Tanzanian miner finds record size tanzanite gems, becomes millionaire

A small-scale miner from Tanzania who found two rough tanzanite gemstones said to be the largest ever found in the country becomes an overnight millionaire.

Saniniu  Laizer mined the two stones weighing 20.3 and 12.7 pounds last week before he sold them Wednesday during a trading event. The previous record for a tanzanite gemstone was roughly 7.3 pounds, according to the news organization.

The Tanzanian government handed Laizer a check on Wednesday for 7.74 billion Tanzanian shillings, or $3.35 million, Reuters reported.

Laizer,52 , who has four wives and more than 30 children, said he planned to celebrate the find by slaughtering one of his cows and having a gathering.

“There will be a big party tomorrow,” Laizer, from the Manyara region, told the BBC. “I want to build a shopping mall and a school. 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,” he added. “So I would like my children to run the business professionally.”

Tanzanite is said to be a gemstone found only in the northern region of the country. It’s reportedly used to make ornaments. The rare gems is among the rarest gemstones in the world.

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