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Olympia. Thank God. It is over. Finally! And well over too.
Congrats to the Chinese people. No major loss of face. Some expropriated and arrested grandmas, some faked children, some underage athletes, yes, yes, but nobody is perfect, especially not a big country.
What remains? For me as a gem trader one thing stands out: 50.000.000 carat of Andesine.
It turns out Andesine has won gold in scamming this year, even in the highly competitive field of gem traders.
For those who are not informed: Some, probably Chinese, mastermind bought 50 tons of pretty worthless Mexican feldspar years ago, artificially colored it red and created a new brand called “Natural Tibet Andesine”. Great name. Great origin. Especially for making it the Olympic gemstone and sell it to unsuspecting tourists at $500 per carat instead of $5, which is what it is actually worth.
Well, well, in the gem trade such a plot is no novelty; it has been done many time and it will be done in the future. What makes this case so refreshing is the scale of publicity. While Omega and GE have paid millions to be associated with Olympia 2008, Andesine’s mastermind just spread rumors and engraved the five rings into the gem.
So, we have a fake gemstone sold in millions as fake Olympic gem. That is gold in all scamming disciplines.
China, we forgive you. Nobody is perfect.
Why is stealing a mortal sin? I wasn’t really sure, besides a vague moral feeling, until I was mugged, last week.
Now I realize: stealing reduces the value of goods for a society.
From an evolutionary point of view it is as easy as that. After the Vikings visited a French village there was not much left except what little the Vikings couldn’t carry away. The rest was broken, spilled, burned, dead or traumatized. BUT, for humanity, the village, as a value producing entity, was worth far more than the sad plunder the Vikings dragged away.
However the French had little choice, until somebody came up with the idea of rather giving away the whole village and renaming it Normandy. Thus the Vikings didn’t destroy it all but sat back and enjoyed the fruits of their former victim’s labor. Not all ideal for the French, but it sure beats getting raped and plundered annually.
On my smaller scale some Sri Lankans climbed over the roof and into my unprotected office. They emptied a tray of gems and ran. Nobody got hurt, no window was broken, and yet the loss for Sri Lanka as a whole was much greater than the value of the stolen goods.
Without certificates, without grading reports and international sales channel those gems are now worth only a fraction of what they were with us. Sri Lanka as an exporting country has suffered a loss. Police, the avenging angels of mortal sin, should have protected their society from that loss. Forget that.
I think our bible-writing forefathers knew that for society as a whole stealing is a bad deal.
There hidden may also be the reason why international white-color crime is less dangerous than stealing somebody’s workshop tools in a small village. While the latter directly damages a small society seeking revenge, the former causes far more damage but ‘only’ to a remote and powerless entity, taxpayers or banks seeking only refunds, while the village hacks off the thieve’s hands, we read the newspaper with a shrugging sigh, hoping that a lengthy law suits ends at worst with five years of sabbatical in a comfortable one bed room, with all limbs attached.
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