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Old 02-04-2020, 11:41 AM
Bijou Drains is offline
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Hope Diamond was mailed to the Smithsonian


It was registered mail and insured for $1 million. Estimates now say it's worth $250 million. You would think it was sent by special courier but I suppose the owner was too cheap to pay for that.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hope_Diamond
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Old 02-04-2020, 01:04 PM
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At the Tower of London in the Jewel House there's a similar story about the Koh-i-Noor diamond, but weirdly I can't find it online and Wikipedia contradicts what I read at the Tower, going with it really being sent by ship. The story at the Tower of London was that the diamond was supposedly sent by ship, and the people guarding it encountered pirates and had lots of adventures on the way, imagining they were guarding the jewel, whereas the real diamond was actually sent by Royal Mail and collected by an ordinary postman who had no idea what he was delivering to the Tower.

Guess I'll have to get a photo of the display next time I'm at the Tower in person.
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Old 02-04-2020, 01:32 PM
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You may be thinking of the Cullinan Diamond, which was sent by post from Africa.
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Old 02-04-2020, 01:48 PM
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US government SECRET information can be mailed as well.
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Old 02-05-2020, 05:54 AM
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You may be thinking of the Cullinan Diamond, which was sent by post from Africa.
That's it! Thanks. The Tower of London display makes the ship journey sound dangerous and hilarious considering the stone wasn't with them after all.
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Old 02-05-2020, 06:00 AM
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I ordered a pair of pants on-line and weeks later it hadn't shown up. I guess somebody must have thought there was a precious diamond in that package.

(Epilogue: Eventually, it did show up, sans diamond.)
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Old 02-05-2020, 07:33 AM
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There was a news clip where someone used the regular mail to send in a willing lottery ticket I believe uninsured, perhaps in the same dollar range, so it's not unheard of.
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Old 02-05-2020, 06:15 PM
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there have been big lottery tickets never turned in. You only have 6 months. One guy almost threw out a big winner. If it's not turned in the state keeps the money and it's added to the current jackpot.
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Old 02-06-2020, 03:09 AM
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Are there any examples of people mailing super expensive things through the inexpensive post office and getting lost?
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Old 02-06-2020, 11:56 AM
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Dunno about super expensive, but the number of packets of passport applications and naturalization paperwork I have seen burst open and scattered in, around, and under the machinery at my plant is nothing short of heart-rending.

I should probably grow a thicker skin and trust the professionalism and expertise of the folks who carry out NIXIE operations.
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Old 02-06-2020, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 View Post
Dunno about super expensive, but the number of packets of passport applications and naturalization paperwork I have seen burst open and scattered in, around, and under the machinery at my plant is nothing short of heart-rending.

I should probably grow a thicker skin and trust the professionalism and expertise of the folks who carry out NIXIE operations.
Oh no! I have to mail in my passport renewal application in a few months and was worried already before reading this.
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Old 02-06-2020, 06:51 PM
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It's amazing what accomodations can be made for desirable items in the mail.

I once corresponded with a gentleman in Latvia, while it was still under Soviet domination. We shared an interest in the National Geographic magazine.

One Christmas I sent him the gift of a fruitcake. He'd said that food items often went missing as postal workers would steal them. The company sending the fruitcake had a plain box, not a festive mailing box, that it would ship items in, if so desired. So the fruitcake got through.

Other sorts of mail were censored. He had a subscription to the National Geographic, but issues with articles about space achievements often didn't show up. Or the issue with "Finland: Plucky Neighbor of Soviet Russia."
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Old 02-07-2020, 06:25 AM
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My aunt/uncle lived in Kenya and they got a Christmas card in August. They thought it was early but it was from the previous Christmas, mailed from the US. This was in early 80s so maybe it's better now.
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Old 02-07-2020, 06:58 AM
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What's the conflict between "sent by mail" and "sent by ship"? How do you think the mail is carried over intercontinental distances?
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Old 02-07-2020, 07:17 AM
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By plane?
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Old 02-07-2020, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baker View Post
It's amazing what accomodations can be made for desirable items in the mail.

I once corresponded with a gentleman in Latvia, while it was still under Soviet domination. We shared an interest in the National Geographic magazine.

One Christmas I sent him the gift of a fruitcake. He'd said that food items often went missing as postal workers would steal them. The company sending the fruitcake had a plain box, not a festive mailing box, that it would ship items in, if so desired. So the fruitcake got through.
When I studied in Russia in 1989, one of my classmates received a care package from her family. One of the chocolate bars had distinctly human bite marks in it.

My grandmother also sent me her usual $5 bill in my birthday card that year. (Which was technically illegal, I believe - I think it was forbidden to transmit Western currency outside of official controls?). I received it with no problem.
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Old 02-07-2020, 08:40 AM
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What's the conflict between "sent by mail" and "sent by ship"? How do you think the mail is carried over intercontinental distances?
In the case of the Cullinan Diamond, the decoy was sent with great fanfare by ship, in the safe and accompanied by multiple guards. The real stone went anonymously by regular post.
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Old 02-07-2020, 09:50 AM
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The Canadian dollar coin features a loon and has been called the loonie ever since it was issued. But that wasn't the first design. That had--IIRC--a beaver. A die was mailed through Canada Post from the mint in Ottawa to the one in Winnipeg. It never arrived. So they scrapped that design and used the loon.

It was assumed that someone had intercepted the package and was preparing to mint his own counterfeits, although no explanation ever emerged. I assume there was an investigation.
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Old 02-07-2020, 07:40 PM
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In mid-late 1970s, before many Mexicans were in NYC, I regularly shipped cans of jalapeńo peppers to a friend in Brooklyn who had introduced me to vindaloo curries. Half the packages never arrived. I blame spice junkies.

Most monetarily valuable thing I've mailed, certified+registered, was a mid-six-figures cheque. It arrived. Whew.

Most emotionally valuable thing I've mailed was a seashell sculpture I sent to Grandma for her birthday - but it arrived shattered. My little heart was shattered, too.

Yes, military and other government secrets are mailed. When I was a RATT-man (radio-teletype operator) I wrote erotic songs for my gf on the teleptype, punched on paper tape, rolled and loaded in 35mm canisters, and mailed. She said they never appear to have been opened and resealed. Those COULD have been photos inside the missile silo, or Top Secret messages. "Da, Comrade, the launch code is..." yada yada.
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Old 02-07-2020, 09:51 PM
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By plane?
No, a Bi-Plane.

It was a long time ago.

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Old 02-07-2020, 10:27 PM
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No, a Bi-Plane.
Yes, aircraft can be many-gendered.
  #22  
Old 02-09-2020, 02:59 AM
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[From the trivia desk]
After Fort Knox was built, it was filled with 5000 tonnes of gold sent by registered mail.

The Treasury was billed at the fourth-class rate plus insurance. (They were allowed to pay by check rather than purchasing postage stamps.)
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Old 02-09-2020, 10:01 AM
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I had the post office smash a film canister I sent to be developed. Around the same time a developer lost a roll of film.
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Old 02-09-2020, 12:02 PM
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Oh man I’ve had “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show“ stuck in my head for the last day or so, so I read the title as “NEIL Diamond was mailed to the Smithsonian!”

I had this image of a big crate arriving, with this low mumbling coming out:
Hot August night
And the leaves hanging down
And the grass on the ground smelling sweet…


Then a banging from inside the crate as the voce gets louder...
Sits a ragged tent
Where there ain't no trees
And that gospel group
Telling you and me


Then Neil Diamond bustin’ out of the top of the crate in his full spangly-shirt and sideburns regalia hollering:
It's love, Brother Love say
Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show
(Halle, halle)
Pack up the babies
And grab the old ladies
And everyone goes...


The OP, while interesting, was a bit of a letdown.
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Old 02-09-2020, 09:13 PM
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Oh man I’ve had “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show“ stuck in my head for the last day or so, so I read the title as “NEIL Diamond was mailed to the Smithsonian!”
Hope Diamond was his paternal grandmother. She didn't survive the trip. They forgot to poke air holes in her crate. He had lived with her and was left alone, hence SOLITARY MAN. I read this online somewhere so it must be true.
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Old 02-12-2020, 03:57 AM
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Originally Posted by kaylasdad99 View Post
Dunno about super expensive, but the number of packets of passport applications and naturalization paperwork I have seen burst open and scattered in, around, and under the machinery at my plant is nothing short of heart-rending.

I should probably grow a thicker skin and trust the professionalism and expertise of the folks who carry out NIXIE operations.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gkster View Post
Oh no! I have to mail in my passport renewal application in a few months and was worried already before reading this.
Don't cheap out on the envelope, and make sure it's securely sealed.
  #27  
Old 02-12-2020, 08:02 AM
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Slightly off topic, but still relevant. A number of years ago I managed a project at the Post Office in the UK, introducing automated mailing machines which would weight your item and sell you a "stamp". Doing research for what sort of products people would consider using such a machine for, we found an odd spike in the amount of Special Delivery mail coming from some very specific, small areas in London. Special Delivery is a highly-secure mail service offered in the UK, which is largely separate from ordinary mail to ensure that security, and consequently the Royal Mail will issue insurance for mail sent via Special Delivery, for a fee. You can specify a service to arrive by 9am the next morning, or just "next day".

Upon enquiry, the areas with the extraordinarily high use of Special Delivery in London were around Hatton Garden, traditionally the jewelry and diamond-trading center. Diamonds are eminently portable and Special Delivery very secure. Gem merchants had figured out it was cheaper to box their stock and mail it to themselves by 9am Special Delivery, than to insure their own premises and store the rocks overnight. Very clever indeed.
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Old 02-12-2020, 08:22 AM
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Many years ago, during the blockade, I sent a few packages from the US to Cuba. They always arrived. One postal clerk mentioned that he had never mailed a package to Cuba.
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Old 02-14-2020, 08:46 PM
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IIRC a bank building in Wyoming was built of bricks mailed by parcel post because it was cheaper than freight charges. The post office changed their rules after that.
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:55 PM
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When I left Ethiopia, I had some local money left over, so I mailed it to my family-run hotel as a tip, with an extra usd-5 in there. A month later I get a plastic postal bag marked "no such address". In the bag was my envelope, slit open on three sides dangling by a flap. And a couple hundred birr and five bucks, intact.
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