Rocks and Metal

Articles in July 2015

July 1st, 2015
In honor of July’s official birthstone, we’d like to share the bizarre story of the "Timur Ruby," one of the world’s largest and most historic “rubies.”  We use the word ruby in quotes, because the massive unfaceted 352.5-carat gem, which resides among the British Crown Jewels, was exposed in 1851 as a red spinel. Oops.

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The Timur Ruby gets its name from the greatest conqueror of the 14th century. Hailing from what is now Uzbekistan, Timur’s military conquests were vast, spanning from Mongolia in the east and the Mediterranean in the west, to India in the south and Russia in the north. After successfully capturing Delhi in 1398, Timur left India six months later weighed down with a bounty of jewelry and gemstones. One of those stones was the Timur Ruby.

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The unfaceted stone has a semi-polished flat face that is inscribed in Arabic script with the names of four Mughal emperors and two Persian rulers who possessed the stone. These included emperors Jahangir, Shah Jahan, Aurangzeb and Farrukhsiyar, and the rulers Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah. The inscriptions are dated between 1612 and 1771.

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In 1849, when the British East India Company took over the Punjab region (which is now eastern Pakistan and northern India), it also took possession of the Timur Ruby and the 186-carat Koh-i-Noor diamond from ruler Ranjit Singh.

The East India Company presented the Timur Ruby to Queen Victoria as a gift in 1851. The Queen was so excited about the gift that she wrote the following in her journal: “The [Timur Ruby] is the largest in the world, therefore even more remarkable than the Koh-i-Noor!”

Later that same year, advancements in gemology and mineralogy led to the determination that the “largest ruby in the world” was just a big spinel.

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Nevertheless, Garrards set the Timur Ruby in an Oriental-inspired necklace in April 1853. Two months later, the jeweler adjusted the necklace to allow the Timur Ruby to be detached for use as a brooch and to alternate with the recently re-cut Koh-i-Noor diamond.

Today, the Timur Riby resides among the priceless British Crown Jewels, but has never been worn by a British Royal. Some speculate that members of the monarchy were hesitant to wear the necklace, for fear of backlash from critics, who see the piece as historically Indian.

Gemologists know now that it’s virtually impossible for a ruby to be 350-plus carats. They understand that chromium atoms incorporated in a ruby’s aluminum oxide crystal give the gem its rich, red color. They also acknowledge that the chromium so vital to the ruby’s beauty is also responsible for causing fissures in the crystal, making rubies larger than 3 carats in size extremely rare and very valuable.

Due to this rarity, rubies of good color and fine clarity often achieve higher prices per carat than diamonds of the same size.

Images: The Royal Collection; Pinterest; WikiCommons public domain.
July 2nd, 2015
Four ultra-rare fancy red diamonds are among the 65 diamonds in the 2015 edition of the Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, an annual presentation by mining company Rio Tinto. A world exclusive preview took place last week at the Sydney Opera House in Australia.

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Rio Tinto designated the top five diamonds of the tender as “heroes” and gave the stones elegant names to ensure their rightful place among the world’s most important diamonds. The names were inspired by the world of ballet in recognition of Argyle Pink Diamonds' partnership with The Australian Ballet.

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The 2015 Tender, known as the “Connoisseur’s Collection,” comprises 65 diamonds weighing a total of 44.14 carats. The diamonds, which were sourced at Rio Tinto’s Argyle Mine in Western Australia, represent the company’s best red and pink gems from its yearly production.

Fancy red diamonds are so rare that the Tender typically releases only four, or so, per year. The finest quality fancy red diamonds can easily sell for $1 million or more per carat.

“This collection is one of the most beautiful in the history of the Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender,” said Rio Tinto Diamonds & Minerals chief executive Alan Davies. “This year’s Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender is testament to this extraordinary mine that continues to produce the world’s most-sought-after gems.”

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Rio Tinto bestowed the following names on it finest offerings…

Argyle Prima™ — A 1.20-carat fancy red pear-shaped diamond coveted for its unique combination of size, shape, color and clarity.

Argyle Aurora™ — A 1.47-carat fancy red oval-shaped diamond, named in honor of Princess Aurora from The Sleeping Beauty.

Argyle Allegro™ — A 0.79-carat fancy red radiant-shaped diamond, named after the brisk and lively ballet movement and reminiscent of the red color dancing within this diamond.

Argyle Spectre™ — A 1.93-carat fancy vivid purplish pink shield-shaped diamond. The vibrant pink color and strong shape of this diamond is inspired by the ballet Le Spectre de la rose (The Spirit of the Rose).

Argyle Élevé™ — A 1.44-carat fancy intense pink emerald-shaped diamond, inspired by the ballet movement of rising high without bending, and reflecting of the perfect long lines and elegance of the emerald shape.

It is believed that red diamonds get their rich color from a molecular structure distortion that occurs as the jewel forms in the earth’s crust. By contrast, other colored diamonds get their color from trace elements, such as boron (yielding a blue diamond) or nitrogen (yielding yellow), in their chemical composition.

The 2015 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender will have viewings in Sydney, Hong Kong, New York and Perth, with bids closing on October 21, 2015.

Images courtesy of Rio Tinto.
July 3rd, 2015
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you feel-good songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today, we feature Beyonce Knowles falling in love on the Fourth of July and cruising the world for pearls in "Summertime."

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In this 2003 collaboration with rapper P. Diddy, Knowles celebrates that special moment when a woman knows she’s finally found her true love. Very appropriate for this holiday weekend, Knowles states that she “felt our love begin” on the fourth day of July.

In P. Diddy’s rap at the end of the song, he says how much he loves her and how she brings out the best in him. He also promises to take her on a summertime adventure, which includes a search for fine jewelry. “We can cruise the world for pearls,” he says.

Released on 12-inch vinyl as the B-side to #1 mega-hit “Crazy in Love,” “Summertime” also charted, peaking at #35 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Critics praised “Summertime” as a “breezy dance number” that leaves the listener “on a smooth laid-back high.”

Knowles acknowledged early in her career that “Summertime” was one of her favorite songs. It was part of her set list for both the “Dangerously in Love Tour” in 2003 and the “Verizon Ladies First Tour” in 2004. Her performance of “Summertime” in front of more than 20,000 fans in New York City led MTV News to comment that Knowles “stepped in the name of love” during the breakdown of the song.

We hope you enjoy your holiday weekend in the great outdoors with friends and family. And we invite you to kick off the festivities on a high note with Knowles and P. Diddy performing “Summertime.” Check out the video and lyrics below.

"Summertime"
Written by Beyoncé Knowles, Angela Beyincé, Sean Combs, Steven "Steven J." Jordan, Adonis Shropshire, Varick "Smitty" Smith, Mario Winans. Performed by Beyonce Knowles, feat. P. Diddy.

[P. Diddy]
Yeah
There's three things I like about the summertime
Drop tops, long hot nights and summer love
Yeah
Hey yo, B
Tell 'em what time it is
Let' s go

[Beyonce]
Out of all the guys that approached me
Walking up to me like they know me
You were the one that stayed aside
Waited a while and took your time
You don't know how impressing
Your curiosity was to me
It was the fourth day of July
Looked in my eyes and saw that I

[Break - Beyonce]
I wanted more than just a man (man)
I needed a friend (I want a friend)
Someone I can talk to (oh)
Someone who'll really listen (yeah)
When you touched my hand (yeah yeah)
The sun got brighter then (brighter then)
Trusting you I closed my eyes
And felt our love begin

[Chorus - Beyonce]
It was the summertime (when we fell in love)
It was the summertime (when heaven shined on us)
It was the summertime (baby there is nothing like the)
Summertime, summertime (ohh)

[Beyonce]
Now it's been a year and we're closer
Fall in love again when I hold ya
I know that God set you aside
For me and now you are my prize
Wanna grow old with ya
Fill a house with ya pictures
Have a son for you, a little girl for me
Together we'll raise a family

[Break - Beyonce]
I wanted more then just a man
I needed a friend
You are my best friend (yeah)
Someone I could talk to
Someone who'll really listen (yeah)
When you touched my hand (yeah)
The sun got brighter then (brighter then)
Trusting you I closed my eyes
and felt our love begin

[Chorus]

[P. Diddy]
Yo let me holla at you for a sec
So what's in gonna be, him or me? (yeah)
We can cruise the world for pearls
And bare boots for girls
Summertime in the linen, fresh fruit
Livin' the life that's forbidden for just you (let's go)
No worries you ain't gotta be stressed out
No hurries you ain't gotta be rushed out
Sit back relax ma take your time
Now have a taste of the finest wine
Every minute that we have's a blessing to me
And in your heart you's a "Child of Destiny" (that's right)
Them hot summers that we had especially
Love who you is girl, you bring out the best of me
And it's like that, you know it's like that (that's right)
And that's your plan, where's your hand let me ice that
You my heart ain't no chance you could fight that
The summertime, when you hot baby take that, take that
Yeah.

[Chorus]


Image: Instagram/Beyonce
July 6th, 2015
Fine-quality rubies larger than 3 carats are extremely rare, so when Gemfields auctioned a matched pair weighing a total of 45-carats, the jewelry world took notice.

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Sourced earlier this year at its Montepuez mine in Mozambique on the southeast coast of Africa, the vivid red rough rubies of exceptional clarity were scooped up for an undisclosed sum by Veerasak Gems of Thailand.

Veerasak Gems founders Mr. and Mrs. Trirotanan, who have specialized in fine rubies for more than 35 years, named the rubies “Eyes of the Dragon.”

"Despite sourcing rubies from all over the world,” said Mrs. Trirotanan, “we were dazzled by this magnificent matching pair and have decided to name them the ‘Eyes of the Dragon’ due to the beauty we see within them.”

It will now be up to Trirotanan's artisans to transform the rough stones into finished jewelry (likely earrings) via a meticulous cutting and polishing process.

“Looking at them makes me tremble,” said Mrs. Trirotanan, describing the "Eyes of the Dragon, “and we are certain that our experience will unveil their full potential for all the world to behold."

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The spectacular matched rubies highlighted Gemfields’ recent Singapore auction, where more than $29 million in high-quality rough gems changed hands. The four auctions held since June 2014 featuring Montepuez-mined rubies have generated $122.2 million in total revenue.

Gemfields’ next high-profile auction will highlight fine emeralds from its Kagam mine in Zambia and is scheduled to take place in August.

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In recognition of the successful sale of the “Eyes of the Dragon,” Montepuez Ruby Mining Limitada, the local partner of Gemfields, will be providing support for the Niassa Lion Project in the Niassa National Reserve in northern Mozambique.

Larger than Switzerland, this area is home to the African lion, wild dog and elephant. It is also the home to more than 35,000 people across 40 villages, and encounters between villagers and wildlife pose a serious threat to both.

The Niassa Lion Project is dedicated to hiring and training Niassa residents as team members, mentoring young Mozambican conservationists and providing advanced schooling through scholarships.

Images: Facebook/Gemfields
July 7th, 2015
When Carli Lloyd, Abby Wambach, Christie Rampone and the rest of the U.S. women’s soccer team raised the World Cup over their heads in triumph Sunday, they were holding a trophy made of pure sterling silver clad in 23-karat yellow and white gold.

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The FIFA Women’s World Cup™ trophy weighs 3.96 lbs. and is valued by FIFA, the international governing body of soccer, at about $30,000. The sterling silver value is about $1,000.

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The value and composition of the women's trophy is a far cry from the one designed for the men’s tournament, which weighs more than twice as much at 10.8 lbs., is fabricated in 18-karat gold and has a precious metal value of $150,000.

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But, before we scream “Unfair!” please note that the women get to keep their trophy, while the men only get to take home a replica. The men’s FIFA World Cup™ trophy, of which there is only one original, always stays in the possession of FIFA.

Originally hand-made for the 1999 tournament by William Sawaya of the Milanese company Sawaya & Moroni, the women’s trophy takes the form of a spiral band, which wraps around a soccer ball at the top.

The spiral is designed in yellow gold and the soccer ball is plated in white gold. The trophy is nearly 18 inches tall (about 4 inches taller than the men’s trophy) and has a marble base.

A new trophy is produced for every FIFA Women’s World Cup™ tournament. One replica remains on display at the home of FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland.

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The men’s trophy is about 14.5 inches tall and depicts two human figures holding up the earth. It is fabricated from 10.8 pounds of 18-karat gold and features two rows of green malachite at the base.

The trophy is likely hollow. FIFA had previously claimed that the metal part of the trophy was solid gold, but Martyn Poliakoff of Nottingham University pointed out that, based on its dimensions, a solid version would weigh an unwieldy 154 pounds.

The U.S. women's dominating 5-2 victory over Japan in the final was highlighted by a hat trick in the first 16 minutes of the match by Lloyd. The three goals by a single player were the fastest ever recorded in Women's World Cup history, and the first hat trick ever in a final.

This is the third World Cup championship for the American women, with the other two titles taking place in 1991 and 1999.

Photos: Getty Images; FIFA.
July 8th, 2015
The streets of New York City are literally paved with gold and gemstones, according to urban miner Raffi Stepanian. For the past four years, the Queens native has been earning $100 to $930 per week scraping the gunky expansion joints that separate the cement sidewalks of the world famous Diamond District.

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The same joints that collect goop and occasionally catch a stiletto heel also provide a muddy groove into which gold, diamonds and gemstones can settle.

Stepanian told My9NJ.com that gold fragments and small gems often find their way onto the streets by clinging to the clothes and shoes of diamond district workers.

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Armed with a bucket, magnets, tweezers and scraping tools, Stepanian typically heads out on his mining mission after 7:30 p.m., when most of the local businesses have closed for the day. Then he scans the sidewalk for anything reflective.

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Once he finds a promising spot, he gets down on his knees to perform the tedious task of inspecting and collecting the material from the expansion joints that divide the concrete sidewalk. While demonstrating his technique to a reporter from My9NJ.com, Stepanian discovered something valuable right away.

"See over here?" Stepanian asked the reporter. "That's solder right there. Nice piece of gold solder."

A freelance diamond setter who has been in the jewelry business for more than 26 years, Stepanian got the mining bug four years ago when he happened upon a piece of gold on the sidewalk in front of a 47th Street jewelry exchange.

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He now believes that the 60-year build-up of precious materials on the sidewalks of the Diamond District is far more concentrated than that of any diamond or gold mine.

He told The Daily Telegraph, “The soil in the sidewalks of 47th Street is saturated with the stuff. You might get $30 per piece, but it all adds up."

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Once he’s collected enough material, Stepanian lugs his muck-filled bucket back to his home in Queens, where he separates and screens the material using water, dish soap, heat and a strainer.

How long will Stepanian continue to crawl the streets of the Diamond District looking for riches?

“As long as I keep finding material, I will keep doing this,” he said. “If people can drop them, I can pick them up.”

Images: Screen captures via My9NJ, YouTube.
July 9th, 2015
Fans of the Big Bang Theory have to wait 73 days until they can find out if Sheldon, indeed, loves Amy more than anyone ever knew, or if the awkward Romeo — who pulled out what seemed to be an engagement ring in the final moments of Season 8 — is destined for an extended stay at the Heartbreak Hotel.

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In the May 7 season finale of CBS’ top-rated comedy, we witnessed Amy (Mayim Bialik) breaking up with Sheldon (Jim Parsons) via Skype because he wouldn’t commit to their relationship after five years of dating.

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“This isn’t easy to say because I love you,” said Amy, “but I need some time to step back and reevaluate our situation. I hope you understand. Bye, Sheldon.”

She terminates the Skype call, and after a moment’s pause a stunned Sheldon addresses a Lord of the Rings figurine that’s sitting on his desk. “Well, Gollum, you’re an expert on rings. What do I do with this one?”

At that moment, Sheldon shocks the viewing audience by pulling a black engagement ring box from the top drawer of his desk.

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Despite the obvious hint that Sheldon had fully intended to propose to Amy, actress Bialik told the Los Angeles Times that fans of the show (14 million weekly) shouldn’t jump to any conclusions.

"We don't know what he was planning to do with it,” Bialik said. “We don't know if it was something he got from his mother. We don't know what the process was by which he acquired that and what he would think to do with it."

Devoted followers of the Big Bang Theory are well aware that the writers like to keep their audiences guessing.

"People want to jump to all sorts of conclusions because it's super exciting to do so and they love these characters and they know them,” she continued. “But the neat thing about our show... and Jim and my character's relationship is that anything can happen. And I think the finale was proof of that."

Will Sheldon fight to get Amy back? Does the ring really represent Sheldon’s ultimate commitment to Amy and their future together?

We’ll all know for sure when Big Bang Theory returns for Season 9 on Monday, September 21.

Check out the dramatic cliffhanger below…


Images via CBS
July 10th, 2015
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today we feature the incomparable Wilson sisters — also known as Heart — performing “There’s the Girl,” a song they first released in 1987 and continue to sing in concert today.

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The first lines of “There’s the Girl” go like this: “You’re a polished diamond / Now you’re feeling kinda rough / Yes I know how long you been searching / for the perfect touch.”

Co-writers Nancy Wilson and Holly Knight use diamond metaphors to describe a guy who can’t get over an old flame even though she’s a “complete disaster.” He’s a polished diamond (a pretty smooth operator), but the prospect of reconnecting with the ex-girlfriend has his heart beating faster. The emotional overload is making him feel kinda rough (as in "rough diamond").

Today’s featured tune is special to Heart fans because the lead vocals are performed by guitarist Nancy Wilson, not Ann, whose towering voice has been a hallmark of the band for more than 30 years. In fact, many fans never realized Ann sang the lead vocals for this song until their saw the music video or were lucky enough to see Heart perform “There’s a Girl” in concert.

"There's the Girl" is the third track from Heart's ninth studio album, Bad Animals. It climbed as high as #12 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart — one of 20 Top-40 singles credited to the band. Over their illustrious careers, the Wilson sisters have sold more than 35 million records worldwide, have scored seven Top-10 albums and earned four Grammy nominations. Heart was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

The sisters revealed in a interview that they were both inspired to form a rock band when they saw the Beatles perform on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964.

"The lightning bolt came out of the heavens and struck Ann and me the first time we saw the Beatles,” said Nancy Wilson. “There'd been so much anticipation and hype about the Beatles that it was a huge event, like the lunar landing. That was the moment Ann and I heard the call to become rock musicians."

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Actively performing since 1974, Heart continues to tour today, with the 65-year-old Ann and 61-year-old Nancy still playing to full houses at large and small venues from coast to coast. Heart is in the midst of a long tour that includes a July 25 concert at Citi Field in New York City and an engagement at the Hollywood Bowl on August 22.

Please enjoy the official video of “There’s the Girl.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

"There's the Girl"
Written by Holly Knight and Nancy Wilson. Performed by Heart.

You're a polished diamond
Now you're feeling kinda rough
Yes I know how long you been searching
for the perfect touch
You better hear what I say
I can tell your eyes are just about to
give you away

Cause there's the girl
that you were after
Feel your heart beating faster now
There's the girl that you were after
Can you say that you don't
want her anymore

Just take my word now
Cause you know it's true
she ain't good enough
for the likes of you
You better hear what I say
I can tell your eyes are just about
to give you away

Cause there's the girl
that you were after
Feel your heart beating faster now
There's the girl that you were after
And all the time you can't get past her
There's the girl that you were after
Broken glass, complete disaster
There's the girl that you were after
Can you say that you don't
want her anymore

I believed you once
When you explained
That it wasn't so tough
To forget her name

Cause there's the girl
that you were after
Feel your heart beating faster now
There's the girl that you were after
And all the time you can't get past her
There's the girl that you were after
Broken glass, complete disaster
There's the girl that you were after
Can you say that you don't
want her anymore

There's the girl
There's the girl
There's the girl
There's the girl


Photos: Getty Images; Twitter/OfficialHeart.
July 13th, 2015
An anonymous donor from Arizona is offering $1 million for information leading to the recovery of the iconic ruby slippers stolen 10 years ago from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minn. Worn by Garland in her role as Dorothy in the blockbuster 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, the pilfered pair was one of only four known to exist.

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The pair, above, was famously donated to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in 1979 and currently is the top attraction in the American Stories section (second floor east). A third pair was purchased in 2012 by Leonardo DiCaprio and other benefactors on behalf of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The fourth pair is owned by a private collector in Los Angeles.

A self-proclaimed big Wizard of Oz fan, the Arizona donor made his offer to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the audacious August 2005 heist of the ruby slippers from the Judy Garland Museum. To claim the reward, the tipster needs to provide the exact location of the slippers and the name of the perpetrator.

John Kelsch, executive director of the Judy Garland Museum, said the stolen slippers were insured for $1 million and could be worth up to $3 million today.

Back in June, the stolen shoes were in the news when Grand Rapids investigators followed a rumor that the slippers had been placed in a sealed container and sunk in a small lake about seven miles from Garland's birthplace. Although the dive proved fruitless, it did spark renewed interest in the missing slippers.

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Interestingly, the ruby slippers were actually silver slippers in the 1899 children’s book "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" by L. Frank Baum. According to film legend, screenwriter Noel Langley recommended that they be changed to ruby red so they would stand out better on the yellow brick road when shot in brilliant Technicolor.

Another neat piece of trivia is that the ruby slippers are not made of ruby at all. In fact, the bugle beads that prop designers used to simulate ruby proved to be too heavy. The solution was to replace most of the bugle beads with sequins, 2,300 on each shoe. The butterfly-shaped bow on the front of each shoe features red bugle beads outlined in red glass rhinestones in silver settings.

Images: Smithsonian
July 14th, 2015
While planting Lucky Bamboo in the backyard of his New Jersey home, Maan Moughawech was spectacularly reunited with a cherished 22-karat wedding band he lost 15 years ago. Many cultures believe that Lucky Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana) attracts health, prosperity and good fortune.

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Back in 2000, Moughawech and his wife, Savitree, had been renovating their newly purchased home in Bloomfield when Maan asked his wife to hold his wedding band while he did some painting. She hooked it onto her bangle bracelet for safekeeping.

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“We both continued working, and she went outside to do some work in the backyard,” Maan told ABC News. “At the end of the work day, I asked for the ring back and she discovered that it fell [off] her bangle!”

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The panicked couple retraced Savitree’s steps, which included a search of their backyard, but couldn’t find the brilliant 22-karat gold ring that they had purchased for their wedding ceremony only two years earlier.

“It was nowhere to be found,” he said. “I assumed that it may have been vacuumed up by the lawnmower.”

Accepting their loss, the couple bought a replacement band — one of a similar style and width, but in 14-karat gold instead of 22-karat.

“It did not have the same meaning as the original ring,” Maan admitted. “Once in a while, I would go around the property in search of the ring, but to no avail. So I gave up.”

A few days ago, the still-happy couple decided it was time to plant Lucky Bamboo in the corner of their yard.

As Maan started digging the hole, he recognized something yellow and shiny in the soil.

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“I kneeled down to inspect it, and I instantly knew that it was my lost ring!” he told ABC News.

Probably suspecting that friends and family would have a hard time believing the ring would appear exactly where he placed his shovel, he took out his cell phone and snapped a bunch of pictures of the ring still embedded in the soil.

“Then I cleaned it off and [put] it back where it belongs, 15 years later,” he said. “My wife was in complete disbelief.”

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One shot shows Maan wearing the old and new rings on the same finger. The 22-karat version has a deeper, warmer gold hue than the 14-karat version.

And what became of the Lucky Bamboo? Moughawech completed the hole and planted their good luck charm, which “definitely has a place” in their backyard now, he said.

Images courtesy of Maan Moughawech.
July 15th, 2015
Actress Mila Kunis stars in a two-minute film directed by art photographer Jeff Burton showcasing the glamorous, alluring and mysterious appeal of Mozambican rubies.

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The Neptune Ascending actress, who is also a global brand ambassador for mining company Gemfields, wears deep-red lipstick to complement exquisite ruby jewelry in the soft-focus, dreamlike sequences. Filmed along the canyons above Malibu, Calif., the director employs extreme closeups and lacy veils of ambient light to give the short-format piece an ethereal, otherworldly vibe.

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“Working on this film with Gemfields and Jeff Burton was an amazing experience," the 31-year-old Kunis said in a statement. "I was given the opportunity to try and capture the allure and passion that rubies evoke in an unexpected way. I believe it will help to inspire a whole new generation to fall in love with this rarest of gemstones.”

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Already world famous for its high-quality Zambia-sourced emeralds, the London-based Gemfields produced the short film to shine the spotlight on its newly acquired Montepuez ruby mine in Mozambique. The film release is also perfectly timed to align with July's official birthstone — the ruby.

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Only last week, we reported on Gemfields auctioning a matched pair of vivid red rubies from its Montepuez mine that weighed a total of 45 carats. The find was extraordinary because high-clarity rubies of exquisite color are rarely found in sizes larger than 3 carats.

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Kunis has been Gemfields' brand ambassador since 2013. To prepare her for this role, she was encouraged to tour the company's emerald mining operations in Zambia. The actress was most fascinated by the fact that every single emerald has its own fingerprint.

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She told WWD, "I have an emerald, and you can [look at] it through a microscope, and because of the specific types of veins in the emerald, you can trace it back to the exact cavern and exact country that it’s from... They all have their own history and their own print.”

Gemfields' new attention on its Montepuez mine and the related film project must have been welcomed news for the mother of one who is married to Ashton Kutcher. You see, rubies are her favorite gemstone.

"I guess my favorite colored stone is maybe a ruby, oddly enough, because my grandmother’s engagement ring has a ruby in it," she told WWD. "By the way, she’s 95 and they don’t really have engagement rings in Russia, but her wedding band had a ruby in it and I kind of associated that with love."

Burton's short film features Mozambican rubies set into beautiful contemporary designs by Faberge, Georg Jensen, Spinelli Kilcollin, Gyan by Gem Plaza and Miiori.

Check it out below...



Images: Screen captures via YouTube; Rubies courtesy of Gemfields.
July 16th, 2015
A tiny fragment of fire opal found in a Martian meteorite could point to evidence of life on the Red Planet.

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Researchers at the University of Glasgow discovered traces of fire opal in a 1.7 gram (1/20 ounce) sample taken from the famous Nakhla meteorite, which crashed in Egypt in 1911 and has been housed in the Natural History Museum in London.

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The fire opal discovery affirms information gained during NASA's imaging and exploration of the Martian surface. NASA detected deposits of opal and other minerals, such as olivine (the non-precious version of peridot). The presence of opal is significant because the gemstone famous for its brilliant orange, yellow and red display of color is also known to form in and around hot springs.

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"Microbial life thrives in these conditions, and opal can trap and preserve these microbes for millions of years," said Professor Martin Lee of the University of Glasgow's School of Geographical and Earth Sciences. "If Martian microbes existed, it’s possible they too may be preserved in opal deposits on the surface of Mars."

Armed with this information, future exploration of Mars and the search for evidence of life on that planet could focus heavily on the study of opal. These findings were revealed in an article in the scientific journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science.

The Nakhla meteorite, which is named for the town in which it landed, crashed to Earth on June 28, 1911. About 22 pounds of meteorite debris (about 40 pieces) were scattered over a three-mile area. The largest piece weighed about four pounds. Some fragments were embedded three feet into the ground.

Scientists believe the meteorite was blasted from the face of Mars by a powerful impact of unknown origin. Witnesses in Egypt reported seeing the meteorite approaching from the northwest along a track marked by a column of white smoke.

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While conventional opals are mined primarily in Australia, fire opals are found in a number of countries, including Mexico and Brazil. Fire opals get their blazing color from fine traces of iron oxide in their chemical composition. They have a hardness of between 6 and 6.5 on the Mohs scale, which means they are susceptible to scratching and require a protective setting when used in fine jewelry, especially as a ring.

Credits: Mars shots via NASA; Nakhla meteorite via WikiCommons; Fire opal uncredited via Twitter/ScienceAllDay
July 17th, 2015
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today we feature Meghan Trainor singing her brand new release, "Like I'm Gonna Lose You," a jazzy ballad about never taking loved ones for granted and always making the most of life's precious moments.

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In the first verse, Trainor sings, "I found myself dreaming in silver and gold / Like a scene from a movie that every broken heart knows / We were walking on moonlight and you pulled me close / Split second and you disappeared and then I was all alone."

Trainer, who co-wrote the song with Justin Weaver and Caitlyn Smith, explained to Digital Spy that the impassioned song was spawned by an all-too-real nightmare.

"['Like I'm Gonna Lose You' has] very emotional lyrics that take you to a real place," she said. "You know when you have those nightmares that your brother or sister or boyfriend just dies? And you wake up sweating and crying, and then you have to go check on them to make sure they're still alive, and they are. And you're like, 'Oh my God, thank God.' It's like, I'm going to love you like I'm going to lose you because I know what it feels like from that dream and I'm not going to let it happen."

Released just 24 days ago as the fourth single from her chart-topping album, Title, "Like I'm Gonna Lose You" made its debut on the Billboard Hot 100 this week at #95. With Trainor performing the song at the "2015 Billboard Music Awards" and on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, we expect "Like I'm Gonna Lose You" to catapult into the Top 20 in short time.

The song was originally intended to be a solo recording, but Trainor and her management team presented her demo to John Legend, who reportedly told Trainor, "I love this, I want to be a part of it. It's gonna be cool." The result is a beautiful collaboration between two of the music industry's brightest talents.

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The music video depicts Trainor staring through the window of a candlelit room as the rain pours outside. Legend sings his part from the outside of the building, separated from Trainor by a paned-glass wall. Interspersed are scenes of companions standing in the rain. Among them are a mother and infant child, a homeless man and his dog, a woman and her elderly mother, a man on crutches and his girlfriend, and a soaked-to-the-skin Legend, who plays Trainor's love interest.

In the end, the sun emerges, the sky lightens and Trainor and Legend join hands as if to symbolize a love that has conquered all.

Trainer was recently in the news when she canceled her concert tour due to a hemorrhage on her vocal cords. The red-hot artist was ordered by her physician to completely refrain from singing during her recovery.

Fortunately, we have her official video below. Please enjoy Trainor and Legend performing "Like I'm Gonna Lose You." The lyrics are included if you'd like to sing along.

"Like I'm Gonna Lose You"
Written by Meghan Trainor, Justin Weaver, Caitlyn Smith. Performed by Meghan Trainor, featuring John Legend.

I found myself dreaming in silver and gold
Like a scene from a movie that every broken heart knows
We were walking on moonlight and you pulled me close
Split second and you disappeared and then I was all alone

I woke up in tears
With you by my side
A breath of relief
And I realized
No, we're not promised tomorrow

So I'm gonna love you
Like I'm gonna lose you
I'm gonna hold you
Like I'm saying goodbye wherever we're standing
I won't take you for granted 'cause we'll never know when
When we'll run out of time so I'm gonna love you
Like I'm gonna lose you
I'm gonna love you like I'm gonna lose you

[John Legend:]
In the blink of an eye
Just a whisper of smoke
You could lose everything
The truth is you never know

So I'll kiss you longer baby
Any chance that I get
I'll make the most of the minutes and love with no regrets

Let's take our time
To say what we want
Use what we got
Before it's all gone
'Cause no, we're not promised tomorrow

[Both:]
So I'm gonna love you
Like I'm gonna lose you
I'm gonna hold you
Like I'm saying goodbye wherever we're standing
I won't take you for granted 'cause we'll never know when
When we'll run out of time so I'm gonna love you
Like I'm gonna lose you
I'm gonna love you like I'm gonna lose you

Hey
Whoa

I'm gonna love you
Like I'm gonna lose you
I'm gonna hold you
Like I'm saying goodbye wherever we're standing
I won't take you for granted 'cause we'll never know when
When we'll run out of time so I'm gonna love you
Like I'm gonna lose you
I'm gonna love you like I'm gonna lose you


Images: NBC, YouTube screen capture.
July 20th, 2015
A space rock containing $5.4 trillion in platinum flew within 1.5 million miles of the Earth last night, sparking speculation about the future of space mining.

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The flyby of asteroid "2011 UW-158" was presented live via the Slooh online observatory, which used a team of telescopes in the Canary Islands to track the half-mile-wide, Rice Krispie-shaped chunk of celestial bling. Providing commentary and answering Twitter-generated questions were host Eric Edelman and Slooh astronomer Bob Berman.

The Slooh feed provided two live shots, one with the asteroid centered in the viewing window and the second showing the asteroid moving across the viewing field. Due to its size in relation to its 1.5 million-mile distance from earth, the asteroid appears as a tiny white dot.

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The relatively close proximity of 2011 UW-158 — about six times farther than our Moon, but 30 times closer than our nearest planetary neighbor, Venus — prompted renewed interest in the viability of space mining.

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Planetary Resources, an asteroid mining venture with financial backing from Google chiefs Eric Schmidt and Larry Page, has its sights set on 2011 UW-158. The company believes the asteroid's core contains 100 million tons of platinum worth $5.4 trillion. The company is also tracking similar asteroids in our solar system. Planetary Resources president Chris Lewicki provided realtime commentary during the live feed.

“It’s always fun when an asteroid whooshes past our world,” Berman said in a Slooh announcement. “What makes this unusual is the large amount of platinum believed to be lurking in the body of this space visitor. Can it be mined someday, perhaps not too far in the future?”

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Officials from NASA believe that asteroids can be captured and brought into orbit around our Moon. Once captured, space miners would be able to collect valuable resources. NASA is confident this futuristic mining could be a reality by the year 2025. NASA says the elements present in asteroids — including rocket fuel and water — could be harvested by future generations in the quest to explore and colonize our solar system.

A spectrometer, measuring the intensity of light reflected from 2011 UW158, was used to determine the platinum composition of the asteroid. After last night's show, 2011 UW158 is not scheduled for another flyby until 2108.

Images: Screen captures of Slooh video feed; Planetary Resources.
July 21st, 2015
Mischievous French Bulldog, Tux, is always getting into trouble. So, when Miami resident Jessica Farah heard a crunching metallic sound coming from the dog's mouth last Wednesday she casually assumed he was chewing on his brother's collar, something he does all the time.

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However, later in the day, she noticed that her loose-fitting engagement ring was not on her finger and she started to fear the worst.

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"I look at my hand, and I think, 'Oh no,'" she told a reporter from television station WSVN.

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French Bulldogs lack a discriminating palate and are notorious for eating what should not be eaten. The breed's wide mouth and voracious appetite make it a consuming machine, often ingesting items as bizarre as cat litter and bite-sized plastic children's toys. They also seem to like jewelry.

Farah traced her steps and tore through the house, but the ring was nowhere to be found.

“[Then] it dawned on me. Well, I guess it wasn’t the brother’s collar. It was my ring," she said.

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Early the next morning, Farah rushed Tux to the local animal clinic, where a simple X-ray confirmed her suspicions. The ring was clearly visible deep within the belly of the beast.

The bad news was that the dog had swallowed the ring. The good news was that the digestive process had not yet moved the ring into the dog's intestine.

“What was important was that it didn’t move on,” noted veterinarian Robert Ferran, “because if it had moved on to the intestine, it certainly is a harder thing to try and fetch it.”

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There are generally three options when an animal swallows a valuable object, such as a ring. Do nothing and hope that it passes naturally. Extract the ring surgically. Or, use a flexible endoscope to enter the dog's stomach through the mouth and try to grab the ring using the endoscope's pincer. The minimally invasive endoscope has a light source and camera so the doctor can see inside a patient's body.

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Doctors at Miami Veterinary Specialists decided to go with the endoscope option, and by the end of the procedure the ring was back on Farah's finger and Tux was perfectly fine.

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"I'm never taking it off," she said of her cherished engagement ring. "Showering, gym, everything. It's never coming off."

Tux actually played an important role in matching Farah with her fiancé. Farah met the love of her life when Tux went missing last year. Her now-fiancé made a great first impression when he volunteered to help find the pup.

Images: Screen captures via WSVN.com; French Bulldog by tanakawho, [CC BY 2.0} via Wikimedia Commons.
July 22nd, 2015
Michael Thousand, a self-proclaimed nerd and Lego enthusiast, proposed to his girlfriend at Boston's Legoland Discovery Center with an engagement ring made entirely from the wildly popular interlocking plastic building blocks.

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The lovely, but equally nerdish, Allison Donlon screamed "Yes" after her beau got down on one knee and delivered his proposal in front of a crowd of 250 Lego fans.

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The surprise proposal took place a week ago during Legoland's Adult Night, when — on the third Wednesday of each month — fully grown Lego loyalists get to take over the Lego paradise with like-minded friends.

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At the end of the night, master model builder Ian Coffee announced that Thousand and Donlon had won the big mystery prize. What Donlon didn't know was that her clever boyfriend had rigged the results, and the prize was actually a "diamond" engagement ring made completely of Legos.

“We’re just big Lego fans,” Thousand told Boston.com. “I knew that a standard, boring, out-to-dinner kind of thing wasn’t going to cut it.”

Donlon showed off her slightly larger-than-scale plastic ring as if she were a Hollywood celebrity amidst the flashbulbs of the paparazzi. The proud bride-to-be posted the proposal photo to Facebook with the caption, "I SAID YES! — with Mike Thousand at Legoland Discovery Center Boston." The line included an emoji of a diamond ring.

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“We’re complete nerds,” Thousand told Boston.com. “We can’t deny that.”

Before making any judgments about the appropriateness of proposing marriage with a plastic engagement ring — no matter how cute and sentimental — please note that Thousand did follow up the Lego ring with a real diamond ring.

The couple from Chelmsford, Mass., which is about 30 miles northwest of Boston, had planned to move to Michigan by the end of July due to Thousand's new job opportunity. He wanted to demonstrate his love and commitment before they headed west.

Legoland Discovery Center Boston gave the couple a shout-out on its Facebook page: "To top it all off, the night ended with a proposal!! We gave him a Lego ring and he gave her a diamond one! Congrats to the newly engaged couple and thanks to everyone who made it yet another fantastic Adult Night!"

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A favorite exhibit at the Discovery Center is this city scene, which recreates 20 of Boston's most famous landmarks using Lego bricks.

Images: Facebook/Legoland Discovery Center Boston
July 23rd, 2015
Couples living in the states of Montana, Nevada and Washington spend the most on their engagement rings while their counterparts in South Dakota, Arkansas and Nebraska spend the least, according to figures just released by Ritani.

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The high-profile designer of custom engagement rings reveals in a neat infographic the wide disparity in purchasing habits. Segmented by the states in which the couples live, the findings certainly caught us by surprise.

According to Ritani, the blingiest brides-to-be reside in Montana ($9,523), Nevada ($9,478) and Washington ($9,173). On the opposite end of the spectrum are South Dakota ($1,251), Arkansas ($3,176) and Nebraska ($3,835), where couples seem to be more frugal.

Ritani's state-by-state figures seem to align with the national stats reported by The Knot, which pegged the average engagement ring expenditure at $5,855.

The Knot's report, which was based on a survey of 16,000 newly married brides, also revealed that overall wedding budgets are on the rise, with the average tab in 2014 coming in at $31,213, up from $29,858 in 2013. By far, the biggest part of the wedding budget was dedicated to the venue, with the reception hall costs tallying $14,007. The engagement ring ranked as the bridal couple’s second-highest expense.

In Ritani's infographic, the dark purple color represents the states in the second-tier range of $7,500-to-$8,999. They include Minnesota ($8,853), Indiana ($8,763), North Dakota ($8,616), Massachusetts ($8,574), New Hampshire ($8,556), New Jersey ($8,427), Alabama ($8,062), California ($7,991), New York ($7,789) and Illinois ($7,753).

The infographic also includes Ritani's "5 Tips Before Ring Shopping."

Under "Know Her Style," Ritani notes that although 57% of diamonds purchased are round, couples can still step out of the box and design a custom ring based on her personality and style.

Regarding "Know Your Budget," Ritani emphasizes the importance of couples knowing what they're comfortable spending before entering the design process.

"Know the 6 Cs" points to couples being knowledgeable about a diamond's cut, color, clarity and carat weight, while also taking advantage of expert consultation and certification.

In the section "Know How to Spot a Fake," Ritani recommends that couples review its online guide and to ensure that they are buying a GIA-certified diamond.

When making a surprise proposal, the guy will want to "Know Her Ring Size." Ritani recommends using a a ring she already owns to estimate her size and, when in doubt, go slightly larger.

Here's the complete alphabetical list of the average engagement expenditures, by state, according to Ritani...

Alaska: $5,353
Alabama: $8,062
Arkansas: $3,176
Arizona $6,347
California: $7,991
Colorado: $6,938
Connecticut: $6,971
Delaware: $4,684
Florida: $7,128
Georgia: $6,099
Hawaii: $6,896
Iowa: $6,056
Idaho: $6,794
Illinois: $7,753
Indiana: $8,763
Kansas: $5,955
Kentucky: $6,677
Louisiana: $5,754
Massachusetts: $8,574
Maryland: $7,331
Maine: $4,105
Michigan: $5,605
Minnesota: $8,853
Missouri: $6,908
Mississippi: $6,065
Montana: $9,523
Nebraska: $3,835
New Hampshire: $8,556
New Jersey: $8,427
New Mexico: $5,131
Nevada: $9,478
New York: $7,789
North Carolina: $6,762
North Dakota: $8,616
Ohio: $5,546
Oklahoma: $4,835
Oregon: $5,525
Pennsylvania: $5,726
Rhode Island: $4,821
South Carolina: $4,868
South Dakota: $1,251
Tennessee: $4,535
Texas: $7,233
Utah: $4,537
Virginia: $6,024
Vermont: $2,665
Washington: $9,173
Wisconsin: $6,395
West Virginia: $5,196
Wyoming: $6,355


Source: Ritani.
July 24th, 2015
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring nostalgic tunes with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Dion helps us celebrate July's official birthstone with his 1963 hit, "Ruby Baby."

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In this song of unrequited love, Dion croons about a girl who may be out of reach. He sings, "I got a girl and Ruby is her name / She don't love me, but I love her just the same / Ruby Baby how I want you / Like a ghost I'm gonna haunt you / Ruby Baby when will you be mine?"

Written by the dynamic hit-generating duo of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, "Ruby Baby" ranks a close second to the Rolling Stones' "Ruby Tuesday" on our list of the most famous "ruby" songs ever.

"Ruby Baby" was originally recorded in 1956 by The Drifters, who watched it rise to #10 on the R&B charts. By when Dion released his version in 1963 it zoomed to #2 on the broad-based U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and remained in the Top 40 for 11 weeks. The song brought Dion worldwide fame.

Dion DiMucci, who celebrated his 76th birthday last week and continues to tour, launched his career as the frontman for Dion and the Belmonts in the late 1950s. The group's name was derived from the fact that the four singers all lived on or near Belmont Avenue in the Bronx, N.Y.

Dion would go on to have a successful solo career that has transformed him from a handsome teen idol to a widely respected grandfather of Rock & Roll. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.

We hope you enjoy this clip of Dion performing "Ruby Baby" on Late Night With David Letterman. The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Ruby Baby"
Written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Performed by Dion.

I got a girl and Ruby is her name
She don't love me, but I love her just the same
Ruby Baby how I want you
Like a ghost I'm gonna haunt you
Ruby Baby when will you be mine?

Each time I see you baby my heart cries
I'm gonna steal you away from all those guys
From the sunny day I met you
Made a bet that I would get you
Ruby Baby when will you be mine?

I got a girl and Ruby is her name
I'd give the world just to set her heart aflame
Got some lovin' money too
Gonna give it all to you
Ruby Baby when will you be mine?


Images via DionDiMucci.com (Dion's official website)
July 27th, 2015
Rolene Strauss, the South African beauty who earned the Miss World 2014 crown in December, added some new bling to her bounty when she accepted a diamond engagement ring from her longtime beau D'Niel Strauss on Friday.

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The fourth-year medical student — who oddly shares the surname of her fiancé — proudly showed off her engagement ring with a selfie on Instagram. The photo instantly sparked international media attention and 6,579 likes.

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The oval diamond is set in a delicate diamond pavé band crafted in yellow gold. We're estimating that the white center diamond weighs 1 to 1.25 carats.

"I am so happy that I get to live my dream as Miss World whilst celebrating love," Rolene told the Miss World organization. "I look forward to the next five months continuing my journey as Miss World, spreading the message of unity, freedom, and most importantly, LOVE.”

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Rolene was among 122 contestants who competed for the coveted title this year in an extravaganza that was seen by a worldwide television audience of more than 1 billion.

The 23-year-old TV personality and model is currently traveling the world as the reigning Miss World and will reportedly marry her fiancé in 2016 once she has completed her pageant duties. D'Niel Strauss is a fellow South African and the founder of Orientis Venture Capital. The couple has been together for three years.

The new Miss World captioned her Instagram post with an inspirational verse from the Bible: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 ~

The Miss World organization congratulated the couple with a post on the official Miss World web site. "On behalf of all of us at the Miss World office, many congratulations and we wish you both all the happiness in the future," wrote Miss World Chairman Julia Morley. "With love and best wishes from all of us at the Miss World Office."

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The Byzantine-style Miss World crown is an eye-catching combination of blue and white gemstones that evokes the sense of royalty. Unfortunately, the Miss World pageant has published no information on the value of the crown, the colored gemstones used in the design or the type of metal in which they're set. We might assume that the light blue stones are turquoise, the dark blue stones are sapphires (or a lower-cost simulant) and the white stones are likely cubic zirconia or crystals. The setting seems to be yellow gold.

"I don't know how to thank everyone for their kind messages and words of congratulations after announcing my engagement to the most wonderful person I know!" Rolene noted in a recent Facebook post. "It is an honor and privilege for me to share this joyful time with each and every one of you."

Credits: MissWorld.com; Instagram/Rolene Strauss; Getty Images.
July 28th, 2015
The human face you see inside this gemstone was created by master sculptor Wallace Chan, who uses a special technique — aptly named The Wallace Cut — to create a three-dimensional image that seems to be looking in several directions at once.

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Using a dentist's drill with a specially adapted blade, the 59-year-old Chinese master sculptor cuts into the unfaceted back of a gemstone to render a subject that seems to be floating within the gemstone.

Working the back of the stone requires the artist to carve in reverse. Left is right, top is bottom and deep is shallow. Nevertheless, Chan has overcome this challenges with startling results. The classically trained sculptor incorporates medieval cameo and intaglio techniques in his work that is eerily lifelike and often fetches a half million dollars or more.

"Each piece can take me thousands of hours," he told CNN. "It is like going on a journey each time."

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The modified dentist's drill, which spins at 36,000 times per minute, generates so much heat that the process has to take place under cold water or else the stone could be easily damaged.

"It means I can't see clearly when I'm cutting," Chan told CNN. "It becomes a very repetitive process. I make one cut, take it out of the water to check it, dry the stone, check it again, and if it's fine I put it back in the water and make another cut."

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"It is a sacred thing to create a face," Chan told CNN. "It's like a ghost appearing in the gem as you work. The dialogue of gemstone, color and light gives it life. There is a Buddhist saying that every person has many selves, and that inspired me spiritually as I created this work."

Chan invented the "Wallace Cut" carving style in the mid-1980s, when he progressed from traditional carving techniques to one that incorporated the power of his modified dentist's drill.

Chan's technique of carving a gemstone from the back side is the same strategy used by Idar-Oberstein-based master cutter Bernd Munsteiner. Called “The Picasso of Gems” and “The Father of the Fantasy Cut,” Munsteiner became world famous for carving a pattern of “negative cuts” into the back of a gem, which reflects the light from within.

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A beautiful example of Munsteiner's technique is seen in the obelisk-shaped “Dom Pedro” aquamarine. Munsteiner spent four months studying a 57-pound rough aquamarine crystal before embarking on a grueling six-month adventure to meticulously cut, facet and polish the stone.

Carved in 1992, "Dom Pedro" stands nearly 14 inches tall and weighs 1,363 carats. In December of 2012, the fabulous piece was donated to the Smithsonian's National Gem and Mineral Collection and is now a top attraction at the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology.

Credits: Wallace Chan jewelry courtesy of Wallace Chan. Dom Pedro photo by Donald E. Hurlbert, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
July 29th, 2015
Kaitlyn Bristowe picked Shawn Booth in Monday night's Season 11 finale of ABC's The Bachelorette, and the handsome personal trainer from Nashville proposed marriage with a "dream ring" — a 3.5-carat halo-style stunner, featuring a round brilliant-cut center diamond and 160 accent diamonds that cascade down an entwined platinum band. The stunning brunette said, "Yes."

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While bachelors of past shows have been apprehensive and indecisive with their ring choices, Booth was laser-focused and made his decision instantly. Celebrity jeweler Neil Lane told peoplestylewatch.com that Booth, 28, quickly honed in on the 3.5 carat ring after being shown a number of options.

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"That’s the ring, that’s the girl and we are moving on together," the determined and confident Booth told Lane.

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The jeweler knew that Bristowe preferred a round center diamond and had designed a number of rings that The Bachelorette would like. “I created this ring for her and I was thrilled when Shawn picked it," Lane said. "He knew what he wanted.”

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Bristol, a 30-year-old former dance teacher from Vancouver, and her new beau are obviously thrilled with their new engagement ring, as they jumped on Snapchat to post selfies with their new bling front and center while flying to New York City for an appearance on Good Morning America.

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The couple, who had to keep their engagement a secret until the show aired on Monday, will be traveling to both Vancouver and Nashville to determine the best place to make a home.

"I think we love the idea of having a summer home in British Columbia or Vancouver and living in Nashville," Bristowe told reporters Tuesday afternoon. "I think that sounds pretty ideal."

Bristowe also revealed that a big family is on the way. "I want four and he wants five [kids]," she said.

The couple seems to prefer a small wedding. "As long as we're surrounded by our family and friends, that's all that matters," Booth told ABC News.

Added Bristowe, "I'm not picky and I've never been that little girl who dreamt about her wedding day. I just can't wait to be in one room with all family and friends and that's the only thing I care about."

Although the early seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette allowed the couples to keep the rings even if they broke up, the rules have changed. Producers now demand that if a couple splits before the two-year mark, the ring must be handed back to ABC.

Credits: Neil Lane; ABC; Kaitlyn Bristowe/Snapchat.
July 30th, 2015
A former soldier whose military ring was stolen in 2007 was recently reunited with his cherished keepsake — thanks to the power of Good Samaritans, Facebook and 401,000 "shares." What’s more, the ring – which was badly damaged after being buried in the ground for years – was completely refurbished by the manufacturer at no charge to the serviceman.



Patrick J. Dierickx of Kalispell, Mont., had received his ring after completing basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C., but less than a year later the ring was stolen in Marshall, Minn.

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Eight years would go by before farmer Bob Farris would dig up the ring near the foundation of an old granary near Watertown, S.D., one state over and nearly 80 miles from where it was last seen.

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Bob asked his granddaughter, Rachel Farris, to use Facebook to try to get the message out that a military ring with the name "Patrick J. Dierickx" had been recovered.

Farris took on the assignment and posted a message with some photos of the beaten-up ring.

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"OK Facebook world, I need some help," she wrote. "My grandpa found a United States Army service ring buried in the dirt at his farm in South Dakota. The name on the ring is Patrick J Dierickx. It's a very old ring and he would like to find the owner or at least the family to return it to. Please share this post so we can try to find the rightful owner or family member."

Her plea struck a cord with Facebook users all over the country. The original post was made on June 11. By June 19, it had been shared more than 401,000 times, resulting in a connection with the original owner.

"I never dreamed that I would see the ring again," said Dierickx. "The years went by, and while I thought about it from time to time, I knew I just had to let it go. I can't thank Bob Farris enough. A keen eye, a bit of luck, and a kind heart can go a long way. Like the inscription on the ring says, 'In God We Trust.'"

Once reunited with his ring, Dierickx visited local jeweler Murphy McMahon to see if the ring, which had been buried for years, could be repaired and refurbished.



McMahon sent the ring to the original manufacturer, Austin, Texas-based Balfour, and within a short time the keepsake was resurrected. The ring, which features a blue center stone as well as military and spiritual slogans and symbols, was returned to Dierickx looking as good as new — and at no charge.

Dierickx turned to Facebook to thank all the people who helped him reconnect with his ring. He wrote, "Thanks for the help everyone! I originally got the ring in 2006, at Fort Jackson SC, right out of basic training. A year later it was stolen. Eight years later it's found in the dirt, a state over, by a very kindhearted farmer. Please share so people know this incredible story."

Credit: Facebook/Rachel Farris; Facebook/Patrick Dierickx; Patrick Dierickx.
July 31st, 2015
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today we feature Justin Bieber singing about pearls in the R&B remix of his 2010 release, "Up."

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In the 2011 collaboration featuring Chris Brown, the teen heartthrob refuses to call it quits on a troubled relationship because he believes it can only get better. He promises to take it to the sky, past the moon and to the galaxy. And, taking poetic license with his use of a double-negative, he repeats, "Baby, we can't go nowhere but up."

In the key jewelry line, Bieber sings, "It's a big, big world / And I'm gonna show you all of it / I'm gonna lace you with pearls, oh / From every ocean that we're swimmin' in."

Originally the 9th track on Bieber's chart-topping 2010 debut album, My World 2.0, "Up" was re-released on Valentine's Day 2011 as the 7th track of his Never Say Never - The Remixes album. That release — which featured collaborations with Brown, Jaden Smith, Usher, Rascal Flatts, Miley Cyrus, Kanye West and Raekwon — also soared to #1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart. The collaboration album was the musical counterpart to Never Say Never, Bieber's feature-film debut.

The Canadian born Justin Drew Bieber made his mark on the music industry in 2007 as an adorable, fresh-faced 13 year old. Scooter Brown, the singer's current manager, had spotted him on YouTube and was impressed by his talent and potential. With the permission of Bieber's mom, Brown introduced the young man to singer-songwriter Usher, who soon became his mentor. Bieber was then signed by record executive L.A. Reid and the rest is Bieber history.

The 21-year-old Bieber is the first artist to have seven songs from a debut album to chart on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Forbes magazine named the young artist as one of the top 10 most powerful celebrities in the world in 2011, 2012 and 2013. He has nearly 73 million "likes" on Facebook, 65.9 million followers on Twitter and 34.7 million followers on Instagram.

We hope you enjoy the soulful Bieber/Brown collaboration of "Up." The video and lyrics are below...

"Up"
Written by Adam Messinger, Justin Bieber and Nasri Atweh. Performed by Justin Bieber, featuring Chris Brown.

It's a big, big world
It's easy to get lost in it
You've always been my girl, oh
And I'm not ready to call it quits

We can make the sun shine in the moon light
We can make the grey clouds turn to blue skies
I know it's hard
Baby, believe me

That we can't go nowhere but up
From here, my dear
Baby, we can't go nowhere but up
Tell me what we've got to fear
We'll take it to the sky past the moon to the galaxy
As long as you're with me, baby
Honestly (honestly) with the strength of our love
We can't go nowhere but up

It's a big, big world
And I'm gonna show you all of it
I'm gonna lace you with pearls, oh
From every ocean that we're swimmin' in

We can make the sun shine in the moon light
We can make the grey clouds turn to blue skies
Yeah, I know it's hard
Baby, believe me, ooh

That we can't go nowhere but up
From here, my dear
Baby, we can't go nowhere but up
Tell me what we've got to fear
We'll take it to the sky past the moon to the galaxy
As long as you're with me, baby
Honestly (honestly) with the strength of our love
We can't go nowhere but up

Nowhere but up

Baby, we were underground
We're on the surface now
We're gonna make it girl
I promise
If you believe in love
And you believe in us
We can't go nowhere but up

We can't go nowhere but up
From here, my dear
Baby, we can't go nowhere but up
Tell me what we've got to fear
We'll take it to the sky past the moon to the galaxy
As long as you're with me, baby
Honestly, honestly with the strength of our love
We can't go nowhere but up

Nowhere but up
Nowhere but up
Yeah
Nowhere but up


Image via Instagram/JustinBieber