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Harvested in limited quantities during the winter and early spring months, the Atlantic Emerald™ is a biological gem and North America’s counterpoint to the renowned French Fine de Claire Vertes.

About This Oyster

Western North Carolina is one of the few places in the United States where gem-quality emeralds are mined. In fact, in 1973, North Carolina designated the emerald as the state's official Precious Stone. 

Once again, a vein of precious emeralds have been discovered in North Carolina, only this time in the eastern part of the state. Just to the east of historic Beaufort on the aptly named Crystal Coast is the North River, home of the Atlantic Emerald™ oyster, which has gills displaying an exquisite emerald-green color.

The Atlantic Emerald’s™ signature hue comes from a bluish-green colored seaweed called Haslea that blooms in the waters of the North River each winter.  As oysters filter the river's waters, they feed on Haslea, and its bluish-green pigment, marennine, infuses the gills of the oysters.  Along with its striking effect on the oysters' appearance and flavor, marennine is reported to have multiple health benefits. 

For centuries, the French have produced highly coveted green-gilled oysters in earthen ponds along the Marennes-Oléron coast of France.  Unlike their French brethren, Sandbar Oyster Company grows Atlantic Emerald™ oysters entirely in their natural environment.  Sandbar Oyster Company is debuting America’s rare green-gill oyster – the Atlantic Emerald™ – in select restaurants nationally recognized for culinary innovation and adventure.

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