Home News A 12-Carat Emerald Disappeared At Bob Mcdonnell’s Party

A 12-Carat Emerald Disappeared At Bob Mcdonnell’s Party

by Madonna

Earlier this month, a 12-carat emerald vanished from the wrist of a prominent Virginia Beach developer during a lavish birthday party at the Cavalier Beach Club. The quick actions of two employees led to the gem’s recovery.

Crystal Giradin and Addison Ott are now being praised for their dedication and honesty after meticulously searching through the trash to find the expensive stone.


“Those girls went beyond their call of duty,” said Cheryl McLeskey, who wore the bracelet that night. “It’s really not about the gem. It’s about these two young girls that had a great heart for solving the problem.”


McLeskey, who owns a real estate development company, attended the event in a white dress, accessorized with a suite of gold and emerald jewelry from G Marie Luxuries, a local high-end jewelry store. She accompanied her boyfriend, Bob McDonnell, to his surprise 70th birthday party. At the same event, the Virginia Beach Jaycees named McDonnell Virginia Beach’s First Citizen.


Throughout the evening, McDonnell and McLeskey were busy greeting guests and didn’t have time to eat. Around 11 p.m., after some dancing, McLeskey noticed the emerald was missing from her bracelet.

Emeralds are among the “big four” most valuable gems, along with diamonds, rubies, and sapphires, according to the International Gem Society. The value of an emerald depends on its carat weight and quality. McLeskey didn’t disclose the bracelet’s value, but the gem, about the size of a dime, was likely worth thousands of dollars.

Jim Boyd, a friend who stayed late to help, recalled seeing the bracelet earlier in the evening. He helped search for the missing emerald when McLeskey noticed it was gone. She believed it fell on the dance floor while she was dancing.

The staff had just swept the area, so Giradin and Ott, who had been serving guests, put on gloves and offered to search through nearby trash cans. They soon realized the trash had already been taken to a dumpster in the parking garage. Giradin climbed into the dumpster and removed nearly a dozen bags that hadn’t been compacted yet. They searched through the bags, looking for one with confetti from the dance floor.

In the sixth bag, Giradin finally found the emerald at the bottom.

Giradin ran back to the beach club to return it to McLeskey, who had remained hopeful. “I was never upset about it. You can replace material things,” McLeskey said. “It’s the power of positive thinking, believing that we were going to find it.”

McLeskey rewarded Giradin and Ott with cash for their honesty and determination, though they were reluctant to accept it. The Cavalier Resort also recognized them for their efforts.

“Those are the kind of employees that you want,” McLeskey said. “They knew how important it was to the customer. It was a great ending to a great night.”


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