Time Travel Tourmaline
If I could time travel, I would go back to my ten-year-old self in 1959 and try to explain to the kid back then that he, 64 years later, would hold in his hands four green Maine tourmaline necklaces set with a triangle-cut Maine tourmaline, each one surrounded with diamonds.
The detail that would blow the kid’s mind is that two of the green Maine tourmaline are labeled Kryptonite green. As a collector of comic books in 1959, the kid’s eyes would widen. Then, as I told him that the shape of the tourmaline and the shape of the diamond surround was similar to the shield on the front of Superman’s costume, he would start to question everything.
I would go on to say that the four pieces’ value together is $11,445. As a ten-year-old, he knew his family’s finances well and knew his dad had purchased the family farm and 40 acres of rolling hills for $11,500…five dollars more than the four pieces of tourmaline jewelry. Not done yet, the old guy would repeat that the old guy was the kid a half-century in the future and that the old guy owned all four pieces of jewelry, and that the old guy owned the kid’s grandfather’s jewelry store, Cross Jewelers.
Here’s What I Imagine Happened:
The ten-year-old asked, “Are these really Maine gems?”
I said, “Yes, absolutely.” Then I said, “In 13 years, gem mining in Maine’s western mountains will take off with millions of dollars in gems to be found, especially tourmaline.”
So the ten-year-old settled down; he looked deep into the old guy’s eyes and said, “Let me see if I’ve got this straight. So you are me? You own Cross Jewelers, and these necklaces are yours, which means they are mine.”
The old guy looked back long and deep and said, “Yes and no. They will be yours in 60 years, but you’ll have to wait.”
The kid asked, “So why are these two called Kryptonite?”
I responded, “Do you see the color differences between the two ordinary greens and the two labeled ‘Kryptonite’? When we cut those two gems, we cut them in an unusual position within the crystal, and the color came out Kryptonite green. Do you know who named these two gems?”
The ten-year-old said, “No! Who?”
“You did! Because of the Superman comics you’ve been reading.”
The kid said, “No way! How do you know these things?”
I said, “I know everything you know, so I, too, know the color of Kryptonite.”
The ten-year-old said, “Can I keep one of these?”
The old guy said, “No! You’ll have to wait.”