I thought Andy Schatz was nuts when he posted photos of his planned tournament prizes for his heist game Monaco at next week's PAX: bags of diamonds!

As it turns out, though, he didn't blow all that 2010 IGF grand prize award money on the gems; each pouch actually includes 10 pieces of cubic zirconia, which the developer says are "roughly equivalent (and virtually indistinguishable from 1 carat diamonds."

While not nearly as impressive, it fits with Monaco's theme perfectly. Schatz plans to give away at least 50 of the bags to PAX attendees who play tournaments for the top-down, co-op game are and are able to make it out alive with the highest score.

[Via Bytejacker]

[UPDATE: Andy pops up in the comments to correct us on pricing, since we originally claimed he was giving away $1500 of zirconia: "While it would be nice if each bag were valued at 30 dollars, it's not true. :) I currently have 400 1ct pieces in my possession, the whole load of which is valued at $94. :) That said, a single diamond of equivalent size and quality would run you about $1000, and nobody but a diamond expert can tell the difference between the two."]