A rare gem worth 10,000 times more than a diamond and that is only found in one mountain range in Turkey has been found being illegally smuggled in the boot of a suspect’s car.
The rare gem is reportedly Zultanite, which is a type of diaspore, an aluminium oxide hydroxide mineral that is only found in the Ilbir Mountains in south-western Turkey.
It was found in the boot of a suspect’s vehicle by police in the Milas district of Mugla Province, in south-western Turkey, on the border with the district of Soke.
The gem, weighing 835 grammes, is said to be worth 10,000 times more than a diamond. The translucent gem is popular because it is one of the few stones that changes colour naturally depending on the light.
Selling Zultanite requires a special permit from the authorities in Turkey, which the suspect reportedly did not have.
The police reportedly found it in the boot of the man’s car after receiving information that the gem was being transported in the vehicle.
The suspect, who has been named only as H. C., was arrested before being taken to a police station and questioned. The suspect was subsequently released after cooperating with the authorities.
It is currently unclear if the suspect has been charged. It is also unclear what will become of the rare gem, which is named after the Ottoman sultans.
Proceedings were reportedly initiated against him for the crime of opposing law No. 2863 on the Protection of Cultural and Natural Assets.
While the mineral diaspore is also found in the USA and Russia, for example, the particular gem variety Zultanite is only found in Turkey and it is mined in the Ilbir Mountains, which lie in the district of Milas, at a height of 4,000 feet above sea level. The gem has only been commercially mined since 2006.
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