A Tanzanian miner has pulled the jackpot through the discovery of two of the most significant tanzanite gems ever.
He receives a check of 7.74 billion Tanzanian shillings – almost 3 million pounds – from the government.
Saniniu Laizer found the two dark, purple-blue gems, both the size of a forearm, in a tanzanite mine in the north of the African country.
One weighs 9.27 pounds, the other 5.2 pounds, a spokesman for the ministry responsible told Reuters news agency. Tanzanite is a gem found only in a small region of Tanzania.
It is, therefore, a very rare stone, which gained name recognition by film star Elizabeth Taylor, who liked to wear it as jewellery.
“I will throw a big party,” the miner, who works for himself, told the BBC. “I want to build a shopping centre and a school near my village.
There are many poor people here who don’t have the money to take their children to school. I have never had an education, but I would like my children to learn how to do business.”