Huge 4ft emerald rock worth £238,000,000 discovered in Brazil put under armed guard so no one steals it.
A multi-million pound emerald rock discovered in Brazil is being heavily guarded and kept in a secret location, as the owner fears an armed robbery.
The holder, who can only be identified by his initials FG, yesterday said that the stone is extremely rare because of its ‘considerable size and the quality of its gigantic crystals.’
It would require a forklift truck to lift the huge cluster of jewels, but FG fears its weight would not put off attempted robbers.
The rock, which weighs 794lbs (360kg) and stands around 4.3ft high (1.3 metres), was unearthed a month ago in the Carnaiba Mine, Bahia, in north east Brazil. Experts predict it could be worth approximately £238 million.
The owner said: ‘I can’t reveal anything about the whereabouts of the stone, how it’s being kept and how much I paid for it.
‘All I can say is the stone is being moved frequently from secure location to secure location under armed guard.
‘I cannot take any chances with my family’s lives by keeping the stone in one place where it could be found.’
There are only two giant stones with this density of crystals in the world, and the other was the subject of a legal dispute over ownership between Brazil and America.
The keeper described the find as ‘a majestic and beautiful moment.’
He said: ‘This stone has emerald beryls spread all over it. Their quality is superb and by far the best I’ve ever seen and I’ve been in the industry for nearly 30 years.’
The owner, a 50-year-old married father of one, revealed he has already received interest from potential buyers in Europe, the Arab Emirates India and China.
The Carnaiba emerald was found by members of the Bahia Mineral Cooperative, a group of workers legally authorised to explore the area.
FG said: ‘Extracting the stone was extremely difficult. It took ten of us more than a week to get it out because it was 200 metres down in the ground.
‘It was cut out of the area, where it was embedded, in one piece and all hands were needed to lift it to the mine shaft where it was raised to the surface by a winch.’
FG paid each member of the group for their share, leaving him as the sole owner of the emerald.
It was discovered in the same mine just 100 metres from where the Bahia emerald was unearthed 16 years ago.
The stone weighs 44lbs (20kg) more than the Carnaiba emerald and is valued at £242 million.
It was reportedly illegally taken out of Brazil into the US and has remained there since.
Now FG has taken legal precautions to guard his find.
His lawyer, Marcio Jandir, explained: ‘We have done all the issuance of the certificate of origin, a requirement of the Department of Mineral Production.
‘The owner of the stone will have the authorisation to do with it legally what he wants.’
FG said: ‘For now, I’m keeping the rock heavily guarded and out of sight until I reach a decision on whether to sell it or display it in museums here in Brazil.’