NC emerald photographed by gemologist Cap BeesleyAn 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, named the 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 and likely worth more than one and a half million dollars.

(READ more of the AP story at CBS News)