Tag Archives: diamonds

What Next?

The Prime Minister, the Health Minister and the Government’s Chief Medical Officer have all self-isolated after experiencing symptoms of coronavirus or testing positive. I have just been reading an article noting all the times that they were seen in public without the required public distancing.

You may have noticed that a certain eagle-eyed blogger had already mentioned that. That is proof to me, if to nobody else, that I am the victim of a cosmic conspiracy to prevent me getting the recognition I deserve. I really should be rich and famous for my successful column in a national paper. Instead, I am not rich and only famous to my dozen regular readers. I’m happy with that, though maybe not quite as happy as if I were rich.

I tend to think of my regular readers as a selected elite – a sort of Crown Jewels of bloggers. When you have the Koh-i-Noor in your crown you don’t need a slew of lesser stones.

Diamonds are fascinating things, though the fascination is slightly dimmed by the barbarous nature of their history. I’m fascinated by the fact that the largest uncut diamond ever found, the Sergio, was broken up for use in industrial drills, whilst the second largest, the Cullinan, was cut into nine stones and two of them ended up in the Crown Jewels.

It’s a bit like my story.Two writers, both writing about the same subject. One is well-paid and successful. The other is me. I can only hope that Sergio had a rich inner life and a good wife, though having a wife with a price above rubies probably doesn’t mean quite as much to a diamond.

All this is just a sort of preamble to admitting I have nothing new to say. There is only so much to be said about panic-buying, lockdown and boredom. Not that I’m actually bored. I’m being paid to stay at home chatting to Julia, writing and texting friends and family. There will, if I live through it, be a good chance that I look back on this time with nostalgia.


10 Bad Things to Buy on Ebay

I covered this briefly a few days ago, when suggesting Ebay was a bad place to buy a diamond. John Knifton followed up by suggesting it was also a bad place to buy a horse. That immediately took over as Number One on the list. Diamonds, for the moment, are Number Nine on the list. I’m going to put “Things with blurred photos” at Number Ten. I haven’t been on Ebay for a while and the standard of photography seems to have gone down so that many slapdash postings seem to be accompanied by pitifully blurred photographs.

I’ve just bought something with a blurred photograph. I can’t escape the idea that the blur was deliberate.

Here’s an initial plan – let me know if you have any ideas that should be Top Ten.

Horses. Always a tricky thing to buy at the best of time, but with the added problems of internet anonymity and sloppy standards this could be a real problem. Blurred pictures of teeth are a further complication. Anyway, have you really got a big enough garden?

Bomb making manuals. Buying one of these could see you booked into prison for a spot of waterboarding. This sounds like it fits in nicely with surfboarding and snowboarding but don’t be fooled. It doesn’t, despite all you may have heard about prisons getting soft, and it can really make for a bad holiday.

Large amounts of chemical fertiliser. Unless you are a farmer. See above.


  1. Horses
  2. Bomb-making manuals
  3. Chemical fertiliser (large amounts)
  4. TBA
  5. TBA
  6. TBA
  7. TBA
  8. TBA
  9. Diamonds
  10. Things with blurred photographs


That leaves five slots, and if your suggestions are good enough they could easily displace some of the others.

What are your nominations, or horror stories?

The Cost of Daily Blogging

If you are as disorganised as me, one of the penalties of daily blogging is that you end up with less than an hour to post and keep your streak going. I could, if I had due regard for my readers and quality of my output, miss a day. However, when have you ever known me flinch from writing a cynical lightweight post just to make my stats look good?

That’s right, I’ve never flinched from cynical lightweight posts.

I refer, of course, to the cynicism inherent in writing a piece of fluff just to get a tick for the day. The normal cynicism of my character remains constant regardless of the need to write.

Today I offer the following advice to my fellow bloggers.

Always buy the best quality diamond you can afford. Remember the Four C’s of diamond buying. Cut, Colour, Clarity, Carat. Go for quality and do not be dazzled by size. Note that the carat weight of the stone comes last on the list. Better have a smaller sparkling diamond of top quality than a dull diamond of larger size.

Coloured diamonds, whilst expensive are just a novelty and, in my opinion, will be subject to the vagaries of fashion and harder to sell if the need arises.

When I worked out of a jewellers shop I once saw a large diamond that had been bought as an investment. It was large and it was cheap, and it was, to be fair, quite white. However, it didn’t sparkle, it was almost milky, and it had a selection of inclusions (bits of carbon and the like). We had to say that in our opinion it was unsaleable.

It hadn’t cost a fortune so it was a disappointment and a broken dream rather than a crippling financial blow. It was also a lesson about not buying diamonds on ebay.

This is a lesson in life, and can be applied to other areas. My mother always said it is better to have the worst house in a good area than the best house in a bad area. Some friends of our bought a lovely big house in a bad area. By the time they’d fitted security, bought a dog and borrowed a baseball bat it seemed less of a bargain.

It’s nearly midnight now so I’ll leave it here. The photos show the book reviews you can expect over the next few weeks.