IT'S a story that has astounded even the long-time locals.
A lucky fossicker recently found a 753-carat sapphire at the Gemfields, near Emerald, by simply scanning the ground, or "specking".
The owner, who wished to remain anonymous, has had the sapphire verified by a recognised valuer, but its dollar value is still being determined.
The blue-green treasure is larger than a golf ball and is believed to be the biggest sapphire found in the Gemfields in at least three years.
"This is an exciting find not just for the lucky fossicker but also for anyone thinking of heading out to the Sapphire Gemfields," Central Highlands Development Corporation (CHDC) tourism development officer Peter Grigg said.
"It goes to show that you can come to the largest sapphire gemfields in the Southern Hemisphere, explore and get your hands dirty, and hopefully walk away with a fantastic memento."
Peter, who had the opportunity to view the find when he met its new owner on the weekend, said the value would depend on the quality of the carats.
"To the untrained eye, it might just look like a simple rock but knowing how many carats it weighs makes it easy to be in awe," he said.
"It's also amazing how it was found. No digging, no panning, no shovelling. It was just picked up off the ground."