LOS ANGELES, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department says it is holding an emerald estimated to be worth as much as $370 million while the stone's owner is determined.
A department spokesman said the 850-pound gem will be in safekeeping until a federal judge determines who rightfully owns it.
The "Bahia Emerald" was reported stolen in September from a secured vault in South El Monte, Calif.
CNN reported the emerald has been at the center of a dispute between a California man who claimed ownership, a company with which he contracted to sell it and a potential buyer.
It is alleged the gemstone's owner tried to go around the broker, who received a $19 million offer, and sell the emerald to the same buyer for $75 million.
The Brazilian stone was located in a Las Vegas warehouse, where the person in possession claimed to be the rightful owner, Los Angeles Sheriff's Lt. Thomas Grubb said.
A federal judge ordered the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to hold the emerald until he can sort out the legal issues, Grubb said.