An amateur mining couple has uncovered a 50.5 carat emerald during weekend prospecting.
Kevin and Libby Barrieault from North Carolina in the US found the emerald at the North American emerald mine in Hiddenite after only five minutes of mining, according to the Charlotte Observer.
The mine’s owner valued the find at around US$10 000.
The two are part of the Mountain Area Gem and Mineral Association Club (MAGMA), which takes trips to different mines.
This trip to the North American mine was reportedly the first time that any gem club, colloquially known as ‘rock hounds’, were allowed on site.
The mine’s owner, Jamie Hill, said the mine is typically only open to commercial mining, however MAGMA were let in after petitioning for access for two years.
The Barrieault’s find came after a single 30 carat gem was also found at the site.
While this was a large find, it is nowhere near the largest single emerald ever found.
One of the world’s largest emerald, the Teodora, is reportedly 57 000 carats and was auctioned off earlier this year.
It weighs around 11.5 kilograms and is approximately 30 centimetres long.
It has been appraised at around CAD $1.15 million.
It was discovered in Brazil.
Image: The Teodora Emerald – Huffington Post.