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NC couple finds 50-carat emerald in a mine

HIDDENITE, NC (AP) — A North Carolina couple is showing off the 50-carat emerald they dug from a vein of the precious gemstone running through Alexander County.

Kevin and Libby Barrieault say they uncovered the stone Friday, a week after the state natural sciences museum showed off its gift of three uncut emeralds and the largest cut emerald in North America. All were found near the town of Hiddenite. The Barrieaults and other gemstone enthusiast went digging Friday at the North American Emerald Mine in Hiddentite. Mine owner Jamie Hill says it’s the first time in 40 years that a gemstone club has been allowed to dig on the land.

Hill estimates the Barrieault’s find could net them $10,000, allowing them to keep the stone since the mine keeps finds worth more than that.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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