Elon Musk’s Dad Disputes His Son’s Claim That Their Money Didn’t Come From An Emerald Mine

errol musk elon musk's father discusses emerald mine

Getty Image / Denver Post Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon

On April 12th, Twitter CEO Elon Musk put a ‘million Dogecoin’ bounty on anyone being able to provide proof that an emerald mine existed that fueled his family’s wealth.

Rumors have swirled since at least 2018, according to fact-checking website Snopes, that Elon Musk was raised on a South African emerald mine fortune. The fact-checker wrote in 2022 that the emerald mine claims “evolved into a larger rumor that had no evidence to support its central claim.”

In an attempt to dispel the emerald mine fortune rumors once and for all, Elon Musk issued the ‘one million Dogecoin‘ bounty for proof only it appears to have already backfired after Elon’s own father claims the mine exists and has photos of the emeralds from the mine.

Here is Elon’s bounty tweet:

Back on January 7th, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted “The fake emerald mine thing is so annoying (sigh). Like where exactly is this thing anyway!?”

But now that there’s a bounty, Elon’s own father is speaking out.

In an interview with the US Sun, Errol Musk, Elon’s father, claims the emerald mine existed and joked about being eligible for Elon’s bounty.

Errol Musk told the US Sun “When I read that, I wondered, ‘Can I enter, because I can prove it existed.’ Elon knows it’s true. All the kids know about it. My daughter has three or four emerald pendants.” Adding “Elon saw them (the emeralds) at our house. He knew I was selling them.”

He went on to explain how he got his family into the emerald business when flying from South Africa to the UK to sell a plane. He told the US Sun he landed ‘at an airstrip near Zambia’s northern borders with Tanzania’ and discovered locals dug out emeralds for an Italian businessman.

Errol Musk says he went into business with that person and locals would dig up emeralds for $2 a load, which was “enough to feed an entire family for a month” at that time.

As for Elon Musk’s contention that an emerald mine never existed, Errol Musk believes that’s a matter of semantics. He told the US Sun:

“What Elon is saying is that there was no formal mine. It was a rock formation protruding from the ground in the middle of nowhere. There was no mining company. There are no signed agreements or financial statements. 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. Not even he knew exactly where the border was. At that time, it was like the Wild West.”

It remains to be seen if Errol Musk is eligible for the one million Dogecoin bounty from his son. But Errol claims the ‘mine’ is ‘about 40 miles from Kasaba Bay’ which is now a tourist destination, should anyone have the desire to go looking for it and try to claim the bounty themselves.

Errol Musk also commented on why he believes his son, Elon Musk, is pushing back against the narrative his family made a fortune from emeralds. Musk says “Elon’s main concern is not to appear to be a ‘trust fund kid’ who got everything given to him on a plate.”

The elder Musk added “The emeralds helped us through a very trying time in South Africa, when people were fleeing the country in droves, including his mother’s whole family, and earning opportunities were at an all-time low. That’s all.”

The interview with Errol Musk goes into detail about why he got out of the emerald business after the floor fell out and Elon’s path outside of all that. It’s fascinating to hear it straight from Elon’s dad, and you can read it in full here.

It is worth mentioning that simply because Errol Musk claims the ’emerald mine’ existed doesn’t make it true.

READ NEXT: SpaceX’s Starship, The ‘Biggest Rocket Ever’, Explodes During Launch; Prompts Endless Memes