The long-disputed ownership of the enormous Bahia Emerald may soon be simplified, as at least one claimant recently lost his legal bid. Ever since its discovery in Brazil in 2001, there have been strange, almost mythical, stories attached to the emerald, and genuine wrangling over the rights to the cluster of gem crystals, estimated to be worth almost 400 million dollars. According to the Telegraph:
The Bahia is one of the world's largest emeralds with about 180,000 carats and stands about three feet tall…
It was later said to have been stored at a warehouse in New Orleans that was flooded during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and then stolen from another warehouse in the Los Angeles suburb of El Monte. It was sighted briefly in Idaho before authorities finally seized it in Las Vegas in 2008.
The gem is now being held in storage by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department until the case is resolved.
If it's hard to get your head around how huge that really is, imagine something that weighs as much as a water buffalo on the evidence table.