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Unbreakable Mystery Cache

Hidden : 10/24/2012
4 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   micro (micro)

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Geocache Description:

Graham sat on the curb outside the jeweler’s shoppe and stared at the brooch in his hand, turning it over and over, remembering his grandmother: always sharp as a tack, even to the end. She was meticulous, and kept all her things well organized and cared for; but she was also just a little kooky, as all the best family members are.  While she was very sweet, she was extremely distrustful, particularly of strangers, but ultimately, of the greed in people.  She had come from little, but wanted for nothing after her husband’s entrepreneurial seedling proved fruitful. She always said, however, that the money was never as important to her as the love she found first. They were always together, and always just as in love as the day they first kissed, it seemed. On their 25th wedding anniversary, his grandfather had presented his grandmother with this brooch, the generously cut center diamond radiating brilliantly, complimented by the smaller outer stones, each of which, Grampoh Frederic had explained, had a special symbolic meaning. The brooch was essentially a message, set in stone, that would tell their love’s story long after they were both only memories.

It had been one of her most prized possessions, though the last time Graham could remember seeing it had been at his grandfather’s funeral service.  He was fairly certain that after that day, his grandmother had carefully packed it away into its black velvet box, and there it had stayed.  At least, that’s what he HAD thought — but he now knew she had made some (so far) unexplainable changes to the brooch, before leaving it, tied with a rubberband to the envelope simply marked “Graham”, in her safety deposit box. His thoughts were swirling with confusion. He had already been confused to open the envelope and only find two lines in her tightly slanted script: “The heart that digs for love always digs deeper than the one that digs for wealth. Our heartstone is a gift for your true love; you’ll know when you find it, how to find it.” That was almost two years ago, though this parade of memories makes it feel much more recent.

This most recent puzzling revelation wasn’t in the words of his grandmother at all, though, but rather, in the words of the appraiser and jeweler with whom he had just spoken. Graham HAD met his love, and intended to make a gift of the brooch in the way of a marriage proposal. Being the logical type, he decided to have the piece appraised professionally and insured, then replace the missing stone before making his proposal, and that’s when this newest piece of the puzzle only added to his confusion. “I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but this isn’t a diamond at all. See how there are scratches and worn spots on the surface? That’s one of the first giveaways of an imitation stone; diamonds don’t wear quite like that, because they’re so hard. It seems that three of the stones were pried out at one point: the center, and the two right above it; you can see damage to the settings there, so it’s unlikely that the missing stone fell out. It was likely taken out when the center and this one were, when the center was replaced with this imitation. This side stone, while definitely a crystal, is not typically used in jewelry, because it just doesn’t hold up well.”

What now? Graham was certain that these things were not coincidence — this brooch had always been a message, and his grandmother would not have changed it without intending some kind of meaning to the madness. He was sure that there was a large diamond out there somewhere: his inheritance and engagement stone, waiting for him to figure out his grandmother’s message. What could explain it all?

The Brooch
NOTE -- On 5/5/2015, I moved the cache roughly 50' to get it away from poison ivy. The puzzle is unchanged. To get the final cache location, start with the solved coordinates (as verified by Certitude), and subtract .001 from the latitude minutes and subtract .010 from the longitude minutes. Feel free to email or message me if you have any questions.

You can validate your puzzle solution with certitude.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

[Puzzle:] purpxfhz = svsgl-sbhe [Hide:] Ubyyl; rqtr bs jbbqf

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)