Treasure Hunting Find

diamondYesterday, I had the day mostly to myself, so after running some errands, I went down to the beach and took my truck out on the dunes. It was a crowded beach day and a lot of 4x4 enthusiasts packed the area where the county lets trucks and jeeps park. Lots of people were swimming and fishing. For kicks, I brought one of my metal detectors with me, and I spent about an hour looking for treasure. Unlike other excursions, where I had left my detector settings focused on coins, I decided to crank the detector's sensitivity settings up and look for all types of metals. I did end up finding quite a bit of foil, bottlecaps and trash, but I did manage to get a few nickels, pennies and quarters.

A little over an hour into it, I headed a bit closer to the water and I heard a tone. The piece of metal clearly wasn't a coin, and it was pretty close to the end of the detector's range - about a foot down. I didn't want to dig a foot down just to find a bit of tinfoil from someone's old peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but I resolved to dig everything yesterday, so I had at it with the hand trowel.

The object was so small that I almost missed it, and I almost moved on before I spotted a glint of light as I was pawing through the sand. I found a small fragment of tarnished metal, and into it was set a diamond.

I'm not even sure it's real, but that find ended my treasure hunt for the day. Upon arriving home, I pried the diamond loose from its setting with a couple pairs of needle-nose pliers. Above is a picture of the diamond and its setting. Sorry that it's so blurry. The batteries on my regular digital camera are worn down and the camera in my Blackberry Pearl doesn't have a macro mode.

So now, I'm not sure what I should do. I'd like to take it to a jeweler to see if it's not just a piece of glass. It looks like it might be in the .75 - 1 carat range. (I do think it's probably real. It didn't scratch when I nicked it with the pliers.) Any advice? Anyone know a NYC-based jeweler who could take a look at this for me?

If it's real, I might want to buy a setting for it.


I visited two jewelers on 47th Street at lunch.  Both said it's a cubic zirconium.  Nuts...