A Tanzanian man has hit the biggest jackpot of his life. Saniniu Laizer, a subsistence miner, working in one of the tanzanite mines, discovered two largest tanzanite gemstones. The government handed him a cheque of over Rs 25 crores (7.74 billion Tanzanian shillings or $3.35 million) for the gemstones. Tanzanite gemstone is said to be found only in a small northern region of the East African nation.
The two gemstones, coloured dark violet-blue, were about the size of a forearm. The first gemstone weighed in at 9.27 kg while the second one weighed 5.103 kg, according to a mines ministry spokesperson.
"Today's event... is to recognise the two largest tanzanite gemstones in history since the beginning of mining activities in Mirerani," Simon Msanjila, mines ministry permanent secretary, said at a ceremony in Simanjiro district in Tanzania's northern Manyara region.
The Bank of Tanzania bought the gemstones. Pictures of Laizer flashed across television screens as he was being presented with a large cheque.