The value of a stone

There was once a king who was a faithful follower of a saint. Once the saint asked the king to show him his treasure. The king felt very happy and personally brought him to his palace to show him his rich treasure, which was a huge collection of diamonds, rubies and other precious stones.

The saint asked the king, “How much profit do you make from these stones?”

The king replied, “Nothing. In fact, I have to spend a lot on keeping a tight security for them.”

To this, the saint replied, “Let me show you a stone even more precious than these.”

The king was happy to spend some more time with the saint and went with him. After a long walk, they reached the house of an old widow who was grinding wheat to make flour using a grind-stone.

The saint smiled at her and said to the king, “This stone makes flour for hungry people and also helps this old lady make a living. Isn’t this more precious than all of your stones?¬†There is a great difference between being expensive and being useful. What you call precious is only expensive; those stones have no value otherwise. This old rugged grind-stone is helping people make a living while your stones are a waste of a lot of money unnecessarily just on security.”

Image above: In December of 2000, India issued six postage stamps on gems and jewellery as a part of Indepex-Asiana 2000 international stamp[s exhibition. For details on individual stamps, visit

Image below: United Arab Emirates issued a set of six postage stamps on women’s traditional jewellery on Dec. 30, 2006.

Images courtesy