An emerald weighing some 1.6 kg, the largest to be found in nearly 30 years, has been unearthed at Europe’s largest emerald-beryllium ore field, located in Russia. The huge gemstone may be valued at up to US$500,000.
The rare crystal, which boasts both a unique form and size, was mined at a depth of 260-meters, Russia’s state hi-tech corporation Rostec, which owns the facility at Malyshevsky, announced in a press release about the discovery. Last year a smaller 1.5 kg stone was found at the same mine, while the largest emerald weighting more than two kg was mined back in 1990.
The gem even bypassed the technological process and came “almost in its original form,” with smooth straight edges. “This indicates a significant rarity and uniqueness of the emerald,” the chief of the facility, Evgeny Vasilevsky, explained.
Emeralds are the third most valuable gemstones after diamonds and rubies. Jewelry lovers have already shown interest in the recently unearthed unique gem, which, together with some smaller stones found, could be worth 32 million rubles (nearly $490,000), according to preliminary estimates.
The Malyshevsky mine is Russia’s sole facility of its kind and the largest emerald deposit in Europe. It processes 94,000 tons of ore annually, including precious stones: 150 kg of emeralds, 15 kg of color-changing alexandrite and more than five tons of beryl.