Advertisement
  1. News

Tampa woman swallows diamond at charity luncheon

Miriam Tucker’s glass contained the $5,000 gem.
Published Apr. 26, 2013

TAMPA — They say diamonds are a girl's best friend. But a guest at a recent fashion show fundraiser might give that distinction to her gastroenterologist.

Miriam Tucker was one of hundreds of women sipping champagne at Fashionollia on April 20, staged for the 65th year by the Tampa Woman's Club.

It cost $20 for a glass of the bubbly — and a chance to win a 1.03-carat diamond. Continental Wholesale Diamond plunked a single stone, a round brilliant cut beauty appraised at $5,000, into one champagne flute. All the rest got cubic zirconias.

The luncheon concluded without any ecstatic shriek from one of the 280 women in the ballroom of the Renaissance Hotel International Plaza. Event organizers and jewelers Andy Meyer and Joy Pierson were puzzled.

"We knew the winner had to be at one of two tables," Pierson said. She was hovering in that vicinity when Tucker, 80, spoke up.

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

Meanwhile, roving jewelers, armed with probes and a loupe, examined each stone. Tucker, assuming event organizers would announce a winner at any minute, chose not to draw attention to herself.

Until the room was near empty. Then 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."

That wasn't good enough for Fashionollia chairwoman Gina Roth who insisted Tucker, who lives in South Tampa, follow her to St, Joseph's Hospital for an X-ray.

The diamond didn't show up on the X-ray, so Tucker prepped for her colonoscopy as planned. But as far as she could tell, the diamond remained stuck in her body.

Early the next morning, she alerted Dr. Bruce Edgerton "to be on lookout," briefing him on the case of the missing diamond.

During Tucker's examination, the doctor struck, well, a diamond. With the stone in a biohazard bag, Tucker's daughter drove straight to the jewelry store.

The jewelers confirmed Tucker's bling was the real thing. She took her prize home, cleaned, polished, sparkling.

As my son says, "All's well that ends well," Tucker said.

Champions for Children was the luncheon beneficiary.

Their motto: Protect Our Precious Gems.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. 2 minutes ago• Hillsborough
    Lynn Cristina is a Wesley Chapel momma with two girls and works full time as a marketing manager. Courtesy of Lynn Cristina
    Dad’s car is a spotless, no-fun zone. As primary chauffeur, my car is the kitchen, playroom, storage container and sometimes even the minute clinic.
  2. Term-limited GOP Commissioner Sandy Murman is filed in the clerk’s race but may not run there. CHRIS URSO   |   Times
    At this point, William March writes, there are no declared Republican candidates for the open clerk of court and tax collector seats or the two open county commission seats.
  3. Defendant Reynaldo Figueroa Sanabria leaves the courtroom Wednesday during his murder trial. Sanabria is accused of the stabbing deaths of John Travlos and his girlfriend Germana Morin aboard their houseboat. SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Reynaldo Figueroa-Sanabria faces the death penalty in the slayings of John Travlos and Germana “Geri” Morin.
  4. [SKIP O'ROURKE   | Times]
    It’s unclear if there will be any proposed changes to this method for measuring teachers’ impact on their students’ performance, despite complaints.
  5. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. TMCCARTY  |  times staff
    The teen sent texts naming two classmates and a faculty member as targets, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. He did not have access to guns, however.
  6. Zephyrhillls police Officer Timothy Alan Murr II, 33, was arrested Monday on a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence. The police department suspended him with pay pending the completion of the criminal investigation. Pasco County Sheriff's Office
    The officer is accused of grabbing a woman’s wrists. The Zephyrhills Police Department suspended him with pay.
  7. This satellite image shows Hurricane Michael on Oct. 9, 2018, as it enters the Gulf of Mexico. It made landfall near Mexico Beach in the Panhandle as a Category 5 storm. Florida State University professor Wenyuan Fan said the storm probably created "stormquakes" offshore in the gulf, too. [Photo courtesy of the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration]] NOAA
    Analysis of a decade of records shows hurricanes causing seismic activity on continental shelf
  8. Ken Jones, CEO of Third Lake Capital, has sold WingHouse for $18 million to a Jacksonville restaurant company. [Times 2016]
    Tampa’s Third Like Capital now major shareholder in restaurant’s new owners.
  9. Mama is available for adoption. Hernando County Animal Services
    Hernando County shelter pet offerings
  10. The Don CeSar Hotel is caught up in a lawsuit over liquid nitrogen being served and causing injuries at its restaurant. [Times (2011)]
    They say the other side has made inflammatory and misleading statements to the media.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement