Tanzanian miner becomes millionaire after finding biggest tanzanite gems in history

The stones were found in a tanzanite mine to the north of the country. It is surrounded by a wall to control cross-border smuggling of gemstones.

FP Trending June 25, 2020 19:54:59 IST
Tanzanian miner becomes millionaire after finding biggest tanzanite gems in history

A Tanzanian miner hit jackpot after discovering what is being believed to be the two largest tanzanite gemstones ever found.

According to a report by Sky, the Bank of Tanzania gave the miner Saniniu Laizer a cheque of 7.74 billion Tanzanian shillings (Rs 25 crore approximately) after he discovered the two dark-violet blue gemstones, each the size of an average forearm.

The stones were found in a tanzanite mine to the north of the country. It is surrounded by a wall to control cross-border smuggling of gemstones.

Tanzanian miner becomes millionaire after finding biggest tanzanite gems in history

Saniniu Laizer poses with Tanzanite. Image Credit Ministry of Minerals, Tanzania

According to a report by Fox News, 52-year-old Laizer announced he would slaughter one of his 2,000 cows and build a school to celebrate.

"There will be a big party tomorrow,” Laizer, from the Manyara region, told the BBC, adding, "I want to build a shopping mall and a school. I want to build this school near my home. There are many poor people around here who can’t afford to take their children to school.”

Laizer, who has four wives and 30 children, went on to add, "I am not educated but I like things run in a professional way. So I would like my children to run the business professionally."

The Independent reported that the first gemstone weighed 9.27 kg while the second one weighed 5.1 kg.

Tanzanian president John Magufuli even congratulated Laizer during a call that was broadcast live on television.

During the call, Magufuli was quoted as saying, "This is the benefit of small-scale miners and this proves that Tanzania is rich."

Tanzanite is a gemstone found only in a small part of the northern region of the east African nation. Simon Msanjila, the mines ministry permanent secretary said that the two recently discovered gemstones were the largest ones ever to be found since the beginning of mining in Mirerani.

Tanzanite was not discovered in commercial quantities until the 1960s and has gone on to become the second most popular blue gem stone after sapphire. It is actually the mineral zoisite, but was given the name Tanzanite by Tiffany's thought it would stimulate customer interest and be easier to market.

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