L.A. Judge to Decide Dispute Over Giant Bahia Emerald

As we recently posted on a valuable emerald found at the little hamlet of Hiddenite right here in North Carolina, I thought this story about an ownership controversy over a huge Brazilian emerald was apropos

Known as the Bahia Emerald, after the Brazilian state where it was found, the specimen weighs in at an extraordinary 840 pounds.  It’s really a cluster of emeralds embedded in a matrix, and its value is believed to be as much as $400 million. 

Why the controversy?  Well, a man named Anthony Thomas claims he paid $60,000 for the emerald soon after it was mined in 2001 and is therefore the rightful owner.  But there are a number of other claimants in addition to Mr. Thomas, and a judge in Los Angeles began hearing from them Friday.  For now, this remarkable gem is in the custody of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. 

If you’re interested in reading more about rare gems and jewels, as well as the legends and lore often associated with them, try some of these titles from Greensboro Public Library:  Gems of the World by Cally Oldershaw; Jewels:  A Secret History by Victoria Finlay; Jewelry & Gems, the Buying Guide:  How to Buy Diamonds, Pearls, Colored Gemstones, Gold & Jewelry with Confidence and Knowledge by Antoinette L. Matlins & Antonio C. Bonanno; Gemstones:  Symbols of Beauty and Power by Eduard Gubelin, Franz-Xaver Erni; Field Collecting Gemstones and Minerals, Gemstones of North America, and Prospecting for Gemstones and Minerals by John Sinkankas; Hitler’s Holy Relics:  A True Story of Nazi Plunder and the Race to Recover the Crown Jewels of the Holy Roman Empire by Sidney D. Kirkpatrick; The Great Crown Jewels Robbery of 1303: The Extraordinary Story of the First Big Bank Raid in History by Paul Doherty; and Treasures in the Smithsonian:  The Gem Collection by Paul E. Desautels.


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