The Mother of All Diamonds
By Barry Mitchell
It was just one boy, one rock, and one choice that changed his life. In 2002, Barry Mitchell released his most popular magical story. Since then magicians, clowns, storytellers, teachers, and ministers around the world have shared their positive experiences with this story effect.  You will achieve memorable results too as you share the story of a teacher showing her students how coal changes to diamonds.  The story teaches a powerful point about patience while the magic blows the audience away.  Comes with all props for all of Barry’s related stories, including the Gold Redeemer, PLUS additional stories contributed by other performers.  Also contains specially written background music and new demo DVD with more suggestions and ideas.



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Mother of All Diamonds performed at a Daycare in Indy, IN
Password to watch is mother (all lower case)

Gold Redeemer

Gold Redeemer filmed at a Daycare in Indy, IN

Mother of All Diamonds Contest

David Ginn performing Mother of All Diamonds

Behind the Diamond
This is the story of how the Mother of All Diamonds came to be.  As a child, I saw a Tarzan cartoon where he was forced to help the apes protect the “mother of all diamonds” from a group of thieves.  Of course the conclusion of the cartoon was the discovery that it was simply a lump of coal.  That’s how I remember the story.  But it was over 40 years ago that I saw the cartoon and I go back and forth about whether it was Tarzan or Superman.  And I’m not really sure it was called the “mother of all diamonds,” but somehow over time that’s the name that stuck in my mind.  I was never able to forget the simple message of greed, patience, and surprise at the end of the story.

Over the years, I used the concept of the story in different ways.  In the beginning of my career in magic I wrote an entire show based around the search for the diamond.  In the late 90’s I developed a character show based on the story as it is now and the search for clues to find the missing diamond.  And now after 10 years this has become the best selling product I have ever put on the market.  As a 10 year celebration I’m repackaging this great story with all the related stories I’ve collected and some extras you will enjoy.  Thanks to all the great performers who use the story and to those who have contributed to this addition.

The Wisdom of a Child
 “I guess getting a lump of coal in your stocking is a good thing.”

A little girl sent me that note with a crayon drawing.  She had seen me perform a magic show at her school where I shared the story. Her wisdom reminded me that all gifts are blessings, no matter how they look on the outside.  In life, it’s always what’s on the inside that matters.  That’s where you find the heart.

The Mother of all Diamonds is magic storytelling with a positive character message.  Show a cup filled with lumps of coal and explain the legend of the diamond.  Show an empty cylinder and cover the cup.  Uncover the cup and it is now filled with diamonds.

Set Up
Place diamonds in cup and cover with small upper cup.  Place sign card in front of cup.  Place lumps of coal on table.  Place cylinder and small plastic cup at side of table.  Cylinder should have open ends of tabs facing up.

Place coal lumps in cup.  Cover with cylinder, lift cylinder and upper cup will remain inside cylinder.  Pour diamonds from cup into plastic cup supplied with props.

Other Props Included

The Coal Key Chain
Contributed by Tom McDonnell
Within the story one child receives a lump of coal instead of a diamond because of the child’s impatience. This keychain makes a perfect heart tug closing for the story. The final lines of the story are, “Each child received a diamond, that is all but one. The little boy that couldn’t wait received only his lump of coal and the message that patience will be rewarded.” Reach into your pocket and pull out the keychain and say, “To this day I still carry that lump of coal as a reminder of the lesson I learned that day about patience.”

Gold and Black Beads
An additional story for the prop is called the “Gold Redeemer.”  These very small beads will represent dirt and gold dust.

The Original Story
It was just one boy, one rock, and one choice that changed his life. Many years ago in a small village in South Africa a wise and caring teacher placed a box on her desk.  In front of the box she placed a small sign that read, “The Mother of All Diamonds.”  Students were asked to wait patiently until the last day of class when they would be shown the precious Mother of All Diamonds.  Weeks passed and the students grew more and more eager to see the stones.  The teacher would calmly explain the value of patience and how good things come to those who wait.

Most of the students were willing to wait but one boy just couldn’t.  The boy pushed the box off the teacher’s desk pretending it was an accident.  Out of the box fell a goblet and some old black rocks.  The boy laughed and said, “I knew it wasn’t the mother of all diamonds, it’s just some old black rocks.” The teacher carefully picked up the lumps of coal and placed them back in the goblet.  She said, “I didn’t deceive you.  Coal really is the mother of all diamonds.

All diamonds begin as worthless lumps of coal and they go through pressure and time and change into the most valuable stones on earth.

Then the teacher showed an empty tube and covered the goblet.  She waved her hand, removed the cover and poured diamonds.  Each child received a diamond, that is, each child but one.  The boy that couldn’t wait received only his lump of coal and the lesson that patience will be rewarded.

Key Chain Ending: To this day I keep that lump of coal as my reminder of patience.

Motivational Thoughts
Each of us is like a lump of coal.  While we’re young we are unsure of our value.  Sometimes we feel like a worthless lump of coal but we must be patient.  Our life is a diamond in the rough and the way we act today will determine our future tomorrow.

Biblical Pattern Suggestion
Did you know that God is patient?  God shows His patience and love for us with His willingness to forgive us.  God sees each of us as a diamond in the rough.  He patiently chips away at our sinful habits with the love and care of a master diamond cutter.  The Holy Spirit gently urges us to cast off our sinful nature and become the diamond in God’s eye.

Salvation message
Do you ever feel like a worthless piece of coal?  Did you know God sees the diamond inside you and wants to bring out your best.  There is a path to becoming the diamond of God’s eye and it begins by accepting His son, Jesus.

The Gold Redeemer
The Point:  To redeem is to bring out the full value.  We can become encouragement redeemers of others.

The Story
During the gold rush of 1849 many men moved west to seek their fortune.  Some did strike it rich but most lived in poverty panning for gold.  The miners would search through pan after pan of dirt allowing the water to slowly wash away the dirt leaving the flakes of heavy gold on the bottom of the pan.  The work was hard and the pay off was small. It was said that after hours of labor in the hot sun the miners would sleep and dream of a Gold Redeemer.

The Gold Redeemer had discovered an easier way to find the gold.  He would take the miner’s old dirt and place it in a cup.  This was the dirt from which the miner thought he had already removed all the gold. The miner had given up hope of finding any more gold in this dirt.  The redeemer would surround the dirt with fire to burn away everything except the small flakes of pure gold.  The fire was able to bring the full value out of the dirt.  When the fire was removed and the cup had cooled the Gold Redeemer would pour pure gold.

The word redeemed means to bring out the full value.  When we use a coupon for a discount or we hold a winning ticket we must redeem that ticket to receive it’s full value.  That’s exactly what the Gold Redeemer in our story did.  He brought out the full value of the apparently worthless dirt.

There was no gold redeemer, it was only a miner’s dream.  The miners had to labor and sweat for every flake of gold they found, that’s what makes the gold so valuable.  However, the legend leads me to wonder if I could be redeemed?  Is there value in me that could be brought out? The answer is yes.  My talents could be used to a greater value.  Maybe there are people I meet each day that I might encourage to get more value out of life.  You may be the very person to help bring out the value in someone else. The hidden value they are searching for. We can all become encouragement redeemers of others.

Gospel Application
God is our redeemer because He sent Jesus to redeem us from a life of sin. Without Jesus we would still be lost within the world just like the gold was lost within the dirt.  But Jesus brings out our full value of righteousness when we follow Him.  As Christians we simply cannot get the full value out of our walk with Christ unless we trust him fully as our Redeemer and Lord.

Motivational Thought
We think of a philanthropist as someone who donates big sums of money, yet the word is derived from two Greek words, philos(loving) and anthropos(man): loving man. All of us are capable of being philanthropists.  We can give of ourselves.
Author Unknown

Milk of Human Kindness
Contributed by Mark Winter

Additional Props Needed for this story
A Foo can (a utility item available from most magic dealers. The foo can resembles a miniature pitcher with a hidden well on the inside to catch liquids, making the can appear empty. When you tip the foo can from the other side, liquid “magically” pours out)

Super Oom, also known as Miracle Milk available from most magic dealers.
White flutterfetti, available from

Set Up
Load flutterfetti into the bottom of the goblet that comes with the prop and place gimmick over top. Mix oom with water and pour into foo can. Place tube from Mother of All Diamonds to the side.

Once upon a time, there was a man who felt empty inside. (Show empty goblet) The reason he felt this way is because everywhere he looked, he saw people being mean and cruel to each other. He believed that the milk of human kindness had dried up (tip foo can over goblet so that no milk comes out)…so the man went on a search to see if he could find the milk of human kindness.

In the Meadow
First he went to the wise man of the meadow and said, “Oh, wise man of the meadow, I am on the search for the milk of human kindness because everywhere I look, it has dried up. People are being mean and cruel to each other. Please, can you tell me where to find the milk of human kindness?” The wise man of the meadow thought about that for a moment. He blinked his wise grey eyes and stroked his long, grey, wise beard and in a very wise voice said (in a goofy voice): “Yes, I believe that you can find the milk of human kindness in the dairy section at 7-11!”

On the Hill
Well, that didn’t sound right to the man. So he went to the wise man of the hill and said, “Oh, wise man of the hill, I am on the search for the milk of human kindness because everywhere I look, it has dried up. People are being mean and cruel to each other.  (Tip foo can) Please, can you tell me where to find the milk of human kindness?” The wise man of the hill thought about that for a moment. He blinked his wise grey eyes and stroked his long, grey, wise beard and in a very wise voice said (in another goofy voice): “Yes, I believe that you can find the milk of human kindness in Blue Bunny Ice Cream!”

On the Mountain
Well, that didn’t sound right to the man either, so he decided to visit the wise man of the mountain. It was a treacherous climb with jagged rocks and cold, windy peaks, but finally he made it to the top. The wise man of the mountain was sitting in front of his home, which was a cave. The man said, “Oh, wise man of the mountain! Please, PLEASE, help me! I am desperately searching for the milk of human kindness but can’t find it anywhere. It has dried up. People are being mean and cruel to each other. (Tip foo can and casually place it to the other side of the goblet so you can be prepared to pour out the milk). Can you tell me where to find it?”

The wise man of the mountain did not say a word. Seeing that the man was hungry from his long climb, he shared his bread with him. Seeing that he was shivering from the cold, he took off his cloak and draped it over the man’s shoulders. The man’s hands were torn and bleeding from the long climb, so the wise man applied soothing ointment and wrapped bandages around them. In other words, the wise man of the mountain didn’t just talk about the milk of human kindness; he actually poured kindness into the man’s empty life. (Do a magic wave of the hands and pour milk from foo can into goblet)

The man finally understood! His life would no longer be empty. (Pick up the tube from the Mother of All Diamonds and show it empty) He went back down the mountain (make descending motions with the can and slip it over the goblet to clip the gimmick) and began pouring the milk of kindness into others. He did this by doing kind deeds and good works. (Remove the can along with the goblet shell that contains the fake milk). Oh, the man was finding out that it was FUN to help others! You could even say that the man did so many kind deeds that he not only poured out the milk of human kindness, he SHOWERED it on others! (Flick the goblet upward, ejecting the flutterfetti) Wow, that’s what I call condensed milk!

The moral of the story is this: the milk of human kindness is in each one of us—we just need to pour it out by doing good deeds and showering others with kindness!

Contributed by Steve McDaniel
A soft snow was falling as large flakes gently were landing on the town’s sidewalks and rooftops on this November evening, in the coal-mining town of Big Ugly, WV. People passing each other with genuine happy smiles, children’s laughter filled the air; theirs is the only enjoyment and merriment of this season in a poor coal-mining town. As you pass an empty lot nearby, a new built snowman with an empty tin can for a hat, pieces of black coal for his facial features, coal for his buttons on his torso, and two arms of twig branches, you smile to think of the joy that only children can create from simplicity.  Simplicity, that definitely describes Big Ugly, WV.

Eli Johnson was a depressed 10-year-old living in what he thought was the edge of nowhere in 1935. The nearest large city was 2 hours away and even when he got the chance to visit there everyone stared and pointed at him saying he was one of the Big Ugly kids!

Eli’s Dad had worked in the coal mines all of his life and was now disabled because of it. His Mom did odd jobs and sold bake goods to support the family but often it was not enough. His sister, Jenny was very smart and tutored students part-time. Jenny had dreams of going to college but because of the lack of money it would probably be impossible.

Eli had heard that old lady McAffee was looking for someone to do work at her old house at the edge of the woods but she was rumored to be crazy, weird, and maybe a witch. He and his family needed the money so Eli decided to check it out after school. Eli reluctantly knocked on old lady McAffee’s door. The old woman came to the door and Eli barely could make the words come out of his mouth to ask about the job, he finally did. Old lady McAffee said he could have the job if he could work all 5 Saturday before Christmas and if he did an excellent job, she would pay him a treasure greater than money. Eli agreed to be there this Saturday. Eli was so afraid that he did not tell anyone except his Mother that he was working for old lady McAffee. Wow, she worked him to death the first Saturday, Eli was worn out!! Just as he started to leave old lady McAffee she gave him a blue goblet with a red cover. (SHOW AUDIENCE) She said you would need this so you will have a place to store the great treasure I give you. Here is your first payment!

(SHOW LUMP OF COAL) Eli was shocked!! Some payment, a lump of coal! That’s no treasure! He went home so upset but he had given his word so he would not quit! Eli placed the goblet and the cover near his bed and he soon fell asleep.

For the next 4 weeks, Eli worked unbelievably hard for old lady McAffee and each Saturday she presented him with a piece of coal. On the last Saturday Old lady McAfee thanked Eli for a job well done and she told him he had definitely earned the treasure that he would get on Christmas Day. Eli was so confused but it was Christmas Eve and she said he would receive his treasure on Christmas so he guessed he could wait one day.

When Eli got home he placed all 5 pieces of coal in the goblet and placed the cover over it. He went to sleep with many doubts about treasure in his head! Eli awoke on Christmas Day with the sound of his Mom cooking breakfast so he jumped out of bed quickly. This would be a special breakfast this morning!

Suddenly he remembered the goblet and he could not believe what he found! (SHOW GOBLET) Instead of lumps of coal there were DIAMONDS, many diamonds!! Now his Dad could see a doctor, their house could be repaired, his Mom could slow down and rest and even his sister could go to college! Wow, Eli thought he might even have a brighter future. His family was speechless over his treasure! After breakfast Eli went to old lady McAffee’s house to say thank you. He was really surprised when he got there. Her house was empty and old lady McAffee was gone. Eli did find a note on the door. It read: Eli, You are a good boy and I appreciate all of the hard work you did for me! Although I am sure you wanted to, you never quit!

Enjoy your treasure because you earned it! Just remember all of us are like coal. We have unlimited potential inside ourselves, depending on how we handle the pressures around us each day. We can all become diamonds and sparkle and then we can make a difference in the world!
Thanks again.
Martha McAfee

P.S. Eli, if you learned this lesson you already have a treasure greater than money like I promised you. As Eli returned home he was so happy that he started singing. He had experienced a little holiday magic right here in Big Ugly, WV.

More Precious Than Diamonds
Contributed by Oz & Wilde (Gene Oswald & Kif Anderson)
Inspired from the story “Magic Pebbles” by John Wayne Schlatter.

Set Up
Replace the coal pieces with real rocks. (Not included with this prop.) Different colored ones that are smooth such as river rock seem to work the best and don’t scratch up the effect.

(Have the smooth rocks in a small clear bowl sitting next to the goblet and tube as well as a Bible with a bookmark at Psalm 139:17)

When I was a kid and I would go to church school, we always were given Bible verses to memorize. I used to think it was because my teachers really didn’t have anything better to do with their time. I learned verses like: Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times and is there to help when trouble comes.

Ephesians 4:29 Watch your talk! No bad words should be coming from your mouth. Say what is good. Your words should help others grow as Christians.

Then I learned the verses, but it wasn’t until later that I really understood why knowing these texts were so important. (Pick up bowl of rocks) I thought of the verses as rocks that just filled my path to stumble over when I didn’t learn my verses. I saw no need for having them as part of my life.

Let me share a story that will help illustrate this. One night a group of nomads were preparing to retire for the evening when suddenly they were surrounded by a great light. They knew they were in the presence of a celestial being. With great anticipation, they awaited a heavenly message of great importance that they knew must be especially for them. Finally, the voice spoke, “Gather as many pebbles as you can. Put them in your saddlebags. Travel a day’s journey and tomorrow night will find you glad and it will find you sad.”

After the celestial being departed, the nomads shared their disappointment and anger with each other. They had expected the revelation of a great universal truth that would enable them to create wealth, health and purpose for the world. But instead they were given a silly task that made absolutely no sense to them whatsoever. However, the memory of the brilliance of their visitor did cause them all to pick up a few pebbles (Show the rocks) and put them in their saddlebags. (Put rocks into goblet) I’ll use this cup and cover (Cover blue cup with red cover) to represent this as I don’t happen to have a saddle bag here today. Now understand when they did this, they didn’t do it happily. (Cover goblet with cylinder)

They traveled a day’s journey and that night while making camp, they reached into their saddlebags (Uncover goblet lifting gimmick within it) and discovered every pebble they had gathered had become a diamond. (Pour diamonds into the bowl) Now they were glad they had diamonds. They were sad they had not gathered more pebbles. (Set props aside and pick up the Bible)

Many of the Bible memory verses I learned, when I was young seemed like a rock when I learned them, but now I realize that they are far more precious than diamonds to me because I now realize it has helped get me closer to our God by understanding a little more how wonderful and loving He is. (Open Bible to Psalm 139:17)

It helps us think about things that are important to God. Like it says in Psalm 139:17, How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! So lets learn our verse for today, and maybe we can all realize how great it is to be collectors of such precious things as the thoughts of our Father in Heaven. At this point you can share and learn a relevant Bible verse like Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Note: While reciting verses is important in this routine to emphasize the concept being taught, don’t skip the part of reading from the Bible. Showing that you actually open the Bible and read from it is a positive reinforcement for your audience.

Glad and Sad
By Barry Mitchell
This is another version of the story contributed by Oz and Wilde.

Have you ever been happy and sad at the same time? What if you’re playing a game and your team loses? You are sad that you lost but you’re happy for the other team. That’s what it means to be a good sport.

I know a story about some men that were both glad and sad. They were on a long journey traveling through the dry hot desert. The sun was setting and they were hungry and thirsty. They were about to stop and make camp when they heard a voice from the sky. The voice said, “Do not make camp here. Go further and make camp in the dry riverbed. Before you turn in to sleep pick up some rocks from the riverbed and place them in your bag. Tomorrow morning you will be glad.”

The men had never heard a voice from the heavens before so they decided to listen. They went to the riverbed and each man collected stones to place in his bag.  I’ll use this cup as my bag and this cover as the flap over my bag.

The next morning the men rose out of bed and prepared to continue their journey. One man looked in his bag and found diamonds. He was shocked! The night before it was only old rocks.

He told the other men and their bags were also filled with treasure. The men rejoiced, they had never been so happy. Then one man stopped smiling and began to cry. The other men asked why he was so unhappy. He looked up and said, “If I had only picked up more rocks.”

The other men became sad realizing what a fortune they would have if they had just picked up more rocks the night before.

That story reminds me of how we sometimes view the blessings that God has given us.  When we get a shiny new gift or our parents realize how blessed they are we are glad.  We are thankful to God for how He has blessed us.  But in just a short time we look around and see others with gifts and blessings, possibly a little more than we have and we become sad.  We start to want MORE.

Did you know that God wants us to have more?  In John 10:10, Jesus said that He has come that we might have life abundantly.

In Jeremiah 29:11 God has plans for us. Plans that we will prosper and give us hope and a future.

If God wants so much good for us, maybe we should be more thankful for what He has given us right now and less concerned about what we want next.  We celebrate the holiday of Thanksgiving because of the history of the Pilgrims giving thanks for their blessings.  I hope you are thankful for your blessings in the spirit of the Pilgrims.  But I also want you to be hopeful for the future because the next season we celebrate is the gift of Jesus at Christmas.

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