A diamond worth $5,000 was accidentally swallowed by an 80-year-old woman in Tampa, Fla., while she attended the Tampa Woman's Club's 65 th annual Fashionllia event.
Andrew Meyer and Joy Pierson, owners of Continental Wholesale Diamonds, heard that the club was raising money for the Champions for Children, Kids on the Block charity, which teaches children about abuse.
They wanted to help support the cause and so not only donated their 1.03 carat diamond to the charity but then came up with the idea of pouring almost 400 flutes of Champagne and placing a cubic zirconium diamond lookalike in all the flutes. But one of the glasses held the real diamond, and the lucky holder of the flute could keep it.WFTS/ABC News
"Someone asked me, what if someone swallows a diamond, and I said, God that will never happen," Meyer told ABC News. One glass could be bought for $20, with the proceeds going to the charity.
"I only bought two glasses, and that was the one," said Miriam, the diamond-sallower who would not disclose her last name to ABC News. "The small sip I took, I swallowed it, and I thought, Oh well, they will find it at the end."
When the charity event ended, Meyer and Pierson said they couldn't find the diamond anywhere.
"There were 300 people there, so we had a lot of CZ's to look through to find the real diamond," Meyer said. "After 40 years of doing this, I should be able to tell the difference between a diamond or a CZ, but then I started doubting myself. Could I have missed it? I mean, everything goes through your head."
That's when Miriam knew she had to speak up. "I thought, Oh, now I've got to tell them I swallowed one."
Miriam went to a local hospital to see if the diamond would show up in an X-ray, only to learn that it was not visible. But coincidentally, she had a routine colonoscopy scheduled for the next day.
"I mentioned to him [the doctor] just be on the lookout, because I swallowed the diamond and it might be in there," Miriam said.
Sure enough, the diamond was found lodged inside her large intestine.
"They came straight from the doctor's office to our showroom. We all were waiting to see if this was the diamond or not," said Pierson.
The diamond was still wrapped within the biohazard bag from the hospital when it arrived at the store.
"As soon as we saw it, we knew it was a real diamond," said Pierson.
"We put it into a strainer and then we put it in the ultra sonic, Meyer said. "We cleaned it up that way, and we steamed it and then we felt safe touching it."
"We were just all so astounded that was the one stone in that room and out of an entire room of over 400 people," said Miriam.
"The more I think about it, I think I'm going to put it around my neck, because it's such a conversation piece. Eventually, I am going to give it to my granddaughter."
- Andrew Meyer