How many times have we head stories of people finding priceless treasures at yard sales and flee markets? You never know when a treasure is literally right under your nose.
That’s what one man, who thought he was using a simple rock as a doorstop, discovered 10 years later.
As it turns out, Harry Spenser was using a sapphire to hold his door, never realizing the insane treasure that he passed by every day.
In the 1930s, his son, Roy Spencer discovered the rock in a field near Queensland, Australia, bringing it home to show his father. Harry, who worked as a miner, believed it was just a crystal and dismissed it as anything more valuable.
He found a valuable purpose for the item, however, using it as a doorstop for nine years. Almost 10 years later, however, he discovered that sapphires aren’t only the blue variety, which made him think twice about that old rock. The black rock that held the door was actually a sapphire. He was able to find an interested buyer, Harry Kazanjian, a jeweler in Los Angeles, and sold it in 1947 for $18,000. Not bad at all, considering it was just kicking around the house.
Kazanjian believed that the gem might be a “star sapphire,” an unusual and valuable item so named because of the unique 6 pointed star optical effect it displays if cut properly. In 1949, after Kazanjian cut it almost in half, he determined it was indeed a star sapphire, and the value ballooned to $1 million.
Over the years it’s been sold many times and has traveled for display in museums around the world. Known as the Black Star of Queensland, the sapphire is now set in a diamond necklace and is worth $80,000,000.
You just never know what you have until you inquire about it.
Read more at AWM