• Member Since 1st Nov, 2012
  • offline last seen 5 hours ago

Admiral Biscuit


That is not how fish work.

Sequels1

T
Source

This story is a sequel to The Trouble with Unicorns


Rarity's tour of the fashion houses of New York City is interrupted by a man who doesn't have enough money to buy his wife a pair of diamond earrings for Valentine's Day, so she gives him her own earrings.

Then she finds out how Earth's diamond market works.


Now with a reading by AShadowOfCygnus!

Chapters (1)
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Comments ( 158 )

Oh... It. Is. ON

This is the reason why goverments dont want cheap space access. If you aim for brute force asteroid mining, that is take several large solar sails with you in a collection of high quality inteligence robotic craft, the simplest method is to use the sails to focus sunlight onto the asteroid, and boil it. At the least, particles in space radiate and cool down quickly, and the different materials condense at different rates. You could start with sail sheets, graphene etc, then keep collecting like, eventually having slabs and blocks.

The other thing about not specifically seperating, is that by the time you have ten times global total gold deposits banked up, you have ten times global total of every other material as well. And youve probably boiled a single one of ten thousand similar sized rocks.

And so far, youve made no money, spent no money, but youve been building a massive mining fleet, and noones been getting tax returns from it.

A battleship will blow you out of space, but a mining ship will Eat you.

Wonder how much Rarity wouldve got for a thousand caret pink diamond? :raritywink:

8733961

Wonder how much Rarity wouldve got for a thousand caret pink diamond? :raritywink:

"Pink diamond? Why, those are just absolute gaudy trash. I have fifty of them collecting dust in the back trunk."

Dan

Since perfect diamonds are now being synthesized for scientific and industrial applications, the Debeers cronies are desperately trying to convice people that they're somehow inferior.

Maybe Rarity can dig out that old evil spellbook that let her make gold and crash the human gold market as well, since it's worthless except as an electrical conductor.

8733961

And so far, youve made no money, spent no money, but youve been building a massive mining fleet, and noones been getting tax returns from it.

Apart from the cost of getting the original fleet into space and the trillions spent in research and development inventing the whole process in the first place. Plus it would take quite a long time to do.

And of course the only known place to sell gold is back on earth and it might be a little difficult to get it all back again and make a profit on it.

Do not, under any circumstances, mess with Fashion Horse when it comes to gemstones. Otherwise, this happens.

Also, given how the spells in D&D that use diamonds as components usually raise the dead, it greatly amuses me that Equestrian spells that use them as foci are considered foal stuff.

8733997
Organic diamonds! Locally... er... ethically... uh...

Organic diamonds!

Rarity, I think I love you quite a bit more right now. :rainbowwild:

8734012

If mining bots can work accurately enough with 3D printed clockwork in iron, sapphire and glass so that they can asemble another of themselves in a year, so the bot is the material, Voyager has been out there for over 40 years and even normal launches can take a decade to sort out.

It doesnt matter how small or simple the first unit is, Could be ten tons, could be 100 kilos, all it needs to do iis get far enough out with enough time that its drive can work. Or failing that, make it look like a road car and get the test launch to do all the work. :trollestia:

So, what happened to tTwU 2 and 3?

IV? Why IV?

And the inventory of small products. Don't get me started on that. It is a nightmare.

I second the queries about this being IV. Actually, I'm probably tenth-ing them or something. Interesting story, though!

All morning, she browsed. She went into Barney’s with no intention of actually buying anything, and felt a little bit guilty at the salespeople who fawned over her.

The first thing I thought of when I read this was Estee's "One Tenth Bit".

Surely she must understand that diamonds are more rare on Earth, shouldn't she?

8734305
Diamonds are considerably more common on Earth than you think. They would be much less expensive if not for strenuous efforts over decades to drive up demand and artificially restrict supply. Granted, they're not practically vendor trash here, but there are multiple companies that could tank the diamond market if they really wanted to.

Well glad Rarity did some good! Only if more people understood how those companies are completely screwing us it would be funny. Diamond in the smaller sizes are completely common and they are charging an arm and a leg for rings with them.


8733997

Gold was valuable becuase it was once one of the ways a government backed its currency. There are plenty of people who think we need to go back to this way. Today it is valuable because the governments wants to control the majority of the supply. The exchange rate for the Dollar to Bit must be heavily in favor of the Bit.

That came with the advantages of a lower up-front cost and and established clientele; the biggest drawbacks were a loss of creative freedom and the possibility of contractual obligations that could continue even after she went solo.

Extra and

There's also the fact that diamonds are so much because of the marketing campaign surrounding them. Before 1950, no one really cared about them; they were actually considered to be cheap rocks that served as decoration for the more impressive gems. Then a bunch of guys hit on the idea that 'Diamonds are Forever' and that 'Every girl should have a rock on her finger', so they flooded the market with ads and jumped the price from a couple hundred bucks to thousands over night.

“You can't just go crashing global markets like that, Rarity.”

Classic Rarity.

"Pink diamond? Why, those are just absolute gaudy trash. I have fifty of them collecting dust in the back trunk."

i0.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/original/000/020/284/Face.png

You take that back!

Wunnerful! But... whar be II and III? :rainbowhuh:

Interesting, but I think it would have had an extra bit of impact to show one of the diamond dealers-just earth ones-freaking out about the sudden proliferation.

As it is, we feel satisfaction at them getting their just desserts, but it's only vague. It's a fair bit like having a monster story with a monster that eats babies, but we never see the monster and it's killed off by hunters we see for a few paragraphs near the end.

I mean, sure, there's satisfaction it's dead, but at the same time there's not much excitement to it.

It's a nice story, but Rarity's going to have her work cut out for her.
According to Bain and Co, the world production of diamonds of all types (rough) is 133 million carats per year, or (calculates) 26.6 metric tons. (yea, Google!) So if she brings in two tons of diamonds, that's about a month of production. Admittedly, for *finished* diamonds of a particular type, the numbers would be much lower, but still... Dang.

8734044

Organic diamonds! Locally... er... ethically... uh...

Organic diamonds!

They are good for...
um...

Your health! Yes, your health, of course!
You don't want to know the things they put on the synthetic diamonds... like, too much pressure. Our natural, organic, vegan diamonds are gluten and stress free. Buy them. For a lot of money.

8734515
Those were when the grand physic theory unification happened (a bunch of numbers here and there, the last state the universe will be is scenario 42), and when Big Mac discovered the Big Mac and the Mac, and uporpusely invented the Little Mac, a consumable device that banckrupted both Apple and Earth's apple market.


Also, Luna made a microwave explode on somw point.

Wow, a human - equestrian story I actually really enjoyed! Congrats, that takes work. And I loved Rarity and an economic force of nature.

Admirable show of restraint to not show how much Rarity just either obliterated or improved several small African nations. The immediate fallout of crashing the blood diamond market vs the long term repercussions would probably take another entire story just as long to go through in bullet points.

Hey, I'm gonna jump in here.

Two of my younger siblings are in the jewelry business. One as a diamond setter, the other as a diamond cutter. My uncle, who they work for, is a Gemologist. And while this story is certainly funny... its not factual.

Let's address some common misconceptions.

DeBeers owns a monopoly!
To an extent, this is true. There's two bits two DeBeers: the diamond company run by Nicky Oppenheimer and then DeBeers Group, a coalition of various mines, cutters and polishers who ensure that the industry is self-policed for pricing and quality. Is there a controlled cost, perhaps. This coalition is the LARGEST one such out there, holding a colossal share of the worlds market. I'm sure some price control goes on, the same with oil, or water, or anything else. If people worked for the cost, they'd make no money and no incentive to do it. But one company isnt gobbling up all the stones and holding them from the rest of us like a miser. Its like an industry Union that sets standards.

Millions of diamonds are produced each year!
Also very true! As someone said earlier 133 million carats per year are produced. But there's a SIGNIFICANT difference between an industrial grade diamond which is used for drills, lasers, computers, glass, windows, bits, or engraving and the kind you were on your finger. 99.999% (this isn't a joke number, its very factual) of diamonds are inherently worthless aesthetically but have dozens of uses outside of the jewelry world. But the crystal clear ice diamonds that jewelers pride themselves on, those are valuable because they ARE so rare. They're free of major debris, contaminants, and geological shifts or feathers. And, even bits of those are rare. Same with emerald, sapphires, and rubies. Those stones are really common. But the crystals themselves? The kind made into jewelry? Those are treasures of the earth.

Industrial
invedia.co.uk/images/products4_abig.jpg

Ice
sc02.alicdn.com/kf/HTB19KHZKFXXXXcHaXXXq6xXFXXXU/Precious-White-Rough-Diamond-Stones.jpg

And yeah. They're rocks. Nobody ever denied it. But they're rare rocks, the same way that a fossil of a dinosaur is a bunch of rocks. And a fossil is more valuable than some sandstone or anything else. Someone might pay millions for a fossil. And why not? Its the legit thing.

They're not worth that much, they're just shiny rocks
This is the part that pisses me off. 100%. Because behind every shiny rock is someone like my siblings. People who spent years and years in school, and then years and years at their craft and skill to MAKE something. To learn how to cut and polish, countless hours, so that the sparkle is just right, or that the shape captures all the best features. You're paying for a lifetime of professionalism and skill.

You're paying for the guy who dug it out of the mine. The guy who identified that it was worth something. The guy who cut it and its many facets. The guy who polished it to the perfect shine. The guy who designed the mountings it rests in. The guy who made the jewelry it sits in. And the guy that set it. All on a micro scale. Diamond jewelry take such a long amount of work, skill, and a wide range of professions to come to their final fruition. When you pay $3000.00 for a diamond, you're paying for a piece of art that took months of works, with years of skills and education. And the 4 Cs, Carats, Color, Cut, and Clarity all pay importance to this price. Some things are simply rarer than others.

Synthetic Diamonds are just as good
I mean, I guess. Yeah, they have the same features. But they're not green, not ethical for the amount of energy taken to make them, and at the end of the day are just frauds. You can have a copy of a painting hanging on your wall. You can drink Bud Light instead of Budweiser. You can support the Pats over the Eagles. You can drink grape juice instead of wine. You can give silk roses instead of real. But a fake is still a fake.

I'd buy a diamond because a nice one is a piece of art. I like the appeal of the real, that when the earths conditions were just right for this stone, and that man, in his infinite skill and power, cut it to beauty and set it in beauty. I know its people like my siblings who can turn something from a rough rock and make it sparkle like a star.


So yeah. I'm biased. Im a watchmaker and people dismiss my craft, my education, and my product. Why wear a watch when we all have cell phones. And they're my siblings, so Im always gonna protect them. But I whole heartedly believe what I say, and frankly, while the story itself was funny, you've also belittled the trade, skills, and work of an entire industry of artisans and craftsmen with the same repetitive lines and concepts and very little understanding of the other side of it.

They might not be unicorns who can magic things to perfection living in a land with perfect gemstones of perfect color and clarity. But they work with what they have, and do deserve that final price tag. The same way any craftsman or artisan deserve to be paid for their labor.

8734044
8734592

Actually, I've heard that the synthetic diamond people have started referring to their product as "Conflict Free" diamonds. After all, no one fought, bled, and died for them like the diamonds coming out of the mines in some African shi... crap-hole nation. Now that's a brillaint marketing campaign! :pinkiehappy:

8734518

Interesting, but I think it would have had an extra bit of impact to show one of the diamond dealers-just earth ones-freaking out about the sudden proliferation.

As it is, we feel satisfaction at them getting their just desserts, but it's only vague.

Wow. Did a Debeers agent kill your parents or run over your dog or something? :rainbowderp:

I mean, sure, I have no problem hating a giant monopolistic corporation that artificially inflates the price of it's product. But I don't know how much pleasure I'd get from reading about the high level CEOs who jump out of windows when they realize their corporation if broke and their pensions gone. Or the low lower level managers and flunkies who find themselves unemployed and unable to support their families. Or the diamon cutters and setters at the bottom of the hierarchy, who suddenly find their hard earned skills almost worthless. After all, who cares if you screw up the first few cuts? Diamonds are cheap after all!

Why, I bet you're the kind of person who laughs when the second Death Star explodes, giving not even a moment's thought to all the poor innocent contractors who must have been working on that project! You monster :raritycry:

[I shouldn't have to clarify this, but just in case: that was all sarcasm, of course. :rainbowkiss:]

now what mischief will the other tribes provide?

Then she finds out how Earth's diamond market works.

Iiiiit's a mystery - Earth's economy!

“I see.” Rarity didn't see, not at all. Diamonds like that were nearly as common as dirt. Spike sometimes snacked on them. “Thank you for your time.” She turned tail and left the shop.

The Rarity had an idea. An awful idea. Rarity had a wonderful, awful idea. :raritystarry:

(I'm pretty sure most Contact stories I've seen have actually banned precious metals and gemstones from being brought to Earth for this reason. In fact, isn't Silver Glow's Journal one of them? :trollestia: )

8734360
Governments wanting to control the supply is at best a secondary reason, as only a small percentage of the gold above ground is in governmental reserves. That secondary reason is subject to the first: that there are 5000+ years of human cultures who valued gold.

8734820
Regarding shiny rocks and synthetic diamonds not being as good:
If a synthetic diamond can be cut and polished so that an unassisted human, even a professional, cannot distinguish it from a natural one, then there should be no reason why it's not as "good" in a decorative sense.

8735078
I can get kinda get what he is saying. It may look identical, but feels cheap for being artificial. At least that's what I think he was saying.

8735078
Eh, genuinely poor example. That's like saying that that a painting reproduction cannot be distinguished from the original by an unassisted mook. It LOOKS similar, and for some people, thats enough.

But otherwise, its a fraud. There's a bunch of methods to determine the man made ones from the natural diamonds. I'm not saying they dont have a place in the market, but let's not pretend they're the same as the genuine article. Chemically, sure.

A painting is just paint after all.

“Just now there was a gentlest—manin here enquiring about a pair of earrings.

needs closing quotations.

A few day's work an Equestria

days'. on Equestria.

8735109
But what makes the naturally formed one more valuable?
The value should be in how it is artistically presented, and there is no difference in getting an artificial one into that state than a natural one, once the cost of producing or mining the crystal is passed.

And perhaps the value of fine art is not the best comparison, given that the fine art industry is also corrupt. The beauty of the art and the skill of the artist are not the biggest factors in determining the value of the art.

(In your previous comment you said artificial gems are not green or ethical. I don't know about how green they are, but at least you can be far more confident that no slave labour was involved in its production.)

Ri2

While this is great, where are Trouble II-III?

8733997

Maybe Rarity can dig out that old evil spellbook that let her make gold and crash the human gold market as well, since it's worthless except as an electrical conductor.

If only she hadn't promised Twilight not to. . . .

8734012

Apart from the cost of getting the original fleet into space and the trillions spent in research and development inventing the whole process in the first place. Plus it would take quite a long time to do.

And of course the only known place to sell gold is back on earth and it might be a little difficult to get it all back again and make a profit on it.

I think that's the biggest problem. I'd guess (although I don't know for sure) that unless the price of gold really skyrocketed (no pun intended), it's just not economically feasible to mine for it in space, even assuming that you could locate some.

Gold can also be produced in a particle accelerator, although the last time it was done, it cost millions and only produced atoms of gold; it can also theoretically be harvested from seawater, although again, not economically.

8734044

Do not, under any circumstances, mess with Fashion Horse when it comes to gemstones. Otherwise, this happens.

Exactly.

Also, given how the spells in D&D that use diamonds as components usually raise the dead, it greatly amuses me that Equestrian spells that use them as foci are considered foal stuff.

Huh, I didn't know that. Although I'd like to pretend that I did, and necromacy is something that foals learn in magic kindergarten.

Organic diamonds! Locally... er... ethically... uh...
Organic diamonds!

Eat recycled food! It's good for the environment and okay for you.

8734068

Rarity, I think I love you quite a bit more right now.:rainbowwild:

:heart:
Rarity is best pony.

8734121

So, what happened to tTwU 2 and 3?

Stories 2 and 3 of the trilogy will be along sooner or later.

8734230

IV? Why IV?

Because it's the fourth installment of the trilogy. 2 and 3 just haven't been published yet.

And the inventory of small products. Don't get me started on that. It is a nightmare.

I'm so glad that we generally don't have to deal with that at the shop. We've got so many nuts, bolts, and washers.

8734259

I second the queries about this being IV. Actually, I'm probably tenth-ing them or something.

It's a trilogy, and I'm just publishing the stories out of order, 'cause that's how I roll.

Interesting story, though!

Thanks!

8734305

The first thing I thought of when I read this was Estee's "One Tenth Bit".

I can't deny that the fact it was Barney's (as opposed to some other fashion house) was an allusion to Estee's story.

Or her mention of small things accumulating.

Surely she must understand that diamondsaremore rare on Earth, shouldn't she?

Of course she does. But she also understands that they don't have to be.

8734356

Diamonds are considerably more common on Earth than you think.

Especially if you dig down to the nougat-y core of the Earth.

They would be much less expensive if not for strenuous efforts over decades to drive up demand and artificially restrict supply.

Which, if I remember correctly, was largely DeBeers' doing.

Granted, they're not practically vendor trash here, but there are multiple companies thatcouldtank the diamond market if they really wanted to.

Back in the day, DeBeers was one company that could have (not sure that they could any more; they don't control as much of the market as they once did).

8734360

Well glad Rarity did some good! Only if more people understood how those companies are completely screwing us it would be funny. Diamond in the smaller sizes are completely common and they are charging an arm and a leg for rings with them.

I don't know if I'd say completely screwing--at a guess (not an expert) ones that aren't as pretty as the ones we want to see in jewelery are pretty cheap . . . there was an episode of Cody's Lab where he got industrial diamonds by sweeping up after a road construction project . . . if those had been gemstone quality, they would have been worth thousands; since they weren't, they were only worth cents.

Gold was valuable because it was once one of the ways a government backed its currency. There are plenty of people who think we need to go back to this way. Today it is valuable because the governments wants to control the majority of the supply.

According to one quick google search, governments hold about 30,000 tons of gold in total; private individuals hold about 100,000 tons, both in jewelry and other worked gold, and in bullion.

The exchange rate for the Dollar to Bit must be heavily in favor of the Bit.

If it's actual gold, then yeah.

Which is also funny, because it seems like gold is kind of worthless to the ponies, too.
lh3.googleusercontent.com/-FoAi5ZV9I2w/U1wzBby955I/AAAAAAABJzk/JHIzYYuXFSk/s1600/TheRoyalPrincessCleaningBrigade.png

8734367

Extra and

Fixed! Thank you!

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