Giant stone may be world’s biggest sapphire
BANGKOK, Nov. 26 Kyodo A massive precious stone that may be the world’s biggest blue sapphire has been found in Thailand’s Kanchanaburi Province, a jewelry trader said Friday.
A local villager unearthed the 7.1 kilogram — 35,000 karat — stone and sold it to Udom Saeheng, a trader in the province, for several million baht a week ago.
“The Mineral Resource Department has checked it and confirmed it is a genuine sapphire,” Udom told Kyodo News by telephone. “It is as big as a football, the biggest piece I have ever seen in my 60 years.” Local and international media have said the find is one of the largest precious stones ever discovered. The Nation newspaper said it is the world’s biggest sapphire.
But Anan Bundee, chief of the Kanchanaburi provincial mineral resource office who has checked the stone, said it is not pure sapphire. It contains many kinds of colored stones, he said.
“It is big and blue, but nothing identifies it as sapphire. I saw many colors inside the stone, including bright green that may be quartz,” he told Kyodo News.
“If you purify it, you will get nothing,” Anan said.
He said the owner should take the stone for tests at the mineral department laboratory in Bangkok.
Udom, the jewelry trader, said several local and foreign jewelry dealers have offered millions of baht for the stone, but she said still has no idea what to do with it.
The stone is now on display at the annual Bridge on the River Kwai Festival, which lasts until Dec. 7.
Kanchanburi, 130 kilometers west of Bangkok, is rich in gemstones, including sapphires and rubies.
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