Sapphire to go on auction in China in Nov.
- Evaluation being conducted at the moment
By Imsha Iqbal
The Serendipity sapphire, the world’s largest star sapphire cluster that was discovered and recently reported from Sri Lanka, is to be auctioned in China in November, The Morning Business learns.
Speaking to us, the State Minister of Gem and Jewellery related Industries Lohan Ratwatte stated that the unearthed gem would be taken to China to be auctioned and the auctioning will take place by this November.
“Now we are conducting evaluations of these two gems, I think we are going to get another one today as well,” said the State Minister, implying that both the gems would be taken to China for the process of auctioning.
Speaking about the auctioning, he further said “following the auctioning, we (the Government of Sri Lanka) anticipate bringing the money back to Sri Lanka,” indicating that these gem stones would earn a considerable amount of capital to the country.
The initially reported star cluster was discovered by accident in a backyard in Ratnapura, and in fact, it was reported six months following the uncovering. The cluster has been estimated to be worth more than $ 100 million. The experts said that the sapphire is pale blue in colour and weighs around 510 kg.
The other sapphire cluster is 80 kgs in weight while it was also discovered from Ratnapura.
In an earlier occasion, speaking to The Sunday Morning Business, Ratwatte expressed that the delay of announcement took place due to the cleaning and analysis process and the stones are to be handed over to the National Gem and Jewellery Authority.
Adding to what is being said, Ratwatte also noted: “There are already a lot of people interested. As a collector’s item, this would likely go to a museum or a similar place. There are a lot of inquiries. However, we must first certify the stone. That process is currently happening.”
This discovery of clusters comes at a time when the gem industry of Sri lanka is going through losses as a result of the prevailing pandemic and its curbing measures.
Expressing his thoughts on the star sapphire cluster, the National Gem and Jewellery Authority of Sri Lanka Chairman Thilak Weerasinghe said: “It is a special star sapphire specimen, probably the biggest in the world. Given the size and its value, we think it will interest private collectors or museums.”
Ratnapura is a south-western city in Sri Lanka, known as the City of Gems. According to tourlanka.com, Sri Lanka, thus far, has produced three of the world’s largest blue sapphires and it includes the “Blue Belle of Asia”‘ which adorned the British crown, as well as the “Star of India” which is displayed at the New York Museum of Natural History, USA.
Moreover, precious and semi-precious stones including rubies, sapphires, and cat’s-eyes, alexandrite, topaz, amethyst, aquamarine, tourmaline, garnet, and zircon have been found in Sri Lanka.