This sounds like something out of an Agatha Christie mystery, a lump of rock containing almost $400 million in Emeralds goes missing from a vault. It weighs 840lbs, so it is hardly something you can stick in a briefcase. Yet somehow it managed to escape! It was later found in a wooden crate outside a warehouse. Now the police have a problem. They would love to return it to the owner, but who is the owner?

To date five people have claimed the rock as their own. But who really owns it? A civil suit opens today in Los Angeles to try and unravel just who the owner really is. For the meantime the $400 million dollar rock remains in police custody. The lead investigator Lt Thomas Grubb had this hugely amusing comment to make about recovering the rock while en route to the warehouse with his deputies when it was found .

We’re going to stop on the way and get breakfast. We’re going to pick up a $400 million piece of evidence. On the way back, we’re not stopping.

This should be a delightful story to watch unfold. There is not only is the question of ownership, but also the nagging question of who stole it, and why did they abandon it? Oh Agatha would have had a field day this this story!

I have to admit that I am not sure I buy into some of the ‘facts’ though, a $400 million Emerald encrusted rock should be well known inside the precious stone world, it is hardly something you can sneak by the folks at customs (it came from Brazil), nor is it something that the regular mail service would deliver, this rock is about 770lbs more than the Post Office will accept. So there should be a paper trail?

Simon Barrett

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