Aussie boy’s rare find metres from front doorstep worth ‘thousands’

The stone is not the first this young Aussie has found while exploring outside his home

A seven-year-old boy has been praised for his incredible "eye" after casually finding an Australian sapphire worth "thousands" just metres from his front doorstep.

Riley Betteridge lives with his mum Amber and dad Matt right in Queensland's gemfields, near Rubyvale. The family run their small business Betteridge Sapphires from the renowned mining region, so Riley is no stranger to fossicking and found his first stone at just three years old while looking at the ground from his dad's shoulders.

But Amber and Matt told Yahoo News Australia this particular 14.5-carat "stunner" he found on Tuesday beats anything he, or even Amber, has ever found. "He’s got an eye for it," Matt said about his son. "That's about 300 metres, maybe 200 metres from home."

Images of Riley spotting Australian Sapphires. Left is him at 3 years old, right is him now.
Riley (pictured) has been spotting Australian sapphires since he was a toddler and found his first at just three years old. Source: Supplied/TikTok

Still in his school uniform, young Riley was captured running towards his dad excitedly saying he "thinks" he found a Sapphire. "That looks really good mate," Matt said after inspecting it on a light and seeing the blue and green shine through. "That is your best stone yet by far."

Over a million people have since watched the footage in awe of the stone, congratulating Riley for finding it. "Good job little one, definitely a proud father and son moment," one said.

"That is absolutely awesome, I'm so happy for you little fella," another responded.

Sapphire expected to be worth thousands once cut

Amber, who is trained in faceting — a grinding and polishing process known as 'cutting' that creates a finished stone suitable for jewellery — said the stone appears to have "no internal fractures" and is likely to be worth between $5,000 and $10,000 once it has been cut.

"The finished colour is what will make the difference," she explained, as brighter colours tend to fetch more than darker blues.

Once she has finished cutting it, Matt and Amber have revealed they will leave it up to Riley to decide what he would like to do with his small but mighty find.

Left: An image of a sapphire showing a green colour when held over light. Right: The sapphire in Riley's hand.
The Sapphire is expected to fetch between $5000 and $10,000 once faceted. Source: Supplied/TikTok

Family previously found 834-carat Sapphire

Not strangers to viral sapphire finds, in 2022 Matt was walking about 100 metres near his land when he spotted something special after recent rains had seemingly helped expose it.

In a TikTok video sharing the moment, he scraped back dirt and tried to pull the gemstone out only to realise it was too big and required more excavation. The result, he said at the time, was "an absolutely massive" 834-carat Australian sapphire.

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