the hopeless diamond
The Hope Diamond is widely considered one of the most famous jewels in the world. While the exact date of its discovery in the Kollur Mine in India is not clear, it was first purchased by a gem merchant in 1666, in reality it dates back approximately 1.1 billion years, where the high temperatures and pressure of the Earth’s mantle created it and then deep-source volcanic eruptions brought it to the surface.
So many things had to go right, in terms of carat weight, color and clarity, that it is nothing short of astounding. When it was first discovered it sat at 116 metric carats. Louis XVI of France had it cut down to 69 and today it weighs in at 45.52 and resides in the Smithsonian.
It has an approximate value of $250 million.
Ben Fink is a jewelry thief. He is considered one of the finest on the planet. When you see those movies where a sophisticated burglar is lowered down on wires with a plethora of state-of-the-art devices at their disposal to beat the most high-tech security systems imaginable, that’s pretty much Ben.
Like so many jewel thieves, Ben values diamonds above all other gems. It’s not because they are the hardest substance known to man or their unrivalled thermal conductivity, it’s because they start out so common. It’s only after they have been cut and polished do they become all that they can be.
He has spent a lifetime traveling the globe stealing the most dazzling of these precious stones. So dedicated to his trade that he named his only daughter Hope. So dedicated to his trade that he would be considered an absentee father by even the most lenient standards. He was away from home so often that eventually it was no longer home.
Which didn’t mean that he didn’t love his daughter, only that his luxurious lifestyle didn’t allow him the luxury of spending much time with her.
Which didn’t mean that he didn’t feel terrible when he heard about her various addictions, only that commitments demanded he be elsewhere when she needed him most.
When he got the news that his ex-wife had found her foaming at the mouth and covered in her own vomit after another overdose he was so distraught that he was barely able to be lowered down on wires the following evening. When she passed away the next morning, her mother clutching her hand as the machines were turned off, it took two bottles of Fromy Cognac for him to stop listening to the last voicemail she’d left him.
The next day, in a mine in Telangana, India they discovered another enormous diamond. Almost 100 carats worth of imperfections. So many things had to go wrong, in terms of color and clarity, that it made you wonder what the Earth had against it. It was nicknamed the ‘Stink Panther’, after the movie franchise of almost-the-same name.
It has an approximate value of $1,000.
The first thing that Ben did upon hearing about the diamond was to steal it. No strings or gadgets were needed. The second thing he did was allow the police to recover the diamond and return it to its proper owner.
Ben hoped that the owner would take some precautions to protect his investment but when he didn’t Ben stole it again.
And let the police recover it again.
This went on two more times before Ben finally realized that to the present owner the diamond just wasn’t worth the cost of protecting. They would never truly appreciate what they had, so he stole it one last time.
He brought it to his chalet in Monte Carlo and, after spending a few hundred thousand dollars on the most advanced security system known to mankind, that’s where it remains to this day.