There was once a boy who picked up a precious gem, bright and round, and used it for playing marbles on the road with his comrades. A merchant dealing in precious stones chanced to pass along that way, and his discerning eye fell on the gem. He approached the boy, took him aside and offered to pay him Rs. 50 in exchange. If the boy could know the value of Rs. 50 he would have known the value of the gem! He went to his mother and told her that a stranger had lured him with an offer of Rs. 50 in return for the marble he had played with. She was surprised that it was so precious and said, “Do not go out of the compound with it; play in the garden with your friend”. When the value was revealed, limits were set. The merchant had no sleep that night; he was planning to secure the gem from those simple folk so that he could sell it at huge profit to some millionaire or Maharaja.
He discovered the house of the boy and moved up and down that road hoping to see the boy. When he saw the boy play with it as if it was as cheap as a marble, his heart was wrung in agony. The boy threw it on the floor; his mother emerged just at the moment from the inner apartments and it struck her foot and fell under a bush. He spoke to the boy asking for the gem in exchange for a Rs. 100, and again, for Rs. 500! The son ran into the house in tears, complaining about the stranger who will not let him alone. The mother came out into the garden and appealed to the merchant to leave the place. The merchant grasped the chance; he told the mother that he was ready to give Rs. 1,000 on the spot, if the marble was placed in his hand! On hearing this, she forbade the child to play with it outside the house; he could play only within the rooms. The merchant could not be sent off like that; he appeared the next day in front of the house; he held out Rs. 10,000 as his offer for the marble; the mother refused to part with it but kept it now in an iron safe, under lock and key! When the merchant came the next day with Rs. 50,000 she took the marble to a bank and deposited it in their locker.
Thus we see here that the value of an object is determined by individuals based on the importance attached to it by others.