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Articles in June 2015

June 3rd, 2015
A St. Petersburg metal detecting club helped a bride avert disaster by finding the engagement ring she lost on her wedding day.

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On Memorial Day, Liz Oswald and her husband were celebrating their wedding in the waters off Tarpon Springs, Florida – on the Gulf of Mexico side – surrounded by friends and family. After exchanging their vows, Oswald looked down and suddenly noticed that her cherished white gold, one-carat diamond engagement ring was gone.

“We were all hanging out in the water, and I looked at my hand and my ring was gone. It was pretty upsetting," she told FOX 13 News. Family and friends soon began to search, but were unsuccessful. “After an hour we thought, let's make the best of the day and we'll worry about it tomorrow."

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Oswald contacted Suncoast Research and Recovery Club, a metal detecting club in St. Petersburg, Fla. Club members are metal detecting experts who search for lost items in sand and water. They responded within minutes, and were excited to help. Club President Tom Jones and three club volunteers boarded Oswald’s boat and began the harrowing search process in an area about the size of a football field.

“The volunteers helped us narrow it down,” Oswald said. “They threw their metal detectors into the water and walked through chest-deep [waves] as they searched.”

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The critical moment came when a wedding guest sent Oswald text messages with pictures from the wedding. This helped the club members pinpoint where and when the ring fell off. In some photos, the bride was wearing the ring; in other photos, it was missing. "We ran a grid pattern," Jones said. "We marked off on the beach and tried to make sure we covered every square inch of the area."

Oswald had been doubtful she would ever see the ring again. "I was really hoping but I felt it was a slim to none chance," she admitted. "The first hour and a half was pretty grim, but within two hours they found my ring."

In waist-deep water, SRARC member Paul Hill finally struck gold when he recovered Oswald’s lost ring.

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In a tearful call to her husband, Oswald exclaimed, "They found it! In like two feet of water! Oh God, I'm so happy they found it. I'm so sorry I lost it."

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Oswald's husband, who was heartbroken over the loss, was thrilled to hear the good news. "They had no hesitation in helping me," Oswald said. "They never once asked for anything in return... They are kindest people you'll ever meet."

Jones noted that Oswald's ring was the 27th ring his metal detecting group has found this year. “When I took over as president, me and the board decided we should use our talents to help people. When we found it, she broke down and she cried. She was just beside herself… She broke down and hugged me.”

"I'm still in shock...I still can't believe it's back on my finger," Oswald said. "It's very emotional because it's a big day, you get married and you lose your engagement ring and you think it's gone forever and these amazing guys with metal detectors come out and find your ring."

Oswald has one word to describe the volunteers who found her ring: “Angels."

Images: Fox13 screen captures.
June 4th, 2015
Los Angeles Laker Nick Young proposed to rap star Iggy Azalea on Monday, June 1 — his birthday — with an engagement ring featuring an 8.15-carat fancy intense yellow cushion-cut diamond embellished by a halo of white diamonds.

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The 24-year-old Azalea laughed and said “Yes” after Young went down on one knee and asked the Australian-born singer if she would marry him during his carnival-themed 30th birthday bash. Azalea was caught completely by surprise, according to friends at the event.

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The beautiful 18-karat white gold ring, which is estimated to be worth $500,000, was designed by Young with a professional assist from Beverly Hills designer Jason Arasheben.

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"Nick was very involved in designing the ring. We wanted it to be both a ring of Iggy's dreams and a ring that fit her personal style," Arasheben told Us Weekly.

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The 30-year-old shooting guard/small forward, who recently signed a four-year contract with the Lakers worth $21.5 million, visited the jeweler no fewer than four times during a two-month period to fine-tune the ring’s design, which includes 2.28 carats of white accent diamonds.

“He knew he wanted a cushion-shape stone,” Arasheben told PEOPLE. “He was very meticulous and changed minor details on the design a few times until we both felt it was perfect. He was really determined to create the perfect ring for her.”

Citing mental exhaustion, the “Pretty Girls” rapper recently cancelled her Great Escape world tour that was set to kick off in San Diego on September 18. She told Seventeen magazine that she been going non-stop for the past two years and needed some time to regroup.

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“I need a break from everything to just enjoy what I worked so hard for,” she said, “and I don't really feel like I've had a chance to do that."

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Now she can enjoy some quality time with her new engagement ring, handsome fiancé and millions of devoted fans on social media. Instagram is where Azalea shared some romantic shots, including a close-up of the ring.

"Happiest Day #Isaidyes," was the caption of the ring shot, which was liked by 395,000 fans. "Love you @swaggyp1," captioned a second shot of the couple kissing — with the new ring neatly in frame.

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If Azalea’s impressive ring is giving you a feeling of rapper deja-vu, it may be because it is, in fact, very similar to the dazzler received by Nicky Minaj less than two months ago. That ring had a heart-shaped fancy yellow diamond center stone surrounded by a double halo of white diamonds. Minaj's ring was also estimated to be worth $500,000.

Images via Instagram.
June 5th, 2015
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you chart-topping songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, we have Kenny Chesney singing the #1 country music single of 2002, “The Good Stuff.”

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In the song, a young man learns some critical life lessons from a middle-aged barkeep that recently lost his wife to cancer. The younger man goes to the bar after having a tiff with his missus, and orders “the good stuff.” But instead of delivering whiskey or beer, the bartender pours some milk and shares his views about the loving, romantic and momentous things in life that are really “the good stuff.”

Among these items are an engagement ring that falls into a plate of spaghetti and a pearl necklace that commemorates a special occasion.

The sing-along chorus contains these memorable lines… “'Cause it’s the first long kiss on a second date / Momma's all worried when you get home late / And droppin' the ring in the spaghetti plate / 'Cause you're hands are shakin' so much.”

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Later in the song, Chesney sings, “Was the sight of her holdin' my baby girl / The way she adored that string of pearls / I gave her the day that our youngest boy Earl / Married his high school love.”

Written by Nashville hitmakers Jim Collins and Craig Wiseman, “The Good Stuff” was the second single from Chesney’s album No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems.

The song zoomed to #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart and had cross-over success, topping out at #22 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. “The Good Stuff” would go on to become the #1 country music single of 2002, according to Billboard.

Wiseman told The Boot that “The Good Stuff” was loosely based on the heartbreaking story of a dear friend, Rusty Martin, who lost his wife to cancer.

“I actually played Rusty the song,” Wiseman said. “I told him the song was inspired by him in some ways so I wanted to make sure he was OK with it.”

Wiseman continued: “I had gotten in touch with the funeral home where he had buried his wife and had a matching foot stone made for her that was engraved with 'The Good Stuff.' I went and gave it to him at the No. 1 party. Everybody was crying.”

Born in Knoxville, Tenn., in 1968, Chesney has produced more than 30 Top 10 singles on the U.S. Billboard Country Airplay chart and has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide.

We hope you enjoy the official video for “The Good Stuff.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

"The Good Stuff"
Written by Craig Michael Wiseman and Jim Collins. Performed by Kenny Chesney.

Well, me and my lady had our first big fight
So I drove around till I saw the neon light
The corner bar. It just seemed right so I pulled up.
Not a soul around but the old bar keep
Down at the end lookin' half asleep
But he walked up and said, “What'll it be?”
I said, “The good stuff.”
He didn't reach around for the whiskey.
He didn't pour me a beer.
His blue eyes kinda went misty.
He said you can't find that here.

[Chorus]
'Cause it’s the first long kiss on a second date.
Momma's all worried when you get home late
And droppin' the ring in the spaghetti plate
'Cause you're hands are shakin' so much
And it’s the way that she looks with her eyes and her hair.
Eatin' burnt suppers the whole first year
And askin' for seconds to keep her from tearin' up
Yeah man, that's the good stuff.

He grabbed a carton of milk and he poured a glass.
And I smiled and said I'll have some of that.
We sat there and talked as an hour passed like old friends.
I saw a black-and-white picture and it caught my stare.
It was a pretty girl with bouffant hair
He said that's my Bonnie, taken 'bout a year after we wed.
He said I spent five years in the bar when the cancer took her from me.
But I've been sober three years now
'Cause the one thing's stronger than the whiskey

Was the sight of her holdin' my baby girl
The way she adored that string of pearls
I gave her the day that our youngest boy Earl
Married his high school love.
And its a new t-shirt sayin' I'm a grandpa.
Bein' right there as our time got small
And holdin' her hand when good the Lord called her up
Yeah man that's the good stuff.

He said, when you get home she'll start to cry.
When she says, I'm sorry, say so am I.
Look into those eyes so deep in love and drink it up
'Cause that's the good stuff.

That's the good stuff.


Images: YouTube screen captures
June 8th, 2015
Archaeologists excavating a remote Aboriginal site on the Kimberley coast of Western Australia discovered a 2,000-year-old natural South Sea pearl.

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Nearly round, in remarkably good condition and measuring 5mm in width, the white pearl with pink and gold overtones baffled scientists. How could a natural pearl of this size, shape and age survive 2,000 years underground? This specimen was the first of its kind to be found on this island continent.

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The resource-rich Kimberley region of Australia is famous for producing most of the world’s pink diamonds and for having a robust cultured pearl industry, so maybe it's not coincidental that this most recent find occurred in Kimberley.

Researchers from the University of Wollongong suspected that the pearl was natural, but needed to be certain that a modern cultured pearl hadn’t been introduced to the ancient Aboriginal site.

The archaeologists were challenged with the task of dating and authenticating the natural pearl without taking a sample, thereby damaging it.

They decided to use a micro CT scan to prove that the pearl was naturally formed and had no nucleus (the seed that is used in the cultured pearl process.) The shell around the pearl was radiocarbon dated to about 2,000 years ago.

“Natural pearls are very rare in nature and we certainly — despite many, many [oyster] shell middens being found in Australia — never found a natural pearl before,” Kat Szabo, an associate professor at the University of Wollongong, told Discovery News.

A midden is a collection of refuse. The pearl was discovered in a midden about two feet below the surface. Szabo said that it would have taken 10 years for the natural pearl to grow to the size of 5mm.

Scientists had understood that the indigenous people of Australia had used oysters in rainmaking ceremonies. They were just not sure when the practice began. The age of the natural pearl offers evidence that the rainmaking ritual goes back at least two millennia.

The now-famous natural pearl will go on display at the Western Australian Maritime Museum in Perth later this month.

Images: University of Wollongong, Google Maps.
June 9th, 2015
A breathtaking 120-carat Burmese ruby-and-diamond necklace sold for $13 million at Christie’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels sale last week, setting an auction record for the highest price ever paid for a ruby necklace.

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The regal neckpiece by Etcetera was the top lot in a high-powered sale that produced two other jewelry record breakers: a high-domed jadeite cabochon necklace that fetched $5.7 million and a 10.33-carat Kashmir sapphire ring that sold for $2.5 million.

The jadeite now holds the record for the highest price ever paid for a jadeite cabochon. The sapphire ring’s per-carat price was the highest ever paid for a sapphire.

Overall, the Christie’s sale generated nearly $117.9 million, making it the most valuable jewelry auction the Asian market has ever seen.

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Christie’s described the top lot of the night as an articulated brilliant-cut diamond lattice-work band centering on a line of graduated pear-shaped diamonds and framed by two rows of oval and cushion-shaped rubies ranging from 7.02 carats to 1.10 carats.

The 18-karat white gold necklace features 48 Burmese rubies with a total weight of 120 carats. Each ruby displays the highly desirable “pigeon's blood” color. The $13 million sale price exceeded Christie’s high estimate by more than $1.5 million.

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Selling for $5.7 million and topping Christie’s high estimate by nearly $750,000 was this jadeite, ruby and diamond pendant necklace. The jadeite cabochon, which boasts a vivid emerald green color and high translucency, measures 26.1 x 21.3 x 14.5 mm and is surmounted by a cabochon ruby.

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Christie’s third record setter was this 18-karat gold ring set with an extremely rare circular-cut 10.33-carat Kashmir sapphire. The vibrant center stone is accented with a brilliant-cut diamond two-tiered surround. The selling price of $2.5 million was slightly higher than Christie’s high estimate of $2.3 million.

Images: Christie's
June 10th, 2015
A British jeweler has designed an engagement ring that can track the wearer’s every move. Called the “Fidelity Ring,” the bridal jewelry is equipped with a wafer-thin Bluetooth chip that is discreetly slotted behind the precious stone.

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Now insecure men will be able to track the whereabouts of their brides and brides-to-be in real time — assuming their significant others are willing to wear the ring.

Steve Bennett, the CEO of Gemporia, told The Daily Mail that the GPS technology behind the Fidelity Ring was originally intended as a way to protect jewelry from loss or theft. Bennett was looking to develop an “unloseable” ring.

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“In many cases the sentimental value of treasured pieces far outweighs any monetary worth,” he said, “and I wanted to do anything and everything I could to prevent this. With GPS installed in your jewelry, the chances of getting a piece back if it’s lost or stolen increases 10-fold.”

The GPS tracking device, which is smaller than a thumbnail, is hidden behind a sizable square-cut diamond in one prototype ring, and behind a pair of triangle-cut purple-blue gemstones in a second prototype.

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Bennett is also looking at other uses of this tracking technology, such as in children’s jewelry, so parents can keep tabs on their loved ones. Customers have also inquired about trackable rings for couples, according to Bennett.

"The implications are limitless,” he told The Daily Mail. “This could be the end to baseless jealousy and unfair accusations; this ring could safeguard the institution of marriage.”

Bennett did not provide details on the chip’s range, how it is powered or what it will add to the cost of a ring.

Images: Gemporia via The Daily Mail
June 11th, 2015
Kelly Winters was driving one of the 10 vehicles tangled in a fiery crash on South Carolina’s I-26 recently. And while Winters was hailed as a hero for pulling a trapped truck driver to safety, his own vehicle and a very precious package in the trunk were lost in the inferno. Or so he thought.

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Winters had planned to surprise his wife, Sherry, with a freshly resized re-engagement ring — a pretty three-stone motif, featuring three blue gemstones each surrounded by a halo of white diamonds.

But, before Winters could deliver the surprise, his car and its contents were consumed by the raging fire.

"I thought the ring was lost for sure,” Winters told WIS-TV. “I mean, everything else was gone. The car was just melted into the asphalt. It was terrible."

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A day after the crash, Winters learned the startling news that his Geico insurance adjusters had gone to the impound lot where his vehicle was towed, sifted through the ashes of the trunk and extracted a badly charred jewelry box containing his wife’s ring.

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Sherry could hardly believe that her ring emerged from the disaster with hardly a scratch.

“It's amazing that out of everything in the vehicle, the only thing that survived was the ring," she said.

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The couple told WIS-TV that the ring looks as good as it ever has.

Scientifically, there’s a good reason why a gold and gemstone ring can survive a house or vehicle fire. According to the National Institute of Fire and Safety Training, house fires typically burn at 1,100 °F and car fires burn at upwards of 1,500 °F.

Jewelry can come out of a burning vehicle unscathed because the melting point of 14-karat white gold, for example, is 1,825 °F and the ignition point of a diamond is somewhere between 1,520 °F and 1,652 °F.

It’s not clear whether the Winters’ blue gemstones are diamonds or sapphires. If they are sapphires, they would have been able to withstand a temperature of 3,686 °F.

Images: Screen captures via wistv.com.
June 12th, 2015
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you hit songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today, Paula Abdul sings about aggressive suitors and jealous boyfriends in her chart-topping signature song, “Forever Your Girl.”

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Released in 1989 from the album of the same name, “Forever Your Girl” describes a romantic rivalry, where another boy attempts to win Abdul’s heart with promises of fine jewelry.

She sings, “Baby, just remember I gave you my heart / ain't no-one gonna tear us apart / Baby, he could promise me diamonds / even in he promised me pearls / honey, you know I ain't lyin' / listen as I tell it to the world.”

In the end, she vows to remain faithful to her boyfriend because she’ll always love him and be “forever his girl.”

Written and produced by Oliver Leiber (son of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame lyricist Jerry Leiber), “Forever Your Girl” was originally titled “Small Town Girl.” The younger Leiber had written the song about a girl he was dating in Fargo, N.D.

According to SongFacts.com, Leiber played the song for Abdul, who really liked it. When she inquired as to whether he could write a song for her, he modified the lyrics to better reflect Abdul's personality and a hit song was born.

"Forever Your Girl" would become the second of four #1 hits from Abdul’s debut album. The others were "Straight Up," "Cold Hearted" and "Opposites Attract." The album Forever Your Girl was released in June of 1988 and spent 64 weeks on the Billboard 200 before finally reaching #1.

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The official video for the song features Abdul in the role of a choreographer and director of a children's music video. If you watch closely, you will see an eight-year-old Elijah Wood in his first on-screen performance. Wood went on to star in many critically acclaimed films, such as Radio Flyer and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

In addition to her successful singing career, Abdul is also well known as an original judge on American Idol and later on the American version of The X Factor. She also judged Dancing With the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance.

Please check out the video of Paula Abdul performing “Forever Your Girl,” and keep your eyes peeled for a pint-sized Elijah Wood. The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

"Forever Your Girl"
Written by Oliver J. Leiber. Performed by Paula Abdul.

Hey baby, just remember I'm forever your girl.
Baby, forever, and ever and ever, you know I am.

Baby, pick your head up, (head up)
come on and look me in the face,
'cause I can tell that something is bringin' you down.
(Why are you down?)
Is it the rumor that another boy wants to take your place?
(I hear he's after your heart.)
Have you been hearin' the stories?
They're goin' around.
(All of my friends are talkin'.)
Baby, just remember I gave you my heart,
ain't no-one gonna tear us apart.
He can promise the moon and the stars above,
even if he promised me the world;

Just remember I'm forever your girl.
He could promise the world.
Just remember, I'm forever your girl.

Honey, listen to me,
Your love is all I need.
You should know that I don't need nothin'
That money can buy.
So if a boy were to come along
And try to make me leave you,
(Girl, I'd go out of my mind.)
There'd be no need to worry,
I'm tellin' you why.
(I need to hear that you really love me.)
Baby, don't you know that I love you,
And I'd never put nobody above you.
He could promise the moon and the stars above,
Even if he promised me the world.

Just remember I'm forever your girl.
He could promise the world.
Just remember, I'm forever your girl.
I'm forever your baby.

Just remember I'm forever your girl.
He could promise the world.
Just remember, I'm forever your girl.
When the mountains crumble in to the sea,
that's the day someone will come between you and me.
Baby, just remember I gave you my heart,
ain't no-one gonna tear us apart.
Baby, he could promise me diamonds,
even in he promised me pearls;
honey, you know I ain't lyin',
listen as I tell it to the world.

Just remember I'm forever your girl.
He could promise the world.
Just remember, I'm forever your girl.

Girl you know I love you,
And I always will.
If we live till forever,
I'll be lovin' you still.
just remember I'm forever your girl.
He could promise the world.
Just remember, I'm forever your girl.
I'm forever your baby,
I'm forever your girl.
I'm forever your baby,
I'm forever your girl.


Images: Publicity shot of Paula Abdul (uncredited); screen capture via YouTube.
June 15th, 2015
The online Museum of Named Diamonds — which showcases famous diamonds such as the Cullinan, Centenary and Orlov — has opened a Personal Diamond wing where everyday people from around the world can post their precious gems and the stories behind them.

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The founders of the Museum of Named Diamonds believe that all diamonds are endowed by a combination of unique and emotional attributes that render them special and worthy of museum display.

The Museum acts as the official registry for recording and showcasing all the world’s named diamonds. Now, everyday people can name and submit their diamonds to become part of the permanent record.

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Visitors to NamedDiamonds.org will see highlight boxes showing the world’s most well known diamonds — such as the Hope — juxtaposed with lesser-known "personal" diamonds, such as Strawberry Harvest.

On the site, Koert and Connie V., who recently celebrated their 70th anniversary, tell the story of a diamond they named Strawberry Harvest. When Koert was only 14 years old, he began saving money he earned picking strawberries during the summer. At the age of 20 he used that money to buy a .34-carat “perfect” diamond from an Iowa jeweler so he could propose to Connie, the love of his life.

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Years later, when Koert had more money, he asked Connie if she’d like a bigger diamond. “No way,” she said. “You bought me this stone with your strawberry money. That makes it more special than any other diamond could ever be.”

Koert and Connie’s story along with a poetic verse and a graphic illustration makes up a single page on the NamedDiamonds.org site. A screen capture is shown above. The direct link to the page is here…

The official naming of a Personal Diamond takes place at an affiliated website called Nymify.com, which acts as the “curator” for the museum. The cost to showcase a diamond and commission original artwork to represent it is $99, or $69 each when purchased in quantities of 10 or more. Customers can also post photos of their engagement rings, or closeups on the actual diamond.

Those interested in participating will have the option of choosing from suggested names, such as “Palace of the Wind” and “Shadow of Andromeda,” or picking their own.

The founders of the Museum of Named Diamonds believe that their new concept adds a fifth “C” to the traditional “4Cs” of diamonds. Beyond the clarity, color, cut and carat weight is the new “C” — Connection, which represents the thought and emotion behind the diamond.

“Every diamond has a story, which connects it on some level to a relationship,” museum director and CEO Krista Olson told JCK.com. “Grading labs record gemological data. The museum records emotions, memories and the excitement behind the diamonds themselves. We believe these elements are no less important than the 4Cs.”

Olsen also anticipates that Named Diamonds will change the dynamic of how diamonds are shared on social media. Now, newly engaged women can share the diamond’s name, verse, original artwork, gem image and the story behind it. The sharing is made even easier via the social media plug-ins that are part of the website’s functionality.

Images: Screen captures via NamedDiamonds.org
June 16th, 2015
Weighing more than a quarter-pound and gleaming with 205 diamonds, the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl XLIX Championship rings are the biggest ever.

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Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft presented the enormous oval-shape rings to players and staff during a private party at his home on Sunday night. The rings commemorate the team’s fourth Super Bowl title — an electrifying 28-24 comeback win against the Seattle Seahawks.

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The National Football League seems to maintain an unwritten rule that allows teams with multiple Super Bowl victories to design the biggest and “blingiest” rings. In the case of the four-time Lombardi-trophy-winning Patriots, the sky was the limit.

"I have been blessed to host four Super Bowl ring ceremonies, and just like the rings we present, we have tried to make each ceremony a little bigger and a little better than the one before," said Kraft.

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For the Pats, the rings are, indeed, getting bigger and better than the ones before. In 2001, the team’s first Super Bowl ring weighed in at 74 grams. Two years later, its second Super Bowl ring weighed 100 grams. The next year, 2004, the Pat’s third Super Bowl ring tipped the scales at 110 grams (just under one-quarter pound).

While the newest Super Bowl ring appears to be at least 20 percent larger than the one from 2004, ring manufacturer Jostens could not provide us with the exact specs on the weight. The company did confirm that each ring is set with 205 diamonds weighing a minimum of 4.85 carats.

The front of the Super Bowl XLIX Championship ring features the Patriots’ red, white and blue logo swooping across four Lombardi Trophies in a ground of 143 round pavé diamonds. A marquise-cut diamond represents the football symbol at the top of each trophy. The words WORLD and CHAMPIONS are written in raised letters on the perimeter of the ring face.

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The right side of the ring features the season's motto DO YOUR JOB, the final score of the championship game, the team’s season record and the Super Bowl XLIX logo.

The opposite side lists each of the championship years (2001, 2003, 2004, 2014), a rendering of Gillette Stadium, as well as the player's name and number. The example shown above is the owner’s ring.

The interior of the ring features a second team motto. “We are all Patriots” is a phrase the owner coined after the Super Bowl victory in early February. Kraft’s signature and the date of the Super Bowl are also inscribed on the interior.

The NFL awards 150 rings to the Super Bowl victor and spends approximately $7,000 per ring — although teams with multiple Super Bowl victories are allotted a higher budget for diamonds.

Teams often create “B” and “C” level rings — designs with faux diamonds or fewer diamonds — for distribution to the front office staff.

Photos: Jostens, Twitter/New England Patriots.
June 17th, 2015
Luxurious jewelry owned by the original “Kelly Girl,” Margaret Adderley Kelly, headlined yesterday’s Important Jewels sale at Christie’s New York, and the featured lot of the day — The Kelly Sapphire — lived up to its top billing with a hammer price of $4.2 million.

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The 21.71-carat Kashmir sapphire and diamond ring by Cartier shattered Christie’s pre-sale high estimate of $2 million. The cushion-cut sapphire is flanked on each side by a trapezoid-shaped diamond and is mounted in platinum.

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Kelly lived the American Dream. Encouraged by the post-WWII economic boom, Margaret and her husband, William R. Kelly, established Russell Kelly Office Service in Detroit in 1946. By 1957, the pair had transformed the modest "temp" business into the iconic “Kelly Girl” dynasty, a Fortune 500 company that currently employs more than a half million people worldwide.

Beyond her business acumen and dedication to philanthropy, Kelly was passionate about jewels and fine gemstones. Christie’s explained that she collected with the discerning eye of a great connoisseur.

Among the 232 lots up for sale at Christie’s New York were 28 items from Kelly’s collection.

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A particularly impressive Kelly piece adorned the cover of Christie’s “Important Jewels” auction catalog. It’s an Art Deco diamond pendant necklace suspending a D-color, internally flawless pear-shaped diamond weighing 16.24 carats.

The piece, which is dated circa 1920, fetched $2.23 million — well above the pre-sale estimated price of $1.6 million to $2 million. The diamond was certified to be of Type IIa clarity, the most chemically pure of all diamonds.

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A third noteworthy item from Kelly's collection is this diamond pendant necklace featuring a pear-shaped white diamond weighing 5.06 carats framed in a halo of smaller round diamonds and accented with a fancy purplish-pink diamond weighing 1.68 carats. The hammer price of $317,000 was within the range of the pre-sale estimate of $280,000 to $350,000.

Images: Christie's.
June 18th, 2015
The internet is abuzz with the story of Mike Perrett, a British amputee who designed an engagement ring adorned with fragments of his shattered right tibia.

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Perrett lost his right leg while volunteering for an Indian orphanage in 2006. He was playing volleyball with the children when the ball went astray and headed for a cliff. Perrett tried to save the ball, but lost his balance and fell 120 feet.

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Perrett might have died had it not been for his right leg taking the brunt of the impact. Although doctors did attempt to save the leg, the injury wouldn’t heal and the leg had to be amputated.

“I hated the idea of it being taken away for ever,” Perrett told News of the World in 2010. “They agreed to give me part of the shin bone, which kept me happy.”

“It had been in my mind all the way through to make an engagement ring for Melita out of my own bone,” he continued. “Once I decided to propose, it seemed obvious.”

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He worked with London-based jeweler Ingle & Rhode to create a one-of-a-kind symbol of their love — a ring so personal that it would, literally, be a part of him.

The modern platinum ring features two triangular inlays of human bone centered by a traditional round .25-carat white diamond. The design file, above, shows the inlays rendered in yellow metal. The ring at the top of this post shows Melita wearing the actual ring with the bone inlays.

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“He was told he was lucky to be alive,” Melita recently revealed to BuzzFeed Life. “The force taken to break the bone would have skewered him if his legs had not buckled.”

Melita told the popular social news website that she loves her ring because of the depth of symbolism behind it.

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“I guess why it’s so special to me is because... it shows him bravely coming to terms with something like that so positively… which has to be a good attribute for marriage,” she said.

If you’re wondering if there’s something not so sanitary about using human bones in jewelry, don’t fear. The bones were completely sterilized before they were fabricated into the engagement ring.

The couple married on a beach in the Philippines in November 2011. They currently live in Guernsey, a British isle just eight miles off the coast of France. They have one child and another on the way.

The bone-inlay engagement ring was not Perrett's first foray into this unusual jewelry. He told News of the World in 2010 that he bought a Dremel multi-tool to form shin bone fragments into jewelry for himself and other members of his family.

“The first pieces I made were a necklace and an earring for myself, and cufflinks for my dad,” he said.

Images: Melita and Mike Perrett. Design file of the ring by Ingle & Rhode.
June 19th, 2015
Imagine starring in a music video only to find out at the end of the final scene that the whole production was an elaborate ruse cooked up by your boyfriend to deliver the most unforgettable marriage proposal. Well, that’s the story of childhood sweethearts Sam and Jess, and Sam’s musically talented cousin, Matty Mac.

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Welcome to Music Friday when we regularly bring your great songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, we bend the rules a bit to spotlight “The Proposal,” a brand new song written and performed by the 24-year-old Mac.

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Although the song does have a reference to a "golden road," what makes the song really unique is that it was written especially for Sam and Jess's marriage proposal. The two attended dances together as far back as middle school and have known each other since they were 10 years old.

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According to Fox29, Sam was looking to surprise Jess with an over-the-top proposal, so he asked his cousin if he could pop the question in one of his music videos. Mac liked the idea, but didn’t have any material that matched the “proposal” theme.

“I knew… I would need a song that was going to live up to the feeling and emotions that would capture that moment," Mac said.

The Philadelphia-based singer/songwriter got to work on a new song that would visit the different stages of a serious relationship from beginning to end, with the last verse leading to the proposal. Within 30 minutes, Mac had written the music and the lyrics to “The Proposal.”

Sam loved the song, so the next step was creating a fake music video. Sam convinced Jess that cousin Matty needed them to star in his latest production. She agreed.

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The video begins in Philadelphia’s Love Park, where the editor mixes romantic shots of the couple with performance shots of the singer. The next scene shows the couple enjoying a romantic dinner at Gervasi’s Restaurant, where Mac is entertaining the patrons. The extras in the scene are friends and relatives of the couple.

As the singer reaches the last verse — “Tell me you'll love me till our final days / ‘Cause I've been hoping' that you'd marry me someday” — the actual proposal is set in motion.

Jess holds her hand to her face in shock as Sam goes down to one knee and proposes to the love of his life.

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“We’ve been through so much over the years,” he said. “It’s gotten us to this perfect moment. You’re the sweetest, sexiest, smartest person I know. You motivate me to be the best person I can be every day. I want to spend every day with you for the rest of my life. Would you marry me?”

“Of course, I would,” she said.

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After the couple embraced, they were swamped by well wishing family and friends. There were a lot of smiles and even more happy tears.

Mac posted the resulting video on YouTube on May 22, 2015. Over the past four weeks the video was seen more than 680,000 times and has been featured on Inside Edition.

“The Proposal” is the title track of Mac’s newest album, which is available on iTunes.

Please check out the viral video at the end of this post. The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

"The Proposal"
Written and performed by Matty Mac.

Tell me you want me, tell me to stay
Tell me that you wouldn't have it any other way.
Tell me I’m all yours, tell me today
Tell me now before I turn and walk away.

‘Cause I've been thinking', over-thinkin'
Every little thing you say and do.
I've been thinking', over-thinkin'
When you looked at me and said you felt it too.

Tell me you love me, tell me to stay
Grab me around my waist, don't let me walk away.
Tell me I'm all yours, tell me today.
Tell me I warm your soul when clouds are cloudy grey.

And I pray you feel the same.
‘Cause I've been thinking' about giving you my last name.
This world is full of crazy things
And the most insane must be waking up without you next to me.
I don't want to wake without you next to me.

Tell me you love me and that will never change
Tell me that I'm the one you'll call your "ball and chain."
Tell me I'm all yours and you're here to stay
Tell me you'll die if we don't kiss every day.

I'll be the mister, if you will my misses.
And I'll be the wizard to grant you all of your wishes.

Follow me alone, we'll tiptoe down a golden road
And when we finally find our home
I'll put my queen atop her throne.

And tell you I love you everyday
I'll come home with chocolates and a red bouquet.
We'll get through the hard times, we'll never fray
We'll stay in color while the world's in black and grey.

So tell me you want me, tell me to stay
Grab me around my waist and don't let me walk away.
Tell me you'll love me till our final days
‘Cause I've been hoping' that you'd marry me someday.


Images: Screen captures via YouTube.
June 22nd, 2015
Laurence Graff, the billionaire British jeweler with an affinity for yellow diamonds, just unveiled the shockingly beautiful, 132.55-carat “Golden Empress.”

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Described by Graff as having an inextricably feminine and intensely warm molten-like glow that radiates from its core, the fancy intense yellow diamond takes its seat in the pantheon of the world’s most noble and historic gemstones.

The Golden Empress was born from a 299-carat rough diamond sourced from the famous Letšeng mine in Lesotho, a diminutive Kingdom in South Africa that is a powerhouse when it comes to producing large, top-quality diamonds.

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The 299-carat rough diamond also yielded eight satellite stones — six pear-shaped fancy yellows (the largest weighing 21.34 carats) and two round brilliants.

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The Golden Empress is currently set as a pendant dangling from a necklace adorned with 31 graduated fancy yellow diamonds.

Graff made headlines in May 2014 when the 100.09-carat Graff Vivid Yellow achieved a world record price of $16.34 million at Sotheby’s Geneva. Other notable diamonds owned by Graff include The Delaire Sunrise, a 118.08-carat square emerald-cut fancy vivid yellow, and The Gemini Yellows at 51.29 carats and 55.74 carats, respectively.

Maximizing the clarity and color of a 299-carat rough diamond is no easy task. ProfessionalJeweler.com reported that the first stage of the process required the meticulous study of the individual nuances of the stone, and the risks involved.

“Colored diamonds refract and reflect light differently to white diamonds and are cut accordingly, ensuring the jewel’s individual saturation, tone and hue are optimized,” Graff said.

Accordingly, Graff’s artisan cutters and polishers needed to strike a perfect balance between articulating the facets to allow the light to enter the stone, igniting the fire within, while not losing any of its color.

Pure yellow diamonds owe their color to the faint presence of nitrogen atoms in the diamond’s crystal structure.

Images: Graff
June 23rd, 2015
Buried in an ornate two-wheeled chariot and richly adorned with jewelry, a 2,500-year-old skeleton was discovered by archaeologists near Lavau, France, about 90 miles southeast of Paris.

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Finely worked amber beads, a jet armband, two gold bracelets and an elaborate solid gold torque necklace, weighing 1.2 pounds and decorated with winged monsters, were still on the skeleton.

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The tomb was filled with bronze, silver and gold artifacts, leading the researchers with France's National Archaeological Research Institute (INRAP) to speculate that the skeleton was a person of royalty. A debate continues, however, as to whether their subject is a prince or a princess.

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Due to the age of the skeleton and the poor preservation of the bones, scientists were not able to determine its gender.

A sword found in the grave suggested that the individual may have been warrior. Still, that fact doesn't solve the riddle, because Celtic warriors of the fifth century BC were both male and female.

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Also found at the site was a large bronze cauldron featuring four handles decorated with the likeness of Achelous, a horned river god of the ancient Greeks.

International Business Times reported that the skeleton was found in a huge burial mound, called a tumulus, that was excavated earlier this year. It covered 7,655 square yards and was surrounded by a ditch and a palisade. The archaeological site is adjacent to a new commercial center that was in the early stages of development when the ancient tumulus was discovered.

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INRAP explained in a statement that the period between the late sixth century BC and the beginning of the fifth century BC was characterized by the economic development of Greek and Etruscan city-states in Western Europe. Mediterranean traders came into contact with the continental Celtic communities as they searched for slaves, metals and precious gems, including amber.

Photos courtesy of INRAP.
June 24th, 2015
Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick is used to the intense pressure of matching up against the best receivers in the NFL, but the prospect of popping the question to Basketball Wives LA star Draya Michele was a bit too much for the 28-year-old to handle.

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The proposal was set to take place during a special night out at Arclight Cinemas in Sherman Oaks, Calif. — the same place where they had their first date. But as the evening wore on Michele could sense that Scandrick was off his game.

"He was acting so weird and so nervous," Michele, 30, told People magazine. "When he walked up to the bar he tripped and fell over some chairs! I was thinking, 'What in the world is wrong with him?'”

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Scandrick brushed himself off and attempted to go forward with the marriage proposal. That’s when the silly moment grew even more awkward.

"He got down on one knee and as soon as he started to talk I got nervous and couldn't help but to laugh hysterically. I was laughing and crying at the same time," Michele reported.

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Even though Scandrick muffed the proposal, he scored big with his selection of a beautiful 7-carat cushion-cut diamond ring, reportedly worth $400,000. The cornerback is credited with designing the ring with the assistance of Beverly Hills jeweler Jason Arasheben.

“He was one of the most detailed-oriented clients," Arasheben said in a statement. "He wanted to make sure the ring was perfect, and she couldn't be happier."

Last Friday, Michele took to Instagram to show off the dazzling ring. She modeled the ring against a background of red roses.

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Here’s how she captioned the shot: "Yesterday, the love of my life asked me to be his wife...I said YES!!! Love you @oscandrick32 forever starts now."

The engagement news caught some fans by surprise because the couple had announced a split only a few months ago. Celebrity watchers reported that their busy lives had taken a toll on their relationship. Clearly, all is well now.

Michele, a model and actress, has starred on VH1's reality show Basketball Wives LA since the show’s debut in 2011. Scandrick, who was drafted by the Cowboys in 2008, has emerged as one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, often handling the assignment of locking down the oppositions’ best receivers.

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The couple is ready to blend a family that includes Michele's 12-year-old son, Kniko Arenas, and Scandrick's twin girls, five-year-old Tatyana Scandrick and Taylor Scandrick.

Images: Instagram/sodraya, Instagram/oscandrick32
June 25th, 2015
A beauty salon in Southern California is offering a $25,000 manicure package that includes premium champagne, French-imported pastries, spa treatments, 20 GIA-graded diamonds and the expert assistance of a personal jeweler.



Catering to the ritzy clientele of Irvine and Newport Beach, Calif., Images Luxury Nail Lounge recently introduced three bling-tastic offerings ranging in price from $500 to $25,000.

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The most luxurious of the packages is called “Glitz & Glamicure.” For a service fee of $10,000 to $25,000, the salon will close its doors to the pubic and lavish the customer with a long list of elite services. Each client will sip premium champagne and eat French-imported pastries while consulting with a personal jeweler in the selection of 20 GIA-graded diamonds that will be used in the manicure design.

In additional to the diamond-adorned manicure, the “Glitz & Glamicure” package comes with an hour-long message, rejuvenating luxury facial and the Images Celebrity Makeover, which includes eyelash extensions and a waxing/threading service.

General manager Tony Nguyen told the Orange County Register that six clients have already earned “bragging rights” for being the first to indulge in the “Glitz & Glamicure” package.

"We have clients that request services like this, so when we decided to do a luxurious menu, we talked with them about all the things they would want together," Nguyen told refinery29.com. "I can't tell you their names, but there are women in Newport and Irvine that want to really splurge once in a while."

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The spa’s second-tier package, the Gold Rush Manicure by Models Own, carries a price tag ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 and takes place in a private suite. A-listers will bask in gilded luxury as their nails are applied with Models Own Gold Rush lacquer, said to be the second-most-expensive nail polish in the world at $130,000 per bottle. The effect, according to Bornrich.com, are nails that “shine like diamonds on a platter of gold.” The application of 24-karat gold flakes takes this manicure to the next level.

The Gold Rush Manicure includes champagne, facial, lash extensions and threading.

The third-tier package, ranging from $500 and $2,500, is the Haute Couture Manicure, which includes diamond nail art (up to 20 diamonds), mineral bath, facial, massage and polish.

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Images Luxury Nail Lounge operates salons in Newport Beach and Irvine. A third location, also in Irvine, opened last week.

Photos courtesy of Images Luxury Nail Lounge.
June 26th, 2015
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fabulous songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, we feature the Oscar-nominated "Circle of Life," the 1994 Disney collaboration between two musical powerhouses — lyricist Tim Rice and composer Elton John.

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Written for the blockbuster animated film The Lion King, "Circle of Life" is about nature's way of taking from — and giving back — to the earth. Rice, a brilliant wordsmith, uses a precious gemstone to paint a vivid picture of a planet in harmony. In the memorable opening scene, a newborn lion cub, Simba, is held aloft by the monkey Rafiki, atop Pride Rock — against a sapphire blue sky.

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John sings, "There's far too much to take in here / More to find than can ever be found / But the sun rolling high through the sapphire sky / Keeps great and small on the endless round."

"Circle of Life" was one of three Lion King titles to be nominated for the 1994 Academy Award for Best Song. The Oscar ended up going to "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," another Rice/John tour de force.

Even though "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" took the award, John has said that he preferred "Circle of Life." He characterized Rice's lyrics as "brilliant" and he often performs the song in concert.

"Circle of Life" has two versions, one sung by Carmen Twillie in the film's opening scene, and the pop version performed by John with the support of the London Community Gospel Choir. John's version became a Top 20 hit in both the U.S. and the UK.

Interestingly, both Rice and John were knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, Rice in 1994 and John in 1998. Rice is best known for writing Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita. John has had 58 Billboard Top 40 singles and has sold more than 300 million records worldwide.

The video below of John and the London Community Gospel Choir performing "Circle of Life" has been viewed 13.67 million times. We provide the lyrics below because we know you will be singing along...

"Circle of Life"
Lyrics by Tim Rice. Music by Elton John. Performed by Elton John.

From the day we arrive on the planet
And blinking, step into the sun
There's more to be seen than can ever be seen
More to do than can ever be done

Some say eat or be eaten
Some say live and let live
But all are agreed as they join the stampede
You should never take more than you give

In the circle of life
It's the wheel of fortune
It's the leap of faith
It's the band of hope
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the circle, the circle of life

Some of us fall by the wayside
And some of us soar to the stars
And some of us sail through our troubles
And some have to live with the scars

There's far too much to take in here
More to find than can ever be found
But the sun rolling high through the sapphire sky
Keeps great and small on the endless round


Images: Screen captures via YouTube
June 29th, 2015
A Colorado woman unearthed a super-rare find last Friday while visiting the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Ark. — a gleaming, icicle-shaped 8.52-carat white diamond.

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Bobbie Oskarson of Longmont, Colo., found the unusual-shaped stone – about half the size of a quarter and the thickness of a pencil – while digging in the southwest corner of the “Pig Pen,” a muddy search field covering 37½ acres. It was first thought to be a quartz crystal, but park staffers, who help visitors identify and register diamonds, confirmed its authenticity.

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Crater of Diamonds, one of the world's only diamond-producing sites that is open to the public, welcomes visitors to hunt for gems and maintains a "finders keepers" policy.

Park representative Waymon Cox told CNN that Oskarson's gem is the fifth-largest diamond found since the park was established in 1972. So far this year, 227 diamonds have been registered.

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Added Cox, "Ms. Oskarson’s 8 1/2-carat diamond is absolutely stunning, sparkling with a metallic shine, and appears to be an unbroken, capsule-shaped crystal. It features smooth, curved facets, a characteristic shared by all unbroken diamonds from the Crater of Diamonds.”

Diamond discoveries at the park have been brisk this year, mainly due to above-normal rainfall. "Rain, plus the regular plowing of the search field by our maintenance staff, increases visitors' chances of finding diamonds in the search area," Cox said.

The park does not offer valuation on gems, but does offer the history of some previous rare finds. The largest rough diamond ever discovered at Crater of Diamonds (and the largest ever found in the United States) is the Uncle Sam Diamond, weighing in at a whopping 40.23 carats. Found in 1924, the Uncle Sam Diamond was faceted twice into a 12.42-carat gem that sold for $150,000 in 1971.

Oskarson and boyfriend Travis Dillon had found the park on a highway map while visiting nearby Hot Springs, and decided on a whim to visit. It turned out to be their lucky day. Oskarson named her precious find the “Esperanza Diamond” – her niece's name and also the Spanish word for "hope."

Images: Courtesy of Crater of Diamonds State Park
June 30th, 2015
Actress Blake Lively dished to British Vogue why her light pink, 12-carat diamond engagement ring is her most treasured possession. And, no, it’s not because the ring is said to be worth $2 million.

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Lively, who rose to fame in The CW's Gossip Girl and currently stars in the romantic epic, The Age of Adaline, told the magazine that the oval-cut, flawless diamond given to her more than three years ago by fellow actor and now-husband Ryan Reynolds still makes her swoon.

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"My most treasured possession is my engagement ring made by my dear friend Lorraine Schwartz, because of the love and meaning it symbolizes,” she said. “I didn't have any hand in its design — I married a gentleman."

Lively’s gentleman clearly has excellent taste in jewelry and a flair for design. It was reported in 2012 that Reynolds and Schwartz worked together to pick the perfect pink stone and then design a custom setting in rose gold and pavé diamonds with a nod to Deco. Lively also wears a matching rose gold wedding band accented by a series of delicate diamonds.

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The couple met in June 2011 on the set of Green Lantern. He was the masked and muscular title character and she was his beautiful love interest, Carol Ferris. In quick succession, the real-life couple fell in love, got engaged and wed on September 9, 2012.

In her new role as Adaline Bowman in The Age of Adaline, Lively plays a woman, who — as the result of a near-death experience in frigid waters, and being jolted back to life by a lightning strike — is able to remain 29 years old forever. The film was released on April 24 to critical acclaim.

Images: Ring via YouTube.com; Lively on Gossip Girl set via Getty Images; Publicity shot from Green Lantern.