Little Boy Gives Dad A "Rock" - Then He Discovers It's Worth $80,000,000
LifeAspire Staff 5/4/2017
A diamond may be a girl's best friend, but for 12-year-old Roy Spencer in 1938, a rare sapphire became incredibly valuable to him and others. When Roy uncovered the dull looking half-pound stone on a hillside and brought it home, his dad Harry decided to keep the boy's treasure.
Little did they know just what was inside that clumpy rock...
After the dad received the rock from his son, he displayed it as a doorstop at their central Queensland, Australia, home. There, the stone graced the porch for a decade until jeweler Harry Kazanjian discovered it for what it really was.
Harry had learned to polish stones after being abandoned by his family. In 1908, the Kazanjian family fled Turkey for France to escape persecution from the Armenian genocide. While boarding a ship destined for the freedom they were seeking in the United States, Harry was turned away because of an eye infection. So he remained in Paris and apprenticed with his uncle, who was a stonecutter.
Harry and his brother James ended up traveling around the globe seeking, buying and selling rare and valuable stones. Harry discovered the black stone at the Spencers' home and looked at it more closely. Deep inside, he spied a copper-colored glimmer that he recognized as a sign of something special buried deep within.
So Harry the jeweler bought the giant stone from Harry the dad for $18,000 and transported it to Los Angeles where he and his brother had a shop. There, after polishing it tremendously, he discovered it truly was a six-pronged and stunning star, specifically the Black Star of Queensland. Harry shaped it into a dome and discovered it weighed 733 karats. At the time, it was valued at $300,000.
That copper-colored glimmer Harry first spied is actually an impurity that can grow along a sapphire's crystals to create an optical star-shaped effect known as an asterism. Now recognized as the largest star sapphire in the world, the stone has been on display at the Smithsonian, worn by singer Cher and featured at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.
Eventually, it was mounted onto white gold and adorned with 35 diamonds around its edge.
Facebook/Did You Know
Sadly, the beautiful, breathtakingly giant stone ended up in L.A. County Superior Court amidst allegations of deception between two lovers. The Kazanjian family ended up selling it to fund a scholarship at the Gemological Institute of America where former male model Jack Armstrong bought it with his girlfriend's funds. After their tumultuous relationship, Armstrong tried selling it to other buyers without his girlfriend's knowledge. From there, everything grew muddy and headed to court.
Today, the stone is valued at $80,000,000 and after the lawsuit, was awarded custody to Jack's girlfriend, who currently has it in her private possession. Can you believe this astounding story, from dirty door stop to highly sought-after multi-million-dollar stone?
Sources: LA Times Image Sources: Facebook/Mo NasSer, Flickr/gemtek1