The Controversial Case of the Bahia Emerald!

The Bahia Emerald is one of the world’s largest natural emeralds weighing in at a staggering 180,000 carats, 755 lbs and standing nearly 3ft at its tallest point.  In the last 10 plus years, since it was discovered in Bahia Brazil, the stone has been passed around the world from a wild cast of characters. It has been the subject of a huge ownership dispute between the country of Brazil, gem traders, miners and real estate tycoons.  At one point the emerald was trapped in a flooded vault in New Orleans during Katrina, then it was passed along across the country until it was reported stolen and found in a Las Vegas vault and seized by the LA Sheriffs Office. It was used as collateral for business deals for various parties, and from there the dispute went to the supreme court.  Ultimately it was ruled to go to three owners of a holding company who “presented evidence establishing clear title to the Bahia Emerald as against all other ownership claims,” the judge Michael Johnson wrote in his decision.  The fate of the emerald remains to be seen.  Will it be cut into wearable stones? Will it be returned to Brazil? Or will it continue to be used not as an aesthetic element, but as a source of currency?bahia2

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