The Diamond

No, I’m not talking about the shape with four straight sides of equal length that forms two opposite acute angles and two opposite obtuse angles AKA, a “rhombus.”

Nor am I talking about the area on a field where the game of baseball is played.

I’m also not talking Neil, even though he’s definitely worth talking about.

I mean, come on.

 

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I’m talking about a pure and precious stone, consisting of a clear and colorless form of metastable allotrope of carbon that has been crystallized.

The other day I was just walking along, minding my own business (minding no other person’s business!), and enjoying Vancouver’s fair weather, when I spotted a brilliant flash on the sidewalk. I stopped, and bent down to get a closer look. It was the biggest diamond I had ever seen in my life.

I quickly picked it up, and shoved it deep into my pocket. Then I took it out of my pocket to get another look at it, and then feared it would somehow fall out of my pocket, so I put it in the change part of my wallet. I walked a few steps, and then thought the diamond would somehow get damaged by the change, so I put the loose change in my pocket, and left the diamond in the zipped pouch. I then called my husband and told him that I found a diamond.

“That’s great honey,” he said, while he, unbeknown to me, googled lost property Vancouver.

“It is great.” I whispered, hoping no one overheard. “I’m just ball-parking it*, but I bet this sucker is worth at least $10,000. It’s celebrity engagement ring big.”

I could hear my husband typing.

“I already know what I’m going to do with the money. I’m going to give half the money to charity, because that is the kind of wonderful human I am…”

My husband grunted his agreement.

“And then I’m going to use the other half for a vacation. I’m thinking Hawaii.”

The typing stopped, and my husband piped up: “You know you have to turn it in to the police, right?”

“What? No. Why?” I said, rather defiantly.

“Because it belongs to someone else.” My husband is nearly always the voice of reason.

“How can it ‘belong’ to someone else? It’s not a piece of jewelry. It’s not a ring. If it was a ring then it would be a real thing and somebody could say, ‘yep, that’s my ring,’ but this is just a loose diamond. It’s just a bit of rock, isn’t it? It’s essentially a worthless rock that someone, somewhere decided to assign value to. Who decided that diamonds are more valuable than any other mineral? Personally, I prefer a nice bit of quartz…” I took a breath. “It’s like a hundred-year-old bottle of scotch that someone has decided is worth $27,000. I would never pay $27,000 for a bottle of scotch… Never!”

The husband exhaled. “I’m just telling you what I found online. You have to turn it in, or make a reasonable effort to find the original owner.”

“First of all, who asked you to look online? Second of all, what did you google? Third of all, how do I make an effort to find the owner of what is essentially a rock? Should I make a ‘found diamond’ posting on craigslist so someone can say, ‘yep, that’s my diamond.’”

As soon as I got home, I started doing a little googling of my own: How to tell if a diamond is real.  

The fog test. It passed with flying colors.

The stone’s refractivity. This mother refracted light like nobody’s business.

The stone’s reflections. It sparkled like the night sky, except sparklier.

The water test. Real diamonds sink, and this bad boy sunk like Luke Skywalker’s X-wing in the Dagobah swamp.

I didn’t turn in the diamond in that day. Or the next, or the day after that. In fact, a whole week passed before I was even willing to discuss it again.

I put the diamond in a plastic Ziploc bag and left it on the kitchen counter.

It haunted me.

“Okay, seriously what should I do?” I said, after having agonized about the moral and legal issues for the past seven days.

The husband stood firm. “You should turn it in.”

“Ugh. I knew you were going to say that.” I flung the Ziploc in his direction.

“The good news is that they hold the item for 90 days and if no one claims it, it’s returned to you.”

“Fine.” I was so not fine. “But we should probably check if it’s real first. We don’t want to get all the way down to the police station, which is in a very sketchy part of town, to find that its just a rock. Even though a diamond is actually just a rock.”

My palms were sweating as the jeweler looked through her loupe. She looked up and smiled at us, and I smiled back.

“It’s cubic zirconia.” She handed me the loupe, and I stared through the little circle, not exactly sure what I should be looking at. “You can tell it’s not real because you can see right through it.”

“Ahhhhh.” I said, but I was really like, “Damn.”

As I left the jewelry store my disappointment quickly turned to sweet relief… I didn’t have to drive to the sketchy part of town to turn in the diamond, or meet anyone from craigslist.

Things always seem to work out. 

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* Another way to ball-park it.

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