A Tanzanian miner, Saniniu Laizer has found himself smiling to the bank as a new billionaire after selling two rough Tanzanite stones – the biggest ever find in the country.
The stones are exclusively found in Tanzanian terrain. After the discovery, he sold two of them which had a combined weight of 15kg (33 lb) for a mouth watering $3.4 million (7.7bn Tanzanian Shillings) making him an overnight billionaire.
There was a public fanfair displaying how he was issued a cheque by the government as payment for the stones. “There will be a big party tomorrow,” Mr Laizer, a father of more than 30 children, told the BBC.
Tanzanite is only found in northern Tanzania and is used to make ornaments. It is one of the rarest gemstones on Earth, and one local geologist estimates its supply may be entirely depleted within the next 20 years.
The precious stone’s appeal lies in its variety of hues, including green, red, purple and blue.
Its value is determined by rarity – the finer the colour or clarity, the higher the price.