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[Tidbits] A Mystery Jeweler and Ophthalmios

Who is he? I will give you a cryptically clear hint: “Do not take a
short-cut.” Ah… ya gotta love obscurity. Additionally, I suspect
most of you–if not all of you --have heard of him. If you know…
email me. No using Google on this. The answer… next week.

May 10th, 1940. 3 A.M. Hitler launches a blitzkrieg on Belgium. A
mother sits huddled with her child on a bed in her house. Beside the
bed is a hot iron. If they come to get her… she is going to take
one of them down with her using the hot iron.

Same time. Same country. Different area. Her husband is in a prisoner
of war camp. There are two lines. Line one: Jews. Line two:
Walloons… a Belgian contingency of German sympathizers who are
being released. He is on the Jew Line. He beckons a guard. Here. Take
it. A gold watch. And he is switched to the other line and released.
Greed reigns. The family is re-united.

It is time to escape. Their path is set. A train to Nice. From
there… a covered wagon ride to Spain and then on to Lisbon. From
Lisbon… Baltimore, USA. The year… 1942. Our future jeweler is 4
years old.

There is a sacred stone called the Yarkastein with which a smith
named Volondr formed the eyes of children. Volondr was the
Scandinavian name for Vulcan. The eyes are made of a milk- white
substance called ophthalmios, or eye stone. In the middle ages it was
common to believe that the image of a boy or girl could be seen in
the pupil of the eye. Ophthalmios was the name given to a gem we
today call Opal. Since opals are often considered bad luck… and
since it was once called ophthalmios–or eye–it is from this that a
connection was made which grew into the belief in the Evil Eye.

The years passed. Our jeweler grew. He apprenticed under the watchful
eye of a fine Romanian craftsman. And the internet came along. And a
new passion was born. “Go west, young man…” was cry of mid 1800’s.
Go internet was the modern version.

Though the opal was considered by many to be a stone of bad luck…
the black opal took on the exact opposite characteristic. It was the
stone of good luck. It was at one time artificially made by dipping a
light stone into black ink or by allowing burnt oil to seep into the
cracks in the stone. Natural deposits of black opals were discovered
in New South Wales around 1900.

The year… late 2003. A 29 carat Lightning Ridge black opal finds
its way into our jeweler’s hands–yes folks–he’s a contemporary–
and a new custom-made piece is born-custom jewelry is our jeweler’s
fort=e–in the form of a comet from outer space with the black opal
as its nose.

Now here’s the thing of it. If I tell you more… it will be too
easy to guess who the jeweler is. As it is… I feel I may have made
it too easy. Guess away. Who is he?

For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at where you will
scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that says
Current Tidbits… and you will get to view a comet in two tone gold
with a black opal as its nose.

And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
Benjamin Mark