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Updated December 19th, 2021 at 17:51 IST

Sri Lanka's gem company unveils 310 kg giant natural blue sapphire named 'Queen of Asia'

A gem company in Sri Lanka has showcased a unique and gigantic gemstone weighing 310 kilogrammes and verified as one of the country's biggest corundums.

Anurag Roushan
Sri Lanka
Image: AP | Image:self
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A gemstone company in Sri Lanka has showcased a unique and gigantic gemstone weighing 683 pounds (310 kilogrammes) and verified as one of the country's biggest corundums. The National Gem and Jewelry Authority of Sri Lanka claim to have conducted a series of gemological tests on five samples of the rock. The authority's authentication letter to the owners who unveiled the stone last week stated, "To our knowledge, this specimen is indeed a rare specimen and not recorded in the geological literature," reported Associated Press (AP). 

According to the letter, when the outer layer was removed for inspection, the interior revealed a silky blue patchy appearance, indicating that the stone is a blue sapphire. Meanwhile, Shanka Ruwanditha, a director of the Gemological Institute of Ratnapura, which currently possesses the stone, said that the owners aim to seek the services of a local or foreign gem valuer soon to establish the rock's value. Local gemologists, who inspected the sapphire, claimed that it was one of the rarest jewels ever discovered in the country. It has been named as "Queen of Asia," according to Daily Sabah. 

It should be noted here that Sri Lanka's southwestern city of Ratnapura has been known for its gem and precious stone mining for decades. The city is regarded as the country's gem capital, as it is a major exporter of sapphires and other precious gems. According to the group of local gems and jewellery industry, the country earned roughly half a billion dollars last year from the export of gems, diamonds, and other jewels. 

World's largest sapphire cluster was discovered in Sri Lanka

Earlier in the month of July, the world's largest sapphire cluster was discovered in a home backyard in Sri Lanka. The stone was dug out in Ratnapura on July 27. Ever since it was found, the sapphire cluster has been owned by Gamage, a third-generation gem trader. The sapphire cluster has been named "Serendipity Sapphire" by the owner, reported AP. In a similar incident, archaeologists unearthed a remarkable stone dating back to 49 AD. On June 17, the stone was discovered during excavations for a new sewage system on the outskirts of Rome. The massive slab of stone is said to be from Emperor Claudius's time. 

(With inputs from AP)

Image: AP

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Published December 19th, 2021 at 17:51 IST

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