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Letter from Oskar Speck to his sister Emmi

Date: 20 September 1970
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Nancy Jean Steele Bequest
Object Copyright: © Australian National Maritime Museum
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Letter
Object No: ANMS0540[019]

User Terms

    Description
    Letter from Oskar Speck to his sister Emmi typed in German and dated 20 September 1970. The letter talks about how Emmi should have her opal set, and mentions the return trip to Australia.
    Translation
    • Oskar Speck Killcare, 20 September 1970 Dear Emmi, I received your letter today and since you were saying that the opal might be set before Christmas, I’ll write back to you straight away. I’m a bit of and opal crank (meaning mad about opals). One has to be in order to be successful in that business. That’s why I always feel sorry when an opal gets messed up due toby someone's ignorance. I received a letter from a friend in Darmstadt this week. He had bought a stone for a ring for his wife worth more than DM 500.- and the jeweller broke it. Jewellers in Germany know very little about opals and that’s why it is better for me to write to you so that you can give the right instructions to the jeweller. The opal you have has to be set in claws and these claws have to be made of soft gold. The gold will grip the stone and there will be no danger to the stone during the setting. Normally, jewellers fashion the claws from hard gold or platinum, , which causes the metal to oscillate which can in turn break the stone. This method works wellis no problem with diamonds, as they don’t chip and are so hard that they never have to be taken out of the setting. Precious opals, , however, , are soft stones and if they are worn doing all kinds of housework and gardening they get scratched and have to be repolished. So usually, they have to be taken out of the setting even before the softest gold is worn in order to be repolished. This can be done hundreds of times and the stone will be as good as new each time. Normally, an opal can be worn for at least twenty years before it has to be repolished, , it depends on how well the stone is taken care of. Yours is a good stone, so you should make sure it cawon’t be damaged. A good ring made of 18 carat gold (7 50 ) should cost around DM 125.- to 150.- at a reputable jeweller’s in Hamburg. I had a ring made at Bad Kissingen, , first class, , and it cost DM 125.- In Darmstadt the price was DM 150.-. I got over the return trip back all right. From Zurich I camewent from Zurich back to here. As far as Darwin it was warm if not hot at all the stop-overs. Here in Sydney it was very cold when I arrived. It is still winter here in August and it can get quite uncomfortably cold then. In Australia we haveget all climates at the same time. It depends on whether you are on the coast or in the mountains, , in the north or in the south. I don’t know when I’ll go back to Germany again. Next year it’ll be America and Japan. I can do very little business in Europe. Due to the high taxes here (we pay higher taxes than in Germany), I will always try to link my holiday trips with some business purposes so that I can claim the cost. Otherwise, I’m doing very well here. Even though people here probably think of me as a rich man, I would for heaven’s sake never want to become a Heinrich Speck. I’d rather be poor. Well, , I suppose my experiences in life experiences have beenare very different too, , so it’ll never be a question of that. If you ever wanted to come here after your retirement, , you’d be welcome here any time. There’s always room. I do have a flat in Sydney, , too, , even though I don’t spend much time there, , and a huge house here in Killcare with an enormous garden. So, , it’s a good place for a holiday. My best regards to everyone, , Yyour brother Oskar
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