NASHVILLE, Tenn. - It wasn't talked about publicly at the time, but during the 50th Annual CMA Awards in Nashville in November, a 13.73 carat diamond worn by Beyoncé during her performance with the Dixie Chicks went missing.
Beyoncé received the diamond from Lorraine Schwartz specific for the awards show, but following her performance, the diamond, which was attached to a ring she was wearing, went missing.
People working backstage were told about the missing diamond and were asked to search for it, and while there were plenty of people aware of the situation, many others weren't, including Jesus Lopez who was working backstage unloading band carts.
"I've been doing CMA for the last 12 years, and I have seen a lot of different jewelry, fake jewelry, rhinestones," Lopez explained in an exclusive interview with News Channel 5, but that night during the show, one jewel that he thought was a rhinestone caught his eye.
Sitting on top of one of the band carts sat the 13.73 carat diamond. Thinking it was a rhinestone, Lopez threw it in his pocket and kept working, thinking otherwise the jewel would be thrown away as a worthless prop.
Once the show was over, Lopez still hadn't heard about the diamond being missing, so he went home still thinking the jewel in his pocket was a worthless rhinestone.
"I gave it to my wife thinking, of course, it was a rhinestone," Lopez said.
The day following the CMA Awards, Lopez got a call from his son who was also working at the CMA Awards backstage.
Lopez's son had heard about Beyoncé's diamond, and made the connection, telling his father, "Do you know what you found? You found Beyoncé's diamond."
Lopez's first thought was that he needed to get it back to it's rightful owner, and he thought it may be able to work out to where his granddaughter could be with him when he returned the diamond, that way, she would be able to meet a world-famous celebrity.
"When I heard it was Beyoncé, I said, well, maybe my granddaughter can meet Beyoncé and give it to her herself," Lopez said.
Lopez soon found out that the diamond was on loan from Lorraine Schwartz, and after confirming that the diamond was indeed the one Beyoncé was wearing, Lorraine Schwartz sent someone to pick up the diamond, and Lopez was given a reward for being an honest person.
"I would have loved to give it to my wife as a present, but once I found out it belonged to somebody, the right thing to do was to return it to the person," Lopez explained.
Lopez said he's still hoping that his granddaughter can meet Beyoncé somehow, but even if she doesn't get to, Lopez is happy the diamond has been returned to the rightful owner, instead of being lost or thrown away.
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