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80-Year-Old Accidentally Swallows $5K Diamond

Miriam Tucker had to recover her prize the hard way
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2013 6:34 AM CDT
Updated Apr 26, 2013 7:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – Miriam Tucker's last colonoscopy yielded quite a treasure: a 1.03-carat round brilliant cut diamond, worth $5,000. But don't go scheduling an appointment with your gastroenterologist in the hopes that you, too, will strike it rich. Tucker, you see, had accidentally swallowed the diamond first. The 80-year-old attended a fashion show fundraiser in Tampa on Saturday, and bought a $20 glass of champagne with a bauble inside. Of the 400 glasses, 399 contained a $10 cubic zirconia, reports the Tampa Tribune. As luck would have it, Tucker's glass held the one real diamond.

"I thought I'd drink a bit of champagne so I didn't have to stick my finger so far into the glass," Tucker tells the Tampa Bay Times. "We were laughing and talking when I realized I swallowed it." Embarrassed, and assuming she'd only ingested cubic zirconia, Tucker stayed quiet and waited for the winner's excited scream. None came, and jewelers with probes and a loupe could not find the winner, so Tucker was finally forced to admit what happened. She already had the colonoscopy scheduled, so she warned her doctor what he might find; he did indeed locate the missing diamond, which was sent to the jewelry store in a biohazard bag, cleaned, and returned to Tucker. (Read more strange stuff stories.)

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