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Big stone wins big bucks

The Minnesota Historical Society received a surprisingly large donation Friday. The donator? An anonymous jewelry collector who paid over $3 million for a 22.66 carat sapphire. The Star Tribune reported Saturday that the sale is the largest for a sapphire on record. Proceeds from the gem, which was originally the stunning centerpiece of a necklace lumber baron James J. Hill purchased for his wife, will benefit the James J. Hill house on Summit Avenue in St. Paul, which is owned by the Historical Society and used for tours highlighting Minnesota's past. The Pioneer Press also covered the story, but chose to pick up the AP version, which also explained that the necklace was purchesed Dec. 24, 1886- possibly as a last minuet Christmas present.