Blog Home
  • Categories

  • Call Us Toll-free 800.603.9940

    Start with a Diamond
    Start with Setting
    Mar 13

    rough_emerald.jpgFamous precious gems usually have a history of intrigue, and the Bahia Emerald is no exception. The gems are actually embedded in a 4 foot by 4 foot by 4 foot granite cube. It weighs 840 pounds with emerald crystals encrusted within the granite. While uncut, and not likely to be cut for jewelry, the emerald, as a work of art or curiosity, has led a mad caper across country and state lines since it was first discovered in Brazil in 2001.

    The only thing that is certain about the history of the Bahia Emerald is that it was originally sold by a Brazilian gem trader to someone who never collected the emerald. At this point no one knows why it never made its way to the new owner, and what happened to it until it suddenly reappeared in the Los Angeles County Sheriff department, where multiple people are laying claim to the stone.

    The object’s worth is estimated at $400 million, and with no record of ownership, there are multiple parties in making a claim to the stone. The Smithsonian and the Getty are interested in retaining ownership of the emerald, and even the original buyer who claims to have bought it from the Brazilian gem dealer for $60,000 has reappeared to lay his claim. Mr. Anthony Thomas claims the object was reported as stolen on its way to him. Another man, Mr. Ken Conetto, however, also claims to be a buyer of large emerald stone, that he says he bought from Brazilians too.

    Eventually, what is known about the stone is that it ended up in a warehouse in New Orleans, as Hurricane Katrina flooded the area. It was moved from Idaho to Las Vegas, at one point, by a man named Todd Armstrong who obtained it as collateral for a shipment of diamonds, which he failed to receive but did pay for. It was at that point that the Las Vegas sheriff’s department became involved as he tried to sell the item, without proof of ownership. Now, it continues to be in custody at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department as the intrigue and intricacies of this case are sorted out by the appropriate legal channels.

    9 Responses to “Who Owns The Bahia Emerald?”

    1. Mark Says:

      I don’t buy his claim that he bought it at all. Need to see if he has photos of himself with the 50 lb emerald in his home. Plus 60 thousand dollars? There has to be a paper trail of that money. If he wired it to his account or paid by check etc. If it was cash he has to declare it. So where is the trail? And something like that I would never let it out of my sight. I would travel with it on the plane and make sure it would enter the country. Otherwise he was trying to smuggle the stone in illegally. Sorry Thomas in my book you lost your case.

    2. Mark Says:

      Oh and not reporting it stolen for at least 5 years? Come on. Just being dumber then the emerald itself has lost you this case. Next!!!

    3. paul rigg Says:

      not claimed then pocession is 9/10ths,it is a little late would you say?

    4. Phil Says:

      The emerald should belong to whoever had possession of it last, unless it can be proven beyond any doubt that the emerald matrix was in fact stolen with proper paperwork either from the Brazilian government or US Customs backing up their claims it was stolen. It seems that if one decides to sell anything of value in LA, they better have some sort of paperwork proving it’s theirs or the government can just come along and take it and some paid judge can just make a ruling as to who should own it. So what does that mean, whoever pays the judge the most next? What the hell is this country coming to anyway? Remind me not to sell anything of value in LA!!! What a rip!

    5. mike Says:

      Maybe California can sell it and use the money to pay down the debt.

    6. mike Says:

      If no one claims it maybe California can use the money to pay down the debt.

      Show me the paperwork first.

    7. Jane Says:

      Anthony Thomas ownes the Bahi Emerald. He was tricked by unethical gem dealers (Wayne Catlett you know how to do this) and he sold it to many people.
      Find Wayne (Forrest) Catlett. He has a record of doing things like this.

    8. Alison Says:

      If you review the court documents “Mark,” Anthony Thomas did provide the wire transfers to the court and all of the receipts from his trip to Brazil as well as receipts showing he paid for the two Brazilian’s hotel stays while they were in the United States. Jane is correct. Conetto and Catlett amongst others were involved in a scam across the country taking loans and using this emerald as collateral then defaulting and absconding with the emerald. Mr. Thomas was the first purchaser of the Bahia emerald shortly after it was mined. This case is not over. Kronstadt’s ruling was not final, only tentative and he is no longer the presiding judge.

    9. Jross Says:

      Do you really think Brazilian miners (who watch gems being bought and sold every day!) are so ignorant that they would actually sell a more than quarter-ton stone potentially worth millions of dollars to anybody for $60K??
      If it doesn’t make sense, it isn’t true!!!

    Leave a Reply