Hundreds of people descended on Cheltenham town centre on Saturday for the world’s most exclusive treasure hunt. A total of £10,000 worth of diamonds were hidden across the spa town by luxury jeweller Beards.
The event, which attracted global media attention, was held in aid of Maggie's Cancer Care Centre. Treasure maps priced at £10 each were available for the public to purchase. Additional clues were also available on the day priced at £5. Initial fundraising figures suggest the Beards Diamond Rush raised in excess of £5,000 for Maggie's.
The first diamond was found within 10 minutes of the Diamond Rush kicking off. The event started at 9.30am and by 9.37am, the first diamond had been found in The Daffodil Restaurant in The Suffolks. The final diamond was found at 1.34pm. Lucky winners 23-year-old Matthew Jefferies and 28-year-old Fay Morehen found the first diamond and purchased their treasure map one week before the event.
“The town was buzzing with people hunting for the diamonds. We had been planning our strategy all week but we were absolutely stunned to have found one. I cannot explain the feeling of excitement which dawned on us when we came across that special little purple pouch,” said Miss Morehen.
Other diamonds were found in Cheltenham’s iconic Lido, Montpellier Gardens and at the top of Leckhampton Hill. Meanwhile one lucky shopper found a diamond in the Celebration Cake Counter in Waitrose and another was found in Ellis and Kilpatrick Opticians in The Regent Arcade. Other diamonds were found in a bush at 131 The Promenade and under a bin in Pittville Park.
One Cheltenham couple, who found the diamond in 131 The Promenade, heightened the emotion of the day with a marriage proposal. Builder Scott Thompson, 27, got down on one knee to ask his girlfriend Lucienne Simpson, 26, to marry him.
The final diamond, which was not found until 1.34pm, was hidden in the underground carpark at The Montpellier Chapter.
Managing Director Alex Rose, from Beards Jewellers, said: “The success of this event has been phenomenal. It has been so much fun for everyone taking part while also making 10 lucky diamond hunters incredibly happy. We have raised a fabulous amount of money for Maggies – a truly amazing charity. All in all, the Beards Diamond Rush was a fantastic success. We would like to thank everyone who took part.”
Spokesperson Anna Mason, from Maggie’s, said: “It has been an amazing and rather emotional day which has not only raised a huge amount for Maggie’s but has also changed lives of people taking part. The people who have found the diamonds have been over the moon, and this was simply topped with one of the lucky finders popping the question to his girlfriend.”
A full gallery of images and interviews with select diamond winners are available. Please contact Annabel Rayer: moc.rpllabrevlis@lebanna / 07776 136775