Colored diamonds
An Heirloom of

For many people, family is the heart of our lives. We wish that our children’s lives will be easier than our own, and this is often the key driver of our lives. Across the world, the dilemma facing people in the autumn of their years is how to ensure their life’s endeavors benefit the next generation. What are the best ways to pass on the hard-earned fruits of our labor, along with all the love we hold, to our children and grandchildren? 
Taiwan in the 1960s was a country ruled by Martial Law. Conditions were poor and life was hard for the vast majority of the population. The severe impacts of the Chinese Civil War (1927 - 1949) waged between the Chinese Nationalist Party and the Chinese Communist Party continued to trigger massive fluctuations in Taiwan a decade later. The Old Taiwan dollar issued by the government suffered severe currency depreciation and inflation. In the words of some at the time, cash "wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on."

Turbulent Price of Rice

Ms. Tsai describes the economic turmoil of the time by the volatile rice prices she experienced as a child. She recounts how rice prices could change three times within a day, and across different cities. In the space of an hour, the amount of money needed to buy a family’s weekly intake could plunge to the amount for just one meal. 
In such an era, life was only about making ends meet. Yet even when financial instability made many people lose confidence in the currency, Ms. Tsai’s parents continued to work hard on the farm, trying to save for the children’s education. 
She graduated from junior high school and entered tailoring, a career that provided her with the income to support her family.  Later, she met her husband through a matchmaker, and the two young newlyweds began their joint life of working hard and saving money.