Canada: Regan Reaney, Arrested
‘World’s largest emerald’ owner, Regan Reaney, arrested on Ontario fraud charges
Postmedia News Jan 29, 2012 – 12:03 PM ET
By Evan Duggan
The man claiming to have the world’s largest cut emerald has been arrested in Kelowna, B.C., in connection to allegations of multiple fraud offences that took place in Ontario.
Regan Reaney claims the massive green crystal, which he bought recently in India, is a 57,500 carat emerald worth at least $1.15 million. His massive gem was set to be auctioned off Saturday through Western Star Auctions in Kelowna. He hoped to earn seven-figures for it at the auction.
The auctioning off of Reaney’s gem went on as planned, but it didn’t sell, said Barb Johns of Western Star Auctions.
She declined to comment further on the matter.
Kelowna RCMP confirmed in a news release that they executed outstanding warrants for Reaney’s arrest. They said he’s accused of multiple fraud offences out of Hamilton, Ont.
Police in Kelowna became aware of his warrants through interaction with Reaney and made the arrest once Ontario agreed to return him to their jurisdiction, they said in the release.
Reaney had recently arrived in Kelowna. Police said more details about the arrest would be available on Monday.
Earlier this month Jeff Nechka, of Premier Gems in Calgary, appraised Reaney’s big emerald. He said its value is in the size of it.
The opaque gem is only commercial quality but weighs 11.5 kilograms, he said.
Nechka said Reaney’s crystal was dyed—which he noted in the appraisal—but he said it’s probably green beryl that has been enhanced.
Emeralds are a rare form of the mineral beryl. White beryl is common and largely worthless.
“This is 100% real,” Reaney said last week. “There are other gemologists who have looked at this. It is enhanced and it’s dyed, we know that, but it is an emerald, 100%.”
But Shane McClure, the director of west coast identification services at the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, California, said white beryl could be dyed any colour or intensity you want. He recommended that any potential buyer get a private appraisal before making a purchase like this.
I tego arcana Dei !
No million dollar deal for giant emerald
By Dave Dormer ,Calgary Sun
Despite being appraised at $1.15 million, the world’s largest cut faceted emerald failed to attract a single bid of half that amount at auction.
“It was offered at $500,000, I was asked not to go below there and we didn’t,” said Western Star Auctions owner Mike Odenbach, whose Kelowna-based company handled the potential sale.
“We definitely had some interest but there was nobody willing to put their hand up.”
Odenbach said one man approached him after the auction and offered a bid of $250,000, which was refused.
“I said I had no authority to go below $500,000,” he said.
The gem’s owner, Regan Reaney, wasn’t at Saturday’s auction — instead he was sitting in an RCMP holding cell after being arrested for numerous outstanding warrants from Hamilton, Ont.
Reaney was in custody Monday awaiting transport back to Ontario to face four counts of false pretences and two counts of fraud under $5,000.
Police in Hamilton said the warrants date back to 2006 and police in Kelowna have said there have no active investigation involving Reaney or the emerald.
“I spoke to (Reaney) after his arrest in Kelowna,” said Odenbach.
“He said it was old stuff and he thought it was taken care of.”
Odenbach said Reaney asked him to hold on to the emerald until his legal matters are dealt with.
When asked about the stone’s history in an earlier interview, Reaney offered a somewhat vague answer, saying it was found at a mine “somewhere in Brazil” then sent to India to be cut, where he acquired it.
Some doubt about the gem’s authenticity was raised when Reaney admitted green dye had been added to it.
Despite that, Odenbach said he would put the emerald back up for auction.
“If I found out everything was appropriately dealt with and Mr. Reaney approached me to look after the sale of his gem again, I would,” he said.
There's a pic as well.
I tego arcana Dei !
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