Everyone Wants a Piece of This $400 Million, 840-Pound Emerald
A huge international legal battle is brewing over one of the largest and rarest gems in the world.
The extraordinary Bahia Emerald is 180,000 karats, 840 pounds and is valued at $400,000,000.
Adam Housley reported on "America's Newsroom" that at least eight individuals are claiming ownership of the massive emerald, and now the country of Brazil has joined the fray.
"It was mined back in Brazil in 2001. It's been in a vault in New Orleans and was underwater after Hurricane Katrina," Housley reported. "It's been listed on eBay at one point for $70,000,000."
"But in steps the country of Brazil and says, 'Hold on a second, while you eight individuals are fighting over its rights, it's actually our emerald and we continue to lay claim to it.'"
Brazil says the gem is a national treasure that was illegally mined, illegally transported and illegally exported to the U.S.
One of the claimants says he paid $60,000 for the jewel, but the bill of sale was destroyed when his house burned down. He suspects the fire was started by someone else who lays claim to the emerald, Housley reported.
Another man says he was trading a cache of diamonds for the gem, but the Brazilian mafia kidnapped him and drove him in a RV through the Nevada desert for two weeks.
Housley reported that at a hearing today in southern California, people will finally have a chance to hear from some of those who lay claim.
"And maybe we'll find out if an 840-pound emerald belongs to one person, to one country or if it's going to be chunked up to a bunch of them," Housley said.
"The sheriff's department is in possession, but they won't tell anybody where it is. They won't even let anybody see it."
Watch more in the "America's Newsroom" clip above.
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