Friday, January 12, 2007


Van Cleef-- The perfect stone . . .
Zales-- Everybody must get stone.

P. Wilson

Here’s another highly positive relationship we have with the mineral world, jewelry.

Once, on some sort of trip, prob mescaline, my roommate, Merry, brought out a box of jewelry. A few loose stones and a couple of simple settings.

She explained their provenance, mostly family, but at least one rich boyfriend, and their quality ratings, which were high. Mostly we just looked at them.

Instances of natural exquisiteness they were. But nothing more, at least in terms of delivering a spiritual message. I’d much rather own a Vermeer (of my choice) than the Hope Diamond.

As a medium of exchange, gems represent the highest concentration of value of any non-exotic material. They’re highly portable and easy to smuggle. Polonium, for instance, probably costs more per gram, but it’s a little hard to handle. Diamonds—no prob.

Remember when the Shah made his getaway—he had more gold than the plane could lift off with, dumbshit. An equal value of gems would have fit in a suitcase. Even cash gets bulky.

Since that experience with Merry I’ve enjoyed looking at jewelry in store windows and museums. It’s not like I have any strong desire to own it, least of all the elaborate settings.

I do admit that understated pearls, fine gold chains, and great solitary stones can be very flattering to the human body.

My last trip to New York was Christmas time so there were rubies in the windows of the stores on Fifth Avenue, giving a chance for easy comparison.

Tiffany – their rubies were too pale, pinkish
Bulgari – yucky orange stuff (when I see Bulgari, I think bulgur wheat)
Van Cleef & Arpels – deep red with intense candlepower

So I’m really easy to shop for, garden gnomes by Bufano, and rubies from Van Cleef.

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