A photo of a giant $4 million block of quartz crystal has gone viral about two years after it was found in a US mine.
The image shows a mine worker posing beside a 2.5-metre chunk of quartz discovered beneath mineral-rich Arkansas, reports the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
It was posted on Reddit and Instagram earlier this week. The Reddit post has more than 57,000 upvotes.
Joel Ledbetter, a spokesman for the Ron Coleman Mining company, told the newspaper the man in the photo was part of a mining team that spent four days excavating the quartz in 2016.
He said the lump of crystals was uncovered in the company mine in Jessieville, about 30 minutes north of the city Hot Springs.
The Ron Coleman Mining site in Arkansas.
“We had a good guess it was there because there’s a 170-mile [275-km] quartz vein that runs through Arkansas, so we started digging,” Mr Ledbetter said.
Miners blasted the area with explosives until they found the quartz vein before digging out the 900-kg chunk. Machines then hauled it to the surface.
The company said the giant crystal cluster is valued at $4 million after experts assessed its clarity, quality, condition and uniqueness.
“This one is very big, and it has a lot of big points that are clear,” Mr Ledbetter said.
“That’s what makes it so expensive. If it were murky, or the points were damaged, it’d be worth less.”
So far the company has not found a buyer, but that may change as the photo is spread on social media.
“Someone really big into crystals probably shared it, and other people who hadn’t seen it saw it and got excited about it,” Mr Ledbetter said.