The world's largest emerald will be sold to the highest bidder at a Kelowna, B.C., auction house later this month.
The massive, 57,000-carat oval gem is a rough-cut opaque emerald, weighs 11.5 kilograms and is the size of a watermelon.
"It's a very beautiful deep green. To me it's just a thing of beauty. It's spectacular. It's just nothing short of spectacular," said Western Star Auctions owner Mike Odenbach.
On Monday, the gem was appraised at $1.15 million, but Odenbach believes it could fetch much more.
"It's not unusual for gemstones to sell a lot higher than their appraised value, just depending on who wants to possess the largest emerald in the world. Really the sky's the limit," he said.
Its owner is a gem dealer from Calgary, but the emerald was mined in Brazil and cut in India.
Now it's making its way to Kelowna where it will be under tight security for the auction on January 28.
"The gemstone is named 'Teodora' and rough translation is 'God's Gift.' To me we're being given an opportunity to expose ourselves internationally as an auction company that can handle items like this. You know, it really does feel like a gift," said Odenbach.
He said armed security will transport the gem from Calgary to Kelowna, and Odenbach is making arrangements with local companies to ensure the emerald is secure before, during, and after the auction.
Odenbach says he hopes the emerald's sale will draw attention to his auction house, and realize his dreams of one day being part of an auction-themed reality TV show.