Articles in June 2020

June 1st, 2020
A marquise-cut, 12.11-carat, fancy intense blue diamond will be headlining Christie's first live auction since the COVID-19 outbreak. The internally flawless diamond is expected to fetch between $8.3 million and $12.2 million at Christie's Hong Kong on July 10, with previews running from July 4-7.

Flanked by two side stones and set on a diamond band, the stunning blue diamond is secured by six yellow gold prongs.

“Fancy Vivid” is the ultimate color classification for blue diamonds. Those displaying lower levels of color saturation may be rated “Fancy Intense,” “Fancy,” “Fancy Light” or “Light,” according to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Blue diamonds owe their color to the presence of boron in the chemical makeup of the gem.

The Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels sale, which had originally been slated for June 2, signals a return to some normalcy for the famous auction house. Christie's had been promoting online auctions as a substitute for its high-profile onsite events.

In an article titled, “10 Jewels That Made History — and Changed the Market,” Christie's highlighted a 28.86-carat, emerald-cut diamond that will be offered at its Jewels Online sale, June 16-30. The D-color gem carries a high estimate of $2 million and is being touted as the highest-valued lot ever offered for sale online at Christie’s.

July's live auction will include four other high-profile lots...

• Posted with a high estimate of $1.2 million is a 6.06-carat ruby and diamond ring. The ruby is of Burmese origin and boasts the highly desirable "pigeon's blood" color. Surrounding the center stone are eight oval white diamonds and smaller pink stone accents.

• An exceptional jadeite bangle is expected to sell in the range of $1 million to $1.5 million.

• Two Kashmir sapphires are the stars of a diamond necklace that could yield as much as $1 million. The sapphires weigh 12.81 carats and 6.50 carats, respectively.

• These jadeite hoop and ruby earrings carry a high estimate of $748,000.

Credits: Images courtesy of Christie's.
June 2nd, 2020
Today we celebrate June’s official birthstone by shining our spotlight on the world's largest natural pearl. Tipping the scales at 600 carats (about a quarter pound) and standing 3 inches tall, the "Pearl of Asia" boasts a storied history that dates back more than 400 years.

Jewelry experts believe the baroque-shaped pearl was discovered in the pearl fishing grounds of the Persian Gulf sometime between the late 16th and early 17th centuries.

The natural pearl first surfaced in India, but became the property of the King of Persia (present-day Iran) after the siege of Delhi. The King then gifted the gem to Chinese Emperor Qianlong, who believed the giant pearl would bring happiness and good fortune.

The Pearl of Asia migrated to the west in the early 20th century when it was placed into its current setting — an organic motif that resembles a bunch of fruits dangling from a vine. The smaller fruits are represented by an oval-shaped white pearl as well as a cabochon-cut jade and pink quartz.

Natural pearls, such as the Pearl of Asia, are exceedingly rare because they are created by mollusks randomly, without human intervention. When a grain of sand or similar irritant finds its way between the mollusk’s shell and its mantle tissue, the process begins. To protect itself, the mollusk instinctually secretes multiple layers of nacre, an iridescent material that eventually becomes a pearl. Cultured pearls, by contrast, are created when a shell bead is surgically embedded inside the body of the mollusk to stimulate nacre secretion.

The Pearl of Asia is said to be the largest known natural "nacreous" pearl, meaning that it is formed with layers of nacre. The largest non-nacreous pearl — the "Pearl of Allah" — weighs more than 14 pounds. That pearl was the result of stony growths called calcareous concretions.

In 2005, the Pearl of Asia was one of 12 rare pearls featured during a six-month exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History called “The Allure of Pearls.” Other specimens included La Peregrina, the Hope Pearl, the Drexel Pearl, the Black Beauty, the Pearl of Kuwait, the Queen Mary Brooch with two large natural pink conch pearls, the South Sea Drops, the Survival Pearl and the Paspaley Pearl.

Pearl is one of the two official birthstones for June. The other is alexandrite.

Credits: Images courtesy of Smithsonian/NMNH Photo Services.
June 3rd, 2020
On Friday, Lady Gaga dished the tasty 2019 Oscars backstory of how the $30 million, 128.54-carat "Tiffany Diamond" that she wore during the awards ceremony remained on her neck during a Madonna-hosted afterparty — and a late-night excursion to Taco Bell.

During her virtual appearance on The Graham Norton Show, Gaga described the celebration after scoring her first Oscar for Best Original Song.

“I didn’t know what was going to happen that night — I was just so happy to be there,” the 34-year-old singer-actress told the host. “My sister and I were barreling through champagne backstage, and when we left, I didn’t tell anyone, and I still had the diamond on.”

The extraordinary cushion-cut sparkler, which normally resides on the main floor of Tiffany’s Fifth Avenue flagship store, has been worn by only three women during its 143-year history. The fancy yellow diamond made its first public appearance on the neck of Mrs. E. Sheldon Whitehouse at the 1957 Tiffany Ball. Actress Audrey Hepburn famously wore it in 1961 publicity posters for the motion picture Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

And, in February 2019, Gaga and The Tiffany Diamond turned heads at the 91st Academy Awards. Tiffany's security team was on hand throughout the evening to keep a watchful eye on the famous stone.

“Everyone freaked out that I was still wearing [the necklace],” Gaga said. “When I went to Madonna's house, security guards were side-eyeing me."

Gaga was finally separated from the mammoth diamond when she and her entourage sought a late-night snack at a fast-food drive-thru.

“When we were heading to Taco Bell, my car was pulled over and Tiffany's security politely removed [the necklace] from my neck,” Gaga said.

The 128.54-carat yellow diamond was cut from a 287.42-carat rough stone discovered in the Kimberley diamond mines of South Africa in 1877 and acquired the following year by Tiffany’s founder, Charles Lewis Tiffany.

The rough stone was brought to Paris, where Tiffany’s chief gemologist, Dr. George Frederick Kunz, supervised the cutting of the diamond into a cushion-shape brilliant with an unprecedented 82 facets — 24 more facets than the traditional 58-facet brilliant cut. The stone measures slightly more than an inch across.

In 1961, the diamond was set in a ribbon rosette necklace to promote Breakfast at Tiffany’s. In 1995, it was part of a brooch called Bird on a Rock, which was exhibited at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.

The Tiffany Diamond necklace worn by Gaga was designed in 2012 to mark Tiffany’s 175 anniversary celebration. The platinum necklace features an openwork motif of sun rays glistening with 481 diamonds totaling more than 100 carats.

Credits: Academy Awards screen capture via; Bird on a Rock image by Shipguy [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.
June 4th, 2020
Simple-to-use DNA testing kits, such as 23andMe and AncestryDNA, have been providing millions of families with eye-opening snapshots of where their ancestors came from. Now, the Swiss Gemmological Institute (SSEF) is employing similar DNA fingerprinting technology to determine the origin of natural and cultured pearls.

By combining DNA fingerprinting with age-dating technology already provided by SSEF, it is now possible to gain previously inaccessible scientific insights into a pearl's unique origin and provenance. In the future, a natural pearl, such as "La Peregrina" (seen here), could be tested to determine exactly where and when it was harvested.

The new fingerprinting capabilities were developed by SSEF in partnership with the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the University of Zurich. The organizations have substantially expanded their DNA fingerprinting reference database and capabilities, which now include eight oyster species that produce the vast majority of pearls found in the natural and cultured pearl trade.

They included the following:

• Pinctada radiata (Arabian/Persian Gulf & Ceylon pearl oyster)
• Pinctada imbricata (Atlantic pearl oyster)
• Pinctada fucata/martensii (Akoya pearl oyster — Japan)
• Pinctada maxima (South Sea pearl oyster — Australia, Philippines, Indonesia)
• Pinctada margaritifera (Tahitian black-lipped pearl oyster)
• Pinctada mazatlanica (Panama pearl oyster)
• Pinctada maculata (Pipi pearl oyster — French Polynesia and the Cook Islands)
• Pteria sterna (Rainbow-lipped pearl oyster — Gulf of California, Mexico)

SSEF has refined its testing method so the subject pearl will not be harmed. The amount of material required for testing has been considerably reduced to an infinitesimal amount.

"We are happy to build on decades of pearl research at SSEF to launch this new service for the pearl trade,” said Dr. Michael S. Krzemnicki, director of SSEF. “DNA fingerprinting will contribute to further documenting the origin and geographic provenance of historic natural pearls and traceability efforts in the cultured pearl trade.”

“In addition to our collaboration on DNA testing of precious corals and ivory," said Dr. Adelgunde Kratzer of the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the University of Zurich, “we are pleased to be able to contribute our lab expertise to documenting pearls, which are one of the oldest and most iconic gems known to humankind.”

SSEF’s research on species identification creates important opportunities to better understand historic pearl trading routes and the origins of notable pearls.

Unlike many other natural and cultured pearls, the provenance of La Peregrina is well documented. After its discovery in the Gulf of Panama in the 16th century, King Phillip II of Spain gave the teardrop-shaped, 55.95-carat La Peregrina to Queen Mary I (Mary Tudor). The natural pearl also has been owned by Spanish royalty, the Bonapartes of France and the British Marquis of Abercorn. In 1969, Richard Burton spent $37,000 (outbidding a prince at Sotheby’s) to buy La Peregrina for Elizabeth Taylor as a gift for Valentine’s Day.

Credit: Photo courtesy of SSEF.
June 5th, 2020
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you classic songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today's featured song, "Golden Ring," chronicles Eric Clapton's complicated love triangle with model Pattie Boyd and The Beatles' George Harrison.

When asked by VH1 in 1999 to name his favorite song from his own catalog, the 17-time Grammy winner surprisingly picked “Golden Ring,” the ninth track on his 1978 Backless album.

He said the simple song was his all-time favorite because “it’s obscure, people don’t know it and it’s about marriage.”

It was later revealed that Clapton wrote the song to send a not-so-subtle message to Boyd about her lingering feelings for the ex-husband, Harrison. The Fab Four guitarist and Clapton became close friends in the late 1960s, but despite their friendship, Clapton fell in love with Boyd, who Harrison had married in 1966.

In 1970, Clapton reportedly proclaimed his love for Boyd with his hit song, “Layla.” When Boyd rebuffed his advances, Clapton went into a self-imposed musical exile that would last more than three years.

Boyd and Harrison eventually separated in 1974 and divorced in 1977. Clapton now had his chance to rekindle the relationship.

Clapton penned “Golden Ring” in the emotional transition year between Boyd’s official divorce from Harrison and his own marriage to Boyd in 1979. It was also the year Harrison tied the knot with author Olivia Trinidad Arias.

Clapton explained in his 2007 autobiography, “[Golden Ring] was written about the situation between me, [Pattie] and George. It referred in part to her response to the news that George was getting married again. She took it quite hard, and I, in my arrogance, found that hard to understand. So I wrote this song about the peculiarity of our triangle, which finishes with the words, ‘If I gave to you a golden ring / Would I make you happy, would I make you sing?'”

Clapton, who is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (once as a solo artist, and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and Cream), is considered one of the most influential guitarists of all time, ranking second on Rolling Stone magazine’s all-time list.

Clapton has sold more than 100 million albums and played 3,000-plus concerts during his 58 years as a performing artist. Over that time, more than two billion people in 58 countries across six continents have attended his concerts.

Born Eric Patrick Clapton in Surrey, England, in 1945, to a Canadian soldier stationed in England and a teenage mom, the future guitarist was raised by his maternal grandparents, convinced that his mother was his sister. At age nine, he learned learned the truth. Emotionally scarred, he became moody and distant and stopped applying himself at school.

Clapton loved music and got his first guitar on his 13th birthday. In 1961, at age 16, Clapton attended the Kingston College of Art and studied stained-glass design. He was expelled from college after one year because he spent most of his waking hours playing guitar and listening to the blues.

According to Clapton’s official bio, he spent his early days in music as a street performer. When he was 17, Clapton joined his first band, The Roosters. To make ends meet, the young Clapton worked as a laborer alongside his grandfather, a master bricklayer.

Clapton, who was making a name for himself on the R&B pub circuit, was recruited to become a member of The Yardbirds. The 18-year-old guitarist, who would earn the nickname Slowhand even though his hands were blazing fast, accepted the offer and the rest is history.

We invite you to enjoy the audio track of Clapton performing “Golden Ring.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“Golden Ring”
Written and performed by Eric Clapton.

He gave to you a golden ring
It made you happy, it made you sing
And I played for you on my guitar
It didn't last long, we didn't go far

And though the times have changed, we're rearranged
Will the ties that bind remain the same?

You came around after a while
Everyone said that I made you smile
It all went well and suddenly then
You heard that he would marry again

And though the times have changed, we're rearranged
Will the ties that bind remain the same?

Well I know that I have been here before
I've trod on your wings, I've opened the door
If I gave to you a golden ring
Would I make you happy, would I make you sing?

Though the times have changed, we're rearranged
Do the ties that bind remain the same?
Oh the times have changed, they're rearranged
Will the ties that bind remain the same?

Credit: Eric Clapton photo by Majvdl / CC BY-SA
June 8th, 2020
"Buyers Guide," the third installment in Gemfields' short-film series, introduces the "6Cs" of buying a ruby or emerald. Gemfields takes the commonly known "4Cs" of buying a diamond — color, clarity, cut and carat weight — and adds "character" and "certification."

The character of a gemstone is defined by its unique inclusions – the tiny flaws entombed in its crystals, which give it a personality all its own. This “story inside each gemstone” is perhaps the most important consideration for buyers, says the narrator.

He goes on to explain how a certificate from a licensed gem laboratory provides expert opinion on the gemstone's characteristics, as well as its country of origin and any treatments undertaken.

Color and clarity vary according to hue, tone and saturation, according to Gemfields, and these are influenced largely by the gemstone’s place of origin.

The skilled artistry involved in shaping each gemstone into an exquisite cut — be it round, oval, marquise, pear or octagon — is referenced, too.

Narrated and set to dramatic music, the film runs just under two minutes. But, in that short time, the viewer is taken on a spectacular journey from the formation of gemstones deep within the earth to the time they come to market.

"A gemstone is a gift from the earth itself," says the narrator.

The Buyer’s Guide video was created by Lambda Films, which utilized "liquid art" (a mixture of paint and oil) to illustrate how rubies and emeralds are formed at an elemental level. The Lambda creative team also used sculptured marble tableaus in 3D to depict modern-day shoppers, a gemologist and even an African queen.

Gemfields is featuring the short film on its website and on its YouTube channel, with shorter teasers posted to Gemfields’ social media.

The first video in the series emphasized the miner’s commitment to responsible sourcing, while the May release focused on emerald — the most valuable member of the beryl family and the official May birthstone.

The fourth and final video will be released in July. Gemfields will shine the spotlight on ruby, the birthstone of that month.

The mining company is uniquely qualified to tell the story of emeralds and rubies. For the past 12 years, it has operated Kagem, the world’s largest and most productive emerald mine. Kagem is 75% owned by Gemfields and 25% owned by the Government of the Republic of Zambia. Gemfields also operates the world’s largest ruby mine — the Montepuez mine in Mozambique.

Please check out the Buyers Guide video, below…

Credits: All images © Gemfields.
June 9th, 2020
It took more than 10 years, but Forrest Fenn's treasure chest containing a $1 million cache of gold nuggets, gold coins, rubies, diamonds, sapphires and historical jewelry has been found.

The eccentric multi-millionaire had sparked a mini gold rush in the Rocky Mountains north of Santa Fe when he published clues to the location of a 12th century bronze box containing the treasure. Fenn had told The New Mexican in 2017 that the box weighed 20 pounds and and its contents weighed 22 pounds.

Fenn believes that as many as 350,000 amateur and professional treasure hunters had attempted to solve the riddle using clues outlined in his six-stanza poem (seen below).

But, on Sunday night, the 89-year-old art and antiquities collector confirmed on his website that "the search is over." He noted that the treasure was found by a man from "back East" who did not want to be identified. The treasure hunter confirmed his discovery with a photograph.

“It was under a canopy of stars in the lush, forested vegetation of the Rocky Mountains and had not moved from the spot where I hid it more than 10 years ago," Fenn wrote. "I do not know the person who found it, but the poem in my book led him to the precise spot. I congratulate the thousands of people who participated in the search and hope they will continue to be drawn by the promise of other discoveries. So the search is over. Look for more information and photos in the coming days.”

Motivated by a cancer diagnosis that gave Fenn only a few years to live, Fenn decided to make this treasure hunt his legacy. He believed the treasure would inspire people, particularly children, to get away from their texting devices and look for adventure outdoors.

Fenn’s self-published 2011 memoir, The Thrill of the Chase, recounts his rags-to-riches story and includes the nine-clue poem. In 2013, Fenn added the 10th and 11th clues: The treasure is hidden higher than 5,000 feet above sea level; No need to dig up the old outhouses, the treasure is not associated with any structure. Here's the poem...

Fenn’s Treasure Poem

As I have gone alone in there
And with my treasures bold,
I can keep my secret where,
And hint of riches new and old.

Begin it where warm waters halt
And take it in the canyon down,
Not far, but too far to walk.
Put in below the home of Brown.

From there it’s no place for the meek,
The end is ever drawing nigh;
There’ll be no paddle up your creek,
Just heavy loads and water high.

If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace.

So why is it that I must go
And leave my trove for all to seek?
The answers I already know,
I’ve done it tired and now I’m weak.

So hear me all and listen good,
Your effort will be worth the cold.
If you are brave and in the wood
I give you title to the gold.

Credit: Book image via
June 10th, 2020
The world's leading diamond miners have hit the reset button on the "Diamond Producers Association," relaunching the global trade organization as the "Natural Diamond Council" (NDC), while at the same time replacing their "Real is Rare, Real is a Diamond" branding with the simpler phrase, "Only Natural Diamonds" (OND).

NDC's new consumer-friendly website,, will offer insightful natural diamond coverage under six key pillars: "Epic Diamonds," "Hollywood & Pop Culture," "Love & Diamonds," "Style & Innovation," "Diamonds 101" and "Inside the Diamond World." Overall, the group's mission is to promote the desirability of natural diamonds and support the integrity of the diamond jewelry industry.

"Our new digital platforms will inspire and inform consumers globally about the values and heritage of natural diamonds, as well as promoting the significant innovation happening throughout the world of diamond jewelry,” noted NDC Managing Director, Kristina Buckley Kayel. “The younger audience is clearly engaged and inspired when we present ourselves with authority in the digital world. It’s our aim to be number one across all digital platforms in our industry, and our ambitious plans reflect these goals.”

The OND website aims to be a trusted educational hub, providing all the facts needed when considering buying diamond jewelry.

On its YouTube page, Only Natural Diamonds, the OND posted a 50-second video with the caption, "What the modern diamond industry looks like today may surprise you. Discover the world of natural diamonds, today."

In the video, viewers learn that diamond producers are committed to giving back to the Earth by reducing their carbon footprint, protecting 1,000 square miles of land and supporting the livelihood of 10 million people with safe, quality jobs. What's more, the diamond industry is creating infrastructure, social programs and schools to empower future generations, while infusing $7 billion annually into local communities.

The launch of the NDC is the result of the collaborative effort of seven leading diamond mining companies: ALROSA, De Beers, Dominion Diamonds, Lucara Diamond, Petra Diamonds, Murowa Diamonds and Rio Tinto. Combined, they represent about 75% of the world's rough diamond production.

“There is no task more important than inspiring consumers with what we call 'The Diamond Dream,’” said Stephen Lussier, Chairman of the NDC. “Our mission is to educate consumers [about] the industry and the positive social contribution diamonds make to the world today. Our members are committed to these goals, and the launch of the NDC marks an exciting step on this path.”

Credit: 813-carat Constellation diamond image courtesy of Lucara Diamond.
June 11th, 2020
Today's virtual tour of the Smithsonian’s National Gem Collection delivers an up-close and personal look at the colorful "Stars and Cat's Eyes" exhibit, starring the "Rosser Reeves Ruby," "Star of Asia Sapphire" and the "Maharani Cat's Eye."

Occupying a wall case on the second floor of the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals, the exhibit describes the fascinating natural phenomenon that produces star rubies, star sapphires and cat's eye chrysoberyl.

Normally, the hall hosts more than six million visitors annually. But with all the Smithsonian museums in Washington, DC, temporarily closed to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, we’re offering the next best thing.

Previous stops on the tour have included the Logan Sapphire, the Dom Pedro aquamarine, the Steamboat tourmaline and an amazing topaz exhibit.

Here’s how to navigate to the "Stars and Cat's Eyes" exhibit.

- First, click on this link… The resulting page will be a gallery called “Geology, Gems & Minerals: Precious Gems 1.”

- Click the double-right arrows once to navigate to the gallery called "Geology, Gems & Minerals: Precious Gems 2."

- Click and drag the screen 90 degrees so you can see the wall cases to the right.

- Touch the Plus Sign to zoom into the exhibit titled "Stars and Cat's Eyes."

(You may touch the “X” to close the map to get a better view of the gemstones. You may restore the map by clicking the “Second” floor navigation on the top-right of the screen.)

A wall panel next to the exhibit describes what make the "stars shine and the cat's eyes gleam."

"Tiny needle-shaped crystals that grew within larger crystals cause these optical effects. Light reflects off the needles, which are commonly crystals of the mineral rutile," says the panel. "Depending on whether the needles grew in three directions or one, the result is a star or cat's eye. To highlight the effect, a gem must be cut as a cabochon and in the correct orientation."

Here's more information about the featured gemstones...

The Rosser Reeves Ruby

Carried around for years as a good luck charm by 1950s TV advertising pioneer Rosser Reeves, the 138.72-carat gemstone that bears his name is the largest and finest star ruby the world has ever known.

Before donating it to the Smithsonian in 1965, Reeves called the stone “my baby” and made it his constant companion. The advertising executive, who penned the M&Ms slogan, “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand,” was one of the most successful admen of his day. And he attributed much of his good luck to the beautiful scarlet stone.

Mined in Sri Lanka, the famous ruby was purchased at auction in 1953 by gem dealer Robert Fisher. At the time, it weighed 140 carats, but the asterism in the stone was slightly off center and the surface had abrasions. It was subsequently cut down to 138.72 carats to give it a prettier appearance and bring the “star” closer to the center. Reeves purchased the improved stone from Fisher’s son, Paul, in the late 1950s.

Star of Asia Sapphire

Originating from the historic Mogok mines of Burma (now Myanmar), the 330-carat blue-violet sapphire is said to have belonged to India’s Maharajah of Jodhpur and eventually obtained by famed mineral dealer and collector Martin Leo Ehrmann. The impressive gem was acquired for the National Gem Collection in 1961.

Renowned for its impressive size, intense color and sharp star, the Star of Asia is considered a phenomenal stone.

Historically, the finest and most vibrant gem-quality sapphires have come from Sri Lanka, Burma and the Kashmir region of India. The historic Mogok tract of Burma has been producing museum-quality rubies and sapphires since the 15th century.

Maharani Cat's Eye

The 58.91-carat honey-colored cat's eye was also mined in Sri Lanka and is considered one of the finest gems of its kind. According to the Smithsonian, the optical phenomenon of chatoyancy (the cat's eye effect) can be displayed by many gemstones, but the most popular and highly prized is that of the mineral chrysoberyl. The Smithsonian obtained the gem in an exchange in 1961.

Credits: Photos by Chip Clark/Smithsonian. Virtual tour screen capture via
June 12th, 2020
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you awesome songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. In Trisha Yearwood's chart-topping single, "She's In Love With the Boy," the parking lot of a Tastee-Freez is the setting for the class-ring marriage proposal of a smitten teen.

Written by Jon Ims and released on Yearwood's self-titled debut album in 1991, "She's In Love With the Boy" chronicles the love story of Katie and Tommy — teenage sweethearts living in a one-horse town. Tommy loves speeding around town in his beat-up pickup truck.

Katie's dad isn't impressed by the young man's showboating, claiming, "When it comes to brains, he got the short end of the stick."

Still, Katie doesn't care what her dad thinks. She'd follow Tommy anywhere. Even if they have to run away together, "she's going to marry that boy someday."

Katie finally gets her wish when her lovestruck boyfriend proposes after a romantic evening at a drive-in movie.

Yearwood sings, "Later on outside the Tastee-Freez / Tommy slips something on her hand / He says my high school ring will have to do / 'Til I can buy a wedding band."

Katie's dad is furious when Tommy and Katie come sneaking up the walk at half past 12. He orders Katie to go to her room and is just about to give Tommy a piece of his mind when Katie's mom intervenes. She reminds her husband that he and Tommy are very much alike. Her own father disapproved of their relationship and mocked her then-boyfriend as a hay-seed plowboy who didn't have a row to hoe.

"But he was wrong and, honey, you are too," Yearwood sings. "Katie looks at Tommy like I still look at you."

When "She's In Love With the Boy" topped the U.S. Billboard Country chart, Yearwood became the first female singer to reach #1 with her debut single. The song would help rocket her to stardom.

Patricia Lynn “Trisha” Yearwood was born in 1964 in Monticello, Ga., to a school teacher mom and a banker dad. She got her big break as a 21-year-old when she interned for — and was then hired by — MTM Records, which was founded by the late Mary Tyler Moore. While working for MTM, Yearwood sang background vocals for new artists, including Garth Brooks.

“I got work based on the fact that I showed up on time, I worked cheap, I knew the songs when I got there and I sang on pitch,” Yearwood told People magazine in 2015.

The 55-year-old Yearwood has been a cast member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1999. Her work has earned three Grammy Awards, three awards from the Academy of Country Music and three awards from the Country Music Association. She has sold more than 15 million albums worldwide.

In 2005, she married Brooks, her longtime friend and collaborator. Brooks admitted on The Ellen Show that there had always been an undeniable chemistry between the pair.

Her Food Network cooking show, Trisha's Southern Kitchen, won a 2013 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Culinary Program and is now in its 12th season.

Please check out Yearwood’s live performance of "She's In Love With the Boy." The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

"She's In Love With the Boy"
Written by Jon Ims. Performed by Trisha Yearwood.

Katie's sittin' on the old front porch
Watchin' the chickens peck the ground
There ain't a whole lot goin' on tonight
In this one-horse town
Over yonder comin' up the road
In a beat-up Chevy truck
Her boyfriend Tommy, he's layin' on the horn
Splashin' through the mud and the muck

Her daddy says he ain't worth a lick
When it comes to brains, he got the short end of the stick
But Katie's young and man, she just don't care
She'd follow Tommy anywhere

She's in love with the boy
She's in love with the boy
She's in love with the boy
And even if they have to run away
She's gonna marry that boy someday

Katie and Tommy at the drive-in movie
Parked in the very last row
They're too busy holdin' on to one another
To even care about the show
Later on outside the Tastee-Freez
Tommy slips something on her hand
He says my high school ring will have to do
'Til I can buy a wedding band

Her daddy says he ain't worth a lick
When it comes to brains, he got the short end of the stick
But Katie's young and man, she just don't care
She'd follow Tommy anywhere

She's in love with the boy
She's in love with the boy
She's in love with the boy
And even if they have to run away
She's gonna marry that boy someday

Her daddy's waitin' up 'til half past twelve
When they come sneakin' up the walk
He says young lady get on up to your room
While me and Junior have a talk
Mama breaks in, says don't lose your temper
It wasn't very long ago
When you yourself was just a hay-seed plowboy
Who didn't have a row to hoe

My daddy said you wasn't worth a lick
When it came to brains you got the short end of the stick
But he was wrong and, honey, you are too
Katie looks at Tommy like I still look at you

She's in love with the boy
She's in love with the boy
She's in love with the boy
What's meant to be will always find a way

She's in love with the boy
She's in love with the boy
She's in love with the boy
What's meant to be will always find a way
She's gonna marry that boy someday

She's in love with the boy

Credit: DOD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley / Public domain.
June 15th, 2020
From July 3 to 13, a three-piece collection of heart-themed jewelry designed by Anna Hu will be auctioned online by Christie's, with proceeds going to support healthcare workers fighting the global pandemic.

Hu created these unique pieces exclusively for this charity project using rich brown diamonds mined by Alrosa in Yakutia, a region in the Siberian Far East.

“Many people are in distress, and no one can remain indifferent to this pandemic. The world needs positivity, empathy, a sense of support, care and love," Hu said in a statement. "I hope to express all these feelings in my three pieces of jewelry. I was inspired and grateful to have received the opportunity to work on something larger than simply beautiful jewelry, something meaningful and with heart.”

The pieces will be sold by Diamonds That Care, the newly launched social responsibility initiative of Alrosa, the world’s largest diamond mining company. The initiative’s key theme is that every diamond should help those in need. The project is being organized in cooperation with the non-profit charitable organization Diamonds Do Good.

"By working with Christie’s, which operates in all the regions affected by the coronavirus, and the brilliant Chinese jewelry artist Anna Hu, we are raising funds for a US-based charitable organization supporting activities in various countries," noted Sergey Ivanov, CEO of Alrosa. "This project is a living example of how countries and stakeholders can unite in their efforts to help those in need."

Hu's three-piece ensemble includes a necklace, ring and a pair of earrings.

• The necklace (at top) features fancy colored and colorless diamonds, centered by a 27.02-carat fancy brown-yellow pear-shaped diamond weighing 27.02 carats. The necklace — which flows in a unique heart shape — is fabricated with a combination of 18-karat white and rose gold.

• Complementing the necklace is a heart-shaped ring that also uses a combination of fancy colored and colorless diamonds. One side of the heart features small, pavé-set colorless diamonds while the other side is highlighted by a pear-shaped, 1.59-carat faint brown diamond.

• Hu's unique earring drops include six interlocking hearts of alternating 18-karat white and rose gold. These, too, are set with fancy colored and colorless diamonds. The left earring uses brown diamond pavé and is highlighted by a 3-carat, pear-shaped brown diamond, while the right earring uses colorless pavé and is set with a 3-carat, pear-shaped colorless diamond.

“Anna Hu’s works are characterized by elegant forms and color combinations," said Max Fawcett, Christie’s Jewelry Specialist. "They are rarely sold at auction and when her pieces come to the secondary market, demand is high. As an artisan jeweler, Anna produces no more than 30 pieces a year, each a unique creation. Her involvement will create international excitement and we are pleased to offer our leading online platform and engage with our international clients to bid for this worthy cause.”

Credits: Sketches by Anna Hu provided by ALROSA.
June 16th, 2020
Often described as an "emerald by day and ruby by night," alexandrite displays a dramatic chameleon-like color shift depending on the light source. In normal daylight, a fine alexandrite will appear bluish-green, but under lamplight or candle flame, the gem transitions to a vibrant raspberry red.

One of June's three official birthstones (the others are pearl and moonstone), alexandrite's color-changing property is attributed to the presence of chromium in the gem’s chemical makeup. The chromium allows the gem to absorb light in the yellow and blue parts of the spectrum.

Alexandrite is a relatively "new" gemstone, as it was originally discovered in 1830 in the Ural Mountains of Russia. Gem legend states that Finnish mineralogist Nils Gustaf Nordenskiöld (1792-1865) received a mineral sample from Count Lev Alekseevich Perovskii (1792-1856) that seemed very much like an emerald. But when the mineralogist inspected the gem under candlelight, the green gem had turned red.

The Smithsonian noted that Nordenskiöld had intended to name the new variety of chrysoberyl “diaphanite,” but the Count renamed it “alexandrite” to curry favor with the Russian royal family and Czar Alexander II, who had just come of age.

The color-change gem is rarely found in sizes larger than 5 carats, which makes the existence of the 17-carat “Whitney Alexandrite" that much more remarkable. The cushion-cut gem was a gift from Smithsonian benefactor Coralyn Whitney in 2009.

Alexandrite is extremely rare and the best-quality material is still mined in Russia. Other sources include Brazil, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, India and Burma.

The American Gem Society reports that due to its scarcity, fine alexandrite is more valuable than most gemstones, including rubies and diamonds.

Alexandrite has a hardness rating of 8.5, which makes it suitable for everyday wear.

Alexandrite joined the official birthstone list when it was updated in 1952. Also added that year were citrine, tourmaline and zircon. In 2002, tanzanite was honored as a birthstone for December and, in 2016, spinel joined peridot as a birthstone for August.

Source: Image by Александр Рудный / CC BY.
June 17th, 2020
The biblical Aaron may have been the original King of Bling. More than 3,300 years ago, the first high priest of the Hebrews (and older brother of Moses) dazzled his followers with a gleaming breastplate fashioned with gemstones representing the 12 tribes of Israel. The inscribed gems — which included emerald, sapphire, amethyst and topaz —  were arranged in four rows and set in gold.

According to The Book of Exodus, Aaron bore the responsibility of memorializing upon his two shoulders the names of the 12 tribes before the Lord. His ceremonial costume consisted of a linen tunic spun with gold threads and a floor-length tasseled robe. Set into the breastplate were a colorful array of precious stones inscribed with the names of the 12 tribes.

The breastplate was attached to the ephod (a sleeveless garment) by gold chains/cords tied to the gold rings on the ephod’s shoulder straps, and by blue ribbons tied to the gold rings at the lower parts of the ephod.

First-century Jewish historian Josephus described Aaron’s breastplate in his book titled, Antiquities of the Jews. In the following passage, the gems are listed right to left.

“Twelve stones were there also upon the breastplate, extraordinary in largeness and beauty,” Josephus wrote. “The first three stones were a sardonyx, a topaz, and an emerald. The second row contained a carbuncle, a jasper and a sapphire. The first of the third row was a ligure (possibly orange zircon), then an amethyst, and the third an agate… the fourth row was a crysolite, the next was an onyx, and then a beryl.”

“And Aaron shall bear the names of the Children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the Holy Place.” — EXODUS xxviii.12,29.

Over many centuries, reinterpretations of the original Hebrew text have yielded other gemstone combinations. Some believe this to be the more accurate arrangement…

“The first was a row of ruby, topaz, and emerald; and the second row, a turquoise, a sapphire and a diamond; and the third row, a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; and the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper.”

Aaron’s priestly dress also contained a small pocket for “urim and thummim,” mysterious and still undefined substances or articles that would help the priest determine God’s will.

“Urim and thummim” might have been two sticks or two stones, one white and the other black, that would reveal a yes or no answer to a specific question when one was randomly pulled from the pocket.

Biblical scholars believe Aaron was born in 1396 BC and died in 1273 BC at the age of 123.

Credits: From top, artist’s conception of Jewish high priest wearing a breastplate in ancient Judah. Image from THE HISTORY OF COSTUME by Braun & Schneider / Public domain. Flavius Josephus by William Whiston (originally uploaded by The Man in Question on / Public domain. Ceramic replica of High Priest’s breastplate by Dr. Avishai Teicher Pikiwiki Israel / CC BY.
June 18th, 2020
A gorgeous pair of fancy-colored heart-shaped diamond rings — one blue, one pink and each valued at more than $7 million — will headline Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels sale on July 10 in Hong Kong. The event marks Sotheby's first live jewelry auction in Asia since the COVID-19 outbreak.

A symbol of love and affection, the heart is among the rarest and most difficult shapes to cut for diamonds. That's one of the reasons why these rings carry a premium price.

The first ring, which is expected to sell in the range of $7.7 million to $9.7 million, features a 5.04-carat fancy vivid blue diamond flanked by white diamond side stones on a white precious metal band.

An internally flawless 4.49-carat fancy vivid pink diamond is the stunning center stone of the companion ring (to be offered separately). The pink diamond is set in white precious metal and accented with white diamond side stones. The ring carries a high estimate of $8.8 million.

In total, Sotheby's Hong Kong will be presenting more than 200 lots at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. In addition to the fancy-color diamond heart rings, the sale includes an exceptional pair of emerald and diamond earrings from Harry Winston, the famed "Zip" necklace from Van Cleef & Arpels, as well as a perfectly matched pair of heart-shaped diamonds...

• Famed jeweler Harry Winston designed these teardrop-shaped Colombian emerald earrings. The emeralds weigh 18.69-carats and 20.27 carats, respectively, and are framed with a cascade of marquise-shaped white diamonds. Sotheby's expects the pair to fetch between $1.5 million and $1.9 million.

• Conceived by the Duchess of Windsor in the 1930s, the now-iconic "Zip" design was brought to life by Van Cleef & Arpels in 1950. According to Sotheby's, the Zip design elevated a functional item into a technically brilliant and glamorous jewel, which could be worn open as a necklace or closed as a bracelet. The Zip necklace shown here carries a high estimate of $451,000.

• These unmounted heart-shaped diamonds are perfectly matched — with each weighing exactly 10.51 carats. The beautiful stones are expected to sell in the range of $1.8 million to $2.1 million.

Each of the items in the sale will be on public display in Hong Kong from July 5 to July 9.

Credits: Images courtesy of Sotheby's.
June 19th, 2020
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great new songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Canadian-Moroccan singer-songwriter Faouzia uses precious metals to tell the story of unrequited love in her viral 2019 release, "Tears of Gold." The official YouTube video has been viewed more than 6.8 million times.

Faouzia explained to the music website Genius that since she was six years old she has found herself in a series of one-sided relationships. She would give and give and give and get nothing back. Her mom warned her that she'd be hurt in the end, but Faouzia could never escape the cycle.

As she penned the song, Faouzia needed a visual representation of her emotional pain. The answer: Tears of Gold.

"I wanted it to be a powerful statement," she said. "I didn't just cry for you. It wasn't just water, salts and urea. It was GOLD. I gave my literal ALL to you."

She sings, "Don't you know that I cried tears of gold for you / I sit here poor for you / Collect my pennies and my dimes / That's why you love it when I cry."

In the next line, Faouzia employs a second precious metal: platinum.

She sings, "Platinum love for you / I'd give no less for you / Generosity's my enemy / So I'm broke and your heart's rich / Because of me."

The 19-year-old explained in her Genius interview that she literally Googled the question, "What is the most valuable element," and she came up with platinum as the answer.

"On the whole 'Tears of Gold' thing, I cried for you and also gave you platinum love," she said. "It wasn't just any kind of love. It was platinum."

Born Faouzia Ouihya in 2000 in Casablanca, Morocco, the artist moved to Manitoba, Canada, with her family at the age of five.

Between the ages of 15 and 17, Faouzia won a series of singing and songwriting competitions, eventually leading to a contract with Paradigm Talent Agency. In 2018, French DJ and producer David Guetta invited Faouzia to perform on his studio album, titled 7.

Just recently, 13-year-old Daneliya Tuleshova delivered an impressive cover of Faouzia's "Tears of Gold" on America's Got Talent.

Commenting on the youngster's performance, Faouzia told ET Canada that she had goosebumps the entire time Tuleshova was on stage.

"Her voice and stage presence were AMAZING," Faouzia said. "I can’t wait to see her journey through music.”

Please check out the video of Faouzia performing "Tears of Gold." And, as a bonus, we have a video of Tuleshova's cover, as well. As always, the lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Tears of Gold"
Written and performed by Faouzia.

Mama always told me that I was too naive
Gave away my trust for pennies

I said, "Don't you worry"
Didn't think that I'd be broken down and crying
Help me

Wrecked? Check
Heart? In debt
All you do is come around
Just came here to collect

Wrecked? Check
Heart? In debt
Don't you know that I cried tears of gold for you
I sit here poor for you
Collect my pennies and my dimes
That's why you love it when I cry
Platinum love for you
I'd give no less for you
Generosity's my enemy
So I'm broke and your heart's rich
Because of me

Know that this is my fault
Gave a little too much
Knew that this was gonna happen

But I'm not gonna lie
You can make me cry
A thousand times
I come running back like
What is going on with my head?

Wrecked? Check
Heart? In debt
All you do is come around
Just came here to collect

Wrecked? Check
Heart? In debt
Don't you know that I cried tears of gold for you
I sit here poor for you
Collect my pennies and my dimes
That's why you love it when I cry

Platinum love for you
I'd give no less for you
Generosity's my enemy
So I'm broke and your heart's rich
Because of me

And the worst part is I'd do it all over again
No, the worst part is I know it's never gonna end
I keep coming right back like a maniac
I keep coming right back like –

Oh, oh

And the worst part is I'd do it all over again
No, the worst part is I know it's never gonna end
I keep coming right back like a maniac

I cried tears of gold for you
I sit here poor for you
Collect my pennies and my dimes
That's why you love it when I cry

Platinum love for you
I'd give no less for you
Generosity's my enemy
So I'm broke and your heart's rich
Because of me

Bonus: Daneliya Tuleshova covers Faouzia's "Tears of Gold"...

Credit: Screen capture via
June 22nd, 2020
In an effort to quickly identify health risks when the NBA season resumes in Orlando on July 30, league officials are encouraging its players to wear a lightweight, titanium “smart ring.”

The rings made by Finnish company, Oura, are equipped with censors that can detect changes in the players' body temperature, heart rate, sleeping patterns and respiratory rate — and most importantly, provide early warning signs if a player is in danger of contracting the coronavirus.

Scientists at the West Virginia University Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute (RNI) claim the Oura rings can detect COVID-19 related symptoms (fevers, coughing, breathing difficulties, fatigue and others) up to three days before they show up.

The claim is based on an initial study by RNI that included more than 600 physicians, nurses, urgent care providers and others directly working to care for patients with COVID-19 in West Virginia. The study's second phase will include an additional 10,000 participants across the United States, including New York and California, according to RNI.

The wearable technology is synched to RNI's smartphone app, which runs the data through a complex algorithm that promises to identify at-risk individuals before they become contagious, with 90% accuracy.

Pro basketball players will be given the option of wearing the ring when they finish up the 2019-2020 NBA season at the ESPN Wide World of Sports facilities in Orlando, Fla.

RNI believes the Oura ring could provide health benefits far beyond the NBA.

"This technology can potentially serve as a critical decision making tool to help contain the spread of the virus, safely re-open communities, strengthen the economy, and facilitate public health containment strategies," RNI noted in a press release.

“We are hopeful that Oura’s technology will advance how people identify and understand our body’s most nuanced physiological signals and warning signs, as they relate to infectious diseases like COVID-19,” added Harpreet Rai, CEO of Oura Health.

The Oura rings retail from $299 and $399 and are available in a number of metal colors.

Credit: Photos by Oura.
June 23rd, 2020
An exhibit titled "Gifts from Napoleon" is the subject of today’s virtual tour of the Smithsonian’s National Gem Collection. Two very special pieces gifted by the French emperor to his second wife, Marie-Louise, are prominently featured in a wall case on the second floor of the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals. One is a majestic silver and gold necklace set with diamonds weighing 263 carats and the other is a diadem glistening with 540 carats of turquoise and 700 carats of diamonds.

Normally, the hall hosts more than six million visitors annually. But with all the Smithsonian museums in Washington, DC, temporarily closed to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19, we’ve been offering these virtual tours. Previous stops on the tour have included the colorful “Stars and Cat’s Eyes” exhibit, the Logan Sapphire, the Dom Pedro aquamarine, the Steamboat tourmaline and a collection of enormous topaz.

Here’s how to navigate to the “Gifts from Napoleon” exhibit.

– First, click on this link… The resulting page will be a gallery called “Geology, Gems & Minerals: Precious Gems 1.”

– Click the double-right arrows once to navigate to the gallery called “Geology, Gems & Minerals: Precious Gems 2.”

– Click and drag the screen 180 degrees so you can see the back wall of cases.

– Touch the Plus Sign to zoom into the exhibit titled “Gifts from Napoleon.”

(You may touch the “X” to remove the map. This will give you a better view of the jewelry. You may restore the map by clicking the “Second” floor navigation on the top-right of the screen.)

A wall panel next to the exhibit explains how Napoleon gifted the jewelry to Empress Marie-Louise: "The diadem was a wedding present in 1810. Napoleon gave his wife the necklace a year later to celebrate the birth of their first son. Both were made by Etienne Nitôt and Sons of Paris. Louise, who was Austrian born, bequeathed the two pieces to the royal family of Austria."

We've got all the details below...

Empress Marie-Louise Diadem features 70 cabochons of Persian turquoise and 1,006 old mine-cut diamonds. Interestingly, the emperor’s wedding gifts — which had included matching earrings and a jewel-encrusted comb — were originally set with emeralds.

According to the Smithsonian, Marie-Louise (1791-1847) bequeathed the diadem and matching pieces to her Hapsburg aunt, Archduchess Elise. In 1953, Van Cleef & Arpels acquired the jewelry from one of Elise’s descendants, the Archduke Karl Stefan Hapsburg of Sweden.

During the next two years, the jeweler removed the emeralds from the diadem and sold them individually in other pieces of jewelry. Its advertising campaign at the time promised “An emerald for you from the historic Napoleonic Tiara…”

Some time between 1956 and 1962, Van Cleef & Arpels reset the diadem with sky blue turquoise. The new-look diadem was exhibited at the Louvre Museum in Paris along with the necklace, earrings and comb, as part of a special exhibition in 1962 focusing on the life of Empress Marie-Louise.

American socialite Marjorie Merriweather Post (1887-1973) purchased the diadem and donated it to the Smithsonian in 1971.

(The Smithsonian clarified that a diadem is the type of crown that is not a complete circle. It usually goes three-quarters around and is open in the back.)

The Napoleon Diamond Necklace celebrated the birth of Napoleon II, the future Emperor of Rome, in 1811. The necklace consists of 234 diamonds, with the inner circle made up of 28 old mine-cut diamonds, suspending a fringe of nine "pendeloques" (five pear shapes alternating with four ovals) and 10 briolettes. Mounted above each pear shape is a small round brilliant diamond, while the four ovals are attached to motifs decorated with 23 smaller diamonds. Each of the 10 briolette mountings is accented with 12 rose-cut diamonds.

When Marie-Louise died in 1847, the necklace was given to her sister-in-law, Archduchess Sophie of Austria.

According to the Smithsonian, the necklace was bequeathed in 1972 to the Archduchess’ son, Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria. The necklace remained in the Hapsburg family until 1948, when Archduke Ludwig’s grandson, Prince Franz Joseph of Liechtenstein, sold it to a French collector who, in turn, sold it to Harry Winston, Inc., in 1960.

Merriweather Post — who clearly had an affection for Napoleonic jewelry — acquired the necklace, in its original case, from Winston and donated it to the Smithsonian in 1962.

Credits: Photos by Chip Clark/Smithsonian, digitally enhanced by SquareMoose.
June 24th, 2020
Celebrity chefs Alex Guarnaschelli and Michael Castellon have taken their relationship to the next level — and the Food Network star has a dazzling ring to prove it.

Guarnaschelli took to Instagram on Saturday to show off her new emerald-and-diamond engagement ring and post the simple caption, "Ok @chefmike808, you’re on!" She punctuated the post with an engagement ring emoji.

Castellon, who is best known for winning Season 35 of Chopped, popped the question on Guarnaschelli’s birthday.

He also posted a photo of his fiancée's ring on his Instagram page. Instead of a standard caption, he strung together a series of hashtags, when combined, spelled out his sentiments. He wrote, "#she #said #yes engaged #boom #luckiest #guy #ever #happy #happy And #happy #bday @guarnaschelli"

Guarnaschelli revealed in a People magazine story that her boyfriend of four years delivered his surprise proposal after convincing her that he had spotted a baby deer near the side of the road. They had just finished a grocery run when he pulled the car over so they could take a closer look.

She told People, “So he's like, 'Shh. Come see it. It's so cute.' And I'm like, 'We're going to have to do something. We're going to have to call the animal welfare.' I'm already rolodexing the situation… And he goes, 'There's no deer.' I turn, and I look and he's on one knee. And he said, 'There's no deer.' He's like, 'This is why I have to marry you because you just believe me every time.' He said, 'Will you marry me?' and he gave me the ring."

The white-metal ring is set with a large emerald-cut emerald flanked by round, white accent diamonds. Guarnaschelli, who is the executive chef of Butter in New York City and has appeared on the Food Network's Chopped, Iron Chef America, All Star Family Cook-off, Guy's Grocery Games, and The Best Thing I Ever Ate, revealed on her IG stories that the ring is a Castellon family heirloom.

Affectionately called Chef Mike, Castellon appeared on Guy's Grocery Games and Iron Chef America. He is also an executive chef in New York City.

The couple met four years ago when Guarnaschelli dined at the restaurant where Castellon was working. Apparently, it was love at first sight.

"I went in to meet him and tell him the steak was delicious and that was it," she told People.

Guarnaschelli also dished that she and her fiancé are in no hurry to tie the knot, but when they do, it will be "a blowout" in the New York City area.

"I want a tri-state rager," she said.

Credits: Images via Instagram/guarnaschelli; Instagram/chefmike808.
June 25th, 2020
More than 3.5 million Swarovski crystals are integrated into the architecture and decor of the Sparkling Hill Resort near Vernon, British Columbia, making this venue a jewelry-lover's fantasy.

Owned by Swarovski family patriarch Gernot Langes-Swarovski, the $122 million, state-of-the-art spa facility reflects crystal-infused opulence from every angle.

Visitors approaching the resort will immediately notice a lobby façade with angular window panes "faceted" to look like a brilliant-cut gemstone. Gemstone themes are also prevalent in the signage, lighting, sculptures, floor coverings, furniture, stairs, ceilings and mirrors.

Swarovski crystals hang like icicles from gigantic chandeliers in the hotel's atrium-style lobby. Each room features a crystal-shaped soaker tub and the indoor pool has glass walls and a Swarovski-crystal, starry sky ceiling.

Langes-Swarovski opened the facility in 2010 to fulfill the mission of educating and facilitating his guests’ personal journey to whole body wellness and enhancing their overall quality of life.

Guests receive exclusive access to KurSpa’s amenities, which span 40,000 square feet. These include seven uniquely themed aromatherapy steams and saunas, indoor pool and hot pool, outdoor infinity pool, Kneipp hydrotherapy, tea room and serenity room.

Located atop a granite bluff overlooking Okanagan Lake and featuring 36 holes of championship golf in wine country, the picture-postcard, 149-room resort is a 30-minute drive from Kelowna International Airport (YLW) in British Columbia, about 400km east of Vancouver.

Credits: Images via
June 26th, 2020
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fun songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today, Swiss singer-songwriter Luca Hänni pursues the 110-carat girl of his dreams in his brand new release, "Diamant," which means "diamond" in German.

The official music video, which is performed in German and spotlights the talents of dancer Christina Luft, premiered on YouTube 15 days ago and already has been viewed more than one million times.

With the help of a Google translation, we learn that Hänni is trying desperately to win the heart of a young woman who may be a little out of his league. He likens her to a 110-carat "diamant."

He sings, "Du bist hundertzehn Karat / Deine wunderschöne Art / An dich kommt niemand ran / Du bist ein Diamant / Hundertzehn Karat / Und mein Herz schlägt Alarm / Ich will dich an der Hand / Wie ein Diamant."

The rough translation goes something like this: "You are 110 carats / Your wonderful style / Nobody can match you / You're a diamond / 110 carats / And my heart sounds the alarm / I want you by the hand / Like a diamond."

The multi-talented 25-year-old from Bern, Switzerland, tells his love interest that she is brighter than light. "Du bist ein Juwel für mich (You are a jewel to me)," he sings.

Hänni got his big break in 2012 when he won the ninth season of Deutschland sucht den Superstar (Germany Seeks the Superstar), the German version of the Idol franchise. He was the first non-German and youngest competitor to win the title.

Hänni has since released four studio albums and 13 singles. In February 2020, he was named Best Male Act at the 13th Swiss Music Awards and then finished third in the 13th season of Let's Dance, a German talent series. His dance partner was Luft, who you can see in the official video of "Diamant," below. The lyrics here are translated from German to English.

"Diamant (Diamond)"
Written by Mathias Ramson, Choukri Gustmann, Lukas Loules and Nebil Latifa. Performed by Luca Hänni.

(Translated by Google from the original German.)

Shine in the eyes
You don't see me
How long do I have to dig
Until you speak a word to me?
You are accomplished (accomplished)
Brighter than light (brighter than light)
You are not like the others
You are a jewel to me

I don't need a ring
No luxury, no bling-bling
But I only have you in mind
And I follow my instinct

You are 110 carats
Your wonderful style
Nobody can match you
You're a diamond
110 carats
And my heart sounds the alarm
I want you by the hand
Like a diamond

Like a diamond
Like a diamond
Like a diamond
Beam at me

Are we at home
I unpack you like mon cherie
Love is so heavy in the stomach
And every gangster wants such a bride
I'll make sure no bandit ever steals you

I don't need a ring
No luxury, no bling-bling
But I only have you in mind
And I follow my instinct

You are 110 carats
Your wonderful style
Nobody can match you
You're a diamond
110 carats
And my heart sounds the alarm
I want you by the hand
Like a diamond

Like a diamond
Like a diamond
Like a diamond
Beam at me

Next to you I can get on with my life
Nothing is as it used to be
Next to me is a diamond

You are 110 carats
Your wonderful style
Nobody can match you
You're a diamond
110 carats
And my heart sounds the alarm
I want you by the hand
Like a diamond

Like a diamond
Like a diamond
Like a diamond
Beam at me
Like a diamond
Like a diamond
Like a diamond
Beam at me

Credit: Screen capture via / Luca Hänni.
June 29th, 2020
An artisanal miner in Tanzania struck it rich last week when he sold two enormous tanzanite crystals for $3.4 million.

Saniniu Laizer had discovered the crystals — one weighing 9.2kg (46,000 carats) and the other 5.8kg (29,000 carats) — in Tanzania's Manyara region, not far from the country's Merelani mining site.

The two rough gems are believed to be the largest tanzanites ever found in Tanzania. The previous record holder weighed 3.3kg.

In a highly promoted ceremony on Wednesday, the 52-year-old Laizer revealed his finds to the international press.

"There will be a big party tomorrow," he told the BBC.

Laizer also promised to invest his windfall in the local community of Simanjiro.

"I want to build a shopping mall and a school," he said. "I want to build this school near my home. There are many poor people around here who can't afford to take their children to school."

Calling into the celebration by phone, Tanzanian President John Magufuli commented, "This is the benefit of small-scale miners and this proves that Tanzania is rich."

When Magufuli came into power five years ago, he promised to safeguard the nation's mining sector and ordered the military to build a wall surrounding a Manyara mining site.

Tanzanite is said to be rarer than diamond by a factor of 1,000 times due the fact that this unique and beautiful variety of the mineral zoisite 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. Tanzanite’s color is an intoxicating mix of blue and purple, unlike any other gemstone.

Artisanal miners like Laizer are permitted to work outside the confines of the Manyara mining site as long as they carry a government-issued license. In 2019, Tanzania established trading centers to allow these miners — most of whom work by hand — to sell their gems to the government.

In 2002, the American Gem Trade Association added tanzanite to the jewelry industry’s official birthstone list. Tanzanite joined turquoise and zircon as the official birthstones for December.

Credit: Image © Tanzania Ministry of Minerals.
June 30th, 2020
Queen Elizabeth II is rarely seen in public without her favorite three-strand pearl necklace — a gift from her beloved father, King George VI, who passed away in 1952. What most Royal Family followers don't know is that the Queen actually owns three nearly identical pearl necklaces that she rotates freely.

The future monarch was only 25 years old when she lost her beloved dad, and the pearl necklace that she received from him as a young girl remains a powerful reminder of the special bond they shared.

Elizabeth loved the three-strand pearl necklace so much that she had an identical one made. In 1953, a third three-stand pearl necklace joined her collection. It was a gift from Emir of Qatar and the only difference among the three was that this version sported a diamond clasp.

Her Royal Highness's jewelry collection contains more than 300 items, including 98 brooches, 46 necklaces, 37 bracelets, 34 pairs of earrings, 15 rings, 14 watches and five pendants. But, in the end, the simple, deeply sentimental pearl necklace continues to be her go-to accessory.

For the past 68 years, Great Britain's longest-reigning monarch has incorporated the three necklaces into her "official uniform." Some Royal Family followers believe the Queen rotates the pearl strands so she won't wear out the prized original.

Her official uniform also includes a brightly colored two-piece suit, decorative hat and the classic Launer black leather Traviata handbag.

Besides being a place to stash her mints, lipstick, small mirror, pen and reading glasses, the Launer handbag also serves as a way for the 94-year-old Queen to silently communicate with her staff.

According to published reports, if the Queen switches the purse from one hand to the other, it means that she is finished with the current conversation. If she places it on a table, the staff knows she needs to leave the venue within the next five minutes. If she places it on the ground, her handlers know she needs to be "rescued" from a social situation immediately.

Credit: Screen capture via Royal Family Channel.