Aussie kid discovers sparkling sapphire on a walk and goes viral

Aussie kid discovers sparkling sapphire on a walk and goes viral
  • PublishedApril 23, 2024

‘Woah, look at that.’

It’s not every day you find thousands of dollars lying in the dirt.

But incredibly lucky seven-year-old Riley Betteridge has done just that.

The school boy, from Rubyvale in Queensland, has recently gone viral with a video of him finding a 14.5 carat sapphire in his backyard.

In the TikTok video, viewed more than two million times, Riley is shown running towards his dad, Matt.

“Dad, I think I found a sapphire,” he shouts.

“Any good?” Matt asks, as Riley opens his clenched fist to reveal what looks like a small piece of gravel.

Riley Betteridge had a big win in the gem fields with this sapphire find.
Riley Betteridge had a big win in the gem fields with this sapphire find. Credit: TikTok
The sapphire is worth thousands but looks like a piece of gravel.
The sapphire is worth thousands but looks like a piece of gravel. Credit: Tik Tok

“Woah, look at that. That looks really good mate,” says a clearly excited Matt, who is a sapphire hunter.

After rolling it around in front of his head lamp, and with blue and green rays sparkling from the stone, Matt realises Riley has found something of great value.

“Look at that. Beautiful mate,” Matt exclaims.

“There’s a couple of grand in that one.”

Riley shyly says, “It’s a goodie”, but still sounds surprised when Matt tells him it’s “his best stone yet”.

“Really?” the youngster replies.

The video has resonated with millions online, with commenters writing things like: “I would love an Australian sapphire. My home, such a beautiful country”, and “Beautiful find. Great job”.

Riley’s dad, Matt, looks at the stone with his head lamp to reveal the colours.
Riley’s dad, Matt, looks at the stone with his head lamp to reveal the colours. Credit: TikTok
Matt Betteridge found a huge 834 carat sapphire two years ago.
Matt Betteridge found a huge 834 carat sapphire two years ago. Credit: Supplied

The viral video of a sapphire find is not the first for the Betteridge family, who gave up city life in Townsville to move to the gemfields in 2018.

In 2022, Matt shot a video of himself unearthing an 834 carat sapphire worth $1200.

The huge find was viewed by people all over the world and, Matt said, prompted a big uptick in visitors to the area.

“It caught the public eye,” Matt said.

“People were commenting (on my video) that it was amazing and they were coming to have a go, and there was a rise in tourists afterwards.”

Riley has been sapphire hunting since he was three years old but this recent find is by far his biggest and best.

He later revealed he discovered the precious gem in a pile of stones someone else had washed and been through but had somehow missed.

His beady eye caught the tiny glimmer of the gem, which looks like glass, on one side of the stone.

Mum, Amber, “facets” the stones, which is the cutting of the rough stone into the finished gemstone.

The precious gems are then sold through the family’s company Betteridge Sapphires.

Even before Riley’s stone is “faceted”, Matt believes it is a “good facet grade” with “not too many problems inside it”.

“In its rough form, it is worth $550. Faceted, it could be $5-$10k, depending on the colour,” Matt says.

“Couple of grand. That’s wild. I’d be hooked,” said one of the thousands of people commenting on Riley’s video.

“That’s why we live here now,” Matt replied.

“Surely that’s earnt him a day off school,” said someone else, to which Matt replied: “Yeah, he’s having Friday off.”

As well as a day off school, Matt and Amber have said it’s finders keepers.

So Riley can do what he wants with his discovery — either keep it or use the money he earns for himself.

“No doubt he will find more if he does sell it,” Matt says.

SOURCE: 7NEWS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *