Nord Jewelers Blog

Nord Jewelers Blog

Articles in January 2018

January 2nd, 2018
With the new year upon us and the Winter Olympics in South Korea right around the corner, it's time to take a close look at the medals that will be awarded at the Games and noodle out what they're really worth.



Designed by Seoul-based Sukwoo Lee, the gold, silver and bronze medals to be awarded from February 9 - 25 at the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang will range in weight from 586 grams for a gold medal to 493 grams for a bronze medal. At today's spot price, the gold medals — if they were, in fact, made of pure gold — would be worth $26,974 each.

The truth is that the gold medals contain just 6 grams of pure gold and 580 grams of 99.9% silver, resulting in an actual precious metal value of about $624. The silver medals contain 580 grams of 99.9% silver ($348), and the bronze medals are made of 493 grams of copper ($4.93).

Yes, there was a time when Olympic gold medals were made of solid gold, but the last ones were awarded in Stockholm, Sweden, way back in 1912.

Starting in 1916, the International Olympic Committee mandated that gold medals be made mostly of silver, and gilded with exactly 6 grams (0.211 ounces) of 24-karat gold. The IOC also required the medals to be at least 60mm in diameter and 3mm thick. The Pyeongchang medals are 92.5mm (about 3.6 inches) wide. The thickness of the coins range from 4.4mm to 9.42mm.

Lee's design was inspired by the texture of tree trunks, with the front bearing the Olympic rings and dynamic diagonal lines that reflect both the history of the Olympics and the determination of the participants. The reverse displays the winner's sports discipline, event and the Pyeongchang 2018 emblem. In total, 259 sets of the medals have been made.

The bark-like ridges on the face of Lee's design are made from extrusions of three-dimensional Hangeul consonants. Hangeul, which dates back to the 15th century, is the Korean alphabet and the foundation of Korean culture. The Hangeul letters extend to the edges of the coins and can be read around the rims.

The ribbons are made from gapsa, a traditional South Korean fabric. They are light teal and light red in color and embroidered with Hangeul patterns and other designs.



The medal comes with a wooden case designed with curves witnessed in Korean traditional architecture. The case will house the medal, medal description, the IOC badge and a medallist note.

The Winter Games in Pyeongchang will be followed by the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. Although the medal designs have yet to be revealed, the organizers are imploring environmentally conscious citizens to unload their old cell phones in a recycling effort to amass enough precious metal to create 5,000 gold, silver and bronze medals.

Credits: Images via pyeongchang2018.com.
January 3rd, 2018
Singer-songwriter Alexa Ray Joel, the 32-year-old progeny of rock legend Billy Joel and former supermodel Christie Brinkley, rang in the New Year with big news of her engagement to restauranteur Ryan Gleason.



Joel turned to Instagram on Monday to share details of the romantic proposal, along with a great shot of her vintage-inspired engagement ring. We're estimating that the emerald-cut center stone is approximately 2 1/2 to 3 carats and is likely set in platinum or 18-karat white gold.



In recounting how Gleason popped the question, Joel wrote, “He said to me: ‘Before I met you, my world was in black and white. You colored it in between the lines.’ It was the most beautiful thing anybody’s ever said to me. How could I possibly say no to that?!?!”

She also revealed her reaction to seeing her engagement ring for the first time...

“So I was completely taken off-guard, dumbstruck, and shell-shocked- and FOR ONCE in my life, I had absolutely no words, and I couldn’t speak," she wrote. "I just kept staring at this ridiculously exquisite ring — and he was just hysterically laughing at me!!!”

Gleason's Instagram page summed up his feelings in five words: "Luckiest guy in the world!!!!"



The surprise proposal took place during a tropical getaway, which coincided with Joel celebrating her 32nd birthday on December 29. One day later, Gleason was on Instagram, posting a photo of his girlfriend, along with the following caption: "Happy Birthday to the strangest girl I know. You make this world such a better place. I love you so much!"

One of his followers, wormadette, wrote this insightful comment, "You’re in Love, You’ve been dating for over 3yrs, you’re both in your 30’s....show her the ring!!"

And he did.

Joel's dad, Billy, and mom, Christie, were married from 1985 to 1994.

Billy Joel's heartwarming "Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)" was written for Alexa when she was seven years old.

Credits: Images via Instagram/AlexaRayJoel.
January 4th, 2018
Socialite and former reality star Paris Hilton couldn't be more pleased with the 20-carat pear-shaped diamond engagement ring she received over the holiday weekend from actor Chris Zylka. The hotel heiress called the $2 million sparkler a "dream ring" and the "most beautiful thing I have ever seen."



The couple seemed to be on top of the world, literally, when Zylka proposed to Hilton on the Aspen, Colo., mountaintop with gorgeous snow-washed vistas in the background.



In a video posted to Instagram, Zylka is seen going down on one knee and opening a ring box in front of a smiling Hilton. Then, in a playful twist, she grabs the box from his hand, crouches down to kiss him, pops up to a standing position and places the ring on her own finger.



Celebrity jeweler Michael Greene told Entertainment Tonight that Zylka began his ring shopping about five months ago. The actor had remembered that Hilton mentioned on a number of occasions how much she loves her mother's pear-shaped diamond.

“And when Chris came to me that was his request,” Greene told People magazine. “The pear shape really jumped out for him and ultimately for her. He did some fishing, but in the end it was all him.”

The pear-shaped diamond is set on a platinum split-shank band and is framed by a halo of smaller diamonds weighing slightly less than 2 carats.

On Tuesday, the 36-year-old delighted her 17.5 million Twitter followers and 7.9 million Instagram fans with photos from the mountaintop proposal.

She captioned one pic, "I said Yas! So happy & excited to be engaged to the love of my life. My best friend & soulmate. Perfect for me in every way. So dedicated, loyal, loving & kindhearted. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world! You are my dream come true! Thank you for showing me that fairytales do exist."

Greene told People that Zylka, 32, was giddy when he saw the finished ring for the first time.

Noted Greene, “When he came to pick it up and opened up the box he literally started shaking. He said, ‘I can’t stop shaking.’ It was like taking a good size man and bringing him down to a boy size giggle. He’s a super nice guy.”

“Paris is the most beautiful and incredible woman both inside and out,” Zylka told People. “I feel like the luckiest man in the world to be marrying my dream girl. I can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives together.”

Credits: Images via Instagram/ParisHilton.
January 5th, 2018
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you awesome songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Kenny Chesney sings about a man devastated by the emotional scars of a marital breakup in his 1999 ballad "I Might Get Over You." In the song, Chesney's character clings to hope of someday reuniting with his true love and admits that he's still wearing his wedding ring — but not in the traditional way.



He sings, "I wear my ring on a chain now, instead of my hand / And I deal with your memories the best I can / I've even been out on a date or two / Someday I might get over you."

Written by Kent E. Blazy and Donald R. Ewing, "I Might Get Over You" appeared as the 11th and final track of Chesney's album Everywhere We Go. The album zoomed to #5 on the U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums chart and was certified 2X Platinum with more than two million albums sold.

Born in Knoxville, Tenn., in 1968, Chesney didn't realize he had musical talent until he received a cheap guitar for Christmas while attending college at East Tennessee State.

"My mom sings, so does my Aunt Sharon," he told Billboard magazine. "So I thought, 'Maybe I should accompany myself and see what happens.' All of a sudden, I was playing weekends at a fraternity house in Johnson City [Tennessee] and at a lot of bars."

Upon graduation in 1990, Chesney headed to Nashville to pursue a music career. He landed a regular gig at The Turf, a honky-tonk bar in the city's historic district, and started making a name for himself.

Two years later, he caught the eye of an executive from Opryland Music Group. Chesney performed five songs during an audition and scored with a songwriter's contract. In 1993, he would sign a recording contract with Capricorn Records.

Over the course of his 25-year career, Chesney has released more than 40 Top-10 singles on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts. Nearly 75% of those reached #1. He has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide.

Chesney was named Entertainer of the Year by the Country Music Association four times — 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008. The only other entertainer to have earned such a distinction is Garth Brooks.

In September of 2017, Chesney made headlines when he established a charitable fund to help victims of Hurricane Irma. The storm, which caused an estimated $66 billion in damage, left a trail of destruction in the Caribbean, including the island of St. John, where Chesney owns a home.

We hope you enjoy the audio track of "I Might Get Over You." The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

"I Might Get Over You"
Written by Kent E. Blazy and Donald R. Ewing. Performed by Kenny Chesney.

Well, I opened my heart, and I let you in
I promised I'd never love again
And still doin' what I'd said I'd do
Someday I might get over you

I wear my ring on a chain now, instead of my hand
And I deal with your memories the best I can
I've even been out on a date or two
Someday I might get over you

Oh, I never thought I'd see it
But I think I see the light now
I know that what I have to do
Is get on with my life, but I can't take another day
I can't face another night, so I just take another breath
And let it go

If I could ever feel the way I felt
I'll take a chance with someone else
And if my heart takes chances too
Someday I might get over you

Oh, I never thought I'd see it
But I think I see the light now
I know that what I have to do
Is get on with my life, but I can't take another day
I can't face another night, so I just take another breath
And let it go

Well, I opened my heart, and I let you in
I promised I'd never love again
Right now it's still somethin' I can't do
Someday I might get over you

Though it may not be 'til my life is through
Someday I might get over you


Credit: Image by Craig ONeal (Kenny Chesney) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
January 8th, 2018
One of the most extraordinary examples of January's official birthstone is this objet d'art featuring what is believed to be the world's largest polished garnet.



Reminiscent of the jeweled eggs designed for the Russian tsars by the House of Fabergé more than 100 years ago, the "Garnet and Diamond Egg Creation" by Idar-Oberstein-based Manfred Wild was carved from an immense rough garnet sourced in Orissa, India. The garnet egg, which possesses the deep red hue of a fine claret wine, weighs 5,696 carats.

The egg opens to reveal a diamond cross mounted in 18-karat yellow gold and platinum, set on both sides with a total of 456 diamonds weighing approximately 8.50 carats. The cross is embellished with a single octahedral brown diamond at its center, weighing approximately 5.74 carats, and five cube-shaped natural yellow diamonds, weighing approximately 10.04 carats.

The cross emerges from a large faceted rock crystal quartz, measuring 125mm in diameter, and beneath the egg is an 18-karat gold "crown of thorns." When turned, the crown opens and closes the egg. The stem beneath features two rows of almandite garnets — 46 in all — with a faceted rock crystal acting as a spacer between.

The entire object is crafted using 403 grams (14.2 ounces) of 18K gold and 30.50 grams (1.07 ounces) of platinum. The egg measures 150 x 120 mm (5.9 inches x 4.7 inches) and the mounted piece has an overall height of 12 inches.

In November of 2014, the "Garnet and Diamond Egg Creation" was one of the top lots in a Bonham's Los Angeles auction titled "Gems, Minerals, Lapidary Works of Art and Natural History." Its pre-sale estimate was set at $300,000 to $400,000, but the piece remained unsold.

Coveted by kings and commoners alike for thousands of years, garnet is a versatile gemstone that comes in a wide variety of natural colors, including pink, purple, orange, yellow, violet, green, black, brown and deep-red.

Garnet varieties commonly seen in jewelry include pyrope, almandine, andradite, demantoid, grossularite, hessonite, rhodolite, tsavorite, spessartine and uvarovite. Garnets achieve their range of color from trace amounts of iron, manganese, calcium or aluminium in their chemical makeup.

Credits: Photos courtesy of Bonhams.
January 9th, 2018
Platinum jewelry was front and center at Sunday’s 75th annual Golden Globe Awards as Hollywood's biggest stars wore black to show their solidarity with the "Time's Up" movement, a group dedicated to promoting gender equality in the entertainment industry. And while the red carpet "blackout" conveyed a serious social message, the platinum jewelry adorning the black ensembles exuded glamour and sophistication.



White diamond earrings, colorful sapphire and emerald gemstones, and vintage jewelry — all set in platinum — were popular choices for the red carpet, noted Platinum Guild International. Among the A-list celebrities who chose platinum accessories this year were Golden Globe winner Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird), Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives) and many more.

Ronan, who won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical for her role in Lady Bird, wore platinum dangle earrings by Cartier. The “Cartier High Jewelry” glistened with diamonds and sapphires.



Clarke's V-shaped platinum necklace by Harry Winston flashed with 18.91 carats of diamonds. Completing the look were other Harry Winston pieces, including platinum earstuds with emerald-cut diamonds (6.32 carats) and three platinum bands (not shown).



Gadot chose a Tiffany and Co. platinum ensemble, which included diamond chandelier earrings and a bracelet adorned with princess-cut diamonds (not shown).



Eva Longoria showed off her baby bump while wearing platinum earrings set with emerald-cut diamonds by Lorraine Schwartz.

Other notable actresses wearing platinum included the following:

Nicole Kidman in platinum by Fred Leighton:
• Art Deco earrings with diamonds (7.25 carats).
• Art Deco Old European ring with diamonds (6.10 carats).
• Art Deco ring with diamonds.

Issa Rae in platinum by Lorraine Schwartz:
• Necklace with diamonds (100 carats) and a Colombian emerald center (35 carats).
• Ring with a Colombian emerald (42 carats) and diamonds.

Natalie Portman in platinum by Tiffany & Co.:
• Diamond earrings.
• Ring featuring a 5-carat sapphire and diamonds from the “2017 Extraordinary Colors of Tiffany Collection.”

Kate Hudson in platinum by Harry Winston:
• Vintage “Secret Wonder” pendant with diamonds, sapphire and aquamarine (30.01 carats).
• Vintage 1969 diamond cluster earrings (23.12 carats).

Claire Foy in platinum by Harry Winston:
• Sparkling cluster diamond earrings (4.25 carats).
• Rock band with a radiant-cut diamond (7.7 carats).
• Rock band with an oval-cut diamond (8.97carats).

Debra Messing in platinum by Lorraine Schwartz:
• Earrings with pear-shaped Colombian emeralds (32 carats).
• Ring with a Colombian emerald (40 carats).

Viola Davis in platinum by Harry Winston:
• “Secret Combination” necklace with diamonds (111.48 carats).
• Earstuds with round brilliant-cut diamonds (8 carats).
• “Traffic” ring with diamonds (1.49 carats).

Helen Mirren in platinum by Harry Winston:
• “Winston Cluster Wreath” necklace with diamonds (46.94 carats).
• “Secret Cluster” earrings with diamonds (8.35 carats).
• “Flower” ring with ruby and diamonds (10.36 carats).

Lily James in platinum by Harry Winston:
• “Winston Cluster Flower” earrings with diamonds (8.19 carats).
• “Sunflower Twin” ring with diamonds (1.81 carats).

Ashley Judd in platinum by Martin Katz:
• Earrings with emerald briolette drops (11.59 carats) and kite-shaped diamonds (2 carats), accented with six round diamond connectors, microset with 445 round, single-cut diamonds.

Credits: Photos by INSTARImages, provided by Platinum Guild International.
January 10th, 2018
The United States Mint is about to launch a three-year platinum proof coin series depicting the unalienable rights cited in the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence — life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.



Created by U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) designer Justin Kunz, obverse designs in this series are not only stunning, but tell a story brimming with symbolism.

For example, the 2018 coin, which has an official release date of January 25, features “Life” personified by Lady Liberty teaching a small child to sow seeds in a field. According to the U.S. Mint's narrative, the sword she carries symbolizes the power to defend life. The furrowed earth represents the forethought and labor required to sustain life. The tree and stream represent nature, suggesting the need to be good stewards of the environment.

The inscriptions "Life" in 2018, "Liberty" in 2019, and "Happiness" in 2020 are likenesses of the actual handwritten words from the Declaration of Independence.



The reverse design for all three coins in the series depicts an eagle in flight with an olive branch in its talons. The design was conceived by U.S. Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) designer Patricia Lucas-Morris.

Each coin in the “Preamble to the Declaration of Independence Platinum Proof Coin Series” weighs one ounce and is struck in 99.95% platinum. The coins have a face value of $100, although the current spot price of platinum is $967 per ounce. Prices for the coins will reflect the prevailing price of the precious metal, plus a modest premium to cover minting, distribution and marketing costs. They measure 32.7mm (1.28 inches) in diameter.



The 2019 obverse design portrays Lady Liberty keeping watch over prairies, lakes and mountains as pioneers head westward. The wild terrain featured in the background evokes the quintessential American spirit to explore new territory and the freedom to pursue new landscapes, new ideas and new ways of life. In the foreground, Lady Liberty’s lips are parted, suggesting freedom of speech. Her torch is an emblem of the guiding light that liberty provides, while the book represents the rule of law.



The 2020 obverse design depicts Lady Liberty harvesting the fruits of her labor with a young girl at play nearby. The overflowing cornucopia she carries is a symbol of the physical, intellectual and spiritual bounty only liberty makes possible. The home, orchard and silo represent American hopes, values and aspirations and bring to a close the narrative told throughout the series.

The U.S. Mint celebrated its 225th anniversary in 2017.

Credits: Images via usmint.gov.
January 11th, 2018
Alabama offensive lineman Bradley Bozeman capped his college football career Monday night with a national championship and a post-game, on-the-field marriage proposal.



The senior captain and his Crimson Tide teammates were basking in the glory of a stunning 26-23 overtime victory over the Georgia Bulldogs at Mercedes-Benz Stadium field in Atlanta when he unexpectedly popped the question to his girlfriend, former Alabama basketball player Nikki Hegstetter.

ESPN captured the scene as the 6'4", 315-pound Bozeman — in full football gear and with his hands still taped — cast aside a newspaper that he had cleverly used to conceal a crimson-red ring box.



Hegstetter was overwhelmed with emotion as Bozeman went down on one knee and snapped open the box, revealing the ring for the first time.

"Will you marry me?" asked a smiling Bozeman.



Unable to speak, Hegstetter covered her mouth with both hands and nodded her answer. Then she crouched down to get a better look at her engagement ring and started to cry.



Bozeman placed the ring on her left ring finger while Crimson Tide fans applauded and documented the romantic moment with their cell phones.



According to AL.com, the pair had done some preliminary ring shopping, but Hegstetter had no idea that a proposal was imminent. The only people who knew what was about to go down were Bozeman's fellow offensive linemen. He gave them a heads-up five minutes before popping the question.



Bozeman also revealed that his surprise proposal was contingent on the success of his team. If the Crimson Tide lost, he would have waited for another day.

Alabama had trailed by 13 points at halftime and Bozeman was probably thinking of contingency plans. Fortunately for Bozeman, Hegstetter and the Alabama fans, freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was able to come off the bench to lead a second half rally. A 41-yard pass to DeVonta Smith in overtime sealed the victory.

Bozeman is reported to be among the top centers in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Credits: Screen captures via YouTube/ESPN.
January 12th, 2018
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fun songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Diamond Rio frontman Marty Roe puts a "big down payment on that itty bitty diamond ring” in the memorable 1998 singalong, “Unbelievable.”



In the song written by Jeffrey Steele and Al Anderson, an infatuated Roe is crazy in love with his “unbelievable” new girlfriend. His life had been lonely and boring, but now a magnificent beauty has turned his world upside-down — so much so that he stutters when he tries to speak to her.

Peppered with perfect harmonies, the hard-driving, crossover hit features the unforgettable refrain: “kissable, huggable, lovable, unbelievable.”

The song's jewelry reference includes this line, "Elegant, intelligent, heaven sent, all my money spent / I put a big down payment on that itty bitty diamond ring."

Released as the title track of the group's fifth studio album, "Unbelievable” vaulted to #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country chart and #1 on Canada's RPM Country Tracks chart. The song also had crossover appeal, as it settled in at #36 on the broader-based U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart.

“Unbelievable” was originally written for country star George Jones, according to Songfacts.com. When Jones passed on the song, Diamond Rio scooped it up. Recalled writer Anderson, "I know all of a sudden they liked it and cut it and put it out, and it was the most played Arista record that year."

Founded in Nashville in 1982, Diamond Rio has featured the same six members for the past 33 years. They include Gene Johnson, Jimmy Olander, Brian Prout, Dan Truman, Dana Williams and Roe.

The group was originally named the Grizzly River Boys (a river rafting ride at Opryland USA). Few band members liked the name so it was changed to the Tennessee River Boys. Their moniker would change one final time in 1990 after the group signed a record deal with Arista.

Band member Prout suggested the name Diamond Rio not because he wanted the band to be associated with precious stones or an exotic city in Brazil. The name was, in fact, a nod to the Diamond Reo truck company, which ceased operations in 2013.

The group is a 13-time Grammy nominee and was named the Country Music Association’s Vocal Group of the Year four times in the 1990s.

The band is actively touring with performances scheduled in the U.S. and Canada from February through August 2018.

Please check out the audio track at the end of this post. The lyrics are below because we know you’ll want to sing along…

“Unbelievable”
Written by Jeffrey Steele and Al Anderson. Performed by Diamond Rio.

She’s so kissable, huggable, lovable, unbelievable
She’s a mouthful of anything and everything a man could want
She ain’t typical, she’s unpredictable, she’s available, it’s a miracle
How my heart stumbled into someone so kissable, huggable, lovable, unbelievable

Up ’til now my life has been so lonely and boring
I never thought I would find someone so

Elegant, intelligent, heaven sent, all my money spent
I put a big down payment on that itty bitty diamond ring
She’s so beautiful, it’s indisputable, it’s undeniable, she’s got-to-havable
She’s music to my ears, and makes my heart sing, so kissable, huggable, lovable, unbelievable

There’s so many things
I want to tell her
Like I love her
But every time I talk
I start to stutter

She’s so elegant, intelligent, heaven sent, all my money spent
I put a big down payment on that itty bitty diamond ring
She’s so beautiful, it’s indisputable, it’s undeniable, she’s got-to-havable
She’s music to my ears, and makes my heart sing, kissable, huggable, lovable, unbelievable

Kissable, huggable, lovable, unbelievable
Kissable, huggable, lovable, unbelievable


Credit: Screen capture via YouTube.com.
January 15th, 2018
Priceless gems from the British Crown Jewels were hidden from the Nazis in a biscuit tin and buried underground at Windsor Castle during World War II, a BBC documentary revealed last night.



Fearing an invasion, King George VI ordered that the most precious jewels — including the Black Prince’s ruby and Saint Edward’s sapphire — be removed from the royal crowns, stashed in a Bath Oliver biscuit tin and buried under a sally port, which is a secret exit from the castle used in times of emergency.



The treasures were placed deep in the ground at the royal family's country residence in Berkshire and secured with steel doors. The limestone excavation was filled in with soil and covered with turf. Queen Elizabeth II, who was only 14 at the time, first learned of her father's ploy during her BBC interview with Alastair Bruce.

"What was so lovely was that the Queen had no knowledge of it," Bruce noted. "Telling her seemed strangely odd."

Some historians speculated that the royal gems had been whisked away during the war to a vault in Canada or a cave in Wales. But, confidential correspondence from Sir Owen Morshead, the royal librarian, to Queen Mary, the mother of George VI, finally uncovered the secret of the biscuit tin. The British Crown Jewels — 23,578 in all — are currently under armed guard in the Jewel House at the Tower of London.



During the interview, the 91-year-old monarch got to take a close look at the Imperial State Crown, the stone's from which were remounted for her father's coronation in 1937. The crown is set with 2,868 diamonds, 17 sapphires, 11 emeralds, hundreds of pearls and a famous ruby that's not actually a ruby.

The Queen pointed out that the 2lb 13oz crown has been reduced in height since her father wore it. She also joked that it's important not to look down when wearing the crown as your "neck would break."

She told Bruce that her favorite gem in the crown is the Black Prince's ruby, which is, in fact, an irregular cabochon red spinel weighing 170 carats. The stone is set in the cross above the 317-carat Cullinan II diamond at the front of the Imperial State Crown and its history dates back to the middle of the 14th century.

The Queen seemed to be saddened by the plight of the pearls mounted in the crown. She said they are “not very happy now” and had been “hanging out for years.”

“I mean, the trouble is that pearls are sort of live things and they need... warming,” she said.

Princess Elizabeth ascended to the throne in 1952 at the age of 25 after her father died unexpectedly.

The BBC documentary was broadcast by the Smithsonian Channel on Sunday night.

Credits: Queen Elizabeth II screen capture via Smithsonianchannel.com; British Crown Jewels, including Saint Edward's Crown, by United Kingdom Government [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons; Imperial State Crown showing Black Prince's ruby by Cyril Davenport (1848 – 1941) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
January 16th, 2018
The community of Cedar Park, Texas, is singing the praises of 8-year-old Hudson Komendera, who not only spotted a lost engagement ring in a parking lot and helped reunite the ring with its rightful owner, but also donated his $300 reward to a local family that lost two boys in a tragic car crash.



Hudson and his mom, Stacy Komendera, had just gotten out of their car at a local shopping center last week when something on the sidewalk caught the little boy's eye.

“I found a ring,” Hudson exclaimed.

Stacy told a reporter for ABC affiliate KVUE that, at first, she didn't think much of the discovery.

She recalled telling her son, "Great, we're at the Dollar Tree, honey."

Young Hudson told the reporter, "She didn't believe me. She thought it was a fake little plastic ring."

What Hudson held in his hand was a slightly bruised, but very valuable, diamond engagement ring. Stacy decided to secure the ring and attempt to find its rightful owner.

Meanwhile, fellow Cedar Park resident Faith Goldberg was distraught over losing her cherished engagement ring — a ring her husband purchased for her less than a year ago to symbolize their 17 years together. Goldberg had lost the ring while shopping a few days earlier and was pretty sure it was gone forever.

Goldberg's husband told her over and over that the ring could be replaced and that everything was OK. But, Goldberg wasn't about to give up without a fight.



Under the title, "Heartbroken/Lost Ring," she posted two photos of the engagement ring to the community social media site Nextdoor.com, along with a caption offering a clue to where it may have been lost.

She wrote, "Lost my engagement ring in parking lot of pet smart/dollar store on 1431 1890 ranch shopping center, or possibly post office on 1431."

By coincidence, Stacy was checking Nextdoor.com to learn about a car accident that had just claimed the lives of two young boys. One post down from the item about the accident was Goldberg's desperate plea. The photo matched Hudson's find exactly.



Instead of contacting Goldberg right away, Stacy brought the damaged ring to a local jeweler to be fixed and shined up.

Once the ring looked good as new, it was time to reunite it with its rightful owner.

A KVUE news team was on hand when Goldberg met her little hero for the first time.



“I honestly didn't think I'd see it again, but I did,” Goldberg told KVUE.



Goldberg rewarded Hudson with a well deserved hug, a gift card and $300 in cash.

Hudson chose to donate the money to the Cedar Park family that lost two boys in last week's tragic car crash.

Credits: Screen captures via KVUE.com.
January 17th, 2018
The prolific Letšeng mine in the tiny southern Africa kingdom of Lesotho has produced another mammoth gem-quality diamond. Weighing 910 carats, the D-color, Type IIa stone is the largest ever mined at Letšeng and the fifth-largest gem-quality diamond ever recovered in world history.



The yet-to-be-named gem is probably worth more than $50 million based on recent sales of colossal diamonds exhibiting nearly identical characteristics.

For example, the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona (#2 on the all-time list) was sold in September of 2017 for $53 million. In May of 2016, the 812-carat Constellation (#7 on the all-time list) fetched $63 million. Sourced at Lucara's Karowe mine in Botswana, both D-color diamonds were rated Type IIa, which means they are chemically pure with no traces of nitrogen or boron impurities.

Despite having a land mass slightly smaller than Maryland, Lesotho is an international powerhouse when it comes to turning out huge, top-quality stones.

“Since Gem Diamonds acquired Letšeng in 2006, the mine has produced some of the world’s most remarkable diamonds, including the 603-carat Lesotho Promise," noted Gem Diamonds CEO Clifford Elphick. "However, this exceptional top-quality diamond is the largest to be mined to date and highlights the unsurpassed quality of the Letšeng mine."

Here's a list of the most newsworthy stones to come from Letšeng, which is billed as the highest dollar-per-carat kimberlite mine in the world.

2006 – Lesotho Promise (603 carats)
2011 – Letšeng Star (550 carats)
2007 – Lesotho Legacy (493 carats)
2008 – Leseli La Letšeng (478 carats)
2015 – Letšeng Dynasty (357 carats)
2015 – Letšeng Destiny (314 carats)
2014 – Unnamed Yellow (299 carats)

The newly unveiled 910-carat rough diamond has an equivalent weight of 182 grams, or 6.41 ounces. A baseball, by comparison, weighs 5.25 ounces.

The fifth-largest gem-quality diamond ever mined is less than one-third the weight of the granddaddy of them all — the 3,106-carat Cullinan Diamond, which was discovered in South Africa in 1905. Finished gems cut from the Cullinan Diamond include the Cullinan I (530.20 carats) and the Cullinan II (317.4 carats).

The United Kingdom-based Gem Diamonds holds a 70% stake in the Letšeng mine with the government of Lesotho owning the remaining 30%.

Credit: Image via Twitter.com/GemDiamondsLtd.
January 18th, 2018
A new collection of gem-spangled footwear has the well "heeled" women of Dubai — and the world over — buzzing with excitement.



Inspired by iconic royal women, from Cleopatra to Princess Diana, the collection by UAE-based luxury brand Jada Dubai is headlined by a one-of-a-kind pump adorned with 54 carats of brilliant-cut white diamonds and 416 carats of rose-cut white sapphires set in platinum and 19-karat gold. They're simply called "Jada Shoes."

Only one pair is available worldwide and it carries a price tag of 1.1 million dirhams, or just under $300,000. Jada Dubai co-founder Majari Maria told GulfNews.com that the pair took one year to produce and demanded the collaboration of precious stone specialists from three countries.

"Jada Shoes" were designed to honor Jada, the Princess of the Desert. According to the legendary love story, a prince fell in love with Jada, whose captivating eyes were as green as jade, but, alas, she was just a beautiful mirage.

Jada Dubai claims that its shoes are the first in the world with both the insole and outsole covered in gold and platinum.

Other shoes in the “The Imperative of Royalty” collection are named for Diana (Princess of Wales), Grace Kelly (Princess of Monaco), Cleopatra (Queen of Egypt) and Josephine (Empress of France). Each is limited to just 10 pairs and range in price from about $5,000 to $7,000. Featured gemstones include citrines, black diamonds, rubies and emeralds.



Carrying a price tag of $6,960, the Princess Diana Shoes are adorned with 2,000 citrines and 10 brilliant-cut white diamonds set in 19-karat yellow gold and platinum. The total weight of the citrines is 315 carats. Jada Dubai notes that the ivory color symbolizes elegance and purity.



The Grace Kelly Shoes feature a crown motif rendered in white and black diamonds, with other gemstones. The gems are set in 19-karat yellow gold and platinum. The crown, notes Jada Dubai, is the ultimate symbol of power and royalty. Price tag: $5,310.



Jada Dubai's Cleopatra Shoes are adorned with two jewelry snakes glittering with 28 black diamonds, four white diamonds and other stones. The snake is a symbol of protection, royalty and seductive power. The shoes are priced at $5,150.



Rounding out the line are the Josephine Shoes, adorned with eight rubies, six emeralds and other colored gemstones set in 19-karat yellow gold and platinum. Featured on the $4,980 pair is Josephine's favorite flower, the rose — one of the most enduring symbols of royalty and passion.

Credits: Images via jada-dubai.com.