VANCOUVER – In Canadian terms, this could rank right up there with the Hope Diamond, and police in Vancouver want to find it.
They’re looking for a rare gemstone stolen early last Friday morning in a robbery in the city’s Gastown district.
The front window of Rocks and Gems Canada was smashed Dec. 20 and police say the crook made off with a nearly 28 centimetre-long piece of ammolite.
The opal-like gem, worth $500,000, is formed from the fossilized shells of extinct marine mollusks known as ammonites, and contains the same minerals that make pearls.
Ammolite, Alberta’s official gemstone, is also ranked as a Canadian national treasure, meaning the federal government must approve an application to take it out of the country.
Police want to hear from anyone who may have information about the theft or know where the gem can be found.