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Backyard jewel? Tall tales have a true sparkle.

This week’s touring story of Sri Lanka contains all the gleaming material needed to rivet a pandemic-tired country that was involved in a debt cycle before the coronavirus devastated the economy. rice field.

According to news reports, the world’s largest sapphire cluster, which is said to be worth up to $ 100 million, was accidentally discovered by a worker digging a well in the jeweler’s backyard.

The details reported by the BBC this week have given many Sri Lankans an exciting and hopeful story. Daya Amara Sekara, a professor of sociology at the University of Peradeniya, south of the capital Colombo, is a spiritual coincidence in the discovery of gem specimens that many should pay attention to in a Buddhist-dominated country famous for gems. He said he tends to consider it as.

“So far we’ve heard negative news about Covid-19,” he said. “That’s why people are drawn to the spiritual joy that comes from news about jewelry.”

However, some details of the gem discovery turned out to be too good to be true. The rocks were real, but they were dug in a jewel mine rather than a well, officials said.

by report On Tuesday, workers discovered a £ 1,124 sapphire cluster over a year ago while digging a well in Ratnapura, a gem-rich area. The attached photo shows a rugged rock about the size of a car tire.

The report identified the owner of the rock only as Mr. Gammage, a third-generation gem merchant. He told the BBC that some of the stones that fell off the rocks while cleaning them were later found to be high-quality star sapphires, a type of sapphire known for their optical effects. (Minerals in gems Reflects light in a star pattern, A phenomenon called asterism. )

The article states that the government agency, Sri Lanka’s National Gem and Jewelery Department Chairman Tyrac Weerasinge, said it was “probably the largest” star sapphire specimen in the world.

Wheelasinge later told the New York Times that the rock was discovered in 2020 and the pandemic seemed like a bad time to sell sapphire, so it obscured the news for months.

He also said the rock was taken from a jewel mine rather than a well and asked journalists to refrain from detailing the article for safety reasons. He estimated that the sapphire embedded in the rock was worth $ 100 million.

“It will be a great exhibition for museums and those who collect rare gems,” he added.

At least two Sri Lankan media report Correctly that the gem was found in the mine on Wednesday. The BBC did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

It is not uncommon for some people in Ratnapura to have small gem pits in their backyard.It is not uncommon for Sri Lankans to obscure the details of their gem discovery, PRK Fernando said., Chairman of the Sri Lankan Gemologists Association, an industry group. News about such discoveries can sometimes cause digging frenzy.

“It can be a problem,” he said.

But he said the news of this discovery could help revitalize the industry that was struggling during the pandemic.

On social media, this episode has led some users to wonder if selling sapphire will finally generate enough foreign currency for Sri Lanka to escape the severe debt crisis.

Colombo economist Anushka Wigesinha said selling jewelry for $ 100 million would represent about one-third of the country’s pre-pandemic annual export revenues in the jewelry and jewelery trade.

“But, of course, a single sale may not provide full value,” he added.

David S. Atlas, a Virginia jewelery and jewelery appraiser and chair of ethics at the New York City-based National Jewelery Appraisers Association, said in an email that estimates of large specimens were highly speculative. He said it was a target and a “subject”. For the highest level of secondary guessing. “

“The collection already has many larger specimens,” Atlas said, although the rocks may eventually be stored in the museum’s collection and prove to be of great value.

“We can’t predict in advance the value or quality of small gems cut out of this large chunk of material,” he added. “Cut it out, make the gems inside, and then have them properly research their value, and you’ll know more.”

In any case, the story of gem-excavating rock workers has prompted social media users — seemingly a joke, but who knows? — They also planned to start digging in their backyard.

Backyard jewel? Tall tales have a true sparkle.

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