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A 29-year-old British man was arrested on the 20th February 2014 at Australia's Melbourne airport on suspicion of smuggling a very rare diamond by swallowing it. Hardly the smallest gemstone in the world with a 4.3mm diameter, the pink diamond is worth around £135,000 and had been kept in a Cairns jewellers for nine years before the theft.
But so far an x-ray hasn't detected any such gem hidden in the internal workings of the suspect, Matthew Osborne, and its true whereabouts remain unknown. The Argyle diamond originates from the Argyle Diamond Mine in Western Australia. The remote mine is the largest producer of diamonds in the world and is the source of almost all of the world's supply of stunning, pink diamonds.
In this extraordinary case, the alleged thief asked to look at the gem before snatching it and fleeing on a mountain bike. If the accusations turn out to be true, it may sound like a surprising length to go to for a diamond, but these pink diamonds are highly prized. And swallowing a diamond to smuggle it is also not as infrequent as you may think. Digesting diamonds
In 2013, 80-year-old Miriam Tucker swallowed a diamond accidentally while drinking from a Champagne flute at a charity event, and in 2013 a man named David Watts allegedly swallowed a diamond ring deliberately, again in Australia.
And it's not just humans that have a habit of swallowing precious gems, either. In December 2013 a trainee police dog in the UK swallowed an heirloom diamond that was only recovered after diligent efforts from its owner. The dog walker and owner of the diamond washed and sieved the dog's waste for days before discovering her jewellery an impressive effort!
The Australian theft of the pink diamond, is the latest in a line of diamond disappearances and just goes to show that the value of a diamond isn't just what you pay for it, it could also mean days of sifting dog mess and studying x-rays!