Here’s a gem of a story that’s a little hard to swallow... A Tampa Women’s Club charity event on April 20 turned into an embarrassing nightmare for an 80-year-old attendee who accidentally gulped down the shiny bauble at the bottom of her $20 flute of champagne.
Guessing that she consumed one of the $10 CZs that propagated 399 glasses and not the $5,000 1.03-carat diamond grand prize that was dropped in one, Miriam Tucker remained mum, keeping her faux pas a secret for most of the event.
"I thought I'd drink a bit of champagne so I didn't have to stick my finger so far into the glass [to retrieve the stone]," Tucker told the Tampa Bay Times. "We were laughing and talking when I realized I swallowed it."
When it came time to identify the event's top prize, Tucker hoped that the diamond winner would be announced and she wouldn’t have to reveal her mistake. But the sponsors couldn’t find the real diamond. The electronic diamond tester registered “negative” for 399 stones. That’s when Tucker realized that she had to come clean.
“I thought, ‘Oh, now I’ve got to tell them I swallowed one,’” an embarrassed Tucker told ABC News affiliate WFTS, with her back to the camera.
Tucker was taken to a local hospital to determine if the diamond would show up in an X-ray, but it was not visible.
By some strange coincidence, Tucker had a routine colonoscopy scheduled for the next day. She told the gastroenterologist her improbable story and what he might encounter. Sure enough, he found the diamond in her large intestine.
Sealed in a biohazard bag, the well-traveled round brilliant diamond was taken to a local jeweler to be cleaned, tested and verified. It was then returned to Tucker, who plans to make the diamond part of a family heirloom.
She’ll be wearing the diamond as a pendant and then plans to hand it down to her 13-year-old granddaughter. “It’s an amazing story,” Tucker told the Associated Press. "The diamond will stay in the family with a story to go with it.”