An emerald so large it’s being compared with the crown jewels of Russian empress Catherine the Great was pulled from a pit near corn rows at a North Carolina farm.
The nearly 65-carat emerald its finders are marketing by the name Carolina Emperor was pulled from a farm once so well known among treasure hunters that the owners charged $3 a day to shovel for small samples of the green stones. After the gem was cut and re-cut, the finished product was about one-fifth the weight of the original find, making it slightly larger than a U.S. quarter and about as heavy as a AA battery.
The emerald compares in size and quality to one surrounded by diamonds in a brooch once owned by Catherine the Great, who was empress in the 18th century, that Christie’s auction house in New York sold in April for $1.65 million, said C.R. “Cap” Beesley, a New York gemologist who examined the stone.