52 year-old Saniniu Laizer, a small-scale miner in northern Tanzania, mined two record-breaking rough Tanzanite stones weighing 9.2 and 5.8 kilograms, earning him 7.74 billion Tanzanian shillings (the equivalent of 3.4 million United States dollars) from the nation's mining ministry for the gemstones. According to Tanzanian officials say that until now, the largest rough Tanzanite stone to have been mined weighed only 3.3 kilograms. Tanzanian President John Magufuli later congratulated Mr. Laizer through the phone on live television on his find.
Mr. Laizer stated that he does not plan on changing his lifestyle despite his findings, and said that he wishes to invest some of the earnings into his community in the Simanjiro district of Manyara. He said that "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."
Tanzanite is a rare gemstone exclusively found in northern Tanzania, and its value is largely determined by size, the fineness of color, and degree of clarity.
Note: The first image (and also cover photo) depicting Mr. Laizer used in this post was retrieved on June 24th, 2020 from the United Republic of Tanzania's Ministry of Minerals website (https://www.madini.go.tz/). The second image is from the public domain, and can be used for commercial purposes without attribution or other citation.