Twitter CEO Elon Musk attempted to put an end to a long-running rumor by openly daring individuals to produce evidence supporting whether he or his family ever owned an emerald mine.
“I will pay a million Dogecoin for proof of this mine’s existence,” the billionaire tweeted after the account, DogeDesigner, requested news outlets spreading the rumor to send proof in exchange for 69.420 Doge, a cryptocurrency.
Musk’s reward is worth approximately $79,000 as of this writing, and it is intended to settle the conjecture that has followed the Tesla creator like a shadow.
Well, who took up Musk on his offer? His own father.
Errol Musk has come out to offer further details about his putative emerald mine business after his son said the enterprise was a hoax. The older Musk maintains the emerald mine exists and jokes about being eligible for Elon’s bounty in an interview with the US Sun.
“When I read that, I wondered, ‘Can I enter, because I can prove it existed,'” Errol said, referring to his son’s Dogecoin tweet. “Elon knows it’s true. All the kids know about it.”
According to the 77-year-old businessman, not only is the emerald mining operation accurate, but it was important in Elon’s success in the United States. Errol stated that the mine was in the Lake Tanganyika region of Zambia, the world’s second largest emerald producer after Colombia.
He did, however, clarify that it was not a standard mining setup, but rather “a rock formation protruding from the ground in the middle of nowhere.”
“What Elon is saying is that there was no formal mine… There was no mining company. There are no signed agreements or financial statements,” Errol told The U.S. Sun. “No one owned anything. The deal was done on a handshake with the Italian man at a time when Zambia was a free for all.”
In a Facebook post, Errol stated that the venture “collapsed in 1989,” but that it still managed to help Elon through college.
“Elon saw them (the emeralds) at our house,” he added. “He knew I was selling them.”
Errol told Business Insider in 2018 that as a result of the emerald mine, “we had so much money we couldn’t even close our safe.”
Elon vs. Errol
Elon’s father stated that he discovered the formation by happenstance while traveling from South Africa to the United Kingdom for the sale of a Cessna Golden Eagle plane.
The proprietor of the airfield informed him of the emerald business possibility and that the actual location of the “mine” was about 40 miles from Kasaba Bay, which is today a tourist destination.
Errol stated that he and the unknown Italian airport owner hired locals to dig for the emeralds and paid them about $2 per load, which is enough to feed an entire family for a month in Zambia.
Elon’s father said that the earnings from the emeralds were eventually utilized to finance Elon and his brother Kimbal on their journey to the United States.
“In the late 1980s, Elon was doing a business degree at the University of Pretoria,” said Errol. “And suddenly, it came to me out of the blue to ask him, ‘Would you like to go and study in the United States?’ He looked up at me, his face beaming and exclaimed, ‘Yes!’”
Elon, on the other hand, has openly refuted his father’s account about offering himself and Kimbal emeralds for money in college.
“He didn’t own an emerald mine & I worked my way through college, ending up ~$100k in student debt,” Elon wrote in a tweet from December 2019.
In any case, Errol has maintained his assertions about the authenticity of the emerald mine and his use of it to help Elon and his brother.
The 77-year-old feels Elon is fiercely opposed to his father’s assertions because he does not want to be perceived as a “trust fund kid.”
“Elon’s main concern is not to appear to be a ‘trust fund kid’ who got everything given to him on a plate,” Errol explained to The U.S. Sun. “That’s what his nay-sayers are pushing. It’s not true. Elon took risks and worked like blazes to be where he is today.”
Errol was elected to the Pretoria City Council in 1972, shortly after Elon was born, as a member of the anti-apartheid Progressive Party.
This is not the first clash between the father and son. Errol previously stated that he had invested in his son’s software startup Zip2, but Elon has subsequently denied the claim.
Meanwhile, Elon is known for pushing the digital asset dogecoin, with him recently changing Twitter’s logo to that of doge in keeping with a tweet he posted prior to acquiring the social media platform.
Information for this story was found via The US Sun, Republic World, and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.