MOSCOW, March 23. /TASS/. The Russian government has issued a permission to sell to a foreign customer a unique emerald weighting more than one kilogram, according to a decree signed by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.
The decree, dated March 20, authorizes "export of a unique lump of natural emerald (grade 2, color category 1), weighting 1,010 grams." The emerald is known under the name Gubernatorsky [Governor’s].
A source in Russia’s state corporation Rostec, which owns the Mariinsky Priisk deposit where the crystal was found in 2013, confirmed the information.
"This stone has unique characteristics. Potential buyers from a number of states have already signaled their huge interest," the company said.
Mariinsky Priisk deposit director Yevgeny Vasilevsky told TASS last year that the company planned to auction the emerald in the fall of 2019, at the starting price of 20 million rubles ($251,000 at the current exchange rate).
The Mariinsky mine is an enterprise created on the basis of the Malyshevsky emerald-beryllium deposit, the largest in Europe, one of the three in the world and the only one of its kind in Russia. Beryllium, emeralds, phenakites and alexandrite are mined here. Every year, the Mariinsky mine processes 94,000 tonnes of ore to discover about 150 kg of emeralds, 15 kg of alexandrites, and more than 5 tonnes of beryls.