Treasure Hunt Tycoon Chapter 461


Chapter 461: Appraisal Party

The little bug activated its Relive the Past ability, and the past experiencing involving the rubies and its related artwork appeared one at a time.

The first scene was of a plump black man hitting a boiler-like apparatus. Behind him was a testing counter with a pile of gorgeous "rubies."

The second scene was also this place but with even more rubies. There were more black men, who were looking at the rubies through magnifying glasses. Some of the rubies were left on the table while others were being thrown into the trash bin below.

Seeing this, Li Du was certain that these rubies were fakes. They were man-made synthetic rubiesmost detested by those in the jewelry trade.

The skill for making synthetic red rubies had been in existence for more than half a century now. They were low in cost to make, and their value was insignificant compared to that of natural rubies.

How low was the cost exactly? Most of the cost could be attributed to the fees for cutting and grinding rather than that of the raw materials and production. Hence, unscrupulous jewelers would sell synthetic rubies in place of natural rubies in order to make huge profits.

Synthetic rubies had such a bad name because their appearance had almost destroyed the ruby industry.

There were a few different methods to form synthetic rubies: heat fusion method, flux method, hydrothermal method, Verneuil method, and et cetera. Some forging methods were superb because in terms of their chemical aspects, synthetic rubies were almost exactly the same as natural rubiesit was not easy to tell them apart.

Under such circumstances, many had lost interest in natural rubies because it was all too easy to be deceived.

Li Du did not know if the three of them had been duped or if they had brought these fakes to dupe him. Having discovered that the rubies were fakes, he became even more suspicious of their identities.

After some thought, he tried to quiz them by asking, "These rubies are really beautiful, but are they real? I heard that some synthetic rubies look so real, that it's really difficult to differentiate the real ones from the fakes."

Without batting an eyelid, Du Dayuan smiled. "How can one not tell the difference between the real and the fake? Li, you've been deceived by the information on the Internetthe real ones cannot be faked, and the fake cannot pass as real. With one look, the experts will be able to tell if the ruby's natural or synthetic!"

"These are all real?" Li Du asked.

Du Dayuan said confidently, "Of coursehow could we from Christie's take in fake rubies? These are genuine rubies that have been appraised by several expert gemologists at our auction house."

Ma Cheng added, "At this autumn auction in Phoenix, they were one of the highlightsmany came to the auction just for them."

As he said that, he took out an information sheet on the said Christie's auctionthere was indeed a write-up on jewelry with rubies.

Seeing this information, Li Du's suspicions started to waver again.

Du Dayuan put the rubies away and then took out his work permit for a look. "Thank goodness, I didn't get coffee on my permit."

Li Du's heart fluttered. Right, I could also check these work permits.

The little bug used its time travel ability once again to check Du Dayuan's work permit.

The first scene that appeared looked to be a secret room in a basement. Du Dayuan, Ma Cheng, and some other people were busy working in front of some machines. Some were in charge of photographs, some were in charge of graphic design, while others were in charge of printing.

Later on in the scene, Li Du saw someone who should not have appeared: Ma Zhi-an.

Ma Zhi-an was operating a heating machine, and attaching the permit to a layer of tempered film.

Upon seeing this, Li Du could not help but curse and swear in his mind: These guys are cheats! Not just themMa Zhi-an is also a cheat!

They could have been cheated by someone else in regards to the fake rubies, but how could they explain the forging of the permits? Could it be that Christie's work permits had all been made in this secret room by these few Chinese men?

This fraudulent act was too elaborate; although he had seen the truth with his own eyes, he still found it incredulous.

Without a doubt, Ma Zhi-an and the others had put in great efforts to cheat him. But what was their motive? He was only a treasure hunter; he may have gotten many valuable items, but since he had not disclosed this, they would not have known about them.

While Li Du stood there filled with doubt, Ma Cheng said, "Li, do you still have other things for us to appraise? Quick, take them out, and we'll help you to take a look."

Hearing Ma Cheng trying to rush him, he could not help but sneer as he considered getting Luo Qun in here to teach these guys a lesson.

But it dawned on him in time that the police had no reason to arrest the trio as they had yet to cheat himthey had merely helped him identify some fake famille rose porcelain ware.

Even if they were arrested, they could simply say that it was just a bunch of Chinese people playing a prank amongst themselves. The police would not be able to do anything about it.

As he was hesitating, Hans's phone rang.

He used this to his advantage, trying to delay the men. "Hang on. Big Fox, who's calling you?"

"It's that guy Olly," Hans said as he answered the call.

After a while, he hung up and said, "Olly and the rest want to throw a party to thank you for bringing them to the Hopi Reservation where they managed to get all that great stuff.

"In addition, they also told me a piece of news. Frank and the other California guys found out that we went to the Hopi Reservation. They also plan to go there and take a look."

Li Du nodded, and then had a "lightbulb moment"he thought of another plan, and if it were to succeed, he could kill two birds with one stone!

Ma Cheng could not conceal his surprise upon hearing Hans's words. "You guys have been to the Hopi Reservation? And even got some Native American artwork? They must have quite a number of valuable items with them."

Li Du laughed, "Right, but they've been placed at our cabin. To appraise them, you would have to go to there."

"You have a cabin?" Du Dayuan asked hesitantly. "Where is it? It may not be that convenient for us to go there."

Li Du said, "It's in Flagstaff, not far from here. Don't worry, the items are absolutely safe being kept at our cabin. Another great thing is that, if you go there, besides helping us with the appraisal, you can also help our friends outthey also have plenty of good stuff."

Ma Cheng licked his lips, and the three of them exchanged looks before he said, "Sure, we'll go take a look. Master Du, just be careful when you come across good gems."

Li Du said, "That's great. Don't worry, there's no problem with safety at our cabin. Or maybe I shall throw a partyan appraisal party. How about that?"

The trio readily agreed, their faces showing keen anticipation.

"Inform everyone about the party, and ask them to bring their valuable items for the masters to appraise," Li Du told Hans. "And also inform Frank and York."

"Why inform the Californian guys?" Hans asked, disgruntled.

Li Du said, "Don't they have silver worth hundreds of thousands of dollars? Let the three masters help them with the appraisal. Help them out so that we can mend bridges with them."

Ma Cheng laughed, "Hey Li, are you treating us as free laborers? You've got yourself some able help here, haha!"

Although the words indicated resentment, the tone was pleasant. Evidently, he was more than willing to play the role.

Li Du was willing to let him do so.