Hamilton Series: Tracking Down the World’s Most Infamous Diamonds – The Jones Diamond

*Originally published April 2013
Everyone loves a good mystery. Throw in glamorous players, far-away locales, and of course, exquisite and stunning gems, and you have a story that will garner rapt attention.
But, these aren’t just stories, they are open investigations, dedicated recovery missions and extensive inquiries for the most famous and well-known diamonds that the world has ever produced.
While we are lucky that some of these stones are on display for our enjoyment, or even for sale, some have simply vanished and their whereabouts unknown.  All we can do is wait for them to pop up at auction some time.
Famous diamonds always do.
Let this story be a lesson – if it looks like a diamond or feels like a diamond... have it evaluated, because it could be a diamond!
The Jones Diamond is also known as the Punch Jones Diamond, Grover Jones Diamond or Horseshoe Diamond – all names that pay tribute to its interesting discovery.

Discovered by William P. “Punch” Jones and his father Grover while pitching horseshoes in 1928, the father-son-duo thought the stone was a piece of quartz, as common in the area, and placed it in a cigar box in their tool shed… for 14 years throughout the Great Depression.
In 1942 they brought the gem to the geology department at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute to have a professor evaluate it.  There, the professor informed them that the stone was actually a bluish-white, 34.48-carat alluvial diamond, the largest alluvial diamond ever discovered in North America.
The diamond was then sent to the Smithsonian Institution for display and safekeeping until 1964 when it was returned to the Jones family, still in Virginia.  The family kept the gem in a safe deposit box at the First Valley National Bank in Rich Creek until 1984.
In 1984, the Jones family sold the diamond at auction to a private collector in Asia, and its current owner, and location, is unknown.

Image courtesy of the Monroe Watchman Newspaper.