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

Associated Press

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.

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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 (http://lat.ms/1BRy8xy ) 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.

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Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com/