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Man finds very rare 834-carat sapphire during evening walk

An Australian made the find of a lifetime when the “shine sticking out of the dirt” on an evening stroll turned out to be a sapphire the size of “a little child’s fist”.

Matt Betteridge found the “very rare” gem about 100m from the mining claim he lives on in Reward Fossicking Land near Rubyvale in Queensland’s sapphire gem fields.

At first, Mr Betteridge was quite casual about his find – so much so that he went back to camp to get his phone so he could film himself digging it up.

When he came back he said, “I don’t think you know how much restraint it takes not to dig up those sapphires when I find them.”

However, if he had known the value of what he was about to pull out of the ground, he would certainly not have taken his eyes off it for a second.

That gleam in the dirt turned out to be an 834-carat sapphire valued at an estimated $12,500.

All that glitters is not gold, as Shakespeare wrote. Sometimes it's an 834 carat (pictured) sapphire worth $12,500, which he didn't write

All that glitters is not gold, as Shakespeare wrote. Sometimes it’s an 834 carat (pictured) sapphire worth $12,500, which he didn’t write

In his TikTok video, which has already racked up well over 250,000 views, Mr Betteridge first showed how someone else had recently been searching nearby but missed the glittering prize just meters away.

“See how that sparkles,” he said as he moved the camera closer to the stone.

When he started scratching it, he noticed how big it was and said, “Oh, it’s a certain size.”

‘Oh, look at that. Damn it,” he said, exposing the stone to his cell phone camera light.

“What the hell, boys. I just topped my biggest again. What the hell. I’m sorry I can’t even speak. Look at this.’

He rubbed the dirt off the sapphire to show to onlookers and estimated it was 400 carats.

After I said that, the image on the video clip said “843ct!!!!! I need to work on my guest stimulations.

Mr Betteridge’s delight at his find then became contagious as he said: ‘All right, guys, I’ll go home and scrub this.

“This is so huge!” he said, followed by more happy laughter.

In a follow-up video, filmed the next day after cleaning up the dirt, Mr Betteridge presented the sapphire “in all its glory”.

Matt Betteridge displays the

Matt Betteridge displays the “834 carats of beautiful Australian sapphires” he found on an evening stroll

Sparkling in the sunshine, he said it was “834 carats of beautiful Australian sapphire”.

Then he turned it over in his hand to point out the crystals within. “How awesome is that?” he said.

Mr Betteridge then said it had an estimated value of $12,500.

“It’s going into the collection for now,” he said.

“This is a beautiful specimen. Unfortunately not for sale.«

However, he didn’t completely rule out the possibility.

“But on the other hand, everything has its price. You know what they say, money talks.

‘Nice. I’ll see what else I can pull out of this mess out here.”

Matt Betteridge (pictured) doesn't want his huge sapphire find to be broken down into smaller pieces

Matt Betteridge (pictured) doesn’t want his huge sapphire find to be broken down into smaller pieces

Rubyvale is one of the largest sapphire bearing areas in the world.

Gem hunters believe they have a better chance of finding something valuable after the rain because it washes away some topsoil, and that The region was inundated by torrential rains and flash floods.

The Bureau of Meteorology said Rubyvale was 182mm from October 16-21.

Mr Betteridge encouraged others to see if they could replicate his great fortune.

“It was found for the sake of general fossil hunting … anyone can try,” Betteridge told ABC.

“Grab a Fossicking ticket and camping permit and try your luck.”

Helen Levonis of the Gemmological Association of Australia said Betteridge’s find is very rarely seen in sapphires.

“When you get something … like an 830-carat sapphire, that’s phenomenal,” he said.

Mr Betteridge does not want his find to be broken up into smaller pieces, which Ms Levonis agrees with.

“These sapphires grew hundreds of thousands of years ago,” she said.

“There aren’t any more coming… and we have to respect that when you see something that’s 800 carats.”

Daily Mail Australia has attempted to contact Mr Betteridge for further comment. Man finds very rare 834-carat sapphire during evening walk

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