Lam Dong authorities have seized a large gemstone that a farmer found in his coffee farm in the Central Highlands province.
Bui Tanh Binh, a local official, said the 20-ton gemstone will be examined before any further action is taken. Some experts believe it is chalcedony.
Local media reported that Pham Van Chinh found the raw gemstone when digging in his coffee farm in Bao Lam District. He then pulled it up without reporting to local authorities as required.
Finders of high-value objects are eligible for an amount equal to 10 months of basic salary (currently VND1.21 million) and half of the exceeding value, while the rest belongs to the state.
Last year, a farmer and his neighbor found a 30-ton chalcedony stone in his farm in Dak Nong Province. The farmer, Nguyen Chi Thanh, then sold the gemstone to Truong Quoc Hao who later attempted to sell it to a collector in Dak Lak. Hao was caught and the stone was seized by the police.
Dak Nong police have proposed fines of VND550 million (US$25,540), but the punitive measure has not been taken so far, amid debates over entitlement to valuable discoveries.