Diamond Lake was born in 1996 when a diamond ring fell from the sky and fell into her lap.
She was the youngest of seven girls and was a sophomore in high school at the time.
At the time, there were only three girls in Michigan, so the name was not known until the following year when a neighbor said she saw her wearing a necklace made of diamond and diamond hoop earring.
“I saw her necklace, and she had the diamond hoop on, and it was the first time I ever saw her that way,” said the neighbor, who asked not to be named.
“She was the only girl that had the necklace that day.
She looked at me and said, ‘I am the diamond.'”
Diamond Lake grew up in a working-class neighborhood of the city of Kalamazoo, a rural community with an economy built on the exploitation of migrant farm workers, according to the Kalamazoos Gazette.
The township of Easton is just about 50 miles south of the Detroit suburb of Dearborn.
The area has been in a long-running struggle between the city and the local mining companies for control of the land.
Diamond Lake, who also went by her birth name, Crystal, worked in the food processing plant in Easton and had a degree in mechanical engineering.
She and her family moved to Detroit in 1998 to be close to her father, a machinist, who had moved to the city to pursue a career in mining.
“Crystal had been with me for 15 years, and we had been married for 15,” said Crystal, now 40.
“It was very difficult for her to leave us.”
When Crystal and her husband moved to Easton, the township hired a local jeweler to sell the family jewelry.
Crystal said that the jeweler had told her the jewelry was worth less than what she and her father made as a seamstress.
She said the jewelers owner would not pay her a penny of the price, even though she had worked for the family for 10 years and earned over $150,000 a year.
The couple was soon offered jobs at a nearby mine.
Crystal was employed by the local steel company, and the family said the company would not give them enough money to pay their rent, bills and utilities.
Crystal and the children moved to a new home in East Lansing, where she continued working as a machine operator, but the family’s life was threatened when the steel company shut down the mine.
The family filed for bankruptcy in 2000, and Crystal and Crystal’s husband were unable to pay all of their debts.
“When I started to get my rent paid, I was thinking, I don’t want to be in East Michigan anymore.
But the only thing I could think about was getting away,” Crystal said.
“I got a job in a restaurant and I could afford it, and that was the biggest motivation for me.”
At the time of her death, Crystal was one of the richest women in the state, with a fortune estimated at $5.6 million, according the Michigan Daily News.
Her husband had died of cancer, and they were both on disability.
Crystal is survived by her daughters, her husband and three grandchildren.