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Articles in August 2017

August 1st, 2017
Imagine walking barefoot on a blanket of sparkling green sand that owes its astounding color to olivine crystals eroded from an ancient volcanic formation and delivered to the shore by ocean waves.


Mahana Beach on Hawaii’s Papakolea coast is one of only three green sand beaches in the world. The beach sand on the Big Island’s undeveloped southern tip is rich in the mineral olivine (Gem-quality olivine is known as peridot, the August birthstone). Olivine is a common mineral component of Hawaiian lavas and one of the first crystals to form as magma cools.


Locals refer to peridot as the “Hawaiian Diamond,” and small peridot stones are sold as “Pele’s tears” in honor of Pele, the goddess of volcanoes. In ancient Hawaiian chants, Pele was described as “She-who-shapes-the-sacred-land,” and her temper was known to be both as abundant and dangerous as the lava.


Those daring enough to take the three-mile hike through lava fields to the remote beach at the crescent-shaped bay of Pu’u Mahana, will be treated to a display of one of nature’s crowning achievements — a green beach that appears surreal against the backdrop of steely grey cliffs, turquoise blue ocean and bright blue sky. The hike will take about an hour, but locals offer rides to the beach in the back of a pickup truck for $15 in each direction.


The abundance of olivine crystals filling the beach comes from the eroded cutaway interior of Pu’u Mahana, a volcanic cone produced more than 49,000 years ago by the explosive combination of lava and groundwater. Once you've enjoyed the wonders of Mahana Beach, you can complete the green-beach trifecta by visiting the world's other two olivine-covered destinations — Talafofo Beach on Guam and The Green Beach on Floreana Island in The Galápagos.

The official birthstone for August, peridot is one of the few gemstones that occur in only one color: generally an olive green. The amount of iron in the crystal structures determines the intensity and tint of the green color. Specimens can range from yellow-green through olive green to brownish green. The dark-olive color is the most valuable.

Credits: Papakolea beach by jonny-mt (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons. Faceted peridot by DonGuennie (G-Empire The World of Gems - Die Welt der Edelsteine) (Own work [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons. Sand closeup by Siim Sepp (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons. Handfuls of sand by Tomintx (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons.
August 2nd, 2017
Fourteen months ago, the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) and Jewelers of America (JA) announced that spinel — the great imposter — would be joining peridot as an official birthstone for the month of August. It was only the third time in the past 105 years that the modern birthstone list had been amended.


The industry associations noted at the time that they were responding to a strong call from gem enthusiasts to expand the list of official birthstones. The spinel was designated for August because of its historical significance and its rich, red color.

Spinel has been called “the great impostor of gemstone history” because some of the most famous “rubies” seen in crown jewels around the world are actually spinels. According to the Smithsonian, it wasn't until 1783 that spinel was recognized as a mineral distinct from corundum (ruby and sapphire). Ruby is composed of aluminum oxide, while spinel is made of magnesium aluminum oxide. Both get their reddish color from impurities of chromium in their chemical structure.

For centuries, royal jewelry "experts" could not tell the difference between a ruby and a spinel.

For instance, the 398-carat ruby-red gem that tops the Imperial Crown of Russia commissioned by Catherine the Great in 1763 was thought to be a ruby, but turned out to be a spinel. The 361-carat Timur Ruby, which was presented by the East India Company to Queen Victoria as a gift in 1851, was also later identified as a spinel. And the 170-carat Black Prince Ruby, which is prominently displayed on the Imperial State Crown of England, was, in fact, an uncut spinel.

While spinel is best known for its ability to imitate the color of ruby, the gem comes in a variety of vibrant colors, including soft pastel shades of pink and purple, fiery oranges, and cool hues ranging from powdery gray to intense blue. It is a durable gem with a hardness of 8.0 on the Mohs scale. By comparison, diamond rates a 10 and ruby rates a 9.

Shown in the image, above, are three spinels from the National Gem and Mineral Collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. The first and third gem were sourced in Sri Lanka and weigh 22.2 and 29.7 carats, respectively. The spinel in the center is from Myanmar and weighs 36.1 carats.


The bracelet shown here contains 98 natural spinel crystals set in a double row in yellow gold. The stones were sourced in the Mogok region of Myanmar and the piece is currently part of the National Gem and Mineral Collection.

Myanmar is known to produce some of the most beautiful spinels — especially the pink, red and orange-red varieties. Spinels are also mined in Afghanistan, Brazil, Cambodia, Kenya, Russia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand and Vietnam.

Credits: Gem photo by D. Penland/Smithsonian. Bracelet photo by Chip Clark/Smithsonian.
August 3rd, 2017
Russian mining giant Alrosa trumpeted its big-diamond cutting prowess with the unveiling of The Dynasty, a 51.38-carat round brilliant-cut sparkler.


The 57-facet, D-color, VVS1 gem is the largest of five polished diamonds all culled from The Romanovs, a 179-carat rough stone recovered from the Nyurbinskaya kimberlite pipe in the Russian Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in 2015. The cutting and polishing process took 18 months. All five stones will be offered for sale during an online auction in November.


The polished diamond collection, which is also called The Dynasty, represents a new initiative for the mining company, which produces more diamonds (in carats) than any other mining company in the world. Alrosa's cutting division is stepping up its game in the arena of extra-large and colored diamonds.

“The creation of The Dynasty was of great importance," noted Pavel Vinikhin, Director of Diamonds for Alrosa. "This stone gives a start to a new stage in the development of Alrosa’s cutting division. The Dynasty demonstrated that we can do it at the highest level. We work a lot on the technique, combining modern technologies with the secrets of jewelers of the Russian Imperial Court."

Alrosa named the collection The Dynasty to revive the traditions and memory of renowned Russian jewelers, who were famous for their craftsmanship and filigree. Russia’s first cutting and polishing factory was founded by Peter the Great early in the 18th century.

Other diamonds in the collection are named after the dynasties that played a crucial role in the development of Russian jewelry. A 16.67-carat round brilliant-cut diamond, the second by weight, was named The Sheremetevs. The Orlovs is a 5.05-carat oval diamond. The Vorontsovs is a 1.73-carat pear-shaped diamond and The Yusupovs is a 1.39-carat oval diamond.

Credits: Images courtesy of Alrosa.
August 4th, 2017
Welcome to Music Friday when we often bring you throwback tunes with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, country legend Emmylou Harris pledges eternal devotion to a noncommittal beau in her 1975 hit, "If I Could Only Win Your Love."


In the song, Harris focuses on a very significant piece of jewelry while making the case for why her love interest should take the plunge.

In the very first verse, she sings, "If I could only win your love / I'd make the most of everything / I'd proudly wear your wedding ring / My heart would never stray one dream away."

Originally written and performed by The Louvin Brothers in 1958, "If I Could Only Win Your Love" became a country hit 17 years later when Harris included it on her highly praised Pieces of the Sky album. The song shot to #4 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart and earned the #1 spot on the RPM Country Tracks chart in Canada.

Throughout a stellar career, which has spanned six decades, Harris has maintained a soft spot in her heart for The Louvin Brothers' tune. While introducing the song in the video, below, Harris calls it her "first single." This is significant because Harris would go on to release 70 singles, 26 studio albums, three live albums and 11 compilation albums. She has won 13 Grammys and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Now 70 years old and still touring internationally, Harris was born in Birmingham, Ala., to a Marine Corps officer dad and wartime military mom. Her dad endured 10 months as a prisoner of war in Korea when Emmylou was just five years old. She spent her childhood in North Carolina and was the class valedictorian of her high school. Later, she dropped out of college to pursue a music career in New York City. She worked as a waitress during the day and performed in Greenwich Village coffeehouses in the evening. She recorded her first album, Gliding Bird, in 1969.

Please check out the video of Harris' performance of "If I Could Only Win Your Love." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"If I Could Only Win Your Love"
Written by Charlie and Ira Louvin. Performed by Emmylou Harris.

If I could only win your love
I'd make the most of everything
I'd proudly wear your wedding ring
My heart would never stray one dream away

If I could only win your love
I'd give my all to make it live
You'll never know how much I give
If I could only win your love

Oh how can I ever say
How I crave your love when your gone away
Oh how can I ever show
How I burn inside when you hold me tight

If I could only win your love
I'd give my all to make it live
You'll never know how much I give
If I could only win your love

Oh how (oh how)
can I ever say (can I ever say)
How I crave your love when your gone away
Oh how
can I ever show
How I burn inside when you hold me tight

If I could only win your love
I'd give my all to make it live
You'll never know how much I give
If I could only win your love

Credit: Screen capture via
August 7th, 2017
With a nod to the Maquech Brooch — a live beetle jewelry accessory famous on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula — students at MIT have invented tiny robot crawlers that can move across garments as “shape-changing and pattern-changing jewelry."


Developed by the MIT Media Lab, "Project Kino" employs palm-sized robots that affix to clothing using magnets. The robots ride on wheels and are cloaked with colorful shields that can serve aesthetic and practical functions. The phrase "kino" is shorthand for "kinetic wearables."


In one scenario, bots placed on the front of a dress can alter their positions in an odd bot ballet that give the garment an ever-changing look. In a second scenario, a bot fit with a microphone senses a phone call and quickly migrates to the top of the garment so the user can use it to chat with a caller. In a third scenario, the bots' temperature sensors trigger a response to pull down a hood's drawstrings.


Currently, MIT engineers are working through some technical challenges, such as extending the bots' battery life, which now stands at about 45 minutes, and making them less clunky.

“We’re thinking of wearables as a personal assistant,” team member Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao told TechCrunch. “We think in the future, when they can have a brain of their own, they can learn your habits, learn your professional style, and when they get smaller, they can blend into the things you wear.”


Back in the Yucatan, the wingless Maquech beetle has been a favorite of tourists for decades. The bejeweled bug crawls on the wearer’s shirt within range of its three-inch-long chain “leash” that’s attached with a decorative safety pin.


The bugs don’t seem to mind having baubles glued to their backs, and they generally live for up to three years on a diet of apples and wet, rotted wood.

The Maquech beetles have played a romantic role in Yucatan foklore. According to legend, a Mayan princess fell in love with a prince from a rival clan. This was not permitted, so when they were discovered, the lover was sentenced to death. Recognizing their plight, a shaman changed the man into a shining beetle that could be decorated and worn over the princess’s heart as a reminder of their eternal bond.

Tourist shops in the Yucatan have been selling Maquech jewelry since the 1980s. The glittery crawlers cost about $10, but tourists are prohibited from bringing them into the U.S.

The video below offers a quick overview of "Project Kino."

Credits: Screen captures via
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.

Tanzanite50 1

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.

Tanzanite50 2

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, – 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.
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

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 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
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
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
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;;
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
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
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 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
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 22nd, 2017
Model Ksenia Tsaritsina's fairytale wedding to Russian billionaire Aleksey Shapovalov included a "suspended" eight-tier cake, illuminated dance floor, two bridal dresses, live pop-star entertainment and a 70-carat Asscher-cut diamond ring valued at $10.5 million.


For those of you keeping score at home, the diamond alone weighs about a half ounce.

Shapovalov told Cosmopolitan Russia that the 33-carat, D-flawless, Asscher-cut Krupp Diamond that actor Richard Burton famously purchased for his wife, Elizabeth Taylor, in 1968 was not big enough for his new bride.


The 27-year-old Tsaritsina described her 70-carat ring in an Instagram post from April.

Translated from Russian, she wrote, "My husband is never too stingy to buy me presents. Now he made a decision that a 30-carat ring is not enough for me."

An Asscher-cut diamond is sometimes described as a "square emerald-cut diamond." The gem has cropped corners and is step-cut, which means that the facets are rectangular and appear to be descending into the stone. The Asscher cut was developed in 1902 by the Asscher Brothers of Holland.

Even though the oligarch and the model have been together for five years and have two children together, Shapovalov decided to finally seal the deal last week at the $644-per-night Barvikha Luxury Village Hotel in Moscow.

Guests marveled at one of the most lavish ceremonies ever seen. Inside a ballroom decorated with thousands of white flowers and glittering chandeliers, they danced to live performances by Russian singer Polina Gagarin and rock band Leningrad.

Some news outlets called it the wedding of the year, while AOL wondered out loud if this might be the wedding of the century.

The couple travels frequently between Russia and Dubai.

Credit: Images via Instagram/ksenia_tsaritsina.
August 23rd, 2017
At Stanford University, an international team of scientists finally simulated the "shower of diamonds" that they believe is taking place deep within Uranus and Neptune.


Uranus and Neptune are both classified as "ice giants." Unlike the Earth, their solid cores are likely swathed in thick layers of "ice" made from the combination of water and ammonia.

At a depth of 6,200 miles, researchers speculate that the hydrocarbons encounter so much pressure and heat that the bonds between the hydrogen and carbon molecules are broken. Once free from the bonds, the carbon atoms are compressed into microscopic diamonds, resulting in what can be described as "diamond showers."

Previously, no one had been able to directly observe these sparkling showers in an experimental setting, according to Dr. Dominik Kraus, who is the head of a Helmholtz Junior Research Group at the German research laboratory Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf.

But, that was precisely the breakthrough Kraus and his international team have now achieved. In their experiment, polystyrene (a plastic made from carbon and hydrogen) was exposed to a simulation of the immense pressure found deep within Neptune and Uranus. They blasted the plastic with shock waves generated by an optical laser and x-rays.

At a pressure of about 150 gigapascals and temperatures of about 9,000 degrees Fahrenheit, the shock waves compressed the plastic and successfully broke the carbon-hydrogen bonds. The carbon atoms instantly transformed into microscopic diamonds.

"The first smaller, slower wave is overtaken by another stronger second wave," Kraus explained. "Most diamonds form the moment both waves overlap. Our experiments show that nearly all the carbon atoms compact into nanometer-sized diamonds."

Kraus theorized that the cores of Uranus and Neptune could contain "oceans of liquid carbon" with gigantic "diamond icebergs swimming on top of it."

While it's unlikely man will ever have the ability to mine diamonds on these distant planets, the experiments at Stanford are already yielding innovative and efficient ways of producing nano-diamonds — diamonds that may find their way into electronic instruments, medical equipment and cutting devices.

The results of the research were published in the scientific journal Nature Astronomy.

Credit: Greg Stewart / SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
August 24th, 2017
Despite being tempted by a retail environment flush with fast fashion and unlimited choices, millennial women would prefer to adhere to the maxim of "buy less, buy better." According to a survey conducted on behalf of the Diamond Producers Association, the vast majority of millennial women prefer "the real deal" when purchasing diamonds and luxury items.


In fact, exactly 89% of women between the ages of 18 and 34 said they are looking for authenticity when shopping for finer items, with 94% of the highest-earning millennials ($150,000+) reporting that they would prefer a single expensive, genuine item over lots of cheaper ones.

“When evaluating luxury purchases, [millennials] seek items that are genuine, unique and not mass-produced, and have inherent meaning and value,” said Deborah Marquardt, the DPA’s Chief Marketing Officer. “This preference speaks directly to the diamond promise — in an increasingly artificial world, diamonds remain authentic, rare and precious.”

Interestingly, during the span from 2013 to 2015, self-purchasing of non-bridal diamonds by U.S. millennials increased from 25% to 31%.

Here are some other key findings from the survey that sought to pinpoint what millennial women really want when it comes to luxury goods, such as diamonds:

• Three in four millennial women see diamond jewelry as an investment in themselves, and 82% consider it a long-term investment. Among the highest-earning millennial women, these numbers jump dramatically to 94% and 91%, respectively.

• Exactly 85% of high-earning millennials said they would be embarrassed to know that they own a knock-off, especially for luxury items.

• Two out of three respondents admitted to feeling more confident in themselves when wearing diamond jewelry.

The survey was conducted online by KRC Research and took place from July 10 to July 14 among 995 millennial women. The DPA's current marketing initiative is called "Real is Rare. Real is a Diamond." The group has amassed a promotional budget of $57 million, the great majority of which is dedicated to the U.S. market.

Credit: Screen capture via is a Diamond.
August 25th, 2017
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you awesome songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, singer-songwriter Maia Sharp ponders the question: "How much gold can you find if you never go mining?" in "Underneath," an intimate, self-effacing song about a woman who's been unlucky in love.


Sharp uses the mining simile to illustrate her passive approach to romance. She admits that she has no one but herself to blame for her loneliness, but she's confident that it will all work out in the end. Perhaps the best things will come to those who wait.

She sings, "How much gold can you find if you never go mining / They say the wine gets better if you let it breathe / Oh, the deeper the digging, the sweeter the finding / I want to know what’s underneath / Oh, I want to know what’s underneath."

"Underneath" appears as the third track on Sharp's sixth studio album The Dash Between The Dates, which was released in 2015. Providing the harmonies on the track is singer-songwriter Gabe Dixon.

In describing the album, Sharp noted, "I was trying to look at things with a wider-angle lens and bring more breadth to the songs without sacrificing the intimacy."

Interestingly, the artist admitted that she worked on the album during a period of extreme writer's block. Critics countered that it was her best work to date.

Born in California's Central Valley in 1971 to a singer-songwriter dad and a college professor mom, Sharp wrote her first song as a five-year-old. By the time she was a teenager, she had already shown proficiency with a number of instruments, including keyboards, guitar, oboe and saxophone. She studied music theory at California State University and honed her songwriting skills. As a 22-year-old, Sharp began performing her own music in Los Angeles clubs.

A few years later, she was discovered by music executive Miles Copeland, who managed The Police. During her 20-plus years in the music business, Sharp has written songs for some of the industry's top acts, including Cher, Kim Richey, Amanda Marshall, Paul Carrack, Edwin McCain, The Dixie Chicks, Trisha Yearwood and Kathy Mattea.

We know you will enjoy the audio track of "Underneath." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

Written by Maia Sharp. Performed by Maia Sharp with Gabe Dixon.

No one but myself to blame
If I ain’t got a love to call my own
Maybe it takes some chippin’ away
Before you get down to the cornerstone

How much gold can you find if you never go mining?
They say the wine gets better if you let it breathe
Oh, the deeper the digging, the sweeter the finding
I want to know what’s underneath
Oh, I want to know what’s underneath

When the new ran out, I ran out
I took off one time, took off the shine
I never could shake my shadow of doubt
And the only heart I ever really broke was mine

How much gold can you find if you never go mining?
They say the wine gets better if you let it breathe
Oh, the deeper the digging, the sweeter the finding
I want to know what’s underneath
Oh, I want to know what’s underneath

Underneath these
Underneath what’s shown
Past the shallow waters
To uncharted undiscovered unknown

How much gold can you find if you never go mining?
The wine gets better if you let it breathe
Oh, the deeper the digging, the sweeter the finding
And I want to know what’s underneath
Oh, I want to know what’s underneath

I want to know what’s underneath

Credits: Screen capture via Sharp.

August 28th, 2017
When professional boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. defeated UFC star Conor McGregor by TKO Saturday night in what was billed as "the fight of the century," the undefeated Mayweather earned a $100 million-plus payday and a Money Belt glistening with 4,260 gemstones. It is believed to be the most valuable sports trophy ever created.


World Boxing Council (WBC) president Mauricio Sulaiman unveiled the belt on Wednesday during the final press conference leading up to the fight in Las Vegas. The belt, which is made from alligator leather imported from Italy, is studded with 3,360 diamonds, 600 sapphires and 300 emeralds set in 3.3 pounds of solid, 24-karat gold. It also features the names of the two combatants spelled out in gemstones.


Sulaiman refused to reveal how much the belt was worth, opting to describe it as a "priceless piece."

“It cost a fortune,” Sulaiman told MMA Fighting. “It cost many, many, many hours of work of many artisans. It is just a beautiful piece of work. It’s a lot of money. I don’t really have a figure. It’s a priceless piece for an historic event.”

When asked by a reporter where the belt would be housed during the time between the Wednesday press conference and the Saturday night event, Sulaiman said with a laugh, “If I told you, I would have to disappear you. It’s in a safe place. It’s in a secure vault.”

Interestingly, when Mayweather beat Manny Pacquiao two years ago, he also walked away with a blingy WBC belt featuring 3,017 emeralds set in 1.7 pounds of gold. That belt was said to be worth more than $1 million.

The match between Mayweather and McGregor was an unusual spectacle because it brought together the top names from professional boxing and mixed martial arts. McGregor made a strong showing in the opening rounds, but faded as the fight wore on. Mayweather's superior boxing skills prevailed, and the referee called a stop to the fight in the 10th round of the super-welterweight bout.

The victory brought Mayweather's unflawed record to 50-0, surpassing the 49-0 record amassed by Rocky Marciano during the 1940s and 1950s. The 40-year-old Mayweather announced that the McGregor fight would be his last. Mayweather was guaranteed a purse of $100 million for Saturday night's fight, but could end up earning $200 million or more based on international pay-per-view revenues.

Credits: Images via Sulaiman.
August 29th, 2017
Artie the Police Dog used his super sniffer to locate an engagement diamond for a New England couple — four days after it was lost.


About two weeks ago, Jamie and James Ruddock of Sunderland, Mass., visited a nearby kennel to pick up one of their dogs, but as they were leaving the facility, Jamie noticed that the diamond from her engagement ring was missing. The Ruddocks retraced their steps, but couldn't find the diamond.


Undaunted, James Ruddock returned to the kennel four days later with his secret weapon. You see, Ruddock is a K-9 Officer for the Montague Police Department and his patrolling partner is Artie, a dog specially trained to sniff out drugs, find bodies and track down fleeing criminals.

Finding the diamond would be a piece of cake for the talented pooch.


While diamonds don't have a scent, the person who was wearing the diamond in her ring did. Within 10 minutes, Artie found the diamond in the turf outside the kennel.

“We knew to 'trust your dog,'" Ruddock told NBC affiliate WWLP, "and we did eventually find it under some thick grass. It was very surreal and a pretty emotional moment.”


According to the Montague Police Department, Ruddock was appointed as a K-9 Officer in 2014. He and Artie have been a team ever since.


Besides fighting crime and finding lost diamonds, Artie is a favorite of local schoolchildren and participates in community programs. Artie has a custom vehicle and his own Facebook page.

Dogs are exceptional sniffers because their noses have as many as 300 million olfactory receptors, compared to five million in humans. This gives them such a keen sense of smell that they can detect some odors that are just one or two parts per trillion.

Earlier this summer, The Times of London reported that researchers at Manchester University were teaching two Labradors and a Cocker Spaniel to detect the smell of the molecules emitted from skin just before people develop Parkinson's Disease. If successful, the dogs will be able to identify those susceptible to the neurodegenerative disease before they show any symptoms.

Credits: Screen captures via Officer Ruddock/Artie portrait via
August 30th, 2017
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City is about to close the lid on its fully functional 18-karat gold toilet, with the final flush taking place on September 15.


Called "America," the single work of art by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan has dazzled and delighted museum-goers for the past year. The installation features a solid gold replica of a Kohler toilet tucked into a single-occupancy restroom. Visitors are encouraged to use the dazzling fixture as they would any other public toilet.

The Guggenheim has kept the golden commode immaculate, thanks to a cleaning detail that has been responsible for tidying up every 15 minutes using special wipes.


“More than 100,000 people have waited patiently in line for the opportunity to commune with art and with nature,” noted Nancy Spector, the Guggenheim’s artistic director and chief curator, on the museum’s website.

In describing the irreverent exhibition, the Guggenheim's website noted that Cattelan’s toilet offers a wink to the excesses of the art market, but also evokes the American dream of opportunity for all—its utility ultimately reminding us of the inescapable physical realities of our shared humanity.

“This is 1 percent art for the 99 percent,” Cattelan told the New York Post during the opening of the exhibition in 2016.

Created by a foundry in Florence, Italy, "America" doesn't carry an official value, but the folks at estimated the gold was worth between $1.4 million and $2.5 million.

Reviewers who have experienced the toilet first-hand have reported that the seat is very heavy to lift and the gold sparkles so much that it’s almost too bright to look at.


Neither the Guggenheim nor Cattelan revealed what the future has in store for “America.” Will it become part of a new exhibition? Or end up in the powder room of a 21st century tycoon? Only time will tell.

Credits: Photos by Kris McKay © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.
August 31st, 2017
Former Apollo astronaut Charles “Charlie” Moss Duke Jr. loves to tell the story about how fellow astronaut Ken Mattingly nearly lost his wedding ring in outer space. The circumstances surrounding how he got it back are so remarkable that the story has attained folklore status in the annals of space exploration.


According to Duke, on the second day of the 11-day Apollo 16 mission to the moon and back, Mattingly, the command module pilot, reported his wedding ring missing. Despite the ship's tight confines and the crew's best efforts, they could not locate the ring.

“It just floated off somewhere, and none of us could find it,” the 81-year-old Duke told Wired magazine in a 2016 interview.


The ring remained elusive until Mattingly's spacewalk on Day 9 — April 25, 1972. Duke said he exited the spacecraft to check on Mattingly when he noticed the wedding ring floating out the hatch door.

Duke tried to grab it, but failed.

The ring would have been lost to the vastness of space, but miraculously bounced off the back of Mattingly's helmet, reversed its course and returned to the vehicle through the hatch. Duke said he was able to secure it shortly thereafter.

Scientifically speaking, the astronauts, the ship and the ring were all flying through space together at 3,000 feet per second, but in the absence of wind resistance, as Duke explained in the Wired interview, things just “move along together.”

While the remarkable recovery was attributed to lucky physics, Mattingly, also 81, has a different recollection of how the wedding ring story went down.

In a 2014 interview with, Mattingly bluntly poked a giant hole in Duke's account.

"That's Charlie's story," he said. "I lost it, on Earth."

Mattingly believes the ring slipped off while he was removing his flying gloves.

So much for a lost-and-found story that was truly out of this world...

Credits: Photos by NASA (Public Domain).