The Newest Modus Operandum: Thieves Who Eat and Swallow Thousand-Dollar Diamonds

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Theft is a rampant problem in the jewelry trade, but these people are inventing their own desperate schemes to get away with the loot. Diamonds are popularly known as one of the smallest carriers of big wealth in the world. Due to this fact, jewelry stores are always cautious when bringing their gemstones out of their safety cases and onto store counters. Lately, there has been a new modus-profile for thieves who try to look inconspicuous as they steal diamonds that don't belong to them.



Enter the people who eat diamonds. Quickness and sleight of hand can sometimes nab them a stone, but exiting the store without getting caught is difficult due to the presence of guard checks. These individuals swallow diamond rings whole, and simply don't think about the possible damage a hard mineral like diamond could do to their internal organs.

Swallowing diamonds is a dangerous. It can hurt your insides badly, and does not shield you from the law. X-ray related scanners easily detect diamonds being brought out of a store without permission. Even inside of someone's stomach.


According to some doctors, an ingested diamond has about 30% of slashing through a person's intestines, causing internal bleeding and pain. Thieves ignore this warning and try their schemes out, only falling prey themselves to the detecting capacity of x-ray checkers.

There were reports of a Chinese tourist not too long ago, who swallowed a diamond during a gem expo in Sri Lanka. The stone itself was worth almost fourteen thousand dollars, and weighed approximately 1.5 carats. This incident is not isolated, as we've figured out in our research into the trade. A 52 year old man in Ontario, Canada was also found guilty of swallowing a 20,000 dollar diamond at a jewelry store. Since diamonds do not get damaged by stomach acids, police simply give the thief laxatives and wait for him to pass out the precious gemstone.

Sometimes, thieves replace the swallowed diamonds with an imitation stone, like cubic zirconia or moissanite. Some incidents even detailed the usage of synthetic diamonds- which are very hard to separate from natural stones without the proper gemological tools.



In 2010, there was a man who attempted to smuggle over two thousand diamonds by placing them inside condoms and ingesting them. He was soon caught by the police at an Indian airport. The man, while being detained by authorities, reported that he suffered from abnormal pressure and bleeding, due to the sharp edges of the diamond scraping at him from the inside.



It's not just people who ingest precious stones, but pets too. Many stories have cycled through the internet, going viral because of their sheer weirdness. A beloved pet, usually canine, somehow gets its snout into a jewelry box and swallows stones worth thousands of dollars. Luckily, veterinary clinics with x-ray machines can locate the diamond and assist in its return, while safely ensuring the dog's health and well-being.

We've heard one others story where a man proposed to his girlfriend by putting the ring inside a glass of champagne. This didn't turn out very well in the end, as the girl accidentally drank the champagne straight up, including the ring that was dropped inside. Fortunately she was rushed to the hospital immediately, and the man was able to propose to her while holding up an x-ray scan showing the diamond ring inside her body.

So what's the key lesson here? Don't swallow pointy things. (and keep a look out for people that do so in jewelry stores.)

Image Credits to CNN and Indian Police Departments

Gemcamp Laboratories

A Discovery Institute for Gemstones and Gemology

Our resident gemologists believe in encouraging public trust within the jewellery industry through shared education, value transparency and professionalism.

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