I adore wearing gems, but not because they are mine. You can’t possess radiance, you can only admire it –
A couple of months ago my In laws house was broken into. My In laws were away at the time and on one dark, cold Friday night someone (a very thin person it would seem) cracked open and slipped through a tiny side window, broke down two locked doors (thin and strong person) and trashed two bedrooms in a matter of minutes, then they left through the back bedroom window onto a flat roof of the extension and into the night. We were called by a vigilant neighbour saying they could see a back window open and when we arrived we were greeted with the aftermath of a break in. Not pleasant.
What did they steal? Tv’s? Ipads? Money? All those were around the house.
No they just took jewellery. Indian gold gemstone jewellery to be precise. One might even assume that they had used a metal detector to find the jewellery, it was well hidden and they did a good job of finding it. Indian gold has always been an attractive proposition due to the high quality 24 k gold used. Most often it is sold on and melted before the person has had a chance to report it stolen.
Alas we have learnt from our lesson and it was a hard lesson to learn. Much of the jewellery had been handed down through generations, it came with stories, love and meaning, irreplaceable in so many ways. Our homes are now alarmed and our jewellery (what is left of it) is in a lockup.
Today in the news is the story of jewellery belonging to the Qatari Royal family being swiped from an exhibition. The theft took place, not from a semi detached family house in the suburbs of London, but from a case in an exhibition from the Doges Palace in Venice. No side windows here. No quiet little side windows with a dark driveway next to it but LOTS of security, cameras, alarms and barriers, yet somehow someone (two in fact) managed to take their chance on a pair of gemstone earrings and brooch, all in the value of several millions of euros. What is it about Venice and heists? Isn’t it the setting for every high end theft movie out there?
It is reported that the two perpetrators mingled as part of the tourist crowd, eyeing up the exhibition titled ‘Treasures of the Mughals and the Maharajahs’ which was a collection of hundreds of Indian gem stones from the 16th to 20th century. They then worked together whilst one person lifted the glass display cabinet which according to the chief of police in Venice Vito Gagliardi ‘peeled back like a tin can’ whilst the other kept watch. The alarm did not go off, or if it did, it went off late (just typical) The video CCTV did capture the theft though, as if in some brazen attempt to leave their mark, leaving evidence of the audacity of a good old jewellery heist. They then ‘melted’ into the crowd before making their escape with a couple millions euros worth of contemporary gems. The mystery of it…
Was it an inside job?
Was it planned months in advance?
Do we have another Hatton gardens heist?
Like the magpie to the glitter, gems and gold will always be an attractive proposition. History is littered with stories of gems used as currency, the ever rising price of gold and the growing demand for the beautiful and unattainable will make precious jewels a much coveted item.
We are drawn into gems, their stories, colour and romance place them beyond the currency of money. Gemstones represent wealth, status, power. History denotes that we will always desire beautiful things. Money may make the world go round, but only because money is a means to an end: that singular, almost lunatic, human desire to truly possess, and keep forever, a thing of beauty, a Gem.
Gemstones are a colourful and beautiful form of currency. Throughout history they have been used to buy and sell land, palaces, places, names and even people. Did you know that in 1626 a Dutchman named Peter Minuit bought the island of Manhattan from the Lenape Indians for price of twenty four dollars’ worth of glass beads and trinkets? Of course this has been disputed and speculated through the years, no doubt there were murkier and deeper depths to the story but the fact that a piece of land (now one of the most valuable real estate in the world) was purchased with a bag of colourful (not so pricy) gemstones shows the place Gemstones hold in the world.
So what makes a gemstone valuable? Clarity? The cut? The colour? Carat?
Well all of these things make them valuable but we as the consumer really play the largest part in how something is valued. The more we want it, the more its value increases.
Diamonds are a case example. A girls best friend? Diamonds are forever? Actually not and in many ways we have been sucked into believing diamonds are the most valuable stone known to man. Why? Well clever marketing and the powers of consumerism have driven many peoples desire to own a diamond. Diamond engagement rings only really became a luxury in the last 80 years and it is through the intrinsic need to own something that not all can possess that diamonds have rooted themselves firmly into the role of traditional precious gem. Diamonds are not rare or particularly valuable, what makes them valuable is their positioning. How we have perceived them through the years, how we desire them makes them more precious and valuable, we will always want something that someone else cannot have, just like we will always want something someone else does have.
When was the last time you ‘wanted‘ something beautiful?
Beautiful things take a hold on us like nothing else. Of course ‘beauty’ is speculative and each person can offer their view on beauty as a definition but there is no denying that beautiful objects become coveted items driven by passions and desire.
We are led by the desire of beauty and gemstone jewellery is considered to be one of the most valuable assets one can own.
My little love of gemstones can be seen here . Not worth stealing from exhibitions just yet, but they make beautiful gifts for invaluable moments with those you love.