In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, I don't really understand what the dwarfs do with the precious jewels that they mine because they don't have separate houses or even a very big house.

Considering how untidy and dirty they are too, they don't have a cleaner! Surely they would make a lot of money from these jewels? Also how do they pay for their house if they do not sell them? Don't know whether I'm looking into this too deep.

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    This isn't a proper answer but you may find this enlightening & amusing: cracked.com/blog/…
    – Mike D.
    Feb 27, 2018 at 7:48
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    Perhaps they use them to edge their mining tools.
    – T.E.D.
    Feb 27, 2018 at 9:02
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    "Don't know whether I'm looking into this too deep." Firstly, you are, and secondly, that's totally fine. That's pretty much what movies Stack Exchange is for.
    – AJFaraday
    Feb 27, 2018 at 9:38
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    So... er... do you believe that real-life diamond miners are rich? Feb 27, 2018 at 14:38
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    @DavidRicherby I believe the owners of a diamond mine might well be comfortably off. Especially if fortuitous, random, geological processes have rendered the diamonds in their mine both cut and polished! Feb 27, 2018 at 15:47

3 Answers 3


It's never explained and, it's possible, they do it just because it's their job.

There's even a line in the song "Heigh-ho"...

We dig up diamonds by the score

A thousand rubies, sometimes more

Though we don't know what we dig 'em for

We dig dig dig a-dig dig

It's also worth noting that they don't care about mine security since they leave the key to the mine vault right outside the vault door on a hook. In other words, they just like to dig the diamonds for no real reason.

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    Agreed. They are just an archetype of a mythological creature. Dwarves are associated with mining and metalworking. You see this in Tolkein as well as the Snow White fairytale.
    – iandotkelly
    Feb 26, 2018 at 22:11
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    But Tolkien Dwarves create vast underground cities and trade their ores and products with other communities. They certainly have purposes and reasons for their mining. Feb 27, 2018 at 2:39
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    @M.A.Golding, because Tolkien was "creating a world." The difference is that in the Disney adaptation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves the purpose for the dwarves' mining occupation is largely irrelevant to the story (as is their language, racial history, social conventions, etc). Just because the story Disney told didn't require additional details, it doesn't mean the archetype doesn't hold.
    – YLearn
    Feb 27, 2018 at 6:10
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    @AJFaraday .... I think he's saying that this answer is the correct answer, and adding a couple of supporting comments.
    – iandotkelly
    Feb 27, 2018 at 12:22
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    Plot twist: The key is magic and if you touch it, you are cursed to become a dwarf, mining for eternity. Feb 27, 2018 at 17:01

They hoard them. Dwarves love gold/diamonds/precious elements just for themselves, and not for what it can buy them.

This obsession to mine and hoard these elements is unlike someone who sees diamonds etc. as a commodity or currency and what these things can do for them. In themselves, these things have no real value besides looking pretty. Or of course you have industrial use for them, for example. Dwarves in western myth have a natural and innate love for diamonds and/or other precious metals/stones which results in coveting them for the sake of coveting them, having possession of them alone (kind of like a drug addict and the drug they are addicted to). These dwarves are no different. They mine and hoard because they can't help themselves.

(The irony in this is the fact that dwarves seem to be attracted to elements that others find valuable (because of their high trade in or market value), which to me, seems to show a kind of tendency to hoard something that others like, and this fact may actually be the real cause of their obsession, which is something to consider as well. But that's a topic for another question.)

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    What dwarves like tends to be things others find valuable, but they don't like everything that others find valuable. They like what they like.
    – Brilliand
    Feb 27, 2018 at 18:23

I don't know if this is correct, but thinking on other adaptations to Snow White, we see the queen as a dictator that takes everything from everybody, maybe it is their payment so no one meddles with them and their life. Also they probably own the house and get their food from the forest, they don't have a luxurious life which also means that they live with what they can find.

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    It would be great to see excerpts of those adpatations to help support your answer! Mar 1, 2018 at 1:05

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