Jewel Thefts

The Hope Diamond, 45.52 carats

Theft is such a hush-hush subject in the glamour world of extraordinary jewels and jewelry. In some cases, to speak the work evokes a fear of being jinxed or of compromising the security department, so jewelers typically do not like to talk about or share their theft stories. But we have to admit that perhaps the most intriguing and beguiling theft/ heist stories surround precious jewels, replete with drama, heroes, crooks, and blunders.

The constant commonality in every jewelry theft is, of course, greed paired with the lust to hold something priceless and beautiful. thieves normally do not purely discriminate as to a jewel’s owner or origin. The type of jewelry does not matter as much as the jewels it is made up of. Precious stones and metals are what mainly contributes to the monetary worth of jewelry.

Stolen pieces are usually are broken up immediately into smaller pieces and sold so that the jewels can never again be identified. Who knows if stolen stones are sitting on your finger or in your grandma’s jewelry box.

The value placed on jewels have even effected event in history.

Several historians believe that the theft of a diamond necklace, may have played a participatory role in the French Revolution. Napoleon himself is said to have thought so too. Numerous books have been written about the scandalous affair that shook and possibly brought down the court of Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette with the Hope Diamond.

What intrigues me most about jewelry thievery is that the people who own them stow them away in a safe never to see the light of day and people who steal them would risk everything to own them. Those who can have the luxury of owning expensive jewels just keep them locked in a safe. They are never worn and never seen most of the time. There exists a concept that such ownership exalts power and pride. Owning valuable jewelry commands attention and personal satisfaction in that you can afford to own such a lavish and unnecessary object. People who steal are seeking the wealth and power people have culturally attached with precious stones and metals. Thieves are typically from poorer background and are looking for a piece of the pie. The thought that they would risk everything they owned, going to jail, or even their lives further iterates the human desire and ideas surrounding value.

Human sacrifices made to own extravagant jewel made me think about the story The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant. It is a story about a woman who imagines herself in high society, looking beautiful and owning wonderful jewels; however, she comes from nothing and married poor. She ends up being invited to the party of the town, but has nothing to show for since she has nothing acceptable to wear. She ends of ‘stealing’ a diamond necklace from a wealthy friend of hers, with the intention of returning it the next day as if it had never left. She has her Cinderella moment at the party, but soon realizes that the necklace is no longer around her neck.She spends a massive amount of money to buy a replacement diamond necklace and lives the remainder of the life in poverty and paying back debts. One day, her rich friends happens upon on the street and questions weathered looks. She admits to her friend that she had taken her necklace, lost it, and had to pay a fortune to replace it. Her rich friend responds that she had only taken a fake version made from paste worth at most 500 francs.

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