 16.96 million Swiss francs ($16.94 million) at a Swiss auction.

The National Gem and Jewelry Authority of Sri Lanka confirmed the stone was the world's largest blue sapphire. It was mined in Sri Lanka's central district of Ratnapura and is a classified as a natural corundum un-heated blue star sapphire.

Local legend says Sri Lanka's world-famous blue sapphires were formed by the tears of Adam after God expelled him from paradise.

The three largest blue sapphires have all been found Sri Lanka. The stone that was previously the largest star blue sapphire weighs 1,395 carats, the National Gem and Jewelry Authority said.

Britain's Princess Diana wore an engagement ring made from a blue oval sapphire from Sri Lanka encircled with diamonds, while Prince William's bride Kate Middleton wore a similar sapphire and diamond cluster, also using a Sri Lankan stone.

Sri Lanka exported $381.2 million worth of gems and jewelry in 2014, government figures show. It is famous for precious stones, especially sapphires, which come in shades of blue, pink, yellow, violet, white, green and orange. (Reuters)


  Comments - 22

  • gOB Thursday, 7 January 2016 22:04

    shhhh.. do not let Ravi K hear your plans...

    Reply : 4       75

    Citizen Thursday, 7 January 2016 22:05

    Be careful with Police State murders

    Reply : 2       57

    Sikuru7.lk Thursday, 7 January 2016 22:17

    Hope it gives a big boost to the gem industry and brings international attention to SL

    Reply : 0       61

    patriot Thursday, 7 January 2016 23:04

    Whoever owns it, personal safety first.

    Reply : 0       72

    TONY Thursday, 7 January 2016 23:13

    THE BRITISH ROYAL FAMILY WILL BE AFTER THIS GEM OF A GEM

    Reply : 4       47

    Lanka Watch Friday, 8 January 2016 00:51

    The more you talk, the more risks you take with your security. Better auction it ,abroad so that the gem canbe in the custody of a celebrity, mean time, beware ofwhite vans or Black defenders !!

    Reply : 2       32

    SL-Walah Friday, 8 January 2016 02:44

    This is a National treasure that belongs to Sri Lanka and therefore, it has to be acquired by the government of Sri Lanka at a reasonable cost. Maybe the amount that is man paid the miner.

    Reply : 44       17

    Nina Kamal Saturday, 9 January 2016 16:56

    Seriously, since when did we hear about such patriotic parasites....!!

    Reply : 0       6

    siva Friday, 8 January 2016 03:01

    I thought the ring Prince William gave his wife at the engagement is the same rig from his mother.

    Reply : 0       12

    mervyn fernando Friday, 8 January 2016 03:11

    You are lucky Rajapakse and family are not in power. Anyway becareful of Polonarruwa Siri crowd. They are also becoming greedy.

    Reply : 7       36

    CitizenPerera Friday, 8 January 2016 03:46

    Real value of this exceeds US $310 million.

    Reply : 2       17

    Leo Friday, 8 January 2016 06:33

    lookout for flying bras coming your way. via DM Android App

    Reply : 2       23

    lankaputha Friday, 8 January 2016 08:13

    Finger print section of the Police has some work now ...

    Reply : 0       12

    Bala Friday, 8 January 2016 08:38

    Even now I hope he will offer a good share to the poor miners who braved to get it out risking life and limb.

    Reply : 0       28

    Channa Friday, 8 January 2016 09:14

    Adam come and drop few tears in my land.

    Reply : 1       8

    Arnolis Friday, 8 January 2016 09:16

    If MR was in power this guy would have been fed to the salt water crocodiles.

    Reply : 2       31

    Redna Friday, 8 January 2016 10:10

    It is same from the British Royal family, but if MaRa was inpower, the owner would have been white-vanned for sure!

    Reply : 0       25

    KamT Friday, 8 January 2016 10:25

    If bought legally why is he not willing to share the purchase price????? something is wrong here.....

    Reply : 4       13

    Deen Friday, 8 January 2016 10:39

    All Sri Lankan should be proud.Government should purchase and protect it. It should remain in Sri Lanka.

    Reply : 4       17

    onlooker Friday, 8 January 2016 15:53

    Give it to MY3 as a anniversary present

    Reply : 2       4

    Perumal Friday, 8 January 2016 17:40

    He is very fortunate to come into possession of it after 8th January 2015. Otherwise, it would have gone with a white van.

    Reply : 0       8

    Cobra Saturday, 9 January 2016 07:35

    Share it with the poor of Sri Lanka!

    Reply : 1       2

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