29 Apr The Largest And Purest Diamond Ever Found
Rafael Solano, his back bent, his shoulders crushed by an invisible weight, sat on a boulder in the dry river bed. He lifted his head up slowly. It weighed a ton. He spoke in a low voice, his words almost incomprehensible. He mumbled again to his two friends.
They stopped gathering pebbles and looked at him.
“I can’t go on. I don’t believe in it anymore.”
The sweat glistened on his brow. The brilliant sun had parched his face to a network of fine blood vessels. Dark shadows outlined his eyes.
He held up a pebble in his hand. “The next one will be a million”
He threw the pebble down. It bounced off another stone and lay shining in the sunlight.
The year was 1942; the country, Venezuela.
Long hard months had passed for the three men prospecting for diamonds in the watercourse of their native country. They had worked relentlessly, driven by greed, by passion, by an outrageous hope for the future. They had stooped and gathered pebbles from sunup to sundown. They had fought off discouragement with talk about how they would spend their new found wealth. But all they ever found were pebbles. Now, as they all faced each other, their clothes were torn and filthy, merely rags, clinging to their gaunt bodies. They stank of long months of unwashed sweat, which had soaked into skin, hair, and what was left of their clothes.
“Pick up another pebble,” urged one of Rafael’s friends. “Make it a million.”
Solano sank down on his knees and sank his hands in the sand. He wriggled it around in the moist sand until he touched a large, hard object. He pulled out a sand-encrusted pebble about the size of a hen’s egg. He bounced the heavy pebble in his hand, a little surprised by the weight of it. His friends watched in awe as he brushed the pebble clean.
The millionth pebble, the largest and purest diamond ever found, was sold in New York to Harry Winston, a jewel dealer. He paid Rafael Solano $2,000,000 for the diamond.
The millionth pebble was affectionately named, “The Liberator.”
When all else fails, persist.
Rafael Solano and his friends had a wild dream. There was nothing sensible about this dream. It was, in fact, so far-flung, so outrageous, that a sensible person would have dismissed it at the first thought. They wanted to find diamonds. After much inquiry, they found a spot that had a reputation for being a possible site.
The men worked long and hard in apparently futile labor. They kept each others spirits up, and when, at the 999,999th pebble Rafael Solano was about to give up, his friends pushed him to continue.
Then as if on a cue, the universe gave back the men a million fold return on their sweat equity. After months of not having the slightest clue that they were in the right place, suddenly, quite unexpectedly, a diamond showed up, and it was a diamond of such epic proportions that they did not have to try any more.