VANCOUVER Police are searching for a rare Canadian gemstone stolen in a break and enter.

Around 4 a.m. on Friday, the front window of Rocks and Gems Canada, located at 313 Water Street, was smashed and a thief made off with a rare piece of ammolite, worth $500,000.

The ammolite piece is an 11-inch opal-like organic gemstone made of the fossilized shells of ammonites, the same mineral that makes up pearls. Ammolite is designated the official gemstone of the Province of Alberta and is considered a Canadian National Treasure. As such, an application to the Canadian Government must be made for it to be removed from the country.

Anyone who knows the whereabouts of this rare gem, or has any information about its theft, is asked to call the Vancouver Police Department at 604-717-3321 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477.