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A diamond in the rough

On an April day in 1928, in Princeton, W.Va., a young man by the name of  William Jones was playing a game of horseshoes with his father, Grover.
As the game progressed, William noticed that the force of the horseshoes tore into the earth around one pole, and a strange looking stone was torn from the ground.
Curiosity caused him to pick up the stone and put it in his pocket.
That night he removed it from his pocket, and, rather than throw it away, he put it away and soon forgot about it.
During the time of the Great Depression, William Jones, or “Punch,” as he was called, worked his way through Concord College.
After this, he was employed at an ammunition plant.
While on this job, he worked with carbons, and, in his study of carbons and their presence as diamonds, he happened to think of the strange stone he had found stone he had found some years previously while playing horseshoes. 
He decided he would go home and hunt it up, hoping the box he had put it in had not been destroyed.
He found the stone, and, after cleaning it, he gave it the test that is used to determine authenticity by dragging it across glass.
When it left a scratch on a windowpane, “Punch” felt sure he had a diamond.
To prove it, he took it to a geologist at nearby Virginia Polytechnic Institute.
Professor Holden was not particularly interested in the stone, but, after a while, agreed to examine it and found that the strange stone was in fact a real diamond.
The story of William “Punch" Jones, the oldest of the Jones children, ended on a World War II battlefield in 1945. On Easter Sunday of that year, “Punch” was killed in the European Theater before he could reap any benefit from his diamond.
The 34.46-carat Jones Diamond was put in the Smithsonian, where it stayed until 1968. After that, it was stored in a bank vault.
The location of the diamond today is not known by this writer
The Grover and Annie Jones family was famous for another story just as exciting as the Jones Diamond.
Of their 17 children, the first 16 were boys, a world record for male children born consecutively.
The entire family attended the New York World’s Fair in 1940 as guests of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
And, as hard as it is to believe, it is a fact that 12 of Grover and Annie Jones’s sons served in the armed forces of the United States. 
Lloyd Mathews is a retired land surveyor and a historian who lives in Pulaski. 

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A diamond in the rough

On an April day in 1928, in Princeton, W.Va., a young man by the name of  William Jones was playing a game of horseshoes with his father, Grover.
As the game progressed, William noticed that the force of the horseshoes tore into the earth around one pole, and a strange looking stone was torn from the ground.
Curiosity caused him to pick up the stone and put it in his pocket.
That night he removed it from his pocket, and, rather than throw it away, he put it away and soon forgot about it.
During the time of the Great Depression, William Jones, or “Punch,” as he was called, worked his way through Concord College.
After this, he was employed at an ammunition plant.
While on this job, he worked with carbons, and, in his study of carbons and their presence as diamonds, he happened to think of the strange stone he had found stone he had found some years previously while playing horseshoes. 
He decided he would go home and hunt it up, hoping the box he had put it in had not been destroyed.
He found the stone, and, after cleaning it, he gave it the test that is used to determine authenticity by dragging it across glass.
When it left a scratch on a windowpane, “Punch” felt sure he had a diamond.
To prove it, he took it to a geologist at nearby Virginia Polytechnic Institute.
Professor Holden was not particularly interested in the stone, but, after a while, agreed to examine it and found that the strange stone was in fact a real diamond.
The story of William “Punch" Jones, the oldest of the Jones children, ended on a World War II battlefield in 1945. On Easter Sunday of that year, “Punch” was killed in the European Theater before he could reap any benefit from his diamond.
The 34.46-carat Jones Diamond was put in the Smithsonian, where it stayed until 1968. After that, it was stored in a bank vault.
The location of the diamond today is not known by this writer
The Grover and Annie Jones family was famous for another story just as exciting as the Jones Diamond.
Of their 17 children, the first 16 were boys, a world record for male children born consecutively.
The entire family attended the New York World’s Fair in 1940 as guests of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
And, as hard as it is to believe, it is a fact that 12 of Grover and Annie Jones’s sons served in the armed forces of the United States. 
Lloyd Mathews is a retired land surveyor and a historian who lives in Pulaski. 

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