Tourist may have swallowed $200k gem

Police are still trying to work out if a British tourist swallowed a $200,000 diamond he allegedly swiped from a Cairns jewellery store.

The 29-year-old tourist was nabbed while trying to board an international flight out of Melbourne on Thursday.

It's alleged he stole the rare pink Argyle diamond from a shop in Cairns last weekend.

But X-rays of the man haven't shown if he's still in "possession" of the gem.

"The X-rays are inconclusive at this time," Senior Sergeant Greg Giles told the ABC.

"It's unknown if he's actually swallowed it or already got rid of the diamond.

"We are hopeful he realises it will be in his best interests if he cooperates with us, so we're hoping we'll get it back."

The man will face the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday, where he's expected to be extradited to Cairns.

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