stanleyjewelers
December 6th, 2021
Millennials (ages 25-34) outspend Gen Zers (ages 18-24) by 63% when it comes to buying an engagement ring. The average price paid for a ring by Millennials is $6,700, compared to $4,100 spent by their younger counterparts, according to a newly released survey by The Knot.



Across all age groups, the average spend is $6,000 — up slightly from the pre-pandemic spend in 2019 of $5,900. Ring costs varied widely depending on whether the couple was buying an engagement ring with a diamond or non-diamond center stone. The average cost of a diamond engagement ring is $6,800, versus an average of $2,500 for a ring with a colored gemstone center stone.

Roughly two out of three couples said they stuck to a set budget, while nearly 30% spent more than planned (up 9 percentage points since 2020).

The most popular type of engagement stone continues to be a diamond (86%), with round (41%) remaining the most popular cut. The wedding planning site noted that the oval shape has been enjoying a steady increase in popularity over the past six years. Only 2% preferred it in 2015, but now that number is up to 19%. 

Among the 10% of respondents who chose a non-diamond for their center stone, the most popular pick is moissanite, which now accounts for more than one-quarter of non-diamond stones (28%, +9% vs. 2019). Moissanite is even more popular among Gen Zers (35%).

Nearly one in four engagement rings in 2021 featured a center stone that was lab-grown. That number is up from 11% in 2019.

The Knot also said that bridal couple’s precious-metal preferences are trending away from white gold. Forty-five percent purchased white gold rings in 2021, compared to 61% in 2017.  Yellow gold has increased in popularity by 11 percentage points since 2017.

What’s more, The Knot reported that while online channels, such as social media and jewelry websites, continue to be the leading resource for ring research and inspiration, proposers value the importance of in-store shopping. Exactly 67% of engagement rings were purchased in-store, with half of in-store purchases happening at local jewelers in 2021.

Proposers said they visited two to three retailers and checked out 10 rings on average — in-store — before purchasing. 

More than 90% of couples announced their engagement on social media, with Instagram (78%) and Facebook (77%) being the most popular, and 20% of couples announced on Snapchat. Of those who got engaged in 2021, more than 75% have already set a date for 2022, with fall being the most popular season. 

Of the nearly three in four engagements taking place outdoors this year, 35% occurred at a scenic spot, such as a mountain top or a place with a city view. Nearly one in three engagements took place during a planned trip, up 7% from last year when many trips had to be canceled because of COVID restrictions.

“The Knot 2021 Jewelry & Engagement Study” reflects the impressions of more than 5,000 respondents who got engaged from January through November 2021. 

Credit: Image by Bigstockphoto.com.
December 3rd, 2021
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you joyous songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Cuban-American singing sensation Camila Cabello kicks up her heels in the 2021 international dance hit, "Don't Go Yet."



Viewed on Youtube more than 47 million times, the video of this instant classic tells a story of a young woman who can't cope with the idea of being apart from her boyfriend. Throughout the song she implores him to stay — even though he's scheduled to take a flight. Cabello sets the scene by using precious metals to paint a picture of a magical, romantic place.

She sings, "I imagine myself in satin, the room was platinum and gold / I'd dance and catch your eye, you'll be mesmerized, oh."

Written by Cabello and collaborators Scott Harris, Eric Frederic and Mike Sabath, "Don't Go Yet" made its radio debut in July of 2021 as the lead single of Cabello's third studio album, Familia. The song quickly became an international success, charting in 33 countries.

It was nominated for Song of the Summer at the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards and as the Best International Video at the 2021 LOS40 Music Awards.

"Familia" in Spanish means "family," and Cabello's official video for "Don't Go Yet" is all about family. The singer told YouTube’s “Released” that the song and music video were both inspired by Cuban-Mexican family parties from her childhood, where "everybody eats dinner, and then after you put on a little cheap disco ball with lights and suddenly the living room is the dance floor."

The video is teeming with a cast of colorful characters, including professional dancers, reality show celebrities and Cabello's actual relatives.

The 24-year-old, Cuban-born Cabello is best known for her smash hits "Havana" (2018) and "Señorita" (2019), a duet she performed with Shawn Mendes.

She got her first big break in 2012, when she placed third on The X Factor. Soon after, she joined a group called Fifth Harmony, which signed a record deal with Syco Music, a music company owned by X Factor host Simon Cowell.

Please check out the awesome video of Cabello and her familia performing "Don't Go Yet." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along…

"Don't Go Yet"
Written by Camila Cabello, Cabello, Scott Harris, Eric Frederic and Mike Sabath. Performed by Camila Cabello.

Oh, my love, oh, yeah, yeah
I'm in love, yeah

I replayed this moment for months
Alone in my head, waitin' for it to come
I wrote all your lines in the scripts in my mind, and
I hope that you follow it for once

I imagine myself in satin, the room was platinum and gold
I'd dance and catch your eye, you'll be mesmerized, oh

We'd find a corner, then your hands in my hair
Finally we're here, so, why
Are you sayin' you got a flight, need an early night?
No, don't go yet

Oh, yeah, don't go yet, don't go yet
Oh, yeah, don't go yet, don't go yet
Oh, yeah, don't go yet, don't go yet
What you leavin' for, when my night is yours?
Just a little more, don't go yet

Baby, don't go yet, 'cause I wore this dress for a lil' drama

And I bet, I bet that you think that you know, but you don't
Baby, come to mama
I get, I get what I want when I want
And I get it how I wanna, wanna
And I want you baby, gotta get you, baby

We'd find a corner, then your hands in my hair
Finally we're here, so, why
Are you sayin' you got a flight, need an early night?
No, don't go yet

Oh, yeah, don't go yet, don't go yet
Oh, yeah, don't go yet, don't go yet (No, no)
Oh, yeah, don't go yet, don't go yet
What you leavin' for, when my night is yours?
Just a little more, don't go yet

Dámelo
La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la (Don't go yet)
La-la-la-la-la-la-la, hey (Don't go yet)
Hey!

(Oh-no-no, don't leave yet)
(No te vayas, quédate)

(Oh-no-no, don't leave yet) Ahora voy yo
(No te vayas, quédate)
(Oh-no-no, don't leave yet) Stay a little longer
(No te vayas, quédate) Know you really wanna
(Oh-no-no, don't leave yet) Stay a little longer
(No te vayas, quédate) Oh

Oh, yeah, don't go yet, don't go yet
Oh, yeah, don't go yet, don't go yet
Oh, yeah, don't go yet, don't go yet
(Oh-no-no, don't leave yet) What you leavin' for, when my night is yours?
(No te vayas, quédate) Just a little more

(Oh, yeah, don't go yet, don't go yet) What you leavin' for, when my night is yours? Yours, yours
What you leavin' for, when my night is yours?
Just a little more, don't go yet



Credit: Screen capture via Youtube.com / Camila Cabello.
December 2nd, 2021
A 41,500-year-old oval-shaped pendant crafted from a mammoth tusk represents the oldest human-decorated jewelry ever found in Eurasia, according to an international team of researchers.



Discovered in the Stajnia Cave in southern Poland, the jewelry has a sophisticated design that includes 50 puncture marks in a looping curve, along with two drilled holes. The holes indicate that the item was likely worn as a pendant.

“This piece of jewelry shows the great creativity and [the] extraordinary manual skills of members of the group of Homo sapiens that occupied the site,” noted Dr. Wioletta Nowaczewska, a researcher from Wrocław University in Poland.

The scientists believe the markings could represent the monthly cycle of the Moon or Sun, or a counting system that kept track of hunting tallies.

“If the Stajnia pendant’s looping curve indicates a lunar analemma or kill scores will remain an open question,” Dr. Adam Nadachowski, a researcher in the Institute of Systematics and Evolution of Animals at the Polish Academy of Sciences, told sci-news.com.

The pendant was discovered alongside an awl made from horse bone and a number of bone fragments. The researchers believe the artifacts may indicate that humans of this period were beginning to produce small and transportable personal adornments.

Why humans started using jewelry at this time is a mystery that researchers are trying to understand, according to Sahra Talamo, a chemist at the University of Bologna in Italy, who led the study.

The researchers noted that similar carved decorations have appeared at other sites across Germany, France, Russia and the Siberian Arctic. The Polish artifact predates the others by 2,000 years, according to the researchers.



Cousins of modern-day elephants, woolly mammoths roamed Eurasia until about 10,000 years ago. Measuring 14-feet-tall at the shoulder, the giant beasts weighed up to 22,000 pounds.

The Stajnia Cave findings were first reported in the journal Scientific Reports.

Credits: Mammoth tusk jewelry photo by Antonino Vazzana/BONES Lab. Mammoth illustration by DataBase Center for Life Science (DBCLS), CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
December 1st, 2021
Back in 2002, tanzanite joined turquoise and zircon as an official birthstone for the month of December. The occasion was momentous because, up until that point, the list hadn't been amended since 1912. The gem you see here is an extraordinary example of tanzanite from the Smithsonian’s National Gem Collection at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC.



The 18.56-carat, emerald-cut stone was purchased for the Smithsonian with funds from the Tiffany & Co. Foundation in 2011. This is significant because 43 years earlier Tiffany played a vital role in making tanzanite a household name.

It was 1967 when Maasai tribesmen discovered a patch of shockingly beautiful bluish-violet gems in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Samples were entrusted to a prospector named Manuel d’Souza, who shared the crystals with distinguished gemologists. Originally thought to be sapphires, the gems turned out to be a totally new, vibrant blue variety of the mineral zoisite.

A year later, Tiffany looked to feature the gemstone in a broad-based advertising campaign, but its marketing team had to overcome a branding hurdle. The name “blue zoisite” sounded very much like “blue suicide” — and that alone could have tanked the campaign. So, the team at Tiffany decided to promote the gems as “tanzanite,” a name that would honor their country of origin.

Tiffany’s marketing campaign was a huge success and tanzanite would eventually earn the title of “Gem of the 20th Century.”

In 2002, a jewelry-industry trade organization — the American Gem Trade Association — designated tanzanite as an official birthstone for the month of December.

Tanzanites are said to be 1,000 times more rare than diamonds due to the fact that the blue-violet gem is mined in only one location on Earth. The area measures 2km wide by 4km long and the remaining lifespan of the mine is less than 30 years.

According to the Smithsonian, tanzanite exhibits the optical phenomenon known as pleochroism. This is when a gemstone presents multiple colors when observed at different angles. A tanzanite could appear intense blue, violet or red depending on the direction through which the crystal or polished gem is viewed.

Credit: Photo by Greg Polley / Smithsonian.
November 30th, 2021
Actress Lindsay Lohan’s Thanksgiving weekend ended on a spectacular note, as the Mean Girls star turned to Instagram on Sunday to announce her engagement to fund manager Bader Shammas.



Lohan’s 9.8 million Instagram followers were treated to an unpretentious, four-pic gallery showing her and her new fiancé enjoying their special moment. The new engagement ring can be seen in all four photos, which shared the caption, “My love. My life. My family. My future.” She punctuated the post with the hashtag “love” and a diamond ring emoji.



Because the ring is a bit blurry in the series, jewelry-industry experts were hard-pressed to lock down the shape, size and value of the ring. The diamond certainly has a squarish shape, so the experts narrowed down the possibilities to radiant, cushion or princess cut.



The metal type is likely platinum or white gold and the thin band seems to be adorned with diamonds.

The jewelry-industry insiders couldn’t agree on the size of the center stone, with estimates ranging from 3 carats to 6 carats. The same experts placed the value of the ring in the neighborhood of $150,000 to $250,000.



The 35-year-old Lohan and 34-year-old Shammas were first spotted together at a Dubai music festival in 2020 and have been dating ever since. According to The Independent, Shammas holds the title of assistant vice president at Credit Suisse and the couple has been living in Dubai, the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates.

The Freaky Friday actress was previously engaged to Egor Tarabasov in 2016. Her previous engagement ring was similar to the current one in that it also featured a square-shaped center stone and thin band. 

Lohan will return to the big screen in 2022 with a starring role in a Netflix romantic comedy that is still untitled. She will play a newly engaged, spoiled hotel heiress who loses her memory after a skiing accident. Her co-star and love interest in the film is Glee alumnus Chord Overstreet.

Credits: Images via Instagram / lindsaylohan.
November 29th, 2021
A new "Engagement Expectations" study conducted by The Knot and De Beers Group reveals that 96% of pre-engaged women want to have some involvement in the selection of the engagement ring and would not want the proposal to be a total surprise.



Carried out just ahead of "engagement season," the period between Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day, the study reveals new insights into marriage proposals in a post-COVID environment. Nearly 300 women in a serious relationship were surveyed about expectations related to the proposal process — from where and how it takes place, to the selection of the engagement ring.

Three-fourths of pre-engaged females have thought a lot or some about their engagement ring and most are increasingly preferring more personalized and unique engagement rings.

The primary choice for an engagement ring center stone remains a diamond, with the majority citing this as their first choice. But contrary to popular opinion, pre-engaged women are less focused on carat weight and more concerned with the shape, style and setting of the stone.

The majority (68%) also believe that ring designs today are more unique than in their parents' generation, and one in five feel the exchange of rings has more meaning and significance today.

When it comes to purchasing the ring, about 2 in 10 respondents expect both partners to contribute to the cost; most women (76%) expect their partner will pay.

The findings also highlight an increased interest in intimacy and connection when it comes to the proposal itself.

While most pre-engaged women still want their partner to propose to them, they want the experience to be more personal and unique. Grand gestures and elaborate public displays were less appealing to respondents, with a solid majority saying the ideal way to pop the question would be one person proposing to the other (98%), planned ahead of time (66%), and in a private place (66%).

While females desire more intimate proposals, the majority (85%) feel there is more pressure on their partners to plan a unique proposal than in their parents' generation.

The Knot and De Beers Group Engagement Expectations Study was fielded on Instagram in October 2021 among 296 females in a serious relationship. A majority of female respondents (77%) participating in the survey believe they will be engaged within the next two years. Most were between the ages of 18 and 34.

Credit: Image courtesy of De Beers Group.
November 24th, 2021
More than a week after accepting a romantic marriage proposal from Twilight star Taylor Lautner, newly engaged Tay Dome was still basking in the glow of her oval-cut diamond engagement ring.



"I can get used to this view," she captioned an Instagram selfie of her outstretched left hand, against the backdrop of her famous fiancé.

The 29-year-old actor had popped the question to his registered nurse girlfriend on 11.11.21 and celebrated a few days later at the DAOU Vineyards in Paso Robles, CA. Both Lautner and Dome shared photos of their romantic getaway, and in a number of photos the ring was front and center.



In one photo, Lautner is holding a wine glass with his left hand while pointing at the 23-year-old's ring with his right hand. His fianceé smiles as she looks straight into the camera with her ring finger extended straight up. In his caption, Lautner shared with his 7.1 million Instagram followers just how much Dome has changed his life.

He wrote, "Cannot wait to spend forever with you @taydome You love me unconditionally. You don't put up with my [stuff]. You calm me when I'm anxious. You make me laugh way too much. You make every single day spent with you so special. And most importantly, you make me a better person. I can’t thank you enough for what you’ve brought to my life. I love you forever."



The November 11 proposal took place at Lautner's home in a room strewn with rose petals and lit by a fireplace and white candles. A pink neon sign above the fireplace spelled out "Lautner" in script.

Lautner posted a pic of the scene and captioned it, “11.11.2021 … And just like that, all of my wishes came true.”

According to People.com, Lautner and Dome went public with their relationship three years ago during the Halloween season. Lautner posted to his Instagram page a photo of the couple wearing matching costumes.

Credits: Images via Instagram.com / taydome.
November 23rd, 2021
In April 2019, Botswana's state-run Okavango Diamond Company unveiled the largest blue diamond ever discovered in that country — a 20.46-carat oval gem with Fancy Deep Blue color and VVS2 clarity. At the time, the company's managing director called the gem "a once-in-a-lifetime find."



Earlier this month, the "Okavango Blue Diamond" made its New York City debut as the centerpiece of a spectacular display at the Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals, the newly renovated, 11,000-square-foot section of the American Museum of Natural History.



The vibrant gem occupies the lead showcase in a presentation about the wide variety of natural diamonds found in Botswana — from more common industrial diamonds used in construction, manufacturing and other sectors to gem-quality ones. More than 1,000 rough natural diamonds are included in the gallery that explains the different characteristics of diamonds, including size, shape, quality and color. There is also an emphasis on the unique way that Botswana runs its diamond industry.



Botswana is the second-largest producer of natural diamonds in the world and a major source of gem-quality, ethically sourced diamonds. The "Okavango Blue Diamond" was sourced at one of the world’s largest open-pit diamond mines, the Orapa Mine.

It was cut from a 41.11-carat rough diamond and its name honors the world heritage site known as the Okavango Delta. The lush delta is the home of hippos, elephants, crocodiles, lions, leopards, giraffes and rhinos. It's an area of exceptional biodiversity and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The government of Botswana established the first of four large diamond mines shortly after it attained independence in 1966. At that time, lawmakers entered into agreements with tribal leaders to make certain that the country's valuable diamond resources would always benefit the people.

“Our natural diamond resources are managed responsibly in a manner that puts the people of Botswana first,” said Okavango Diamond Company Managing Director Mmetla Masire. “There is a strong sense of local pride knowing that these diamonds are improving the lives of Batswana with profits directly reinvested in education, infrastructure and public health. We are so pleased to share with the world the larger story of the diamond industry of Botswana.”

The "Okavango Blue Diamond" and the other diamonds of Botswana are on loan from the Okavango Diamond Company. Visitors will find the gems within the museum's Melissa and Keith Meister Gallery, which is specifically designed to accommodate rotating exhibitions at the Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals.

Credits: Diamond photo courtesy the Okavango Diamond Company. Display photos by D. Finnin/©AMNH.
November 22nd, 2021
Lawmaker Thomas Mahaffie is advancing a bill to make amethyst the official gemstone of Pennsylvania. Twenty-seven of the 50 states currently have a gemstone to call their own, and the state representative from Dauphin County believes that The Keystone State deserves one, as well.



In a legislative memo, Mahaffie outlined why amethyst is the best choice.

"Pennsylvania is well known for its variety of vast mineral deposits and the mines that work them," he wrote. "Among these is quartz, the most beautiful type of which is the vibrant, purple gemstone, amethyst."

Mahaffie also noted that amethysts are featured in the tiara used to crown the winner of the Miss Pennsylvania pageant. The tiara boasts 92 carats of amethysts, including a keystone-shaped primary jewel weighing 37 carats. The tiara is the subject of great pride because the gems and gold used to fabricate it were contributed by jewelers throughout the state.

"The official symbols of the Commonwealth are important because they help to differentiate our state from others," he continued. "Most states have an official state dog, tree and flower, etc., all of which help to show what is important to that state."

Mahaffie added one more piece of purple passion to his argument.

“Coincidentally, the state plant of Pennsylvania is Penngift Crownvetch, commonly known as “‘Purple Crown,’” he wrote. “How fitting that Pennsylvania is represented by the beauty of the attractive purple blooms of the state plant ‘Purple Crown’ and the radiant purple amethyst gemstones of the ‘Purple Crown’ worn by Miss Pennsylvania.”

According to Thoughtco.com, 27 states currently claim an official gemstone. New Hampshire has smoky quartz, Idaho has star garnet and Maine has tourmaline, to name a few.

If the measure — HB 777 — passes through the House and Senate, Pennsylvania will become the second state to anoint amethyst as its official gemstone. The other is South Carolina.



Also included in Mahaffie's bill is a proposal to make celestite the state's official mineral. First discovered in Pennsylvania in 1791, the pale blue mineral gets its name from the Latin word for "celestial."

"I believe that denoting celestite, more commonly referred to as celestine, as the state mineral will not only pique the interest of school children across the state to learn more about Pennsylvania and its rich environment, but will also help educate the public about a uniquely beautiful mineral," Mahaffie wrote.

Celestite has been found in Pennsylvania's Blair, Juniata, Lycoming, Northumberland, Huntingdon and Mifflin counties. Deposits of amethyst are present in the state's southeastern counties of Lancaster, Chester and Delaware.

Credits: Amethyst image by Marie-Lan Taÿ Pamart, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Celestite image by Ivar Leidus, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
November 19th, 2021
Welcome to another Music Friday Flashback, when we bring you classic tunes with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, we feature Seals & Crofts performing their Summer of ’73 hit, “Diamond Girl.”



Using gemstone imagery to describe a girl who is perfect in their eyes, Jimmy Seals and Dash Crofts sing, “Diamond Girl – you sure do shine / Glad I found you – glad you’re mine / Oh my love, you’re like a precious stone / Part of earth where heaven has rained on.”

The Texas-born Seals and Crofts are famous for their lush harmonies, spiritual lyrics and a string of chart-toppers in the 1970s. Their songs are said to be influenced by the teachings of the Bahá’í faith.

Coming off their success with “Summer Breeze” in 1972, the duo was back in the studio one year later with “Diamond Girl.”

Released as the title track of Seals & Crofts' fifth studio album, the single reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The album also was a huge success, as it rose to #4 on the Billboard 200 chart. A second charting single from the album was “We May Never Pass This Way Again,” which topped out at #21.

The duo had a strong run through the 1970s, but disbanded in 1980. They reunited briefly in 1991 and then again in 2004, when they released their final album, Traces.

Seals & Crofts’ fans may not know that Jim Seals is the brother of Dan Seals, who was “England Dan” in the duo England Dan and John Ford Coley (“I’d Really Love to See You Tonight,” 1976). In the early and mid-2000s, Jim Seals toured with his brother under the name, Seals & Seals.

Another interesting bit of trivia: Seals and Crofts both belonged to the group The Champs (“Tequila,” 1958) in the late 1950s and early 1960s, before going out on their own.

Jim Seals turned 80 on October 17. Dash Crofts celebrated his 81st birthday on August 14.

Please check out the video of Seals & Crofts performing “Diamond Girl” live on The Midnight Special in 1973. The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“Diamond Girl”
Written by Jim Seals and Dash Crofts. Performed by Seals & Crofts.

Diamond Girl – you sure do shine
Glad I found you – glad you’re mine
Oh my love, you’re like a precious stone
Part of earth where heaven has rained on

Makes no difference where you are
Day or nighttime you’re like a shinin’ star
And how could I shine without you
When it’s about you that I am

Diamond Girl – roamin’ wild
Such a rare thing – radiant child
I could never find another one like you
Part of me is deep down inside you

Can’t you feel the whole world’s a-turnin’
We are real and we are a-burnin’
Diamond Girl now that I’ve found you
It’s around you that I am

Diamond Girl – you sure do shine
Diamond Girl – you sure do shine
Diamond Girl – you sure do shine
Diamond Girl – you sure do shine



Credit: Image by Warner Brothers Records, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons