Bahia Emerald ownership battle underway in LA

Bahia Emerald: The boulder-sized emerald is one of the largest gems ever discovered.

By , Associated Press

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    This 2008 file photo provided by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department shows the so-called Bahia Emerald. The curious case of an enormous emerald is in court on Sept. 24, where a judge will try to determine precisely who owns it.

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A small army of lawyers has converged in a Los Angeles courtroom to argue about ownership of the world's second-largest emerald.

A Superior Court judge was reviewing documents Friday submitted by attorneys before hearing testimony from the first of several people who claim to own the 840-pound Bahia Emerald.

Dug up in Brazil in 2001, the boulder-sized emerald is one of the largest gems ever discovered.

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Over the years it has been held in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and at a warehouse in New Orleans that was flooded during Hurricane Katrina.

Tony Thomas has said he purchased the emerald for $60,000 shortly after it was excavated. Its worth has since been appraised at almost $400 million.

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