The tropical island of Sri Lanka is considered a paradise by many. In fact, it is a common Muslim belief that the Prophet Adam traveled to Sri Lanka to live out his days after he was cast out of Eden. That’s why the anonymous owner of the world’s largest blue star sapphire, recently discovered in a Sri Lankan mine, has named it the Star of Adam. The gem weighs in at a staggering 1,404 carats, and is said to be worth north of $300 million.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that the amazing blue star sapphire was found in a mine near Ratnapura, Sri Lanka in late 2015, and has just now been publicly revealed. Of note, Ratnapura is the capital city of Sabaragamuwa Province, and is nicknamed the city of gems.
More on record blue star sapphire
The unique feature of blue star sapphire is that while they appear opaque on casual inspection, when placed under a relatively bright light, it will show a perfect six-pointed star in the center of the gem.
Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) is an island southeast of India with unusual geological origins. Almost 90% of Sri Lanka sits on Precambrian formations that are close to 2 billion years old, and these ancient upwellings contain deposits of high quality gemstones at various locations across the islands
Most of the biggest and best gem-quality stones are found in the highland mountains of the country associated with extremely old alluvial deposits. Sri Lanka is known for its abundance of gemstones and is famous for its blue sapphires, star sapphires, and cat’s eyes.
Most of the gems are eroded from streams in the mountains and then flowed down into sand beds of ancient rivers. These sand beds turned into sedimentary rock over millions of years. The gemstones eventually “weather out” of the sandstone-type rock surrounding them, and since they are harder than the rock, they withstand the test of time and usually theur original size. Miners have searched the riverbeds of the country for centuries, and this new discovery is more proof that there are still more large gems to be found.
Anonymous owner of the gem interviewed by BBC
The owner of the record blue star sapphire would not say how much he paid for the gem or who he bought it from.
“The moment I saw it, I decided to buy. I suspected that it might be the world’s largest blue star sapphire. So I took a risk and bought it,” he told the BBC in a recent interview.
He said he calls the gem “The Star of Adam” because of the Muslim belief about the biblical Adam traveling to Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka’s Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen noted that gem exports had increased by 135% over the last few years, from $70 million in 2010 to $165 million in 2014.
“It is projected that the global gem and jewelery demand would increase at an annual rate of 6% till 2020,” Bathiudeen commented a few months ago.
Gem industry experts note the increase in demand for blue star sapphires demand is likely related to interest in the Duchess of Cambridge’s engagement ring, formerly owned by the deceased Princess Diana, which includes a massive Ceylon Blue sapphire. According to the National Gem and Jewellery Authority of Sri Lanka, publicity surrounding the British royal ring has been a major boon for Sri Lankan sapphires.