By Tamera Adams

Why would jeweler Harry Winston hold a California art dealer's sapphire hostage?

Money could be a motive. After all, one of the sapphire's owners, Jack Armstrong, says the Black Star Sapphire of Queensland is the most valuable sapphire in the world.

According to a New York Post article, Armstrong was denied access to the 733-carat gem when he brought a prospective buyer to the jeweler's Beverly Hills, Calif., store where he had it shipped as part of a written loan agreement.

An astounded Armstrong filed a lawsuit yesterday in L.A. County Superior Court seeking the return of the sapphire along with $25 million in damages.

*Photo courtesy of Royal Ontario Museum

Get the Daily News >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.