Crime & Justice

Los Angeles trial will determine owner of giant emerald

The case of who really owns the 840-pound Bahia emerald is headed to trial in September after a judge rejected a motion to dismiss a Northern California man's ownership claim.

Tony Thomas says he paid a Brazilian gem dealer $60,000 for the rock in 2001, only to be duped into believing it had been stolen before it could be delivered to his home.

Since then, several people have emerged to claim they are the true owners of one of the world's largest emeralds. Some of them argued Friday that Thomas' claim should be denied because he never actually took possession of the rock.

After rejecting that argument, Superior Court Judge John A. Kronstadt scheduled a Sept. 8 trial to resolve the matter.

© 2010 The Associated Press.