California judge says court battle over ownership of giant emerald from Brazil can proceed

A Los Angeles judge has ruled a trial can go forward to determine ownership of an emerald weighing 840 pounds that was hauled out of a Brazilian mine more than a decade ago.

The 180,000-carat, 840-pound emerald is at the center of a court battle between gem traders, miners, real estate tycoons and others vying for the jewel once valued at $372 million.

The latest claim to ownership came from the Brazil government, which wants the gem returned to its country of origin.

The Los Angeles Times reports ( ) Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson said this week a motion by Brazil lacked sufficient evidence to warrant halting the case.

The jewel known as the Bahia Emerald is one of the largest of its kind in the world.


Information from: Los Angeles Times,