Books, Culture and Society

Red Diamonds are a Pulp Writers Best Friend

For centuries the elusive red diamond has captured man's imagination. The rarest gemstone in the world, less than twenty-five red diamonds are known to exist. They seldom go on sale, and when they do the price-tag is always staggering and numbering many millions of dollars. And the red diamond's beauty is as staggering as its value.

Red Diamonds are a Pulp Writers Best Friend

Thomas McNulty is the author of Errol Flynn, a critically acclaimed biography, and the novels, “Trail of the Burned Man”, “Wind Rider”, and “Death Rides a Palomino”, who is also an avid Pulp Fiction fan of audio books on cd. http://www.goldenagestories.com/audiobooks

With a sparkle sharper even than a ruby, its blood red color has a cataclysmic effect when light strikes its surface. Diamonds have always been coveted for their value and beauty, but a red diamond is the stuff of legend.

Red diamonds come in several hues including a deep red (known as the “fancy red”) which is the most desirable and the rarest. Other hues include a purplish tint, and a brownish red.

In 2001 Moussaieff Jewelers purchased a 13.00 carat fancy red and is believed to be the largest having been appraised. Now referred to as “The Moussaieff Red” this diamond was on display at the Smithsonian Museum in 2003 as part of a display called “The Splendour of Diamonds.”

The diamond trade itself is sometimes fraught with peril. Mined under tight security by corporations that tightly control every facet of their daily operations, the diamond trade is still ripe with tales of smugglers, lost treasures and a brand of merchant known as the I.D.B (Illicit Diamond Buyer).

A diamond’s value is based upon four criteria. The first is color, the second is shape, the third is the presence or absence of blemishes, and lastly its weight must be considered. A diamond’s unit of weight is the metric carat which is equal to 200 milligrams or 3.086 grams.

Diamonds have inspired stories and legends for centuries, and for one writer working during the Depression (L.R. Hubbard) they served as the inspiration for an action-packed pulp tale.

The pulp writers of the 30s and 40s were never lacking ideas. The pulps emerged as a vital form of entertainment during the Great Depression, and the writers slammed out their stories at a furious pace in order to meet the public demand for action-packed tales of daring-do. It was a glorious Golden Age of literary excitement as America suffered the traumas of the Depression and World War II.

The best of these writers often took their inspiration from the day’s headlines. Their stories reflected the realties of the era while never losing track of the idea they were meant as entertainments. So it is that L. Ron, Hubbard, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Talbot Mundy and many other writers of the period are so fondly remembered.
Their stories helped define a generation.

L. Ron Hubbard’s “The Trail of the Red Diamonds” was originally published in Thrilling Adventures magazine in 1935. In this exciting tale Lt. Jonathan Daly comes across a reference to red diamonds while translating passages from Marco Polo’s Travels, Daly sets out on a spellbinding adventure into China.

Diamonds, being a mineral form of carbon, will last forever. Diamonds are the hardest substance known to man. The pulps magazines derived their name from the wood pulp paper they were printed on and over the decades have suffered the ravages of time.

Their entertainment value and their literary importance are assured which makes these reprints a valuable addition to any home library.

These are stories that sparkle with the luster of a diamond. And like the red diamonds that have enticed Lt. Jonathan Daly, readers will find a wealth of riches in pulp fiction stories, like, “The Trail of the Red Diamonds” that glitter “like the sun through red- stained quartz”.

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