diamond

‘Fake’ diamond discovered during corruption probe valued at €50,000

The mystery of the diamond, found wrapped in baking powder and a number of business cards, when police searched the premises of Funchal City Hall last month is still lurching every which way. Discovered in the office of former mayor Pedro Calado, it was first described by his lawyer as a gemstone of ‘no importance’ – a fake (or synthetic) diamond, manufactured by a business on the island. It has since been ‘analysed’ by Portugal’s equivalent of the British ‘Mint’ (the institute that prints money) as a real diamond, with a value of around €50,000. Mr Calado’s lawyer has stressed Casa da Moeda (as the Mint is called in Portugal) has not got the ‘competence’ to distinguish a real diamond from a synthetic one…