Miner becomes overnight millionaire after finding world's biggest gemstones

Tanzanite is one of the rarest gemstones in the world – and an amateur miner is now a millionaire after unearthing two of the largest stones ever recorded.

The two rocks, only found only in one location, discovered by Saniniu Laizer have a combined weight of 15kg (33 lb).

The previous record was a stone weighing 3.3kg (about 7lb).

Mr Laizer earned £2.4m from the country’s mining ministry for the gemstones when the stones were sold this week.

He told the BBC he planned to slaughter one of his cows to celebrate.

Most of his new found wealth will be used to benefit his community in Simanjiro district in Manyara, he said.



“I want to build a shopping mall and a school,” Mr Laizer said.

“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.

“I am not educated but I like things run in a professional way. So I would like my children to run the business professionally.”

Mr Lazier, 52, said the unexpected wealth wouldn’t change his life, and he would continue to farm his 2,000 cattle.

He did say that he would throw a “big party” to celebrate the windfall.

He added there was no need to upgrade his security as the area was quite safe.



Miner becomes overnight millionaire after finding world's biggest gemstones

Tanzanite was only discovered in 1967 and it is found only in a small area of Tanzania.

The world’s only Tanzanite field, near the Mererani Hills, is about four miles long and just over a mile wide.

The ultra-rare stones have to be heated to achieve full brilliance and have a complex blue, purple and burgundy colour.

Technically named blue zoisite, the stone was renamed Tanzanite by Tiffany of New York, because there were concerns that the scientific name sounded a little too much like “blue suicide”.

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