Over the weekend, Sri Lankan authorities unveiled what they claim is the world’s largest corundum blue sapphire. Clocking in at 310 kilograms (683 pounds), the romantically named “Queen of Asia” was found three months ago in a gem pit in the Ratnapura area, which is home to an abundance of precious stones.
Displayed inside the home of one of the gem pit owners in the town of Horana, the sapphire resembled a large rock. I know that gemstones are not just born from the earth already shiny and faceted — I have dabbled in rock tumbling, so I know what I’m talking about, thanks — but still, the difference between what one imagines and what one gets here is somewhat unignorable.
Exhibit A: Large rock
Exhibit B: Queen of Asia
Exhibit C: Cut sapphire
Although the hefty rock has not yet been certified by international organizations, per Reuters, it has been certified by the National Gem and Jewellery Authority of Sri Lanka, which estimated the honkin’ mineral to be about 15 million carats. (Eat your puny heart out, Blue Belle of Asia.) Elizabeth Taylor would go freaking nuts.