One of the things we learned quickly when the Upheaval hit was value. True, actual, value. One the surface, you might think it would be a simple thing to define, but in the middle of the fight, it became something that took on real, fundemental meaning.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about values, those things we teach our kids about being right and wrong. No, what I'm talking about is what something is worth.
In the first days of the Upheaval, people were grabbing as much money and valuables as they could, thinking they would be worth something in the future. Trouble was, all that paper money was just that, paper. I can't tell you how much of the stuff we used to use to start fires. Coins were just about as useless, they had no real value beyond their metal content, and the real silver coins had been long gone even before the zombies came.
No, value came from usefullness. A man with a hammer had something more valuable than a man with a gold brick. I remember meeting a guy who showed me he was carrying a bunch of gold coins. I asked him what he planned to do with it. He said he would trade it for food and supplies. I asked him why it was worth anything. He thought I was crazy, but I had just simply moved on from old notions of value. I did give him a pocketknife for a small disk of gold, though. That shiny button did lure in a good number of fish, I have to say, so it did earn its keep.
Value changed in the Upheaval. Old treasures like diamonds and emeralds were only worth what someone was willing to trade for them, and even then, it was just for fun.
Side note: John had a moment of brilliance once. I mention it as once, we've been recovering from his other ideas since. But he figured the best place to find tools for the new world was to look where they stored the tools from the old, old world. We scoured antique shops for old hand tools and implements, things they had used before they had electricity and power motors. These things, once we figured out how they worked and what they were for, were extremely valuable because they were useful.
Bottom line, don't waste your time trying to stuff the diamonds in your pocket. You can't eat them and they don't really serve a purpose. If you want to have them for later when things may get straightened out, that's okay, but there are long odds against you seeing it in your lifetime.