[Tidbits] The Tzar and The Stone

The Tzar and The Stone
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Let me tell you something about our late Tzar who was born in 1818
and had a gemstone discovered and named after him on his thirteenth
birthday…the very day he reached the age of majority.

When he was thirty eight years old he met a lass named Ekaterina, the
10 year old daughter of a Prince. Our Tzar was smitten…never mind
the 28 year difference. So he made her his ward, educated her, and
waited for seven long long years till she reached seventeen, at which
time she became his mistress. He was then 45 and they remained lovers
for 26 years. Now that…my friends…is an affair to remember.

  1. We segue my friends…to the emerald mines on the Takowaya …in
    the Ural region of Russia. A new gemstone…never before seen…is
    found on the very birth day of our young Tzar. It is marked by
    pleochroism–the property of refraction that exhibits two or more
    colors by a gemstone when viewed in different lights. The stone
    becomes a talismanic emblem for the Russian people as the hues it
    evinces–under different lights–are red and green… the country’s
    national colors. It is considered by all a stone of good omen…and
    its fame soon spreads to other lands.

I continue my friends, in my own inimitable and mystical way…
following the slow and tortuous route to the conclusion and revelation
of our gemstone…even though I am sure most of you have already
guessed what it is. Such is the perverseness and contrariness of my
nature. Whaddya gonna do?

On March 1, 1881, our Tzar, now 63 years old, was riding along in his
carriage, on his way to the Winter Palace. Or perhaps from it… this
part is not clear. A young nineteen year old assassin by the name of
Rysakov rushes to the carriage and tosses in a bomb. A second man, by
the name of Ignaty charges with a second bomb…and our Tzar is
killed. By the way…did you know that the word “assassin” is derived
from the word “hashishim” or taker of hashish? Well…there it
is…another Tidbit in a world of Tidbits.

Our Tzar’s name…for all of you no long able to contain yourselves in
your undying and ever yearning quest for knowledge…was Alexander
II. And the gemstone which was purportedly discovered on his
thirteenth birthday…and named after him on his thirteenth
birthday…is the Alexandrite. I have–believe it or not–scanned a
picture of our gemstone for all of you to see. I show it to you under
two different lighting conditions. So quick quick…before the sun
sets and another day is lost to eternity…to my home page…down the
table menu…till you get to the box that says Tidbit Graphics
inside…and click on “The Tzar and the Stone”.

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