Ch. 6: The Cutters

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220
DrAMOND
mind a yellow tinge; it looks all right against their skin; some­times they even prefer a yellow stone to a white one, and speak­ing for myself I think they're right. On some women white stones don't look good. Well, all of a sudden down came the Bamboo Curtain and I couldn't sell my stones there, and where else was I to dispose of them? I lost heavily on that deal."
Antwerp and the diamond-cutting industry in general, I re­flected, are a long cry from the unfortunate Koh-i-nur. I said as much to a diamond man I had met at the club and saw again at the airport, waiting for the same plane back to London as I was. We had plenty of time to discuss such matters; we could have talked thoroughly about most of the stones in Streeter's catalogue of great gems before we got to Waterloo. Speaking by the timetable it is a short jump from Belgium to England, but as things worked out we were sitting in the airport all day. There was fog over Antwerp; there was fog over London. It was a damp, depressing day, a good day to think about fiery, flashing diamonds.
"It's a funny thing the way these stones borrow legends from each other," I said at last. "That story about the Sancy—or was it the Sancy really?—having been stolen from an idol's eye. Well, I read somewhere that Tavernier stole the Great Mogul like that, right out of an Indian temple, which is ridiculous."
His reply was interrupted by the long-awaited summons to our plane. We filed like sheep out of the fold, past the barrier, out into the wet air, up the little stairs, and into our strapped seats.
"About that idol's eye," he said, "it did happen, you know, more than once. I don't know that particular stone, but I do know that a maharaja brought our firm two diamonds he wanted recut for modern setting. They were perfectly matched,
Ch. 6: The Cutters Page of 303 Ch. 6: The Cutters
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