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A Story a Day #16: Corrado Alvaro




February 21st, 2020

"The Ruby"

Corrado Alvaro


An Indian prince is visiting America and somehow loses a very large ruby that he was travelling with. The taxi driver searches his car and tries to contact the other travellers from that day but comes up with nothing. An Italian man is on his way back to Italy and looks at this strange stone he found in the back of the taxi. He finds it odd and assumes it must not be worth much because it doesn't have a hole in it like the jewels fancy women wear around their neck. Regardless, he keeps it. He sets up a small shop in Italy and tries to sell pens. Eventually, he passes the crystal down to his son.


This story toys with the idea of value. Clearly something of value seems to become not valuable when it falls into the hands of someone who doesn't know what it is. The Italian man loves the crystal, but not because it is worth a lot of money, but because it reminds him of the early days of his shop and moving back to Italy.


It is always interesting to see how people place value upon different objects and why. For some, it is simply based on how much money the thing is worth. For others, it is how functionable it can be. Most people also have objects that are largely useless, but very valuable to them because they remind them of certain people or a certain time.

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