When you're a worker moving "weathered wooden boxes" from one floor to another, it's probably not technically any of your business what's inside. But when you're a worker at a ritzy Manhattan jeweler, you might at least want to check that the cargo you're about to push into the trash isn't $5 million worth of diamonds.
The jewels—which belonged to J. Birnbach Jewelry on 47th Street—may have gone straight to the landfill if not for security guard Wilfred Martinez, who pried open the grubby boxes to find what must certainly have been the greatest thing ever to find in a grubby box: Several expensive gems, including one 17-carat rock worth $3.2 million.
The Post reports that Martinez sold some of the goods to a jeweler in the same building, but sensibly opted to hang on to the mother lode, plus a few others because you only stumble upon Garbage Diamonds once per lifetime. The bad news for Martinez is that surveillance footage clearly showed him taking the boxes into a bathroom before leaving with one of them.
On Monday, Martinez admitted to selling the diamonds for more than $74,000, and later in the day, confessed that he was still hoarding the mega diamond, along with two smaller ones. He'd sent two others off to be made into a ring.
Martinez has since handed the diamonds over to the cops, as well as $10,000 in cash. He was charged with criminal possession of stolen property, which totally sucks because technically, they'd been thrown away. Authorities are still trying to find the rest of the box's contents—may the lucky dumpster diver who found the rest of the Trash Gems have disappeared deep into Mexico by now.