The world’s largest blue star sapphire has been found in a mine in Sri Lanka, gemologists have claimed.
Gemologists in the country’s capital said they have certified the gem, which was mined in the city of Ratnapura, known as the City of Gems, as weighing 1404 carats – the previous record holder weighed 1,395 carats.
The gem is valued at around $100m and the current owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the BBC that it could sell for up to $175m at auction.
Speaking to the BBC, the owner said: “The moment I saw it, I decided to buy [it]. When the stone was brought to me I suspected that it might be the world’s largest blue star sapphire. So I took a risk and bought it.”
He added that it was “absolutely confidential” how much he paid for the gemstone.
Sri Lanka’s gem industry, for which sapphire is the main export, is believed to be worth at least $103m (£70m) annually.