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Uncut Gems: Tanzanian Miner Finds Rare Tanzanite Worth $3.3 Million And Plans To Build A School

uncut gems
Tanzania Ministry Of Minerals

In Uncut Gems, Adam Sandler plays a precious jewels dealer who can’t seem to outrun his addiction to gambling—and his extreme risk-taking ends up having disastrous effects. Well, that doesn’t seem likely to happen to Saniniu Laizer, a Tanzanian miner who recently sold two large uncut gems weighing a combined 33 lbs. Instead of gambling, the 52-year-old plans to build a local school and shopping center.

The BBC reported that Laizer sold the tanzanite gemstones—which are among the rarest—for 7.74 billion Tanzanian shillings or $3.35 million. Tanzanite is only found in northern Tanzania, and its supply may be entirely depleted over the next 20 years.

“There will be a big party tomorrow,” Laizer said when asked how he will celebrate.

But he’s also planning to do more once the party is over. Laizer, who has four wives and more than 30 children, said that he plans on investing the money in his community. He would like to build a school for local children and a shopping mall.

“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,” Laizer explained. “I am not educated but I like things run in a professional way. So I would like my children to run the business professionally.”

Laizer said that he didn’t want his new wealth to change his lifestyle. He said despite now being a millionaire, he would continue to care for his 2,000 cows.

Patricia Grisafi

Written by Patricia Grisafi