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Couple find 50-carat emerald in N.C. mine

UPI News Service, 03/25/2012 

A North Carolina couple unearthed a 50.5-carat emerald worth an estimated $10,000 while digging at a local mine.

Kevin and Libby Barrieault, of Hiddenite, came across the gem Friday at the North American Emerald mine in Hiddenite, WCNC-TV, Charlotte, reported.

"I don't think I'll sell it, but we're not sure yet," Libby Barrieault said. "I might just put a wire around it and wear it like it is. It's beautiful."

The Barrieaults are members of the Mountain Area Gem and Mineral Association Club, which takes field trips to different mines hunting for buried treasures. Jamie Hill, the mine's owner, said he normally doesn't allow clubs to visit but allowed MAGMA because they persistently asked for two years.

"We're not opening our doors to the general public just yet, but we will allow gem clubs and professional clubs in every once in a while," said Hill.

Another couple from Florida discovered a 30-carat emerald at the mine Saturday, as well as a rock with about 370 carats worth of the jewels.

"They were like a human bulldozer, they had picks and shovels," Hill said of the miners. "By the end of the day they had transformed the landscape."

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Copyright 2012 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any repr

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