Imagine a petrified Jello mold made by Wilma Flintstone for a dinosaur.
March 6, 2017 10:05 PM   Subscribe

Right now, in a vault controlled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, there sits a 752-pound emerald with no rightful owner. This gem is the size of a minifridge. It weighs as much as two sumo wrestlers. Estimates of its worth range from a hundred bucks to $925 million. Over the past 10 years, four lawsuits have been filed over the Bahia emerald. Fourteen individuals or entities, plus the nation of Brazil, have claimed the rock is theirs. A house burned down. Three people filed for bankruptcy. One man alleges having been kidnapped and held hostage. Many of the men involved say that the emerald is hellspawn but they also can’t let it go.
posted by Chrysostom (32 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
 
Reads description of the emerald, thinks "how weird can it be?"

Does image search

Oh dear god, it looks like a transporter malfunction.
posted by zippy at 12:30 AM on March 7 [13 favorites]


Cool story, but shouldn't it properly be called the Bahia bunch of emeralds stuck in a rock?
posted by Dr Dracator at 2:33 AM on March 7 [7 favorites]


That is one fuckugly rock.

This story is completely bonkers, just a bunch of no-hopers and chancers trying to make Free Money™. The aside "Conetto got distracted by a friend’s new business that turned manure into electricity" is particularly telling about the quality of intellect we seem to be talking about. The art (by Tim McDonagh) is tremendous, too.
posted by prismatic7 at 3:15 AM on March 7 [2 favorites]


It's just like an Elmore Leonard book come to life.
posted by valkane at 3:21 AM on March 7 [9 favorites]


"Conetto got distracted by a friend’s new business that turned manure into electricity"

I dunno that seems like a more possible means of making money. Vermont has been pushing an Electrical Manure Project for some time and there are farmers making $40-50k by selling electricity back to the grid. So not enough to get rich overnight, but enough to make sure you're able to keep farming.

It does remind me of the old Teeds joke in the local paper a few years back. In it there are two farmers a father and the son. THe son works for the dad until his back wages are the cost of the farm at which point the father sells the farm to his son to pay off the "debt". Then the father works for the son until the reverse happens. Someone comes up to the house asking who owns the farm and the father replies I think this year I own it, but next year my son will. The son replies no you're thinking of last year this year I own it but next year it is yours.
posted by koolkat at 3:30 AM on March 7 [2 favorites]


Reminds me of the gem of Tanzania that propped up a UK company's balance sheet for a while
posted by crocomancer at 4:22 AM on March 7


Estimates of its worth range from a hundred bucks to $925 million

Give or take
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 4:23 AM on March 7 [8 favorites]


It sounds more like The Illearth Stone than an emerald.
posted by hippybear at 4:31 AM on March 7 [3 favorites]


So gold is really handy for electronics. What's emerald good for?

(actually asking)
posted by pompomtom at 4:43 AM on March 7


Where's Dortmunder when you need him? (I'm reading Bank Shot right now)
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:45 AM on March 7 [4 favorites]


Fun fact: The band Savatage actually recorded a concept album about this.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:55 AM on March 7 [3 favorites]


I'll bet that Savatage album is a real gem.
posted by valkane at 4:58 AM on March 7 [6 favorites]


It brought Atlantic somewhere between a hundred bucks and $925 million.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:59 AM on March 7 [7 favorites]


So, probably more of a diamond in the rough.
posted by valkane at 5:02 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


Hm. It looks like something you would get at a troll pastry shop in Ankh Morpork.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:28 AM on March 7 [14 favorites]


Ohh, as an emerald devotee, I think it's beautiful. In fact, if it turns out to be white beryl dyed green like the Teodora is assumed to be (http://www.hoaxorfact.com/Science/teodora-the-world-s-largest-cut-emerald-facts.html) I still want it.
posted by juniper at 5:34 AM on March 7 [4 favorites]


troll pastry shop

go on....
posted by thelonius at 5:47 AM on March 7


shouldn't it properly be called the Bahia bunch of emeralds stuck in a rock?

The Bahia bunch of green apple Jolly Ranchers stuck in a puddle of melted licorice.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:16 AM on March 7 [5 favorites]


Does the article's describing players as 'huggable' and 'lovable' when they're variously engaged in frauds, cons and shady business practices strike anyone else as odd?
posted by aihal at 6:20 AM on March 7 [2 favorites]


Does the article's describing players as 'huggable' and 'lovable' when they're variously engaged in frauds, cons and shady business practices strike anyone else as odd?

Con artists usually are "huggable" and "lovable"; it makes it easier to bilk little old ladies out of their life savings. See also "sincerity: once you can fake that you've got it made."
posted by TedW at 6:56 AM on March 7 [6 favorites]


pompomtom, it looks like they can be used to make industrial lenses.
posted by aniola at 7:20 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


So, it's got aluminum in it, and it's kinda transparent.... ;-)

With the right fiber optics used to side-light the crystals, I'd put in in a corner of the living room as an object de art.
posted by MikeWarot at 7:59 AM on March 7


It looks like something that Lex Luthor would use to power a Superman-killing robot.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:24 AM on March 7 [5 favorites]


Con artists usually are "huggable" and "lovable"; it makes it easier to bilk little old ladies out of their life savings. See also "sincerity: once you can fake that you've got it made."

Oh, sure. It just seemed unreflective of the writer not to recognise that, or at least to buy into the illusion without lampshading it.
posted by aihal at 8:24 AM on March 7


Does image search

Scrolls down, sees Asian twins caressing ginormous jade ball.

Oh my god, get away from that thing before it's dragon eats you!
posted by sexyrobot at 9:16 AM on March 7


Anyone remember the plot point from Star Trek IV where Scotty invents transparent aluminum? And now Apple Watches have emerald "glass" faces.

I guess what I'm saying is emerald is turning out to be surprisingly useful. Although what the value of this hunk of rock really is, is beyond me.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 9:48 AM on March 7


Also, I've always meant to buy my wife some red emerald jewelry. You can only find it in China and Utah. I love oddball gemstones and other semi-precious stones -- I once had a custom brooch made for her from a piece of agatized dinosaur bone.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 9:50 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


And now Apple Watches have emerald "glass" faces.

Actually, they use sapphire, which I understand is a lot harder to chip than emerald.
posted by destructive cactus at 10:10 AM on March 7


That is one fuckugly rock.

The background colors on that article are fuckugly too.
posted by R. Mutt at 11:11 AM on March 7


RIGHT NOW, IN A VAULT controlled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, there sits a 752-pound emerald with no rightful owner. And then the murders began.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 11:40 AM on March 7 [10 favorites]


Ctrl+F The Pearl

Ctrl+F John Steinbeck


Come on Metafilter, I'm sure you sat through the same English Literature courses that I did...
posted by Eleven at 2:47 PM on March 7


it's a big rock, i can't wait to tell my friends, they don't have a rock this big
posted by poffin boffin at 12:29 AM on March 8 [1 favorite]


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