Saniniu Laizer, a Tanzanian miner, earned $3.4 million for selling two record-breaking stones Wednesday.
The two stones were made of Tanzanite, a gemstone that is only found in northern Tanzania. The gems weighed 9.2kg and 5.8kg, beating the largest stone ever recorded at 3.3kg, according to the BBC. (RELATED: ‘We Live In A Cage’: Gangs Of Monkeys Take Over City In Thailand)
Tanzanite: Tanzanian miner becomes overnight millionaire https://t.co/DGuXTguqVf
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) June 24, 2020
“There will be a big party tomorrow,” Laizer said to the BBC. Laizer, 52, has four wives and over 30 children and plans to use the money from the gem sale to build a shopping mall and school for his community. “I want to build this school near my home,” said Laizer to the BBC, “There are many poor people around here who can’t afford to take their children to school.”
Tanzanite is one of the rarest gemstones on Earth, the supply of which is expected to be depleted in 20 years according to a local geologist, per the BBC. The stone’s appeal is the variety of hues, which can determine the rarity of a certain stone as well as the clarity or cutting grade.
The largest Tanzanite stones ever have been mined by an artisanal miner Saniniu Laizer and bought by the Tanzanian government at TZS 7.8billion. The government is considering using them for tourism purposes. #TanzaniaUnforgettable #HK
— Dr. Kigwangalla, H. (@HKigwangalla) June 24, 2020
President of Tanzania John Magufuli called Laizer to congratulate him on the sale, reported the BBC. “This is the benefit of small-scale miners and this proves that Tanzania is rich,” said Magufuli.
Magufuli created a 14 mile perimeter wall around the only Tanzanite mining source in the world to guard against illegal mining, per the BBC. Magufuli promised to safeguard the nation’s mining sector and reported an increase in revenue a year after the wall was created.