Romance University

Articles in July 2013

July 1st, 2013
When Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry collection hit Christie’s auction block late in 2011, one of the six record-breaking lots was a stunning 8.24-carat ruby-and-diamond ring — a Christmas present given to the actress by then-husband Richard Burton in 1968. In honor of July’s official birthstone, let’s take a closer look at what Burton promised would be the “perfect” ruby.

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Ruby symbolizes deep and passionate love, so it was very appropriate that Burton promised Taylor early in their marriage that he would buy her a special ruby, one with perfect red color. “But it has to be perfect,” he warned.

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Four years later, in 1968, he delivered on his promise when he tucked a small box from Van Cleef & Arpels into the bottom of her Christmas stocking. The box was so small that she missed it at first and had to be reminded later by her daughter, Liza, that there was something special that she still needed to open.

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Commenting on the Burmese ruby and diamond ring, Taylor said, “It was the most perfect colored stone I’d ever seen.”

Bidders at the 2011 Christie’s auction clearly agreed as the same ruby-and-diamond ring sold for $4.2 million and set a per-carat record for a ruby at $512,925. The winning bid crushed the pre-sale estimate of $1 million to $1.5 million.

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In total, Taylor’s landmark collection of 80 baubles netted $115.9 million (an auction record), with 24 lots selling for more than $1 million and six lots selling for more than $5 million.

Among the other records set during the sale were the highest price ever paid for a pearl jewel ($11.8 million), highest price paid per carat for a colorless diamond ($8.8 million), highest price ever paid for an Indian jewel ($8.8 million), highest price paid for an emerald jewel ($6.6 million), and the highest price paid for natural pearl earrings ($1.9 million).
July 2nd, 2013
Performing in a massive soccer venue in Fortaleza, Brazil, former Beatle Paul McCartney rocked the world of a young couple when he paused his show to call them from the audience and emcee their on-stage marriage proposal.

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McCartney, who has composed love songs for five decades, was clearly moved by a young fan who held aloft a brightly lettered homemade sign that politely asked the living legend to allow him to propose to his girlfriend onstage.

The sign read, "Paul, I want to propose to my love onstage. Would you bless us?" Breaking from the setlist, McCartney told his fans what they were about to see…

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"Listen, we have a special thing tonight. One of the signs in the audience was for a boy and a girl. And the boy said he wants to propose to his girlfriend onstage,” McCartney said. “What do you think? Yeah?" Then McCartney gave the thumbs-up sign and said, "We gotta do it."

The couple came onstage and, clearly nervous, the groom-to-be needed a little prodding from McCartney to get into the proper stance to pop the question. Finally, with one knee on the stage, the young man pulled out a ring box and delivered the proposal in Portuguese. The girlfriend said, “Yes,” accepted the engagement ring and embraced her new fiancé.

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Caught up in the moment, McCartney jumped in for a three-way hug. After the hug, the bride-to-be gave an extra little kiss to her favorite Beatle.

The 71-year-old McCartney, whose Brazilian show is part of his three-continent “Out There” tour that continues through the summer, seemed to relish the moment.

After 50 years of touring, one would assume that McCartney has seen it all, but that's apparently not true. As the ecstatic couple exited the stage, McCartney collecting himself, grabbed the microphone, turned to the audience and said, “Oh yeah, that's a first."

Watch the video of this romantic and memorable event, below.

July 3rd, 2013
An international team of geoscientists report that the formations of ruby and jadeite are clear indicators of two types of continental collisions that changed the topography of Earth millions of years ago.

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Ruby, they say, is formed in the places where two continental plates collided, such as Central Asia. The tallest mountains on Earth, like the Himalayas, resulted from slow-motion continental collisions that created the heat and pressure needed for ruby to form.

Historically, East Africa, southern India and Madagascar were home to mountain ranges that are now sources of rubies, according to a research team lead by Robert J. Stern of the University of Dallas. The research team reported its findings in the journals Geology and Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

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Jadeite, (the most precious variety of jade) is formed by subduction – where an oceanic plate slides under a continental plate and sinks into the Earth’s mantle. Jadeite is most commonly found in Myanmar and Guatemala, from subduction before India and Asia collided, and subduction between the North America and Caribbean plates.

In some subduction zones, the interaction between the mantle, fluids and subducted oceanic sediments creates jade, but Stern asserts that “Not all subduction zones get jade, and not all continental collisions get ruby.”

Armed with the ruby and jadeite markers, geologists can better understand how the continents formed and make more accurate assumptions on where new sources of the precious gemstones may be found.
July 5th, 2013
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you spectacular songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today, we feature the sultry, silky, soaring vocals of Grammy-award-winning Helen Folasade Adu, better known as Sade. In the original version of her 1984 hit, “Smooth Operator,” she uses all three Music Friday qualifiers to tell the story of a cold-hearted playboy.

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In the long version of the song, Sade begins with a spoken recitation that includes the phrase, “Jewel box life, diamond nights and ruby lights.” Because the song ran about five minutes, many DJs chose to use the abbreviated version (about a minute shorter) that deletes the spoken lead-in and starts, instead, with the familiar instrumental saxophone solo and line, “Diamond life, lover boy.”

Later in the song, Sade uses a precious-metal metaphor: "A license to love, insurance to hold. Melts all your memories, change into gold."

The fourth single off of Sade's debut album, Diamond Life, “Smooth Operator” was the artist’s biggest U.S. hit, topping out at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart.

The 54-year-old Nigerian-born British singer-songwriter is the most successful solo female artist in British history, having sold more than 110 million albums worldwide. In 2012, she took the 30th spot on VH1’s list of the 100 Greatest Women in Music.

The end of this post includes a rare 1984 video of Sade performing “Smooth Operator” in front of a live audience (Yes, it’s the preferred long version). The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

“Smooth Operator”
Written by Sade Adu, Ray St. John. Performed by Sade.

He's laughing with another girl
And playing with another heart.
Placing high stakes, making hearts ache.
He's loved in seven languages.
Jewel box life, diamond nights and ruby lights, high in the sky.
Heaven help him, when he falls.

Diamond life, lover boy.
We move in space with minimum waste and maximum joy.
City lights and business nights.
When you require streetcar desire for higher heights.

No place for beginners or sensitive hearts
When sentiment is left to chance.
No place to be ending but somewhere to start.

No need to ask.
He's a smooth operator,
Smooth operator,
Smooth operator,
Smooth operator.

Coast to coast, L.A. to Chicago, western male.
Across the north and south, to Key Largo, love for sale.

Face to face, each classic case.
We shadow box and double cross,
Yet need the chase.

A license to love, insurance to hold.
Melts all your memories, change into gold.
His eyes are like angels, his heart is cold.

No need to ask.
He's a smooth operator,
Smooth operator,
Smooth operator,
Smooth operator.

Coast to coast, L.A. to Chicago, western male.
Across the north and south, to Key Largo, love for sale.

Smooth operator,
Smooth operator,
Smooth operator,
Smooth operator,
Smooth operator

Smooth operator,
Smooth operator,
Smooth operator

July 8th, 2013
Babies born on the same day as Kate Middleton and Prince William’s eagerly awaited bundle of joy will be sent a “lucky” silver penny to celebrate the arrival of the future heir to the British throne. The due date of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first child is this Thursday.

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According to a time-honored tradition, crossing the palm of newborn babies with silver is a way of wishing them health, wealth and luck.

Each day, about 2,000 babies are born in the United Kingdom, so the Royal Mint has prepared 2,013 coins that may be redeemed for free at the Mint’s Facebook page.

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Parents of babies sharing the royal birthday must provide a copy of their own baby’s birth certificate to qualify. Each coin is worth £28, or $48.63. Us Weekly reported that the royal baby will receive one, as well.

The special commemorative coin, which will be presented in a pink or blue pouch, is stamped with the year 2013 and features a shield of the Royal Arms. On the reverse side is the image of Queen Elizabeth.

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An accompanying teddy bear card in pink or blue will read: “Solid sterling silver good luck penny struck for your baby boy/girl.”

The 2013 lucky silver penny is available to the general public for £28 at www.royalmint.com.
July 9th, 2013
Archaeologists have evidence that men in ancient Egypt wore copper alloy toe rings more than 3,300 years ago. What is still a mystery, however, is whether the rings were worn as fashion statements or magical healing devices.

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In a study published in the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, members of the Amarna Project reported the discovery of two Egyptian skeletons, each adorned with a toe ring made of copper alloy. This was the first time archaeologists had ever seen toe rings of that material linked to ancient Egyptians.

The archaeologists believe the toe rings were likely worn while the individuals were still alive, but the purpose of the rings is the subject of a hot debate.

Although it’s possible that the toe rings were simply used for body adornment, the condition of one of the skeletons points to another conclusion.

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One skeleton had suffered a fractured foot and broken left femur, which led some researchers to surmise that the toe ring on the damaged left foot may have been worn to heal the injuries.

“The act of binding or encircling was a powerful magical device in ancient Egypt, and a metal ring, which can be looped around something, lends itself well to this kind of action," Anna Stevens, the assistant director of the Amarna Project, told LiveScience.com.

Supporting the claim that the toe ring was a fashion statement is the second skeleton that had no visible injuries. Stevens noted that this individual has yet to be studied in depth by bio-archaeologists and its sex is unknown.

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The Amarma Project team unearthed the skeletons in a cemetery just south of the ancient city of Akhetaten, which was a short-lived Egyptian capital built by Pharaoh Akhetaten, the presumed father of the famous Tutankhamun (King Tut).

More information on the Amarna Project can be found at www.amarnaproject.com.
July 10th, 2013
Actress Naomi Watts channels the ultra-fashionable “People’s Princess” while donning a stunning array of elegant fine jewelry in the upcoming biopic, Diana. The movie, which hits theaters in September, explores the last two years in the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, one of the 20th century's most beloved public figures.

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Among the iconic jewelry items worn by Watts in the lead role — and recreated for the film by Swiss luxury brand, Chopard — are Diana’s signature earrings that matched the look of her memorable blue sapphire and diamond engagement ring. Diana’s oldest son, Prince William, famously used the same ring to propose to Kate Middleton.

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Known the world over for her elegance, grace, sense of style and affection for fine jewelry, Princess Diana was credited in the 1980s with single-handedly reviving Britain’s fashion industry. The new screenplay about her life captures the late Princess of Wales' extraordinary taste level by including a giant dose of haute jewelry.

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Chopard co-president and artistic director Caroline Scheufele worked closely with costume designer Julian Day to re-create the late princess' jewelry, watches and handbags, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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Other fabulous jewelry in the final cut of the movie include a triple-strand necklace made up of 92 diamonds, a necklace set with cushion-cut and pear-shaped diamonds, Tahitian pearl dangle earrings encircled in a swirl of diamonds, and a diamond-encrusted watch with petite blue hands.
July 11th, 2013
OK, so you're going to be a first-time father and you're hearing some chatter about a Royal baby and whether Prince William will be surprising his beloved Kate with a “push present.” And now you're asking yourself, "What's a push present?" Never fear. Here's the lowdown on this growing trend…

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Sometimes called “push gifts” or “baby bauble,” a push present is a gift (often jewelry) that a new father gives a new mother when she delivers their child. The gift is a way of thanking his wife for the hard work of carrying the child for nine months and for “pushing” through the pain of bringing a new life into this world. (And, yes, women who have C-sections qualify.)

The growing popularity of push presents is partly attributed to the media coverage of celebrities receiving them.

• Just last month, Kanye West made headlines when he gave Kim Kardashian a $770,000 tiger-stripe diamond ring just after their daughter, North West, was born.

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• Beyoncé received a highly publicized push present when she gave birth to Blue Ivy Carter in January 2012. Jay-Z surprised his wife with an 8+ carat electric blue tanzanite ring, estimated at $35,000.

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• In March 2011, celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe rocked the tabloids when she received a 10-carat cushion-cut diamond ring from husband Roger Berman upon the birth of their son, Skyler. The ring reportedly cost him $300,000.

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• And when Jennifer Lopez gave birth to twins Emme and Maximilian in February 2008, then-husband Marc Anthony gave her a $300,000 8-carat canary diamond ring and a $2.5 million set of matching earrings.

Are push presents strictly for the rich and famous? Absolutely not!

A recent survey by BabyCenter.com of more than 30,000 respondents found that 38 percent of new moms received a push present and 55 percent of pregnant women wanted one. About 40 percent of both groups said the baby itself was present enough and did not wish an additional reward.

“It’s more and more an expectation of moms these days that they deserve something for bearing the burden for nine months, getting sick, ruining their body,” said Linda Murray, global editor-in-chief of BabyCenter.com. “The guilt really gets piled on.”

What’s the perfect push present? In a ParentsMagazine.com column titled “10 Amazing Push Gifts,” seven of the 10 recommended items were jewelry related. The other three were not as exciting: large screen TV, stationery and a family vacation.

We recommend diamond jewelry because "diamonds are forever" and because they are the ultimate symbol of love and romance. A diamond heart pendant, diamond stud earrings, diamond bracelet or diamond solitaire ring are just a few choices she will adore.
July 12th, 2013
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fantastic songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today we feature 1989’s “End of the Line” by the Traveling Wilburys, a supergroup comprised of Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty, with Jim Keltner on the drums.

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The upbeat song about how everything will be all right in the end includes a key gemstone reference: “Sit around and wonder what tomorrow will bring, maybe a diamond ring.”

Characterized by its riding-on-the-rails rhythm, “End of the Line” features all of the Wilburys (except for Dylan) on lead vocals. Harrison, Lynne and Orbison take turns singing the chorus, while Petty sings the verses.

The official music video for “End of the Line” was shot in December 1988, just weeks after the death of Orbison. All the Wilburys are seen jamming in what seems to be an old train car, with Orbison represented by a guitar sitting in a rocking chair.

The supergroup’s unusual name is credited to Harrison, who used “wilbury” as a slang term to describe recording errors caused by faulty equipment. Harrison had recommended “The Trembling Wilburys” as the group’s name, but Lynne came up with “Traveling Wilburys,” and the rest is history.

We hope you enjoy the official video for “End of the Line.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

“End of the Line”
Written and performed by the Traveling Wilburys.

(Chorus 1)
Well it's all right, riding around in the breeze
Well it's all right, if you live the life you please
Well it's all right, doing the best you can
Well it's all right, as long as you lend a hand

You can sit around and wait for the phone to ring
Waiting for someone to tell you everything
Sit around and wonder what tomorrow will bring
Maybe a diamond ring

(Chorus 2)
Well it's all right, even if they say you're wrong
Well it's all right, sometimes you gotta be strong
Well it's all right, As long as you got somewhere to lay
Well it's all right, everyday is Judgement Day

Maybe somewhere down the road aways
You'll think of me, and wonder where I am these days
Maybe somewhere down the road when somebody plays
Purple haze

(Chorus 3)
Well it's all right, even when push comes to shove
Well it's all right, if you got someone to love
Well it's all right, everything'll work out fine
Well it's all right, we're going to the end of the line

Don't have to be ashamed of the car I drive
I'm just glad to be here, happy to be alive
It don't matter if you're by my side
I'm satisfied

(Chorus 4)
Well it's all right, even if you're old and grey
Well it's all right, you still got something to say
Well it's all right, remember to live and let live
Well it's all right, the best you can do is forgive

(Chorus 5)
Well it's all right, riding around in the breeze
Well it's all right, if you live the life you please
Well it's all right, even if the sun don't shine
Well it's all right, we're going to the end of the line

July 15th, 2013
Thanks to the persistence of a dedicated and softhearted sewer worker, Shannon Harrigan was reunited with her beloved engagement ring after losing it down the drain while giving her young son a bath.

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Harrigan and her family had recently moved to Tequesta, Fla., from Chicago, and the young mom was having a hard time adjusting to the southern Florida humidity.

Her fingers were swollen, so she decided to move her engagement ring from her ring finger to her pinky. That turned out to be a bad idea, when the ring slipped off during bath time and disappeared down the drain.

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"It was something that was obviously precious and priceless to me," Harrigan told NBC affiliate WPTV. Distraught, she knew that she would probably never see her ring again. But then, a glimmer of hope...

A few days later, by some amazing coincidence, a crew from the Loxahatchee River District was scheduled to clean the sewer lines near Harrigan’s house. She told the crew to “keep an eye out” for her ring.

Sewer worker Ryan Robertson was sympathetic to Harrigan’s plight. “I know how my wife would feel if she lost hers, so I felt we had to give it the best shot we could,” he told WPTV.

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Actually, Robertson thought the recovery effort was probably going to be in vain. "It was like finding a needle in a haystack," said Robertson. "I didn't think we had a chance to find it."

The crew removed a load of sand and sewage from the sewer line and brought it back to the plant. There, Robertson personally raked through the muck to find the ring. After about an hour, Robertson was ready to give up, but then he noticed something shiny sitting on the top of the stinky pile. "I said, 'No way did we just find this.’"

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Once he cleaned and sanitized the ring, Robertson personally drove it back to Harrigan’s house. He pulled it from his pocket and asked the mom of two little boys if her missing ring “looked like this.”

“I started crying," she said. "I was really taken by just the kindness and the time that they spent listening to the story."
July 16th, 2013
Divers working just 100 feet off Florida’s Treasure Coast on Saturday recovered 48 solid gold coins dating back 300 years. The coins, called escudos, were part of the treasure aboard 11 Spanish galleons wrecked by a hurricane on July 31, 1715. The coins, in excellent condition and bearing dates between 1697 and 1714, have an estimated value of $200,000 to $250,000.

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A company called 1715 Treasure Fleet Queen's Jewels maintains the rights to the Sebastian, Fla., salvage area, just north of Vero Beach. According to its owner, Brent Brisben, searching for 300-year-old treasure is like “searching for a needle in a haystack,” but on Saturday his crew's efforts paid off big time.

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Four divers, working in just six feet of water, started pulling up gold escudos from the sandy bottom. “I love the sound of gold,” Captain Greg Bounds told NBC affiliate WPTV. “This makes it all worth it.”

Brisben explained to CNN that the recovery efforts are not as glamorous as they would seem.

"You may expect to see a big galleon on its side with treasure chests overflowing, but it's not like that at all," he said. "With shipwrecks that old, most of the organic material like the actual wood of the ship is gone, due to deterioration. What's left are mostly metals and pottery... china, silver buckles, bronze cannons and gold coins."

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The treasure still waiting to be recovered off the east coast of Florida is estimated to be worth $550 million — about 20% of the treasure that went down during the horrific 1715 hurricane that took 1,000 lives. At the time, Spain sent sailors back to the Americas to salvage the wrecks, but experts believe about 80% was recovered.

Interestingly, there were few gold coins registered aboard the sunken galleons, so it is assumed that the recovered coins were illegal contraband being smuggled back to Spain. The amount of gold aboard the 11 sunken ships remains a mystery.
Brisben told CNN that the 48 recovered coins would be sold to private collectors, with the proceeds going to finance future salvage efforts.
July 17th, 2013
The fabulous champagne-colored Kimberley Diamond made its New York City debut on Thursday at the American Museum of Natural History on Central Park West. The virtually flawless, 55.08-carat diamond was cut from a huge 490-carat crystal that was once part of the Russian Crown Jewels.

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Discovered at the fabled Kimberley Mine in South Africa some time before 1868, the huge 490-carat crystal went through a number of transformations during its 145-year history.

In 1921, the rough diamond was turned into a 70-carat emerald-cut gem. In 1958, to further improve its brilliance and proportions, it was cut again into its current 55-carat form (about 1.25 inches in length).

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The gem was given the name “Kimberley Diamond” to honor the mine at which it was originally found. It has been described as a “cape diamond,” an Old World term meaning “deep color.”

The Kimberley Diamond is on loan from the Bruce F. Stuart Trust and will be on display at the museum's Morgan Memorial Hall of Gems through June of 2014.

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Other famous gemstones on display at the museum include the 563-carat Star of India, the world's largest gem-quality blue star sapphire, and the Patricia Emerald, a 632-carat, 12-sided crystal considered to be one of the world's greatest emeralds.

Gem Images: American Museum of Natural History
July 18th, 2013
Back in May, Savannah Guthrie thrilled her 4.5 million “Today Show” viewers with a peek at her brand new diamond engagement ring. What the newly betrothed “Today” co-host didn’t tell her audience was that the impressive four-prong dazzler — given to her by media consultant Mike Feldman — was too big for her finger and that she wrapped a Band-Aid around the shank so it wouldn’t slip off.

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During her Monday night appearance on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” Guthrie admitted that she wore her ring that way for six weeks, forgoing a proper resizing at her favorite jeweler. The Band-Aid-wrapped bauble was annoying and uncomfortable, causing Guthrie to take it off frequently.

And here’s where the story takes a scary turn…

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Guthrie told Leno that one afternoon while she was home she realized the ill-fitting diamond engagement ring had gone missing.

“I looked high and low, everywhere you could look,” she said. “The panic was rising up. I called work and asked: 'Can you please look in my office? Maybe I left it there.'“ She had already thought about the kitchen's sink drain and trash can, but she wasn’t at "desperation level" so she wasn’t ready to go there.

But when the office search came up empty, the Australian-born journalist said she finally reached “desperation level.”

"I stuck my hand down the drain. It's like guacamole and bean dip or whatever, but no ring," she told an amused Leno. "So I open up the trash and start rifling through it. Do you know, it fell out of a paper towel in the trash?"

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Referring to her new fiancé and with her smile morphing into a devilish grin, she added, "So then I was like, 'Do I tell him?'"

"No, don't tell him,” Leno joked. “I think it would be wrong if he found out."

Leno’s top-rated telecast has a daily viewership of 3.4 million, although it's not clear if Guthrie's beloved Feldman watches the show.
July 19th, 2013
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fun songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today’s song, “Minnie the Moocher,” is a jazz classic first recorded in 1931 by Cab Calloway and His Orchestra, and reprised for a new generation by American Idol finalist Tamyra Gray during the hit show’s first season in 2002.

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In the song, Minnie dreams about the King of Sweden gifting her with things that she was needin’. On her list is a “home built of gold and steel,” as well as a “diamond car with platinum wheels.”

The song is famous for its nonsensical ad-libbed “scat” lyrics, such as “Hi-de-hi-de-hi-de-hi.” In his club performances, Calloway would challenge his audience to repeat each increasingly difficult scat phrase, often resulting in a comical exchange.

Despite being 82 years old, the song continues to be covered by artists as diverse as Oingo Boingo and Wyclef Jean. The song also has been performed on the silver screen in The Blues Brothers (1980) and The Cotton Club (1984).

Gray performed an abbreviated, but powerful, version of “Minnie the Moocher” during American Idol’s “Big Band” night. Although she eventually finished fourth in the first season of the popular music competition, Idol judge Simon Cowell was famously disappointed when Gray was voted off the show and felt she could have won.

We hope you enjoy Gray’s version of “Minnie the Moocher.” The lyrics are below if you want to try to keep up with the tricky scat.

“Minnie the Moocher”
Written by Cab Calloway and Irving Mills. Performed by Tamyra Gray.

Hey, folks here's a story 'bout Minnie the Moocher
She was a low down hoochie coocher.
She was the roughest toughest frail,
but Minnie had a heart as big as a whale.

Hi-de-hi-de-hi-de-hi
Ho-de-ho-de-ho-de-ho
Hee-de-hee-de-hee-de-hee
Hi-de-hi-de-hi-de-ho

She had a dream about the king of Sweden
He gave her things that she was needin'.
Gave her a home built of gold and steel,
a diamond car with the platinum wheels.

Hi-de-hi-de-hi-de-hi-de-hi-de-hi-de-hi
Ho-de-ho-de-ho-de-ho-de-ho-de-oh
Scoodly-boo scoodly-boo scoodly-boodly-boodly boo
Ditta-ditta-didly skitta-didly bitta-didly skitta zoy!

They took her where they put the crazies,
Now poor Min, she’s kicking up daisies,
You’ve heard my story, this ends my song,
She was just a good gal, but they done her wrong.

Poor Min! Poor Min!

July 22nd, 2013
Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine got down on bended knee and gallantly asked for the hand of Victoria Secret model Behati Prinsloo last weekend. The vintage engagement ring, which was designed in the 1930s and reportedly reflects the model’s eclectic personal style, features an oval diamond solitaire in a delicately embellished platinum setting.

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According to the 24-year-old Namibian-born beauty, Levine picked out the ring himself and formally called her dad for his blessing before surprising Prinsloo with the proposal. "It was serious, it was very old school," Prinsloo told ET Canada.

When the paparazzi spied her at a cafe on Wednesday, the resulting photos told a story of a young woman who was mesmerized by her new engagement ring. Picture after picture showed her staring at the ring.

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Later, she told reporters that she loved the ring but hadn’t gotten used to the sparkling new addition to her left hand. “I forgot I slept with [the ring] on last night, and I woke up and went, "Oh, hello!"' she told Us Weekly.

The model revealed that the ring size was a bit large, so she was temporarily wearing a proper-fitting simple gold band next to the engagement ring to protect the larger ring from sliding off her finger.

She also confessed that she still tears up every time she thinks of the proposal.

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Prinsloo and Levine began dating about a year ago. The couple had broken up several months ago before recently deciding to reconcile. Besides his work with Maroon 5, Levine is a judge on NBC’s hit TV show, The Voice. In addition to being a fashion model, Prinsloo is now the high-profile face of Victoria Secret’s new fragrance, “Victoria.”
July 23rd, 2013
Harvard scientists believe that all the Earth’s gold and platinum can be traced to one of the most violent explosions in the universe — a gamma-ray burst produced in the collision of two neutron stars.

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Their findings finally unravel a long-standing mystery of how rare precious metals and other “heavy” elements found their way to our planet.

The late astronomer and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Carl Sagan famously said that we are all made of “starstuff,” meaning that dying stars billions of years ago cooked up the lighter, basic elements on the planet.

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff,” Sagan wrote in Cosmos.

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But scientists had remained baffled about the origins of the heaviest elements, including gold and platinum (79 and 78, respectively, on the Periodic Table).

Then the answer emerged last month...

On June 3, NASA’s Swift satellite observed a gamma-ray burst 3.9 billion light-years away that astrophysicists believe was the result of a clash of neutron stars.

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Images of the burst captured by the Hubble Telescope nine days later showed evidence that the collision generated a bevy of heavy elements, including the equivalent of several moon masses of gold, according to Edo Berger of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass.

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"Call it the golden glow," Berger told USA Today. "In this case, we were able to observe it for the first time and see how the merger seems to be producing the heavy elements."

While common stars collide in our galaxy about once every century, explosive collisions of neutron stars occur once in 10,000 years.

Neutron stars weigh more than our sun, but are barely the size of Manhattan. When these already-dense masses collide, they have the ability to generate gold and other heavy elements.

So, if these neutron star collisions produced several moon masses of gold, how much would that be worth?

"At today's prices, that amount of gold would be worth 10 octillion dollars," Berger told USA Today.

Star illustrations: NASA
July 24th, 2013
With a nod to her rocker dad, Ozzy, E! "Fashion Police" commentator Kelly Osbourne designed her new engagement ring to remind her of the earring the Black Sabbath frontman wore when she was a tyke.

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Osbourne told Us Weekly, "I used to hold my finger up to his ear when I was little and say, 'I want a ring like that.' Now I have one!"

The 28-year-old fashionista had kept the news of her engagement to 29-year-old vegan chef Matthew Mosshart a secret for more than six months because their custom-made ring had not been completed.

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Last week, the couple finally confirmed that Mosshart had popped the question New Year’s Day during a vacation on the Caribbean island of Anguilla.

"We were on a balcony that overlooks the ocean," Mosshart told Hello! magazine. "It was just beautiful. She said, ‘Yes,’ and then she smiled for the rest of the night!"

"I've never felt this close to another human being, ever," Osbourne added in the interview.

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On Saturday, Osbourne and her dad went out to get manicures together. When they were done, Osbourne shared a pair of Instagram pictures that showed off their manicures, and also gave her fans their first clear look at her new engagement bling.

The clean, modern design draws the eye to a large flawless round diamond, which is bezel set in white precious metal (we're guessing it's platinum). A bezel setting uses no prongs, just a lip of precious metal that secures the diamond in place.

One of the photos sweetly shows Osbourne's hands intertwined with her father's. Her engagement ring sits in the center of the frame that also reveals Ozzy's affection for fine jewelry. He's wearing a gold-and-diamond skull ring on his right hand and an engraved gold thumb ring on his left.
July 25th, 2013
On three consecutive Saturdays in July, McDonald’s Japan introduced “Gold Ring,” “Black Diamond” and “Ruby Spark” — the much ballyhooed, limited-edition “Quarter Pounder Jewelry” triumvirate of luxury burgers.

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Featuring ingredients such as truffle sauce, pineapple and chorizo, the special Quarter Pounders were each available for one day only and quantities were capped at 300,000. The premium burgers carried a premium price of ¥1,000 (nearly $10) and “jewelry sets,” which included a drink and fries, cost an additional $2.

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The Quarter Pounder Jewelry products were impressively packaged in boutique-quality boxes and bags, including a decorative ribbon and a slick fact sheet. Some restaurants even provided VIP seating for those who purchased a jewelry-themed burger.

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On July 6, Japanese customers got their first look at the Gold Ring Quarter Pounder, which was dressed with a thick golden ring of grilled pineapple, two hearty slabs of bacon, 10-spice barbecue sauce and Monterey Jack cheese on a Kaiser roll.

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One week later, the Black Diamond took center stage. This quarter-pound burger featured truffle sauce, grilled mushrooms, grilled onions and Emmental cheese on a brioche bun.

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This past Saturday, Ruby Spark made its fast-food debut. Providing the ruby color were five slices of chorizo sausage. The burger was smothered with grilled onions, guacamole, garlic puree, and pepper jack cheese on a floured French roll.

The limited-time “Quarter Pounder Jewelry” promotion ran exclusively in Japan, and McDonald’s did not indicate if it would be coming to the U.S. in the near future.
July 26th, 2013
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you exciting songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today, we have Marina Lambrini Diamandis, better known by her stage name Marina and the Diamonds, performing her 2012 international hit, “Primadonna.”

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In this song about an ego-driven girl who “wants the world,” the sassy 27-year-old Welsh recording artist tries to coax an engagement proposal from her suitor: “Would you do anything for me? Buy a big diamond ring for me? Would you get down on your knees for me? Pop the pretty question right now baby.”

Diamandis created her stage name by incorporating her first name with the translation of her surname, which means “diamonds” in Greek. She explained that “The Diamonds” part of "Marina and the Diamonds" does not refer to her backing band, but to her fans.

“Primadonna,” which was described as “a monster song” by MTV Buzzworthy critic Sam Lansky, was an international sensation, reaching the top five in three countries and charting in 13. Within the first few hours of its release in March of 2012, the song became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter.

We hope you enjoy the video at the end of this post. It shows Marina performing live on the UK’s popular “Graham Norton Show.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

“Primadonna”
Written by Julie Frost, Lukasz Gottwald, Henry Walter and Marina Diamandis. Performed by Marina and the Diamonds.

Primadonna girl, yeah
All I ever wanted was the world
I can't help that I need it all
The primadonna life, the rise and fall
You say that I'm kinda difficult
But it's always someone else's fault
Got you wrapped around my finger, babe
You can count on me to misbehave

Primadonna girl,
Would you do anything for me?
Buy a big diamond ring for me?
Would you get down on your knees for me?
Pop the pretty question right now baby
Beauty queen of the silver screen
Living life like I'm in a dream
I know I've got a big ego
I really don't know why it's such a big deal, though
I'm sad to the core, core, core
Everything is a chore, chore, chore
When you give I want more, more, more
I wanna be adored

(Chorus)
Cause I'm a primadonna girl, yeah
All I ever wanted was the world
I can't help that I need it all
The primadonna life, the rise and fall
You say that I'm kinda difficult
But it's always someone else's fault
Got you wrapped around my finger, babe
You can count on me to misbehave

Primadonna girl
Fill the void up with Celluloid
Take a picture, I'm with the boys
Get what I want cause I asked for it
Not because I'm really that deserving of it
I'm living life like I'm in a play
In the limelight I want to stay
I know I've got a big ego
I really don't know why it's such a big deal, though
Going up, going down, down, down
Anything for the crown, crown, crown
With the lights dimming down, down, down
I spin around

(Chorus x 2)
Cause I'm a primadonna girl, yeah
All I ever wanted was the world
I can't help that I need it all
The primadonna life, the rise and fall
You say that I'm kinda difficult
But it's always someone else's fault
Got you wrapped around my finger, babe
You can count on me to misbehave

Cause I'm a primadonna girl, yeah
All I ever wanted was the world
I can't help that I need it all
The primadonna life, the rise and fall
You say that I'm kinda difficult
But it's always someone else's fault
Got you wrapped around my finger, babe
You can count on me to misbehave
Primadonna girl

July 29th, 2013
The glistening gold medals Olympic athletes win on the ninth day of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, will be embedded with something out of this world — a fragment of the meteorite that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, exactly one year prior.

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“We will hand out our [meteorite] medals to all the athletes who will win gold on that day, because both the meteorite strike and the Olympic Games are global events,” Chelyabinski Region Culture Minister Alexei Betekhtin said in a statement.

Seven events will be awarding gold medals on the anniversary of the meteorite strike, Feb. 15, 2014: the men’s 1,500-meter speed skating, the women’s 1,000-meter and men’s 1,500-meter short track, the women’s cross-country skiing relay, the men’s K-125 ski jump, the women’s super giant slalom and the men’s skeleton event.

Betekhtin said the special medals — which have yet to be designed — will be awarded in addition to the regular Olympic medals.

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This past February, news agencies reported that the spectacular meteorite that sent shock waves through the city of Chelyabinsk was a blessing in disguise for some of its impoverished residents. When the meteorite exploded, it showered the city with thousands of tiny black stones that were worth more than their weight in gold.

The New York Times recounted how strangers were offering stacks of rubles worth hundreds, even thousands, of dollars to local residents for the meteorite fragments.

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NASA noted at the time that the 55-foot, 7,000-ton meteorite was the largest known celestial body to enter the Earth’s atmosphere in 100 years.

The meteorite injured about 1,500 people and smashed windows in Chelyabinsk and neighboring areas. Fortunately, no deaths were reported.
July 30th, 2013
A 35-carat rough diamond is the new pride and joy of De Beers’ Victor Mine in Attawapiskat, Ontario. The nickel-sized gem set a record for the largest diamond ever pulled from Canadian soil.

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The rough diamond is currently undergoing a six-week cutting process that will painstakingly transform it into a 15-carat “Ideal Square” diamond with a value close to $1 million.

Once completed, the polished stone will go on an international tour to promote Ontario diamonds.

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Although the five-year-old Victor Mine produces some of the highest quality diamonds in the world, it had never been known for generating particularly large diamonds. That’s until De Beers officials surprised the diamond world by unveiling their record-breaking 35-carat specimen this past week.

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Crossworks, a Vancouver-based diamond manufacturer that has the acquiring rights to 10 percent of the Victor Mine's output, purchased the remarkable rough stone for an undisclosed sum. The company assigned its most skilled diamond cutter to head up the cutting process, which will take about 300 hours to complete.

Twenty carats of material will be sacrificed from the original rough as the stone becomes an “Ideal Square,” a design with "ideal" symmetry and proportions that reveals a unique pattern of arrows in the face-up position and hearts when viewed in the table-down position. A film crew will be documenting the diamond transformation.

David Ritter of the Canadian Jewellers Association told the Toronto Star that the polished gem — which will become the headliner of an international tour to promote Ontario diamonds — could be worth $1 million.

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Victor is DeBeers’ first diamond mine in the province of Ontario and produces about 600,000 carats annually. The mining operation encompasses 16 kimberlite pipes, which are cone-shaped columns of dried lava containing diamonds that were carried up from deep within the Earth more than 150 million years ago.
July 31st, 2013
Extravagant 1,300-year-old Viking jewelry uncovered at a farm site on the Danish island of Zealand has archeologists wondering if the modest agrarian settlement could have also been the home of nobility.

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When scientists from the Roskilde Museum began excavation work at Vestervang, they uncovered 18 longhouses and 21 pit houses from the Late Iron Age (about 700 AD). What they didn’t expect to find in the rural countryside were items of elite jewelry — some gilded — that reflected less-than-humble residents.

According to a report in the Danish Journal of Archeology, the "most spectacular" jewelry item unearthed was a copper alloy pendant depicting a heart-shaped animal head with rounded ears and circular eyes.

"The neck is covered by a beadlike chain," wrote archaeologist Ole Thirup Kastholm. "Above the creature's forelegs, there are marked elbow joints and three-fingered paws or feet, which awkwardly grasp backwards to what might be hind legs or wings."

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A second notable jewelry item found at Vestervang depicts a Christian cross that appears to have its origins in continental Europe sometime between 500 AD and 750 AD.

"The decoration consists of a central wheel cross in relief, with inlaid gold pressed into a waffle form,” wrote Kastholm. “The waffle gold is in some areas covered with transparent red glass or semiprecious stones, forming an equal-armed cross."

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Kastholm said these jewelry items, and others found on the site, would have been worn by an elite class, so his challenge was to figure out how these items arrived on this “rather modest” farmstead in Zealand.

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Kastholm believes the answer lies partly in the ancient town of Lejre (only 6 miles away), which had been the royal seat of the first Danish dynasty. Also, historical maps showed two villages near the site with "karleby" in their name. The term "karleby" is based on the Old English “ceorl,” referring to a member of the king's professional warrior escort.

Kasholm said the settlement of Veservang was likely controlled by a Lejre superior and given to warrior protectors of Lejre's ruler.

"This would explain the extraordinary character of the stray finds contrasting with the somewhat ordinary traces of settlement," Kastholm wrote.

Photos: Ole Kastholm/Roskilde Museum