Florida woman, 80, accidentally swallows diamond worth $5,000 at Tampa charity event

Diamond was in champagne

TAMPA, Fla. - An 80-year-old woman accidentally swallowed a $5,000 diamond at a charity event in Florida.

The Tampa Woman's Club held an event over the weekend where they poured 400 flutes of champagne.  Inside each flute was a cubic zirconia, and one of the flutes contained a $5,000 diamond donated by Continental Wholesale Diamond.

"We were laughing, and I wasn't paying attention, and I took a swallow," said Miriam, who declined to give her last name.

After patrons finished their drinks, the real diamond was nowhere to be found.

"We were going table to table," explained Andrew Meyer, a partner at Continental Wholesale Diamond.  "There were 400 flutes, so we're going quickly table to table, and in the end there was no diamond."

That's when the 80-year-old woman came forward and said she accidentally swallowed what was in her flute.

"I thought, 'Someone will win this, and I won't have to tell them,'" Miriam explained.

Miriam immediately went to an area hospital for an X-ray, only to find out diamonds don't show up on X-rays.

Fortunately, Miriam had a routine colonoscopy scheduled for the next day. When she arrived at the doctor's office, she gave him some special instructions.

"Be on the lookout for it in case," she recalled telling her doctor.

Her doctor ended up finding the elusive diamond. On her way home, Miriam stopped by the jewelry store to have the diamond tested.

"She came with it in a bio-hazard bag, and it wasn't even cleaned," said Joy Pierson, the store's other partner.

Once the diamond was washed and then steamed, it was tested.

"Turned out to be The Real McCoy," Miriam said.

Miriam has decided to keep the diamond in her family as a heirloom that comes with a great story.

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