• The Associated Press

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Lines curled around for blocks in Tokyo’s Ginza district Monday for 5,000 tiny but free diamonds French jeweler Mauboussin was giving away in an attention-getting drive.

“The value of a diamond doesn’t go down. And you never get tired of a diamond,” said Noriko Suzumaru, a 39-year-old housewife who jumped on a train from Kawasaki to stand in line after learning about the giveaway.

Suzumaru was among a crowd of bargain-hunters lined up for the 0.1 carat diamonds Mauboussin was offering to its first 5,000 customers. The gems are valued at about ¥5,000.

Mauboussin, founded 181 years ago in France, is encouraging people to get their free diamond made into rings and pendants at its store. But that will come at a cost, starting at about ¥50,000.

Mauboussin’s flagship Japan store opened in Ginza in February.

But the store had often been empty because its name, though associated with international celebrities, isn’t widely recognized among Japanese.

Many still don’t even know how to correctly pronounce the name of the store.

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