Nord Jewelers Blog

Nord Jewelers Blog
August 21st, 2017
Today, the Great American Eclipse will be visible to nearly everybody in North America, but those of us lucky enough to be viewing from a narrow path that runs from Salem, Ore., to Charleston, S.C., will experience a total solar eclipse and a bonus phenomenon called the “Diamond Ring Effect.”



During a total solar eclipse, the moon aligns itself precisely between the sun and Earth. Sunlight gets blocked out and a 68-mile-wide shadow of the moon (also called its umbra) gets cast upon the Earth, resulting in total darkness for about 2 1/2 minutes. The Diamond Ring Effect occurs in the instant right before the total solar eclipse and in the moment just after.



Francis Baily in 1836 surmised that the Diamond Ring Effect owed its magic to the rugged surface of the moon. As the moon slowly grazes past the sun, tiny beads of sunlight, now called Baily’s Beads, can shine through in some places and not in others. When only one single point of sunlight remains, the burst bears a remarkable resemblance to a diamond, and the halo of the sun still visible behind the moon looks like a ring.

NASA also noted that more than a century earlier, English astronomer Sir Edmond Halley (who discovered Halley’s Comet) also gave a correct explanation of the Diamond Ring Effect during an eclipse of 1715.



The moon's shadow will race across the continental U.S. at speeds ranging from 2,410 mph in western Oregon to 1,502 mph in Charleston. That means that the Diamond Ring Effect should be visible starting in Oregon at about 10:15 a.m. PST and ending in South Carolina at about 2:48 pm EDT. The duration of the 3,000-mile, coast-to-coast celestial show will be about 90 minutes.

Viewers in the path of the total solar eclipse can expect temperatures to plunge by as much as 20 degrees.

Those not living in the direct path of the total solar eclipse will still see a partial eclipse, which resembles a crescent moon, but in this case it's a crescent sun. New York City dwellers, for instance, will see 70% of the sun covered by the moon.

We can not overemphasize the importance of utilizing proper solar glasses or filters when viewing the Great American Eclipse. Solar eclipse eye safety is reviewed at NASA's website here...

Don't miss the Great American Eclipse of 2017. The next total solar eclipse will take place in North America on April 8, 2024.

Credits: Eclipse viewing image by Arches National Park [CC BY 2.0 or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Diamond Ring Effect image by Lutfar Rahman Nirjhar (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons. Map by NASA.
August 18th, 2017
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great, new songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, singer-songwriter Marc Scibilia celebrates the season of sun, surf and wanderlust in a catchy tune that inspires us to "sparkle just like diamonds."



TV watchers will recognize "On the Way" from the newest Jeep commercial. The 30-second spot, which is called “Summer of Jeep: On The Way," has accumulated 2,300 national airings and has been viewed on YouTube.com nearly two million times since it was posted about 10 weeks ago. It features great-looking millennial Jeep owners enjoying a perfect day at the beach. Shazam the song and you'll learn that Scibilia also released a full length-version.

Scibilia repeats the hook, "Let your summer guide you, on the way, on the way," while encouraging the listener to be fearless when discovering new roads.

In the first line of the song, he introduces precious stones to help make his point. He sings, "Journey where this path may lead / And live as big as giants / Summer sun and feeling free / Sparkle just like diamonds."

Born in Buffalo, N.Y., to a musical family, Scibilia moved to Nashville to become a songwriter just a month after graduating high school. According to his official bio, the young Scibilia got the idea to head south from a sarcastic guidance counselor who was frustrated with Scibilia's reluctance to pursue a "conventional" career path.

“What are you going to do? Go to Nashville and write songs?” she taunted.

To the young musician, this was a great idea.

Scibilia flourished in Nashville and took in all that it had to offer. He experimented with every genre of music, writing songs for other artists and touring as the opening act for James Bay and the Zac Brown Band, among others. In 2010, Scibilia landed a publishing deal with Sony/ATV.

The artist got a big break when his cover of the Woody Guthrie song “This Land Is Your Land,” appeared in Jeep’s “Beautiful Lands” Super Bowl commercial — the most Shazam-ed commercial of Super Bowl 2015.

Once again, Scibilia's "On the Way" has been catapulted by the popularity of a Jeep commercial.

Check out the two videos below. The first is the Jeep commercial and the second is an audio track of the full song. The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"On the Way"
Written and performed by Marc Scibilia.

Journey where this path may lead
And live as big as giants
Summer sun and feeling free
Sparkle just like diamonds

Golden hearts never afraid
Discover roads brightly shining
Wanderlust runs through our veins
Be fearless, tall as lions

Let your summer guide you
On the way, on the way

Let your summer guide you
On the way, on the way

Let your summer guide you
On the way, on the way

Trust your bones where they take you
Adventure awaits
Here we go it's all brand new
You won't hesitate

Let your summer guide you
On the way, on the way

Let your summer guide you
On the way, on the way

Let your summer guide you
On the way, on the way

Let your summer guide you
On the way, on the way

Let your summer guide you
On the way, on the way

Let your summer guide you
On the way, on the way

Let your summer guide you
On the way, on the way

Let your summer guide you




Credit: Screen capture via YouTube.com.
August 17th, 2017
So, what's the deal with bridal jewelry and root vegetables? For the third time in a little more than five years, the internet is abuzz with a miraculous story of a long-lost ring that has turned up in a vegetable patch — with the carrot growing right through the center of the band.



In Alberta, Canada, 84-year-old Mary Grams lost her diamond engagement ring while gardening at her family's farm in 2004. After unsuccessfully searching on her hands and knees for days, she gave up, assuming the ring she had worn since 1951 was gone forever.



Grams secretly bought herself a less-expensive, replacement ring and never told her husband, Norman, of the mishap.



“I cried for I don’t know how many days,” she told CTV News.

Those tears turned into a giant smile earlier this week when her daughter-in-law, Colleen Daley, called with some fabulous news. Daly now lives at the farm, and while plucking fresh vegetables for her family's dinner, she encountered a strangely deformed carrot. The vegetable was squeezed in the middle, like it was wearing a corset. On closer inspection, she saw that the constriction was caused by a diamond engagement ring.

"I asked my husband if he recognized the ring," Daley told CBC News. "And he said, 'Yeah.' His mother had lost her engagement ring years ago in the garden and never found it again. And it turned up on this carrot."



Grams said that she recognized the ring right away. It was not only in great condition, but it fit perfectly.

The octogenarian's husband died five years ago, but she was sure he would have been amused by the story.

“Maybe he would’ve gotten a laugh out of this,” she told CTV News.

While Mary Grams' story is truly extraordinary, did you know that carrots in Germany and Sweden have also popped out of the ground wearing bridal jewelry?

In January of 2012, The Daily Mail and many other news sources covered the story of a Swedish woman named Lena Påhlsson, who pulled up a carrot cinched in the middle with a wedding ring she had lost in 1995. The ring has gone missing in her kitchen and she assumed that it must have gotten mixed up with some kitchen scraps that ended up in her compost pile. That material found its way to her vegetable garden and the rest is history.

Then in December of 2016, the German press first reported the story of an 82-year-old man from Bad Münstereifel, who found his lost wedding ring wrapped around a carrot. The retiree had lost the ring while gardening three years earlier and then discovered it while collecting vegetables from his garden. The man, whose name was not released, had just celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary.

Screen captures via GlobalNews.ca.
August 16th, 2017
Five years ago, chronic procrastinator Maneesh Sethi hired a woman via Craigslist to slap him in the face any time he strayed off task. The $8-per-hour investment in "Kara The Slapper" quickly paid big dividends, as Sethi quadrupled his productivity AND spawned the concept of Pavlok, a bracelet that can deliver a behavior-altering jolt with the tap of a button.



The idea is based on the 80-year practice of aversion therapy. Each time the user exhibits the undesirable behavior, he or she touches the Pavlok button to self-administer a punishing shock. Over time, the user's brain subconsciously associates the bad behavior with the negative result and the bad behavior is eradicated. The Pavlok website says that the device can be used to break a number of bad habits, including smoking, mindless eating, nail biting and watching too much TV.

A New York Times reviewer noted that the zap could be adjusted from 50 volts (a strong vibration) to 450 volts (like getting stung by a bee with a stinger the size of an ice pick). A police Taser, the writer pointed out, typically delivers about 50,000 volts. The selected intensity of the Pavlok shock can be adjusted with a smartphone app.

Another critic wrote that the Pavlok device was simply a high-tech version of the rubber band, which is sometimes used by patients who are trying to combat anxiety and other disorders. Those patients are instructed to simply put the band around their wrists and deliver a stinging snap to break thoughts related to anxiety, panic and fear.

In 2014, Pavlok got off the ground by generating $284,027 via the crowdfunding site Indiegogo. Today, Pavlok's website boasts more then 40,000 units sold and a slew of video testimonials, including the one from Heather, who credited Pavlok with helping her break a 25-year nail-biting habit, and Carlos, who quit smoking in just five days.

The Pavlok device pairs a silicone, battery-powered shock-inducing bracelet with a Bluetooth-connected mobile app designed for iOS and Android smartphones.

In addition to the self-induced shocks, the device can be set to deliver a stimulus, for instance, if one has been sleeping or resting too long. The device also employs a hand-detection function that can sense if the user might be biting her nails, pulling her hair, or smoking a cigarette. The battery can deliver 150 tiny jolts on a single charge.

What's more, the app includes a five-day guided audio course on how to reverse bad habits.

Pavlok is available in five colors and sells for $179.

Credit: Image via Buy.Pavlok.com
August 15th, 2017
A Fort McMurray man was reunited with his beloved wedding ring — just in time for his 10th anniversary — after it was spotted by an eagle-eyed sorter at the municipal recycling center.



Darren Sammann can't imagine how his wedding ring made its way to the landfill managed by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo in Alberta. What he does remember was that his ring was feeling a bit tight one night in late June, so he switched it from his ring finger to his pinky.

"The ring was bothering me," he told CBC News, "so I took it off and put it on my pinky for the first time in nine years and 10 months."

That strategy proved to be disastrous, because the ring was too big for his pinky and slipped off.

He scoured his workplace and his wife searched their house, but the ring was nowhere to be found.

On July 12, a sorter at the local recycling center spied something unusual on the sorting line. It was a white-metal wedding ring with a personalized inscription on the inside.



The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo posted an alert to its Facebook page, and the item was shared 160 times. The Municipality provided a contact email and encouraged the rightful owner to come forward by accurately identifying the ring.

A family member who saw the post alerted Sammann to the news that the recycling center recovered a ring that might be his.

"I was in total disbelief that it was found at a landfill," Sammann told CBC News.



The recovery couldn't have come at a better time. Darren was proudly wearing his ring when he and his wife, Angie, celebrated their 10th anniversary this past Friday.

Darren Sammann is confident that his ring will never be lost again. He had the ring resized and now it fits perfectly.

"There's no need to take it off anymore," he said.

Credits: Images by Darren Sammann; Facebook.com/rmwoodbuffalo; Facebook.com/darren.sammann.
August 14th, 2017
A retired law-enforcement officer who was dragged nearly 20 feet and run over while attempting an arrest 13 months ago is now the happiest guy in Lexington, Ky., after his girlfriend said "Yes" to an unusual traffic-stop marriage proposal.



Shepherdsville Police Officer Rocco Besednjak, who was forced to retired due to the seriousness of his injuries, recruited the University of Kentucky Police to assist with his romantic, but mischievous, scheme to surprise Lauren Vincent, who is a nurse manager for the pediatric forensics unit at UK Children’s Hospital.

Because Vincent, 36, works for the University of Kentucky, Besednjak wanted the proposal to tie into the school.

On Thursday, August 10, Vincent and her supervisor, Dr. Christina Howard, who was in on Besednjak's scheme, took a drive to pick up a donation for the hospital. During the trip, which passed in front of UK's Kroger Field, Vincent was pulled over by a University of Kentucky officer.



The officer told Vincent that she had something dragging from the back of the car and that she needed to get out and take a look.



When she circled to the back of the car, Besednjak, 38, who had been hiding in the passenger seat of the officer's car, was already down on one knee with a ring box in his hand.

Vincent was startled for two reasons. Certainly, the marriage proposal during a traffic stop was surprising enough, but the nurse also couldn't believe her boyfriend was kneeling on his damaged leg only one week removed from spinal decompression surgery.

On July 3, 2016, Besednjak nearly lost his life while attempting to arrest a suspect at a gas station. The woman had an outstanding warrant, but instead of surrendering, she rammed Besednjak with her car and dragged him nearly 20 feet. His leg was run over during the tragic incident. The perpetrator received a 40-year sentence in May.

Now in the shadow of Kroger Field, Besednjak was ready with a diamond ring and a proposal for the love of his life.

"You know you make every day happy. You make my life the happiest it could have ever been," he said. "I hope you're not too embarrassed, but I love you a lot and I want you to marry me."

Before she answered, the healthcare professional had to admonish him.

"I love you," she said, "but why are you on your knees?

"So, are you going to marry me?" he interrupted.

"Yes," she screamed, adding, “Why are you on your knee? You’re not supposed to be on your knee. I love you."

The couple embraced and then Besednjak handed Vincent the halo-style, yellow-gold ring to place on her own finger.



Vincent giggled with excitement, bending backward while viewing her new ring with her arms extended to the front.



Unable to stay in the romantic moment, Vincent returned to the theme of Besednjak needing to take better care of himself.

"I was worried about why you were on your knee when you had surgery last week," she admonished.

"That's what I'm supposed to do," he said.



The proposal was captured from three camera angles — one shot by a videographer, one from the officer's body cam and one from a camera mounted in the ring box. See the video below.


Rocco Besednjak Proposal from Antonio Pantoja on Vimeo.

Credits: Screen captures via Vimeo.com.
August 11th, 2017
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you hot, new tunes with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Chris Lucas and Preston Brust of LoCash have fun with the concept of "a diamond is forever" in their latest hit, "Ring on Every Finger."



In the song, the country pop duo sets the scene for an over-the-top marriage proposal. Instead of going down on one knee, they promise to go down on two. And instead of offering a single engagement ring, they plan to put a ring on every finger.

They sing, "I ain't gettin' down on one knee / Girl, I'm gettin' on two / Might be over the top / But I tell you what I'm gonna do / I'll put on a ring on every finger / Just to show that I'm legit / Gonna try my last name on ya girl / Just to see if it fits."

Josh Kear, who wrote the song with Thomas Rhett and Jesse Frasure, told Billboard magazine that the song is based on the following theme: "If one ring says I'll love you forever, what would a ring on every finger mean?"

Kear and his collaborators also peppered the banjo-backed song with romantic bridal imagery.

Kear commented, "Most guys want to give their dream girl the wedding of their dreams, so I think men care about making women happy on their wedding day. Maybe less about the specifics and more about giving their bride the day they deserve."

"Ring on Every Finger" was released in November of 2016 as the third single from The Fighters. The song has been on an upward trajectory ever since. This week it rose to #26 on the Billboard US Hot Country Songs chart. The Taste of Country website called the song "an infectious, melodic jam."

Vocalists Lucas and Brust released their first LoCash single in the spring of 2010. Even though they've been on the music scene together for seven years and scored a #1 country hit for "I Know Somebody" in February of 2016, they were nominated in the category of best New Duo or Group of 2017 by the Academy of Country Music.

Please check out the video of LoCash's live performance of "Ring on Every Finger." The video was shot in Omaha on March 9, 2017. The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Ring on Every Finger"
Written by Jesse Frasure, Josh Kear and Thomas Rhett. Performed by LoCash.

I've got a pounding in my chest baby
Feels like I'm seventeen again
Got something burning a hole in my pocket lately
Done asked your daddy, done told your friends

I ain't gettin' down on one knee
Girl, I'm gettin' on two
Might be over the top
But I tell you what I'm gonna do

I'll put on a ring on every finger
Just to show that I'm legit
Gonna try my last name on ya girl
Just to see if it fits
If I could baby I would marry you a million times,
Put a ring on every finger
Just to show the whole world that you are mine
Show the whole world that you're mine

Well señorita, can't nothing be sweeter
Than you in that white wedding dress,
Even the church and white limousine
Girl, why you cryin', it ain't rocket science
All you gotta do is say yes
Spend the rest of your life with me

Don't you know I ain't gettin' down on one knee
Until I'm gettin' down on two
It might be over the top
But I tell you what I'm gonna do

I'll put on a ring on every finger
Just to show that I'm legit
Gonna try my last name on ya girl
Just to see if it fits
If I could baby I would marry you a million times,
Put a ring on every finger
Just to show the whole world that you are mine
Show the whole world that you're mine

Come on let's spend this life together
Dropping f bombs like forever
With the whole world as a witness
Gonna flip that Miss to a Mrs.
Gonna spend this life together
Dropping f bombs like forever
With the whole world as a witness
Then I flip that Miss to a Mrs.

I'll put on a ring on every finger
Just to show that I'm legit
Go ahead and try my last name on
Just to see if it fits
If I could baby I would marry you a million times,
Put a ring on every finger
Just to show the whole world that you are mine
I'll put a ring on every finger
Just to show that I'm legit
Go ahead and try my last name on girl
Just to see if it fits
If I could baby I would marry you a million times,
Put a ring on every finger
Just to show the whole world that you are mine
Show the whole world that you are mine


Credit: Screen capture via YouTube.com.
August 10th, 2017
A full season of suspenseful rose ceremonies culminated Monday night in "Bachelorette" Rachel Lindsay accepting a marriage proposal from Bryan Abasolo, along with a stunning 3-carat pear-shaped diamond engagement ring estimated to be worth more than $100,000.



Delicate and elegant, the platinum ring features an impressive center stone surrounded by a halo of smaller round diamonds. Diamond accents also go three-quarters around the band.



Designer Neil Lane told People magazine that although Abasolo was initially drawn to a more elaborate ring with a princess-cut center stone, he eventually went with the more feminine pear-shaped design. Lindsay had apparently told her suitor how much she loved pear-shaped diamonds, so Abasolo "lit up" when he saw Lane's design.

More than 7.5 million fans tuned in to ABC Monday night for the The Bachelorette Season 13 finale, during which Lindsay had to pick the winner from among the three finalists — Abasolo, Eric Bigger and Peter Kraus. In the end, the 32-year-old attorney from Dallas went with the 37-year-old chiropractor from Miami.



Abasolo went down on bended knee and asked Lindsay to be his bride: "I am the best version of myself when I'm with you. You are so easy and effortless to love. And I just want to love you for the rest of my life."

Lindsay responded, "I just wanna tell you that I love you and I'm in love with you and I can't imagine spending my life with anyone else."

In the lead-up to Monday's show, which was pre-recorded, Lindsay had been been sporting a temporary gold band on her ring finger so the style of the actual engagement ring would remain a mystery until the show aired.

Lane revealed that he typically presents the finalists with six rings. A few are the same designs offered during previous seasons, others are re-designed and some are brand new.

Before taking center stage as the Season 13 Bachelorette, Lindsay had been a fan favorite during the 21st season of The Bachelor, starring Nick Viall.



Earlier this week, the couple appeared on Entertainment Tonight, where Lindsay compared her ring with that of ET's Lauren Zima. They also received a warm welcome from the studio audience of Live with Kelly and Ryan.



Credits: The Bachelorette screen captures via ABC; Jewelry screen capture via Instagram/neillanejewelry. Entertainment Tonight and Live with Kelly and Ryan screen captures via YouTube.com.
August 9th, 2017
On Monday, August 21, skygazers from Salem, Ore., to Charleston, S.C., will see a rare total solar eclipse and — for just a brief moment — a fantastical celestial display that looks remarkably like a diamond ring.



The "Diamond Ring Effect," which was first explained by Francis Baily in 1836, occurs when the moon completely masks out the sun during a total solar eclipse. Due to the rugged lunar landscape, the black outline of the moon is not smooth. Tiny beads of sunlight can still shine through in some places and not in others as the moon slowly grazes past the sun.

These are called Baily’s Beads. When only one dazzling “bead” remains, momentarily, the view of the eclipse resembles a diamond ring. The ring’s glow is produced by the sun’s corona remaining dimly visible around the lunar silhouette.

The Diamond Ring Effect will actually happen twice on August 21. The first time will occur in the moment just before the total eclipse, and the second will occur just after the total eclipse. The so-called Great American Solar Eclipse will last about 2 minutes and 40 seconds, and effectively turn day into night.

NASA warned that skywatchers should NEVER look at a partial solar eclipse without proper eye protection. Looking directly at the sun, even when it is partially covered by the moon, can cause serious eye damage or blindness. Only during totality, when the sun's disk is completely covered by the moon, is it safe to view the eclipse with the naked eye, says NASA. Learn more about solar eclipse eye protection at Space.com.

During the solar eclipse, the moon's shadow will pass over all of North America. The path of the umbra, where the eclipse is total, will stretch on a bent path from Salem on the West Coast to Charleston on the East Coast. This will be the first total solar eclipse visible in the contiguous United States in 38 years. The next total solar eclipse will take place in North America on April 8, 2024.

Credits: Image by Lutfar Rahman Nirjhar (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.
August 8th, 2017
It was exactly 50 years ago when a prospector named Manuel d’Souza got his first look at a cluster of intense blue crystals that had been discovered by a Maasai tribesman in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.



At first glance, the crystals appeared to be sapphires. But a hardness test quickly ruled that out.

According to one published account, the somewhat perplexed prospector checked the characteristics of his samples against a resource guide and narrowed down the possibilities. Might they be olivine, or dumortierite, or cordierite or zoisite? The prospector took his best guess and registered an "olivine" claim with the Tanzanian government in the summer of 1967.



Later, the Gemological Institute of America revealed that the stones were, in fact, a never-before-seen variation of zoisite. To this day, a 2km by 4km area in Tanzania is the only place on the earth where this type of zoisite can be found.

The gorgeous blue mineral quickly caught the attention of Tiffany & Co., which wanted to feature the gemstone in a broad-based advertising campaign. The only problem was that the name "zoisite" sounded very much like "suicide," and that wouldn't do. So, the marketing team at Tiffany decided to promote the gems as “tanzanite,” a name that would honor its country of origin.

Tiffany’s marketing campaign earned tanzanite the noble title of “gem of the 20th century” and, in 2002, the American Gem Trade Association added tanzanite to the jewelry industry’s official birthstone list. Tanzanite joined turquoise and zircon as the official birthstones for December.

The most valuable tanzanite gemstones display a deep sapphire blue color with highlights of intense violet. The Smithsonian's website explains that tanzanite exhibits the optical phenomenon of pleochroism, appearing intense blue, violet or red, depending on the direction through which the crystal is viewed.

Tanzanite rates a 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. By comparison, diamond rates a 10 and sapphire rates a 9.

A Maasai folktale recounts how tanzanite came to be. Once upon a time, the story goes, lightning struck the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, scorching the land. In the aftermath, a spectacular blue crystal was left shimmering in the ashes.

Tanzanite continues to shimmer in jewelry stores around the world as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Credits: Photo of tanzanite crystals by Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com – CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo of tanzanite jewelry by Mark Schneider (Award collection from Mark Schneider) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.