The Moonstone is a richly detailed mystery novel that features a massive diamond as the centerpiece for the heist. I was surprised given this the time period this novel was written in, that a gemstone took such a prominent place in the plot line. A fantastic article circulated just a little over a year ago exposing the scandal that is the psychology surrounding Diamond fanaticism. Published on the Pricenomics blog and then on Business Insider the article can be found here.
Given the way that we can be compelled to believe the hype created by a marketing campaign, driven to pay outrages sums for a lump of pressurized charcoal, valueless carbon, we seem to posses a wholesale lack of criticality. Yet, Collins understands the stickiness of certain artifacts, and creates a backstory for the diamond that was being stolen. He preempts the sentimental values that diamonds attained in the 20th century.
The motif of a valuable diamond with a storied and bloody past crops up often for it to bear further analysis. The Pink Panther for thematic example, along with the Heart of the Ocean in Titanic. One realization is that despite the renewed marketability of diamonds, they have long been valuable and have captured our imaginations. H.G. Wells’ short story The Diamond Maker experiments with the possibility of creating artificial diamonds in order to enjoy new avenues to wealth.
But what is it that makes gems, and diamonds so particularly fascinating. What makes them perfect subjects for mysteries time and time again? Feel free to hit me with your thoughts. What makes certain artifacts so interesting, and diamonds in particular. Please avoid the connotations it has with weddings and longevity as those seem to be newer connotations.