Brasilia, Sept 25 (ANI): After a nine-year battle, a Brazilian court would reportedly finally decide on who actually owns one of the world's largest and most valuable gems, a raw emerald that weighs as much as a horse.
According to The Telegraph, the Bahia Emerald was dug up in Brazil in 2001 and tipped the scales at 840lbs. It is valued at around 400 million dollars (250 million pounds). everal people have claimed ownership of the colossal gem right from the time it was seized from a gem dealer in Las Vegas.
On Friday, a bevy of lawyers appeared before a judge in Los Angeles to start a civil trial over ownership.
According to the paper, in 2005 it was in a warehouse in New Orleans and narrowly escaped flooding during Hurricane Katrina. At one point it was also listed for sale on internet auction website eBay for 75 million dollars (47 million pounds), but now is in the custody of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.
Tony Thomas, one of the claimants, has said that he had purchased the emerald first from a Brazilian gem dealer for 60,000 dollars (38,000 pounds) shortly after it was excavated. However, when he arranged to have it shipped home, he was told that it was stolen and added that the dealer might have sold it to another party.
His case is being considered by the judge but other interested parties have argued it should be dismissed because the emerald was never delivered to him, the paper reports.
Other ownership claims will be reviewed at a later date. (ANI)