Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The Indiana Jones of gemologists? The John Wayne of jewels? Is this a screenplay waiting to be ruined?

They're never going to arrest all the people responsible for Campbell Bridges' murder, are they? What a mess.

Reading about Bridges now, he seems almost like a serious real-life version of Dos XX's most interesting man in the world. Exploring Africa. Fighting off cape buffalo. Discovering gems. He was certainly too good for 70s ad men to pass up: "Soon after bringing tsavorite to the attention of gemologists in the U.S. in the early 1970s, Mr. Bridges became the stone's foremost pitchman. He appeared in the 1970s in ads from Tiffany & Co. touting 'the brilliant green gemstone that is far more durable and far less expensive than emeralds.' Before Mr. Bridges discovered the mineral, which was named for the Tsavo national parks near where his mine was located, 'only giraffes and other African animals knew about tsavorite,' the ads claimed." Story-telling has always been important.

And people can't stop romanticizing Bridges. "In the U.S., Mr. Bridges was retained as a consultant by Henry B. Platt, president of Tiffany, which bought quantities of...another gemstone Mr. Bridges specialized in, blue-purple tanzanite." If you've ever watched a home shopping show for even a minute, you know about tanzanite. It's rare! Buy it now! Too pricey? Go for the tanzanique. The simulant of our lifetime!

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