5 Remarkable Things People Have Done for Diamonds

You may have heard the slogan “What would you do for a Klondike bar?” And yet what people have done for ice cream pops can’t remotely compare to what some hearty souls have done for diamonds:

1. Stood for nearly 29 hours

Even the most disapproving father has to be impressed by what Neal Tuley did for his fiancée. The 24-year-old Virginian stood for 28 hours and 45 minutes without removing his hand from a diamond ring pedestal, thereby winning a $14,000 engagement ring from Fort Myers, Fla., jeweler Marc Loren Designs in a contest last August. According to the store’s PR agency: “Tuley proved to have stamina, determination and probably most importantly, a strong bladder, to win the contest.”

2. Kissed for 50 hours

And yet Tuley seems like an amateur compared with the male couple who kissed for 50 hours for a contest in Thailand, nabbing themselves a $3,400 diamond ring, along with cash and a hotel voucher. (The couple broke the previous 33-hour record set by another Thai couple.) According to The Telegraph: “Competitors could not move from their space of one square meters and were only allowed to drink water and food through a straw.” The best rule: “Participants were not allowed to use the toilets in the first three hours of the competition and after that, could only go for a bathroom break if accompanied by a referee.” Sure hope it was worth it.

3. Panhandling on the side of a street

It’s one thing to panhandle for money or food. Corey Fontenot, however, may be the only person in history to have begged for a bauble. The 26-year-old—who apparently has a job, if not a well-paying one—tried to raise money for an engagement ring by standing on the side of a local road, eventually taking in $80. But, more important, his curbside pleas won the attention of nearby Sonny Diamonds & Jewelry, who gave him a ring, free of charge (save the $80). “I saw the story on the local news and thought I’d help this kid out,” store owner Michael Nedler told JCK. Some locals, though, weren’t so impressed, with one writing on a Denver news site: “That’s romantic: Here honey, I bummed this ring for you.”

4. Combed through a landfill

Brian McGuinn is one dedicated husband. When the Margate, Fla., man accidentally threw out his wife’s $10,000 custom-made engagement ring, he realized he would have no choice but to hunt for it at the local landfill. So he suited up “like an alien,” and after an hour of picking through trash, he finally found it—right next to his wife’s frozen yogurt container from the night before. Said the sanitation worker who helped him: “It was like hitting the lottery.”

5. Got it by bartering a $100 iPod

On a recent episode of the A&E reality show Barter Kings, lead character Steve tries to trade up to a “beautiful diamond ring” for his wife. He starts off with a $100 iPod Touch, which he swaps for a $300 beer sign. That is then traded for an $800 guitar, which is in turn exchanged for an original test pressing of Hotel California signed by the Eagles (estimated at $1,500). A store owner then finally trades him a $7,500 1 ct. princess cut for it. All in all, pretty nice work for a Barter King. Says Steve when he presents the ring: “I even impressed myself on that one.”