Karen Greaton, owner of Greaton’s Designing Jewelers in New Richmond, Wis., admits that she wasn’t expecting much when a customer came in with a rock he’d found in a local well.
But when that rock turned out to be a 1.22 ct. diamond, it led to headlines in not only the local newspaper but also in national venues like Yahoo and Fox News.
It all started when local amateur prospector Dan Fangan was searching for gold near his Wisconsin home—a hobby that, he told the Pierce County Herald, often causes friends to call him a “fruit loop.”
But when he came upon a white translucent rock, he decided to bring it into Greaton’s shop.
“He said, ‘This stone looks kind of interesting,’” Greaton tells JCK. “I see things all the time but this looked like nothing I had seen locally before.”
“I have seen a lot of polished but I’m not really familiar with raw diamonds,” she says. “It was really clean, and it had some inclusions, and so I put in the diamond tester and it beeped. But it kind of had a greenish tinge so I put in the moissanite tester, and it also beeped diamond.”
She then took it to a geology professor who confirmed it: It was a real diamond.
By this point, Greaton realized she had quite a story to tell, so she called up the local newspaper, which headlined it the next day. But then the national press picked it up, and the story had legs that the jeweler never dreamed. “I heard from the daughter of my mother’s friend who I hadn’t heard from in 45 years,” she says.
Despite all the hoopla, Greaton admits the rock is not really worth cutting.
“It has some impurities in it,” she says.
Instead, she is putting it a caged pearl necklace, which will be given to the daughter Fangan is expecting.
If anything, the episode has validated some wisdom Greaton’s father once told her.
“He told me years ago you can find a diamond anyplace,” she says, “although it’s unlikely anywhere but deep down.”