final gem show thoughts, toward the metaphorical as so often
The spectacle of the Gem Show--the enormous, the ancient, the dazzlingly polished, the uniquely colored, and all the buying and selling--is the ultimate celebration of bright and shiny objects.
Of course, a bright and shiny object can be anything that catches your eye, holds your attention, and comes to represent something else. The "something else" could be simply beauty (is that why magpies hoard tinsel and aluminum foil in their nests?), or prestige ("I want people to see me wearing this expensive diamond"), or commitment to a practice or community or relationship ("I wear this shawl because I'm of this religion"/"This crystal will clear my psychic space"/"With this ring I thee wed").
Acquiring the bright shiny object is a dopamine hit--excitement of taking possession of the item, significance of time and place and intention. The more symbolic the object, the more of a "hit" you get when acquiring it. Symbolic could just mean "more expensive," but it could be a gift that cost no money. Some of my very favorite "gems" I picked up hiking beaches and hills.
So, how do we keep our bright shiny objects shiny?