World’s Largest Emerald- Bahia Emerald

Filed under: Great Finds-specimens,Rare Gems,Rockhound stories — Gary December 5, 2010 @ 11:14 pm

Ownership Disputed Over 840-Pound, $400 Million Emerald

Bahia Emerald has picked up an article from The Wall Street Journal that reports a story about an 840-pound emerald.

In the article, “Five People Claim Ownership of an 840-Pound $400M Emerald” we are told of a man who had original ownership of the large diamond. And, he kept it in a storage box.

Then he reported it stolen.

Lt. Thomas Grubb is in charge of the investigation. He was notified of the “theft” by the emerald’s original owner, Larry Bieglar who is a gem broker and real estate investor who had a disagreement it seems with two other men.

The men, Todd Armstrong and Kit Morrison, are two businessmen who claimed they paid $1 million for diamonds but Bieglar didn’t deliver. They went on to say that he had put the 840-pound emerald up for collateral.

Bieglar has a much different story. He claims that the two guys offered him $80 million for the emerald and he accepted; he felt that $80 million was a fair price. He also says these guys didn’t pay anything.

As the article goes on to report, Armstrong and Morrison placed the emerald in a warehouse and agreed to turn it over to the police until the matter was resolved.
The Los Angeles based police traveled to Las Vegas to retrieve the emerald.

They found the emerald and were surprised. It looks like a big black rock. It is all in one piece.

It turns out the emerald is actually a Brazilian emerald and when appraised in that country only came in at $372 million.

When you start getting to these sizes of gems it is difficult to know the correct value.

In the case of the emerald, unless a person is going to “break it down,” it really isn’t much good other than for viewing as in a museum.

Diamonds tend to be the most expensive gem. I found the largest to be possibly 7,000 carats. If I took a value of two thousand dollars per carat and multiplied it by 7,000 I get $14 million; that is a far cry from $400 million. Of course there may be extra value because of the “uncut” size but how is that figured?

I think an excellent point is made by Maarten De Witte who suggests that either the diamond is worthless because of size or out of everyone’s ability to purchase for the same reason; it’s too big.

For a lot of us the only experience we have with diamonds is when we give or get one upon engagement.

I was told by a dear friend of mine that he purchases diamonds because should our economy ever become worthless with respect to our currency he would have something to “barter with.”

People are interesting especially when it comes to wealth.

More pictures here.

Fire Agate

Filed under: Great Finds-specimens,Rare Gems,Rare Rocks!,Sent in Flickr photos — Gary November 11, 2010 @ 1:40 am

Wow, this picture was taken by Tom Shearer.  You can see more of his rock pics here:




Filed under: Rare Gems — Gary November 8, 2010 @ 10:31 pm

Apatite is infrequently used as a gemstone. Transparent stones of clean color have been faceted, and chatoyant specimens have been cabochon cut. Chatoyant stones are known as cat’s-eye apatite, transparent green stones are known as asparagus stone, and blue stones have been called moroxite. Crystals of rutile may have grown in the crystal of apatite so when in the right light, the cut stone displays a cat’s eye effect. Major sources for gem apatite are Brazil, Burma, and Mexico. Other sources include Canada, Czechoslovakia, Germany, India, Madagascar, Mozambique, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, and the US.

Gemmy Green Apatite Crystals with Calcite on Matrix, Cerro de Mercado Mine, Durango Mexico

The name, ‘apatite’ comes from the Greek word ‘apate’, which means to cheat/deceive. It was called that because it can easily be confused with amblygonite, andalusite, brazilianite, peridot, precious beryl, sphene, topaz or tourmaline.

Prospect Park Philadelphia Kyanite Deposit also called disthene, munkrudite and cyanite

Filed under: Rare Gems,Rockhound Travel,Rockhound stories,field trip reports,regular postings — Gary November 26, 2006 @ 8:09 pm


Kyanite, whose name derives from the Greek word kyanos, meaning blue, is a typically blue silicate mineral, commonly found in aluminium-rich metamorphic pegmatites and/or sedimentary rock. Kyanite is a diagnostic mineral of the Blueschist Facies of metamorphic rocks.

Kyanite is a member of the aluminosilicate series, which includes the polymorph andalusite and the polymorph sillimanite. Kyanite is strongly anisotropic, in that its hardness varies depending on its crystallographic direction. While this is a feature of almost all minerals, in kyanite this anisotropism can be considered an identifying characteristic.