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@JBarry:
You are correct for Riddles 1, 2, and 4. Sadly, the answer to Riddle 3 is not ebony. Still, a good attempt. And thank you for the numbering; I suspected what you were associating each one with, but I wanted to make certain.

What I gather in the first riddle leads me to believe it is amber. It comes in various colors, mainly represented as a golden substance, was known in ancient times, was believed through the ages to hold mysterious powers, was considered valuable, is a solidified form of a sap of a type of conifer, and has been discovered by many to have within its recovered pieces the remains of different bugs that became subsequently imprisoned--- extinct, ancient bugs.

A perfect amount of reasoning, covering everything I was thinking of when formulating the riddle.

The second riddle leads me to believe coral is involved. Not a plant, but an animal, each part is very small and beautiful; but, gathered together, coral can form some of the most treacherous and sharp reefs known.

Again, excellent reasoning. A few additional bits of trivia: The actual coral polyp (yes, that's what they're called) looks like a miniature sea anemone, and thus, quite flowerlike. And not just treacherous and sharp, but huge also...Australia's Great Barrier Reef was what I had in mind when I wrote that line. Hard to believe something so small can create something so big, huh?

The fourth appears to be pearl. This, too, was highly prized through the ages; and, the East was where many pearls were harvested. Everyone has, of course, heard of "Mother of Pearl" also.

Not just 'were harvested'. According to encyclopedia.com, Japan still (at the time the entry was written, at least) has the lead in cultivating saltwater pearls, while China bears the same for freshwater pearls. And I'm not sure 'everyone' has heard of Mother of Pearl, but yeah, most people have. Another excellent bit of reasoning.

Again, though, the answer to Riddle 3 is not ebony. There's another substance I have in mind, although it's not as well known as the others. Think about what common factors the other three have, and then go looking for something else that fits that description.

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kinda a stretch......... but i might be persuaded to think that the third riddle actually refers to coal or other fossil fuels...........originally they where plants that required light to grown, but now they are black as night.........wood for example could be in fossil fuels that grew where the ocean was in prehistoric times and now is in some of the oil we mine in our offshore wells

that would mean that the overall would have something to do with Ancient life, things that where once something else or are no longer.

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kinda a stretch......... but i might be persuaded to think that the third riddle actually refers to coal or other fossil fuels...........originally they where plants that required light to grown, but now they are black as night.........wood for example could be in fossil fuels that grew where the ocean was in prehistoric times and now is in some of the oil we mine in our offshore wells

that would mean that the overall would have something to do with Ancient life, things that where once something else or are no longer.

Extremely close, but not quite there. Dig a bit deeper using your current line of reasoning.

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I'm gonna take another short stab at this, and say that number three might be Jet.
Some sources compare it to black amber, and others stipulate that its formation comes from wood under high pressure and salt water, which fossilizes it. Even more sources say it is lignite in one of its forms(soft jet), which is coal; and, that imitations of jet have been made from anthracite.
All of this is, like the rest, something known in antiquity and used for ornaments and jewelry. Beads and necklaces, with a heavy cotton thread to hold the beads in place.

Am I close, EnderX?

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You are correct for number three, JBarry. The first description I found for Jet some time back called it 'gem-grade coal', which kind of caught my attention.

And now, knowing that the answers are Amber, Coral, Jet, and Pearl, the answer to the final riddle should become apparent. Anybody willing to take a shot at it?

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all things that either are usless or non-valuable until processed.......pearls are just dirt in the beginning, jet has to be made into jewlery, a piece of coral is lame until it is in a coral reef, and amber unless it has an ancient extinct bug or something in it is just a hunk of dried sap..........

doubt it's right lol

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Sounds a little like a philosophical theme concerning the workings of nature, carefully and over time, and man's exploitation of the products for either eye-candy or commerce... Just an observation...

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Heh.
Okay, now you're thinking a bit too much. I promise, the original idea was nowhere near that complex. Although I would presume that's part of the purpose of a good riddle, to make one think.

And @JBennet: No, Ivory isn't the common bond. It is, however, another example of a substance that bears the same attributes. If I'd remembered it in time, I'd have included it in with the other four.

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something naturally accuring that we use as jewlery or decoration?

Close enough, I guess.

The common thread was that they are all 'Living Gems', gem-grade materials (which would flow into the jewelry/decoration side) with biological origins.

Tossup as to who claims next...and sorry for overloading the thread for so long.

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"My sides are firmly lac'd about,
Yet nothing is within;
You'll think my head is strange indeed,
Being nothing else but skin."

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"My sides are firmly lac'd about,
Yet nothing is within;
You'll think my head is strange indeed,
Being nothing else but skin."

a drum?

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A man is thoroughly clad in black clothes. He is going on a pitch black road on which no ligth lamps are on. He sees a car which is totally black inside out. He moves his arm upside down to take lift from the car. And the car does stop for him.

How come?

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A man is thoroughly clad in black clothes. He is going on a pitch black road on which no ligth lamps are on. He sees a car which is totally black inside out. He moves his arm upside down to take lift from the car. And the car does stop for him.

How come?

because it's by day :)

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no..... it's a pitch black street ...... means it's dark outside

since it's dark outside i would have to say that the car would be driving with head lights on.....

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because it's by day :)

Every version of this I've heard, this is the correct answer. However, every version I've heard (including one where the driver instead avoids hitting a black dog) has specified that the headlights were off, and has not specified 'pitch-black' street. Although, in literal terms, I suppose that a newly-repaved street might qualify; a street that's just gotten a new load of asphalt on it literally is 'pitch' black.

Either way, though, the original poster's profile seems to show he hasn't been back on since he posted the riddle. And therefore, pursuant to Mattyd's original rules laying down a twelve-hour deadline, I'm calling this one closed. I'll leave a riddle of my own for anyone who wants to try it.

Riddle:
"One day as I was walking along I met a man in the rain. He nodded his head and drew his hat and in this riddle I've said his name."
What is the name?

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pygmalion was right about "it's by day" as I didn't say the "street" is pitch black, but just that the "road" is pitch black. and sorry that i forgot to mention the headlights being off.

Anyways, back to the latest riddle.... there are as far as i think three names in there...
Ed
Anddrew (Andrew)
Andi (Andy)

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