RICHES UNEARTHED: The 141-carat parti-coloured sapphire recently
RICHES UNEARTHED: The 141-carat parti-coloured sapphire recently "specked” in Central Queensland's Sapphire Gemfields. Contributed

'Find of a lifetime' in the Sapphire gemfields

A SAPPHIRE Gemfields resident came home $30,000 richer after he turned over the "find of a lifetime".

It seems the man, who wishes to remain anonymous, had lady luck on his side as he wandered through the local Reward fossicking area, kicking over a few stones when he turned over the 141-carat parti- coloured sapphire.

"For this lucky specker, it was all about being in the right place at the right time," Central Highlands tourism development officer Peter Grigg said.

"His initial reaction was one of amazement, as you could imagine. Unearthing a stone of such a size, covered in dirt, and then realising what you had when it was cleaned.

"There had been considerable rain a week or so before and there it was, lying tantalisingly within reach on the surface of the ground, well away from the usual sweating, blisters and hard work that is required when digging sapphires.

"In what are the largest sapphire fossicking fields in the southern hemisphere, the chances of specking a significant stone such as this are high, but a gem of this quality is exceptional. It was just lying there waiting for someone to unearth the valuable stone."

After picking up the somewhat dirty stone, the man gave it the usual spit and polish and realised he had found a quality stone, one that fossickers only dream about. In fact, the parti-coloured stone weighed in at 141 carats and in its uncut state could fetch around $30,000.

"The remarkable thing for me is that the Sapphire Gemfields keep on turning up stones of this quality," Mr Grigg said.

"It is well worth the trip because you never know your luck.

"One thing though, no one will ever find a sapphire sitting on their couch at home."

The lucky finder's plan is to sell the sapphire, depending on offers.

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