Sunday, November 23, 2014

Imperfection is beautiful

A piece of amber with an insect inclusion! Remake of "Jurassic Park" anyone?
I still remembered the day I joined the group chat that some mummies from Kit's preschool class had formed on Whatsapp. What started as a support group for our children's educational needs became a gossip channel, and we soon found out what one another do for a living, what our husbands do, how old we all are (assuming everyone's telling the truth, heh!), what's the best photo editing app, etc. And that's how I got to know Huiying, a gemologist. She had all the mummies' attention by sharing a picture of a $15 million blue diamond and that inadvertently got the daddies worried.

It's not often that one gets to meet a gemologist. Well, at least not me since I don't own many any big bling-blings that require grading.

Looking at the amber under the super-duper powerful Leica microscope.
Huiying's a director with Far East Gem Institute. She also certifies diamonds and gems and trains people interested in becoming a gemologist. Kai had been asking loads of questions lately (thanks to Minecraft) on diamonds and gems. "How do gems get their colour?" "Where can gems be found?" "Can diamonds be found near volcanoes?" "How does one split a diamond?" The list goes on.

With exams finally over, I asked HY if she would entertain an inquisitive 8yo at her workshop. I was so glad she said yes.

Ruby in granite.
Our jaw dropped when we entered her office and saw the collection of gems on display. Kai was hopping up and down like a crazed bunny when he found an emerald, which I just discovered is one of the rarest materials in the Minecraft world! What is refreshing for me is the chance to see gems in their most unpolished, uncut form as some of them were literally picked up on site from mines or mountains or whichever site HY and her family were surveying/working at. I love the colour of the two rubies^ encased in granite. Looks so yummy!!!

But Kai has his eyes set on a bigger piece of ruby….

Diamonds in the rough.
Kai wanted to see diamonds under the powerful Leica microscope but HY said perfect diamonds are so boring, and she brought out some really, really interesting specimens for him. We saw, for instance, a diamond with a garnet inclusion (a small piece of red garnet formed inside the diamond). The highlight for me was when she showed me diamonds in the rough^. They signify so much promise and I wonder what we'd see if we chip and polish away the outside.

I canceled math tuition so that I could bring Kai to HY's, and I am so grateful to her for the opportunity. It opened up a whole new world to Kai and it was an experience that we'd never forget. It showed him that there is beauty even in imperfection, and that is a message I told him to hold in his heart always. It's rough being a student in an academic environment focused on perfection, top grades, excellence in sports/CCAs, and it can get overwhelming for children with learning disabilities. He comes home from school some days, feeling defeated and totally unsure of himself.

It's ok, baby. What is imperfection anyway? It's just a definition. Make your own definition of beauty, baby, and the rest of the world will see it.

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