In the middle of the night I couldn't sleep, and turned the TV on and it was a show about diamonds, and diamond mining in Australia where they find pink to red colored diamonds. Very rare, very desirable.
They move a lot of soil and rock and process it to get to these diamonds, and the nature of the mining is such, and security matters such, that few ever see the product of their labor. Then the diamonds wend their way until, in this story, they are presented secretly to a buyer in a big city hotel--a table layed out with the pink diamonds, each in a little black case--kinda like a baseball card display.
The buyer couldn't express his delight in seeing "once in a hundred years" diamonds. Reminded me of the old Israeli priests who once a year entered the Holy of Hollies, which is a fit, as the diamond industry has a strong Hassidic Jewish tradition. Which is another fit, as it's a kinda priesthood that surrounds the diamonds. The average person cant tell one diamond from another, and it is the diamond experts who assign values, evaluate the stones, and give them their provenance, I think might be the word. (Jewish high priests used to wear a breast plate of gem stones...I think it was seen in Raiders of the Lost Arc...I asked a friend if there is a connection between the words Jew and Jewelery, and he said no, but I want to check an Oxford dictionary!)
And here's a fit! The aurora diamonds would make a fine breastplate...though I think it had twelve stones...lemeseeifIcanfindthat...pic of these is from wikipedia site.
(As a mystery, the Breastplate ranks with the Lost Arc, and I remember Graves has some thoughts on it, which I'll have to recollect...and save this for another sometime!)
And this all reminded me of the art world, where I had thought through an idea awhile back. Paintings that are sold for millions of dollars are like...how can I put it...investments...somewhere to invest money and hopefully the investment will gain in value. There is a whole art world structure of galleries and museums and, I cant remember the word, like caretakers, who maintain the art and it's value. It's like the antique road show, the appraisers.
This is all very important, as money cant all lay around as cash, so in a way these art works are money. Warhol had it right just painting dollar bills. I wonder how much that one is worth!!
(see wikipedia's site "store of value")
The excitement the diamond dealer was feeling may have been the beauty of the diamonds, or even an intellectual understanding of their rarity, the forces that went into making them, their age, and tremendous amount of rock crushed and sifted to get a diamond one picks up with a tweezers!,,,but I suspect it was more of a poker player's high when holding what they hope is a winning hand in a millions of dollars game.
The diamonds are money, the kindof money, like investments, that brings a return as time goes on. I've personally shyed away from art because of this money aspect. I see way too many amateur paintings with high price tags...and way too many professional ones that are valued for the most part because people are investing in that particular artists works.
Before buying a million dollar Picasso, one would have to verify that it is really a Picasso. And there I am at the "verification" notion of a couple nights ago.
"Human efforts need to be verifiable, because human beings are not infallible".
And we counterfeit, in the case of "money", and there's always the problem weather it's a real dollar, or a Warhol dollar. I see the cashiers hold up money to the light all the time...appraising. That they should be so lucky as to find a Warhol dollar!
So, is the diamond's beauty married to it's investment value?
And what is "unholy"?
CNN just came on with the Oral Roberts story...university teachers suing, and accusing the son of, well. fabricating!!
Which takes me back to Newt Gingrich and the alternate Pearl Harbor history book!!! That blessed thing has the Panay story in it, and I dread to think what they 've down with it!! I'll have to send off for the book, and then I'll do some appraising of my own!! Hmmph! Somethings are sacred.
O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold Pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty," - that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
Tree in the Door
Oct. 8, 2007