Some people believe that all you need to do to bring an object of desire into your life is to harness the power of visualisation, in a “Law of Attractions” sort of way. Imagine how much fun you would have if you could turn your mind into a 3D printer. Until, that is, you have to explain to the authorities where all the stuff came from.
Simply wishing The Knot Garden into existence and building a vivid mental image of it will not make it materialise, as if by magic, from the ether. Effective planning and hard work are required and, like many projects, this one needs financing. The Knot Garden understands this and, in the spirit of independence, proclaims that it will be self-funding. When I ask it where the wealth will come from, it tells me to go to the Field of Gems.
Fortunately I already know this place, as I have been visiting it for more than sixteen years. That is how I spend my spare time – scrabbling around in the dirt on my hands and knees looking for precious gemstones.
I go to the Field (to use its abbreviated name) in the evenings and at weekends, when the workday hubbub has faded. Sparkling stones proliferate there, reflecting the light like a million tiny stars. They are scattered on the rough, scrub-covered ground or buried just below the surface.
You can buy any of the stones, which vary in price according to their size and colour. They are quite cheap but most of them have little value, just as you would expect of objects made from zirconium dioxide instead of carbon. And, in the cut-throat market of the Field, price is not an indicator of authenticity.
Simulated diamonds may look real but their distinct chemical composition and crystalline structure cause them to differ markedly from authentic gems in their brilliance, hardness, weight, density, thermal conductivity and light refraction index. And yet telling them apart, especially when working in the Field without any specialised equipment, is not easy.
Provenance is everything. Which would you rather own – a stone made in a matter of minutes in a microwave? Or one that grew naturally billions of years ago in that stable area of the Earth’s mantle known as the cratonic lithosphere?
The big problem with prospecting in the Field, as you will have guessed, lies in the very high ratio of artificial gems to real ones. Most punters buy bags full of stones, hoping to strike it rich. They work hard at selling the fakes to get their money back. Sometimes they get lucky but more often than not they are on a fool’s errand. They might as well be playing the lottery.
My strategy is different. I spend my time learning where to look for the real gems and how to recognise them. Finding a few good ones in a year is enough. I believe that in the long run the Field of Gems will reward my diligence.