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Jones Diamond

The “Jones Diamond,” also known as the “Punch Jones Diamond,” "The Grover Jones Diamond," or "The Horseshoe Diamond," was an 34.48 carat (6.896 g) alluvial diamond found in Peterstown, West Virginia by members of the Jones family. It remains the largest alluvial diamond ever discovered in North America.


Diamond Characteristics

The bluish-white diamond weighed 34.48 carats (6.896 g), measured 5/8 of an inch (15.8 mm) across and possessed 12 diamond-shaped faces.

History of the Diamond

The diamond was discovered by William P. “Punch” Jones and his father, Grover C. Jones, Sr. while pitching horseshoes in April 1928. Believed to be simply a piece of shiny quartz common to the area, the stone was kept in a wooden cigar box inside a tool shed for fourteen years and throughout the Great Depression. In 1942, Punch brought the stone to a geology professor at Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI) -- now Virginia Tech -- in nearby Blacksburg, Virginia. Holden, shocked at Punch’s discovery, authenticated the diamond and the diamond was sent to the Smithsonian Institution where it remained for many years for display and safekeeping. In February of 1964, the Jones family brought the diamond back and placed it in a safe deposit box in the First Valley National Bank in Rich Creek, Virginia. In 1984, the Joneses auctioned the diamond through Sotheby's auction house in New York.

Jones Family

The story of the Jones Family is as interesting as the story of the "Jones Diamond." Grover C. Jones, Sr. and his wife Annie Grace Buckland Jones had seventeen children, sixteen consecutive boys and one girl.

During the New York World's Fair in 1940, the Jones family was featured there and were guests of the then President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, were introduced on National Broadcasting Company, and met the governor of New York and Mayor of New York City. Many business opportunists saw the Joneses as an incredible opportunity to reap financial benefits due to the numerical size of the family and the consecutive male births and invited Mr. Jones to tour the United States with his family, but Mr. Jones, thinking that his family was being exploited, refused to do so and returned with his family to the hometown of Peterstown, West Virginia.

West Virginia State Historical Marker

The text of the historical marker located in Peterstown, West Virginia reads the following, although some of the information is outdated as Mr. and Mrs. Jones are no longer living or in possession of the diamond (see above):

An alluvial diamond weighing 34.48 carats (6.896 g), largest to date found in North American was discovered here in April 1928, by William P. "Punch" Jones and his father Grover C. Jones, Sr., while pitching horseshoes in the home yard of Mrs. and Mrs. Grover C. Jones. "Punch" was later killed in combat during World War II. Mr. and Mrs. Grover C. Jones still retain ownership of the diamond.


  • "Virginia Diamonds," Virginia Division of Mineral Resources
  • Sweet, P.C., 1996, Diamonds in Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Virginia Minerals, v. 42, n. 4, p. 33-40.
  • Charles B. Motley, Gleanings of Monroe County West Virginia History (Radford, Va: Commonwealth Press, Inc., 1973) 122-124.
  • West Virginia Highway Markers Database
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Jones_Diamond". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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