Jan De Vries had been a gem sorter for his entire adult life. In fact, August would mark his thirtieth year in the trade.
It had been a rather run-of-the-mill day at the Exchange when the new hire, Daan Van de Walle called to attract his attention.
“Meneer De Vries, I think you should see this,” the young man said with air of excitement.
“What is it now?” the master sorter asked dismissively.
When he reached Van de Walle’s table, the apprentice handed him a stone. Jan put his glass into his eye and scanned the gem. “Yes, it is a flaw,” he announced.
“Yes Sir, it is, but please look closer,” Daan said as he handed him a magnifying glass.
In nearly three decades, De Vries had never heard of such a thing, much less witness it. But it was irrefutable. There before him was a discovery that would change our understanding of the world. There encased in the stone was a tiny channel and in the channel was an even smaller ladder.
Maybe Horton was right!