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TIDBITS - The Great White of Kandy

The Great White of Kandy

Many of you might suppose that the rarest and most valuable of
gemstones is the diamond. And for the most part, you would be
correct. After all, there was the Great Mogul which some stories
intimate was ultimately cut down to become either the Koh-I-noor
or the Orlov. And there was the Tavernier Blue, which later
became known as the Hope which resides today in the Smithsonian.
And then there was a diamond called the Great Table Diamond.
Sadly, it disappeared one day into the historical shrouds of
mystery, never again to be seen. It is said that it looked like
its namesake, the flat top of a table. And that it weighed over
two hundred carats.

But, alas my friends, you would all be wrong. For in the 1800’s,
in Kandy, a land situated halfway around the world on the island
of Ceylon, there was once a spinel so rare in color and clarity,
that only one of its kind had ever been found.

Now then, for the most part, jewelry sellers and jewelry buyers
have always considered the spinel to be an inexpensive stone. And
they usually are. But not our little bauble, folks. In the
recorded history of man as he relates to jewelry and gemstones
and such, there was never a spinel as colorless and flawless at
the Great White Spinel of Kandy. Its recorded weight at the time
was seventy one and a quarter carats. It disappeared one
day…poof!..just like that…it was gone…and it was never
re-discovered. And a gem equal to it was never again seen by
mortal man. Today’s estimated price for this rare gem?..over a
cool million bucks. For a spinel folks. Can you believe it?

In 1803 this stone was set in gold, surrounded by rubies. It was
presented by Boldoc Swamie, the then King of Kandy, to a major
in Her Majesty’s regiments. However, our major had to offer the
ring up for sale because he was not the most ethical of soldiers.
He was court martialled for his misbehaviors, and kicked out of
the army. He needed money, he did. And so he sold the Great White
in order to support wife and kiddies. And after he sold it…it
disappeared for a while… only to briefly reappear in the
nineteenth century…to be offered for sale at the French Court.
But, the sale did not go through, as sales are occasionally wont
to do, or not to do, and once more the Great White evanesced into
the mists of history where it still waits, to this very day, for

Now then, where indeed does one look for spinels some of you may
well ask. And the answer is: Ceylon, of course. And Burma and
Siam. And even in the U.S.A. Yup…that’s right folks. Right
here, in Orange County, New York, and Sussex County, New Jersey.
Can you believe it? Of course, a spinel of the quality of the
Great White was never again seen, and may well never again be
seen. On the other hand…who knows where the Great White lurks?
Perhaps there’s a treasure hunter out there with keen instincts
honed so fine that he or she will find this stone–thanks to my
invaluable -and he or she will sell it for a
substantial sum. If this does happen, I ask only to be remembered
as the source that led to such great wealth… remembered
modestly I might add…to the tune of…let’s say…ten percent?

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

Take care,
Benjamin Mark

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