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80-year old Tampa Woman Swallows $5,000 Diamond at Charity Event

Tampa Woman Swallows Diamond

An 80-year old woman accidentally swallowed a diamond worth $5,000 while attending a charity event.

Miriam Tucker was among one of hundreds of women drinking champagne at Fashionollia on April 20, staged for the 65th year by the Tampa Woman's Club raising money for the Champions for Children, Kids on the Block charity, which teaches children about abuse.

Andrew Meyer and Joy Pierson, owners of Continental Wholesale Diamonds wanted to support the cause, so they poured around 400 flutes of Champagne and placed a cubic zirconium diamond lookalike in all but one of the flutes. One of the lucky champagne glasses would have a real 1.03 carat diamond and the lucky holder of that flute could keep the round, brilliant cut diamond appraised at $5,000.

One glass of champagne could be bought for $20, with all the proceeds going to the charity.

When the charity event ended, Meyer and Pierson said they couldn't find the diamond anywhere. "We knew the winner had to be at one of two tables," Pierson said.

"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."

Miriam Tucker, a retired real estate broker said, "I thought I'd drink a bit of champagne so I didn't have to stick my finger so far into the glass. We were laughing and talking when I realized I swallowed it. What a dumb thing."

Tucker said she assumed the organizers would announce the winner at any minute so she decided not to discuss the fact she swallow one of the stones.

The room was nearly empty and they hadn't announced anyone as a winner, so she confessed.

"She said she swallowed what was in her glass," Pierson said, "but as luck would have it, she was scheduled for a colonoscopy in two days."

Miriam went to a local hospital to see if the diamond would show up in an X-ray, but it was not visible. So, Tucker continued to prep for her colonoscopy in a couple of days. She told her Dr. to be on the lookout for the missing diamond.

Sure enough, Dr. Bruce Edgerton found the $5,000 diamond lodged inside of Miriam's large intestine.

With the stone in a bio-hazard bag, Tucker's daughter drove to the jewelry store. The jewelers confirmed it was the real thing. She took her prize home, cleaned, polished, sparkling.

Florida Woman Swallows $5K Diamond

Miriam Tucker, 80, of Tampa had an embarrassing faux pas involving a 1.03-carat diamond.

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