The Hobbit

What is the Arkenstone worth to Thorin?To Bilbo? Why does Thorin want it?Why does Bilbo have and keep it?

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The Arkenstone used to belong to his grandfather, it was found in the roots of the mountain, and it was faceted and polished by the dwarves. It is a part of Thorin's history.

Bilbo took it from Smaug's hoard of treasures, and although he's not quite sure why he keeps and hides it; he does use it later as a bargaining chip.