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Articles in March 2022

March 1st, 2022
The Knot’s 2021 "Real Weddings Study" paints a picture of a wedding industry returning to normalcy after more than a year of COVID-related "minimonies" and micro weddings. The study also predicts a wedding boom for 2022.


The average cost of a wedding in 2021 was $28,000 ($34,000 including the engagement ring), which represents a full recovery to the average recorded in 2019. For comparison, the average cost of a wedding in 2020, during the height of the pandemic, was $19,000.

The engagement ring — at $6,000 — remained the second-highest-priced item on the list of all wedding expenses (the venue was #1).

Engagement ring spending varied broadly by region. The Mid-Atlantic, for example, had the highest average spend, coming in at $7,900. In areas like New England, the Southwest and the Southeast, the average spend was $7,400, $5,500 and $5,300, respectively. The Midwest trailed the other regions, averaging $5,200.

The Knot survey noted that the average cost of a women's wedding band in 2021 was $1,100, while the average cost of a men's wedding band was $550. White gold remained the most popular wedding band material, while rose gold, yellow gold and sterling silver were also top favorites.

The Knot is also predicting a wedding boom later this year. Barring any unforeseen health disruptions, the US will be celebrating 2.6 million weddings in 2022, far more than the pre-pandemic 2.2 million weddings registered during 2019. About 75% of couples who got engaged in 2021 have already set a date for 2022, according to The Knot, and nearly 65% of those couples are opting to wed in the summer and fall of this year.

For the sixth year in a row, October is anticipated to be the most popular month (17% of all weddings) with October 22, 2022, being the most coveted date. Other popular dates (all Saturdays) are May 21, June 18, October 1 and October 8.

In 2021, New Jersey was the most expensive place to have a ceremony and reception ($47,000), followed by the District of Columbia ($44,000), New York ($42,000) and Rhode Island ($43,000). The least expensive places to host a wedding were Wyoming ($15,800), Idaho ($16,000), Oklahoma ($16,000) and Kansas ($17,000).

The Knot is projecting that the average number of wedding guests in 2022 should grow to 129 (higher than the average of 105 in 2021 and on par with the 2019 average of 131), while the estimated average ceremony/reception spend will remain steady at $27,000.

On the average, couples pay for roughly 48% of their wedding tab, with families typically covering the remainder of the bill (52%).

These were the average costs of key bridal services in 2021: reception venue ($10,700); reception band ($4,300), photographer ($2,500), florist/décor ($2,300), rehearsal dinner ($2,300), videographer ($1,900), wedding dress ($1,800), wedding/event planner ($1,700), reception DJ ($1,400), transportation ($900), wedding cake ($500), invitations ($530), favors ($450), wedding day hair stylist ($130) and makeup artist ($115). Catering averaged $75 per person.

The "Real Weddings Study" is based on responses from more than 15,200 U.S. couples married between January 1 and December 31, 2021.

Credit: Image by
March 2nd, 2022
“No! You’re KIDDING ME!” Paulina Morales screamed, as she caught a glimpse of her cherished engagement ring during a Zoom call with Denver-based CBS reporter Spencer Wilson.


The Texas bride-to-be had lost her ring in a Colorado snowbank early in February and feared that it was lost forever. But, thanks to the efforts of the reporter and a Good Samaritan with a metal detector, the ring was saved from an icy doom and shipped back to Texas.


Morales and her fiancé, Deven Maraj, had been vacationing in the historic and scenic ski resort town of Breckenridge when a carefree romp in the snow turned disastrous. Deven playfully tossed Morales into the snow, but when she emerged, the ring was gone. They searched the location for days, but had no luck.

Their story caught the attention of Wilson, who recounted the couple's plight for the viewers of CBS4. The reporter even got into the act by using a blowtorch to try the melt the snow away to find the ring. Still no luck.

"Sadly, we had to go home," Morales told CBS4. The couple offered a $500 reward for the precious jewelry, hoping that there was still a glimmer of hope it would some day be returned.


In stepped Tony Pizzamigalo, a metal detector enthusiast who had seen Wilson's report.

Only a few steps away from where the reporter had used the blowtorch, Pizzamigalo started to get some promising hits on his detector. After one false hit, Pizzamigalo was quickly on the prize.


The hero said that he was going to donate the reward money to the Summit County Rescue Group, which provides search and rescue services to county officials.

With the ring secured, Wilson set up a Zoom call with Morales, who answered while in her car.


At first, Wilson acted as if the ring was still missing, asking Morales if she could describe the engagement ring. When she started to answer, he said, "Does it look like this?" and placed the yellow gold, flower-motif diamond ring squarely in front of the camera.

"I’m crying right now! I've got chills, I've got chills," she exclaimed. "This is such good news."

According to a report on the CBS4 website, Morales and Maraj wanted to extend a huge thank you to all of the people involved in the search, successful or not, and said they can not thank everyone enough for going out of their way to bring back their ring.

Pizzamigalo told the station that he was just happy to be able to find something that would bring them so much joy.

Morales added that Pizzamigalo would be getting an invitation to the wedding.

Credits: Screen captures via
March 3rd, 2022
Halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco near the headwaters of the San Benito River, amateur treasure hunters pay $100 per ticket for the thrill of scouring the screening field at the Benitoite Mining Company for one of the world’s rarest gemstones — the beautiful bright blue benitoite.


From 9am to 3pm on Saturdays, the regular mining operations give way to a stream of rockhounds looking for a relaxing day of outdoor family fun — and the possibility of striking it rich. The mining company's website notes that there is a 1 in 20 chance that a visitor will walk away with a stone of value. The ticket price is $50 for kids 12 and under.

Pronounced "ben-ee-toe-ite," the gem was discovered in 1907 by a prospector named James M. Couch, who originally believed be may have discovered a new source of sapphire due to the similar color. In 1909, a sample was sent to mineralogist Dr. George D. Louderback of the University of California, Berkeley, who concluded that blue stone was a previously unknown mineral.

It was named benitoite to honor its connection to the San Benito River in San Benito County, CA. While benitoite occurs in a number of locations globally — such as Montana, Arkansas, Japan and Australia — the Benitoite Mining Company in Coalinga, CA, remains the primary source for gem-quality crystals.


In 1985, benitoite became California's official state gemstone.

The Benitoite Mining Company limits the amount of booty that each prospector may take home. Whatever fits in a quart-size bag can be kept. Larger specimens are priced individually. The actual mine is not open to the public due to safety concerns, but material from the mine is delivered to the screening area, where visitors are provided with digging tools. Reservations are required.

Officially, benitoite is a rare blue barium cyclosilicate found embedded in hydrothermally altered serpentinite. Sometimes referred to as the "blue diamond," benitoite ranges in hue from light transparent to dark blue. Medium-dark stones command the highest prices. The gem scores a 6 - 6.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. By comparison, sapphire rates a 9 and diamond rates a 10.

Credits: Images by Didier Descouens, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
March 4th, 2022
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you new music with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, bluegrass star Buddy Melton tells the story of a poor boy who proposes to the love of his life, only to find out she loves another, in his brand new release "A Diamond Took My Place."


The protagonist is so distraught that he's prepared to end it all. His plan is to jump off the highest bridge in town, but at the last moment he sacrifices the ring instead.

In the first verse, songwriter Milan Miller describes a treasure hidden under the rocks at the bottom of the river. But then the song takes an unexpected turn and we learn that the treasure is actually a diamond ring purchased by the forlorn lover with six months of hard-earned pay.

He sings, "No, it ain't a natural wonder / 'Cause I put it there myself / Just to serve as a reminder / Of the emptiness that I felt / So each time I cross that river / I say a word of grace / For it makes my body shiver / That a diamond took my place."

Better known as the co-founder of the bluegrass band Balsam Range, Melton explained to that the release of "A Diamond Took My Place" represents the first in a series of new solo recordings.

"I have been a fan of 'A Diamond Took My Place' since I first heard it several years ago," he said. "I am often lucky enough to hear Milan’s original songs first, and when he sent a demo of this one I knew it was one I wanted to record. It is a clever lyrical song with a fun uptempo groove in a minor key that supports the storyline. I guess you can say it checks a lot of boxes for what I consider to be a great song."

Balsam Range was founded in 2007 in Haywood County, NC. Over the past 15 years, the group has received numerous awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), including multiple trophies for Entertainer of the Year, Vocal Group of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year. On an individual level, Melton was named Male Vocalist of the Year by the IBMA in 2014 and 2018.

Please check out the audio track of "A Diamond Took My Place." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along…

"A Diamond Took My Place"
Written by Milan Miller. Performed by Buddy Melton.

Down by the bend of the river
Under the highest bridge in town
Beneath the rocks and the water
A treasure can be found

Ain't no legend to surround it
No tale of better days
Just a heartache for an old poor boy
And six months of hard-earned pay

No, it ain't a natural wonder
'Cause I put it there myself
Just to serve as a reminder
Of the emptiness that I felt

So each time I cross that river
I say a word of grace
For it makes my body shiver
That a diamond took my place

On that fateful night by the meadow
My whole world fell apart
Said she couldn't take the ring that I bought her
For someone had stole her heart

So there I stood on the bridge in my misery
And prepared to take my life
Was no need to carry on with tomorrow
If she would not be my wife

No, it ain't a natural wonder
'Cause I put it there myself
Just to serve as a reminder
Of the emptiness that I felt

So each time I cross that river
I say a word of grace
For it makes my body shiver
That a diamond took my place

Credit: Screen capture via
March 7th, 2022
One lucky Milwaukee Bucks fan is going to win a limited-edition Super Fan championship ring hand set with 138 brilliant-cut white diamonds in 10-karat white and yellow gold.


The Super Fan ring, above left, has the same general appearance as the official NBA championship ring, above right, that was awarded to the players and coaches in October of 2021.

That ring, designed by Jason Arasheben, CEO of Jason of Beverly Hills, glistened with more than 400 diamonds and included a push-button system that allowed the players to remove the top of the ring and wear it as a pendant.


Jason of Beverly Hills is also credited with designing the Super Fan ring, which has a limited production of 105 pieces — a number that represents the Bucks' point total in the deciding Game 6 of the championship series against the Phoenix Suns in July of 2021.

The sweepstakes, which is sponsored by Neenah, WI-based Jewelers Mutual Group, is open to Wisconsin residents 18 years of age and older. The Super Fan Championship ring also can be obtained online at the Bucks Pro Shop for $8,995.

The sweepstakes ring includes many of the design elements seen in the team's version. For example, the gold Larry O' Brien Trophy and green Milwaukee Bucks logo are the prominent elements on the face of both rings.

A difference is that the precious metal used for the trophy element of the Super Fan ring is 10-karat yellow gold, while the official team rings used a "signature batch" of 65.3-karat yellow gold, representing the team’s winning percentage during the championship season. The Bucks green logo is rendered in enamel on the Super Fan ring, while the team's version used 4.14 carats of emeralds, representing the 414 Milwaukee area code.


The side elements of each version are also very similar, except the team version features a more elaborate, diamond-embellished design.

The left side of the team's ring includes the popular rallying cry, “Fear the Deer,” as well as the player’s name, uniform number and the team name, “BUCKS.” On the sweepstakes ring, the winner will get his or her name engraved where the player's name would be. Also, the player's number is replaced by the phrase "Cream City" on the sweepstakes version.

(Milwaukee is known as the Cream City because of the distinctive cream-colored bricks that were manufactured locally from nearby clay deposits, starting in the 19th century.)

The right side of the ring carries the phrase “BUCKS IN 6,” which is the number of games it took the champions to beat the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals. Also noted are the win-loss records for the four playoff series, the city name Milwaukee, the year 2021, the Larry O’Brien Trophy, and the score of the deciding game in the championship series, 105-98.

Wisconsin residents can try their luck at the following sweepstakes page… Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. (Central Time) on March 29, 2022. In addition to the ring, the winner and a guest will be the subjects of a 60-minute photoshoot in and around Fiserv Forum, the home of the Bucks.

Credits: Super Fan ring photos via and Championship ring photos courtesy of Jason of Beverly Hills.
March 8th, 2022
Did you know that one of the largest and most famous aquamarines of all time — a 1,298-carat wonder — was gifted to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt by Brazilian President Getúlio Vargas more than 85 years ago? This extraordinary example of March's official birthstone now resides in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, NY.


FDR had just won his second term as president in November of 1936, when he and the First Lady decided to embark on a month-long “Good Neighbor” adventure to South America.


When the cruiser USS Indianapolis landed in Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian president and his wife presented Eleanor Roosevelt with the remarkable stone from Vargas’ own collection. At the time, the bluish-green, rectangular, step-cut gem was the world’s largest cut aquamarine. It measured 9.5cm wide x 5.7cm deep x 2.9cm high (3 3/4 in x 2 1/4 in x 1 1/8 in).

Mined in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, the gem was cut from a rough stone that weighed 6,500 carats (2.86 pounds). The rough stone had been shipped to Amsterdam, where cutter Gustav Reitbauer successfully produced two world-class gems — the one given to the First Lady, and a second, at 865 carats, that was sold to Jagatjit Singh, the Maharaja of Kapurthala (India).


The First Lady’s gift was presented in an Art Deco wood veneer box, which was custom made by jeweler Casa Oscar Machado. Even today, the gem remains in its original presentation box, which is lined with white satin and velvet.

Like many famous gemstones, Eleanor Roosevelt’s aquamarine was the subject of intrigue and controversy. In 1947, two years after FDR’s death, syndicated columnist and radio personality Drew Pearson accused the former First Lady of trying to sell the aquamarine. Apparently, the columnist had been tipped off that she had attempted to discover the gem’s value. The controversy went away quietly after she donated the gem to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library.


She gave the aquamarine a shout-out in her 1949 autobiography This I Remember: “I think it does interest people and perhaps does serve a good purpose by symbolizing the kindness and generosity of Brazilian feeling toward our country.”

The former First Lady passed away in 1962 at the age of 78.

Aquamarine is the sea-blue variety of the mineral beryl, whose family members include emerald (intense green) and morganite (pink to orange-pink). Aquamarines can range in color from light blue to pure blue to shades of greenish-blue. The variations in blue color are dependent on trace amounts of iron in the gemstone’s chemical composition.

Aquamarines are mined in many countries, including Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Pakistan, Mozambique and the U.S., but most of the finest-quality gemstones still come from Brazil.

Credits: All images courtesy of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library Digital Archives [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
March 10th, 2022
If you missed last month's chance to pop the question on the most romantic day of the year, Valentine's Day, or on the once-in-a-lifetime true Twosday (2/22/22), there's another fine date around the corner — Sunday, March 20. Not only is that the first day of spring, it's also National Proposal Day.


Conceived by John Michael O’Loughlin decades ago as the perfect time for procrastinating lovers to finally ask for their partners’ hand in marriage, National Proposal Day has slowly become an accepted part of our holiday lexicon.

O’Loughlin picked the vernal equinox (first day of spring) as the ideal day for couples to make the ultimate commitment to each other because it’s the special time of the year when day and night are equal lengths worldwide. O’Loughlin reasoned that this symbolizes “the equal efforts of the two required to comprise the successful marriage.”

The romantic O’Loughlin created National Proposal Day after watching his cousin wait years for a proposal that never came. He felt that a special day earmarked for proposals would put a fire under some partners who have waited a bit too long to pop the question.

O’Loughlin promoted National Proposal Day as a worldwide event and encouraged romantic couples to connect with like-minded friends via social media using the hashtag, “proposalday.” O’Loughlin, who registered the name Proposal Day!®, clarified that March 20 doesn’t have to end with a proposal. It can be used, instead, to spark a conversation about a future proposal.

According to O’Loughlin, by opening the door on a delicate subject and generating an opportunity for an honest discussion about their future together, couples could use the holiday to discuss the path ahead.

If you’re wondering if the autumnal equinox — another perfectly balanced day — would carry the same symbolism as the spring version, your hunch is right. There is a second National Proposal Day on the first day of fall, Thursday, September 22.

According to WeddingWire, about 40% of all proposals take place between Thanksgiving Day and Valentine’s Day. For years, Christmas Day was the most popular day to get engaged, followed by a wintry mix of favorites that included Christmas Eve, Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve. More recently, Valentine's Day moved into the #1 position.

True Twosday (2/22/22) was deemed a "true" Twosday because it fell on a Tuesday.

Credit: Image by
March 11th, 2022
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you new tunes with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today, country star Easton Corbin's brand new release tells the story of a young man who believes in love at first sight. While his mom and his best friend urge the lovestruck romantic to "take it slow," Corbin's character is already making plans to visit his favorite jeweler. He knows from the get-go that he's gonna "Marry That Girl."


The song's catchy bridge goes like this, "I'll pick the perfect ring / I'll pick the perfect time / Ask her if she'll have me for the rest of my life."

Corbin, who dropped the new single on March 3, told People magazine how the song came to be during a writing session with collaborators Shane Minor, Wade Kirby and Adam Craig.

"The day we wrote 'Marry That Girl,' Adam had been telling us about how he knew he was going 'marry that girl' from the minute he met his [current] wife, and as soon as he said those words, we knew what our hook was for the day and went with it."

The song describes a chance meeting, a whirlwind romance and an overwhelming belief that a higher power brought the couple together.

"Marry That Girl" earned high praise on Corbin's YouTube channel.

User Chris Godfrey wrote, "This is such a great song by Easton. If radio gets behind this and with any luck, it should be a number 1 song by the wedding season in 2023."

Born Dan Easton Corbin in Trenton, FL, in 1982, the singer-songwriter was inspired as a child by the music of Merle Haggard, Hank Williams and the cast of Hee Haw. He started taking guitar lessons at the age of 14.

“My earliest memories are of me as a kid with a guitar, singing and playing along with the radio,” Corbin noted on his website. “I knew from an early age I wanted to be a country singer.”

On January 25 of this year, Corbin signed a new deal with Stone Country Records. He is currently working on a new album that is scheduled to drop later this year.

During his 17-year career, Corbin has sold 5 million singles and 500,000 albums.

Please check out the audio clip of Corbin performing "Marry That Girl." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along…

"Marry That Girl"
Written by Easton Corbin, Shane Minor, Wade Kirby and Adam Craig. Performed by Easton Corbin.

The first time that I met her
She was pouring shots of rum
Told me that her cousin just turned 21

She took my hand and said we're dancing
When they played her favorite song
We didn't stop till everybody else was gone

I'm gonna change her name but she don't know it yet
She's what I've been praying someday God would send
I ain't never been the same since we first met
I'm gonna marry that girl, I'm gonna marry that girl

My best friend's tired of hearing
Me talk about her smile
He says you've only known her for a little while

My momma keeps on saying
I better take it slow
I just say "I will," but I already know

I'm gonna change her name but she don't know it yet
She's what I've been praying someday God would send
I ain't never been the same since we first met
I'm gonna marry that girl, I'm gonna marry that girl

I'll pick the perfect ring
I'll pick the perfect time
Ask her if she'll have me for the rest of my life

I'm gonna change her name but she don't know it yet
She's what I've been praying someday God would send
I ain't never been the same since we first met
I'm gonna marry that girl, I'm gonna marry that girl

Gonna change her name
Gonna buy that ring
I'm gonna marry that girl
I'm gonna marry that girl

Credit: Photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Freeman, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.
March 14th, 2022
Hidden Valley celebrated National Ranch Day — March 10 — by unveiling a 2.01-carat round brilliant-cut diamond cooked up in a lab using Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning.


To pull off this feat, the popular condiment company employed the expertise of geologist Dean VandenBiesen, who is also the Vice President of LifeGem, a company known for creating memorial diamonds from the ashes of loved ones.

In this project, VandenBiesen heated the powdered seasoning to a scorching 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit and then applied 400 tons of pressure.


After five months, VandenBiesen had grown a rough diamond large enough to be cut into a 2-carat round known now as "The Ranch Diamond." Typically, more than half of the weight of a rough diamond will be lost in the cutting process, so we estimate that the pre-cut material weighed approximately 4 to 5 carats.

Diamonds are formed in nature when graphite, the crystalline form of pure carbon, is put under intense heat and pressure. Duplicating this process in a labor requires a material with a high carbon content, such as cremation ashes. Ranch dressing is made primarily from buttermilk, and it turns out that the chemical signatures of both butter and milk are high in carbon. By heating the seasoning to such a high temperature, the geologist was able to derive the graphite for his diamond press.


Set in a white-gold band engraved with the initials HVR LVR (short for “Hidden Valley Ranch Lover”), the G-color, VVS1-clarity diamond is currently up for bid on ( redirects there) with the proceeds going to the hunger-relief nonprofit Feeding America.

Bidding started on Friday morning at $310. As of Sunday night, 78 bids had pushed the price to $12,450. Bidding closes on March 17. Every dollar raised will help provide at least 10 meals.

"Last year, when one of our custom Valentine's Day bottles was used in a marriage proposal, we were inspired," said Deb Crandall, Marketing Director at Hidden Valley Ranch. "We saw a love of ranch become part of one of life's most beautiful moments. It made us wonder, how can we make this act of love even more memorable?"


Back in 2018, Hidden Valley's marketing department honored the nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle — and National Ranch Day — with a bejeweled bottle of salad dressing valued at $35,000.

White diamonds punctuated the crown-shaped cap, while green and blue sapphires adorned the bottle’s neck. Thin ribbons of blue sapphires hugged the contours of the bottle on four sides, while a thicker ribbon of blue sapphires wrapped around the bottom. All of the gems were set in 18-karat white gold.

The blue bottle accents were a nod to the British Royal Family. The late Princess Diana famously wore a blue sapphire engagement ring that was eventually passed down to her eldest son, Prince William.

Credits: Photos courtesy of Hidden Valley.
March 15th, 2022
In February of 2021, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray donated his high-profile Snickers “Hungriest Player of the Year” necklace to the Arizona Foundation for the Future of Nursing. On Saturday, the necklace valued at $60,000+ yielded a mere $24,000 at Lelands' "Winter Classic 2022" auction.


According to the Lelands website, the unique piece of football memorabilia was a late addition to the month-long online auction (Lot 1196 out of 1201 items) and attracted just a single bidder. From what we can tell, the private bidder got a great deal.


Designed by celebrity jeweler Ben Baller, the pendant features the Snickers "S" logo and the word "Hungry" rendered with a mix of more than 2,300 gemstones, including diamonds (12.83 carats), rubies (8.05 carats) and blue sapphires (10.10 carats). The round, brilliant-cut diamonds average VS2 in clarity and H in color.

The pendant hangs from a 28-inch-long, 15mm wide, 10-karat, yellow-gold, Cuban-link chain that weighs 402 grams (nearly a pound).

Each week during the NFL season, Snickers presented the blinged-out pendant to the league’s “Hungriest Player.” The chain was passed from one top performer to the next, based on their successes both on and off the gridiron.

Murray earned the right to wear the necklace after his momentous 43-yard Hail Mary throw to DeAndre Hopkins to lead the Cardinals to victory over the Bills in Week 10 of the season. With only 11 seconds left to play and down 30-26, Murray had just enough time to make some magic. That pass has become known as "The Hail Murray."

At the end of the season, Snickers invited fans to weigh in on which of the weekly honorees was the hungriest. As the winner of the second annual Snickers “Hungriest Player of the Year” in 2020, Murray was gifted the chain in 2021 and then encouraged to donate it so the proceeds could benefit frontline healthcare workers in Arizona.


Baller had designed the original, simpler, version of the "Hungriest Player" necklace in 2019.

“When Snickers hit me up about collaborating on a chain to honor the hungriest players in the NFL, I was immediately all in,” Baller said in 2019. “The idea of passing this Snickers chain to a different player each week is just crazy, so I knew we’d have to come up with something next level to make sure it served as the ultimate reward for hustle and success.”

Established in 1930, Snickers continues to thrive with annual worldwide sales of more than $2 billion. The brand got a boost in 2012 with its wildly popular “You’re not you when you’re hungry” ad campaign.

Credits: Kyler Murray image via Jewelry images courtesy of Snickers.
March 16th, 2022
In an uncanny stroke of good fortune, a Panama City, FL, resident was reunited with her lost engagement diamond, thanks to the honesty of a Good Samaritan at a women's apparel store and a vacuum cleaner that happened to get clogged at the most opportune time.


A few weeks ago, Haley Breitenbach was enjoying an average day in and around Panama City Beach. She attended a baseball game with her daughter, did a little shopping at Pier Park, picked up some essentials at Target and then zoomed back home to fix dinner, finish the laundry and pack a suitcase for an upcoming trip.


When her engagement ring got snagged on a blanket, she realized something was terribly wrong. The diamond center stone that she had worn for 20 years was gone. She and her husband, Charlie, searched the house in vain.

“I felt somewhat bare or incomplete even though it’s a possession," Breitenbach told NBC-TV Panama City affiliate WJHG. "It kind of feels weird to say that, but when it’s a part of you, then you just feel naked without it.”


“Her reaction was enough for both of us,” Charlie said.

Armed with a mental map of where his wife had been on the day she lost her diamond, Charlie spent the next day retracing her steps, talking to proprietors and leaving his business card at every stop. It was like finding a needle in a haystack, but Charlie knew it was the right thing to do.

“Not a lot of hope we would find it, but I knew what I needed to do for her and it was the least I could do for her,” he told WJHG.

A week later, Haley got a call from a Good Samaritan who worked at Versona, a women's apparel shop in Pier Park. The chain has more than 100 locations throughout the US.

The worker had been tidying up the store when the vacuum cleaner went on the blink. When she took the vacuum apart to remove the obstruction, the diamond popped out with it.

Haley called the Good Samaritan "the sweetest little thing ever."

"Her honesty and her kindness… there aren’t enough words to express our happiness or gratitude to her,” Haley said.

A news crew from WJHG followed Haley and her husband back to Pier Park, where they delivered flowers and a personal note to Emma, the Good Samaritan at Versona.

In a footnote to the story, a WJHG news anchor said that Haley had dropped off the diamond and ring at her local jeweler so the gem could be reset. Haley can't wait to have it back on her finger where it belongs.

Credits: Screen captures via
March 17th, 2022
Take a look at the surface of Mercury and you'll probably agree that this planet could use a round or two of dermabrasion. With no significant atmosphere to deflect asteroids and comets, the diminutive planet closest to the sun is completely pocked with craters and imperfections.


On the bright side, however, any one of those blemishes could mark an infinite bounty of "shock diamonds," according to Kevin Cannon, a geologist at the Colorado School of Mines, who presented his latest findings at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Houston last week.

Mercury's composition is high carbon (in the form of graphite), so when high-speed foreign objects smash into the surface, the perfect recipe of heat, pressure and carbon results in a diamond byproduct.

“The pressure wave from asteroids or comets striking the surface at tens of kilometers per second could transform that graphite into diamonds,” Cannon noted. “You could have a significant amount of diamonds near the surface.”

According to, Cannon modeled what was likely to happen to Mercury's crust after being pummeled for billions of year. The geologist theorized that the graphite on the surface of Mercury could be more than 300 feet thick and that the impact pressure from asteroids would have produced enough energy to transform 30% to 60% of that material into "shock diamonds."

If Cannon's math is correct, there could be 16 quadrillion tons of diamonds on the surface of Mercury.

Sadly, it would also be nearly impossible to mine them because Mercury is an inhospitable place. Daytime temps can reach 800 degrees Fahrenheit, while nighttime temps can drop to -290 Fahrenheit.

What's more, the shock diamonds are likely to be very small, widely scattered and of poor quality.

“You’ll end up with a messy mixture of graphite, diamond, and maybe some other phases, as well, so you won’t have nice, beautiful crystals that you could polish up and put on a ring,” Cannon told

We will learn much more about Mercury when the BepiColombo mission launched in 2018 finally arrives at that planet in 2025. A joint effort of the European and Japanese space agencies, BepiColombo is equipped with high-resolution cameras that could end the speculation of whether or not diamonds are littered on the surface.

Mercury fun facts:
-- Mercury is just a little bigger than Earth’s moon.
-- It is the closest planet to the sun, but it’s actually not the hottest. Venus is hotter.
-- It takes 59 Earth days for Mercury to make one full rotation.
-- Mercury completes one revolution around the sun in just 88 Earth days.

Credit: Image by NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington.
March 18th, 2022
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you wonderful tunes with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today's magic carpet ride down Memory Lane finds Peggy Lee singing “Baubles, Bangles & Beads” — a widely covered tune from 1954’s Tony Award-winning production of Kismet.


The Broadway success of “Baubles, Bangles & Beads” inspired a number of top singers of the day to prospect for Kismet gold — as in gold records. Four artists, including chart-toppers Peggy Lee and Frank Sinatra, recorded the song in 1954 alone.

In Lee’s version, she sings about how jingly gifts can sometimes lead to an engagement ring: “Someday he may buy me a ring, ringa-linga / I’ve heard that’s where it leads / Wearin’ baubles, bangles and beads.”

The Sinatra version is slightly different to accommodate the gender difference. He sings, “Someday I may buy her a ring, ringa-linga.”

Lee is credited with the best-selling version of the song, and over the years it has been covered by no fewer than 40 artists. The Who’s Who list includes Liza Minnelli, Julie Andrews, Benny Goodman, Johnny Mathis, Mel Torme, Sara Vaughan and Dionne Warwick.

Set in the year 1071, Kizmet tells the story of how a poor, but clever, street poet named Hajj follows his “kismet” (fate) and rises to become the Emir of Bagdad, while his beautiful daughter Marsinah falls in love with the handsome, young Caliph. In the final scene, Hajj wins the heart of one of the Baghdad’s greatest beauties.

Kismet opened on Broadway in 1953 and won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1954. MGM released a film version in 1955.

Lee had a successful career that spanned six decades. She was a singer, songwriter, composer and actress. She won three Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1999. She died three years later at the age of 81.

Check out the video of Lee’s live performance of “Baubles, Bangles & Beads.” The clip was shot in Sweden in 1964 (the video quality is poor, but the audio is excellent). We've also got the lyrics, below, if you'd like to sing along. Enjoy!

“Baubles, Bangles & Beads”
Written by Robert Wright and George Forrest. Performed by Peggy Lee.

Baubles, bangles, hear how they jing, jinga-linga
Baubles, bangles, bright shiny beads
Sparkles, spangles, my heart will sing, singa-linga
Wearin’ baubles, bangles and beads

I’ll glitter and gleam so
Make somebody dream, so that...

Someday he may buy me a ring, ringa-linga
I’ve heard that’s where it leads
Wearin’ baubles, bangles and beads

Baubles, bangles, hear how they jing, jinga-linga
Baubles, bangles, bright, shiny beads
Sparkles, spangles, my heart will sing, singa-linga
Wearin’ baubles, bangles and beads

I’ll glitter and gleam so
Make somebody dream, so that...

Someday he may, buy me a ring, ringa-linga
I’ve heard that’s where it leads
Wearin’ baubles and bangles and beads

Baubles, bangles, baubles and beads

Credit: Peggy Lee photo by General Artists Corporation (management), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.
March 21st, 2022
The beautiful, iridescent ammolite is about to become the official gemstone of the Canadian province of Alberta. Found predominantly in southern Alberta, ammolite is uniquely associated with the province’s identity.


Ammolite is formed from the fossilized shells of molluscs, known as ammonites, which lived in an inland sea east of the Rocky Mountains. After sinking to the seabed, the mud that covered ammonites hardened over millions of years to become shale. The shell properties, combined with southern Alberta’s unique geology, transformed many ammonite shells into the ammolite that is mined and used for jewelry today.

The mineral composition of ammolite is similar to that of a pearl, and the iridescent, multicolor presentation is reminiscent of a fine opal.


Although ammonite fossils are present in many places around the world, ammolite has been found only in one place, the Bearpaw geological formation in southern Alberta, making it one of the rarest gemstones, according to the American Gem Trade Association.

Ammolite is one of the few biogenic gemstones, which means it is made by living organisms. Others include amber and pearl. Ammolite was given gemstone status by the World Jewellery Confederation in 1981.

Ammolite’s gem quality is based on its color spectrum and brightness, according to Korite, which is responsible for more than 90% of the world’s ammolite production. The ammolite from shallower layers of sediment is of a lower grade and consists of red and green colors, while the higher-grade gems come from deeper layers and include blue and purple hues.

“Alberta is world renowned for its fossil resources," said Dr. Craig Scott, director of preservation and research for the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology. "The designation of ammolite as Alberta’s official gemstone adds to this reputation, and speaks to the remarkable history of ancient life recorded in the rocks throughout the province.”

Ammonite shells have been collected by Plains First Nations for a thousand years, and are still collected by Blackfoot communities for sacred purposes.

Alberta’s government is introducing an amendment to the Emblems of Alberta Act to designate ammolite as the official gemstone of Alberta. Passing the amendment will recognize ammolite alongside other official emblems, such as the official bird (great horned owl), official mammal (Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep), official fish (bull trout), official tree (Lodgepole Pine) and official stone (petrified wood).

Credits: Photo of ammonite shell with ammolite. © Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology via; Ammolite jewelry photo by Korite International. Licensed under CC By-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
March 22nd, 2022
The world's most advanced diamond recovery vessel, the Benguela Gem, was officially unveiled in Namibia on Friday.


The 580-foot-long, custom-built vessel is capable of extracting 500,000 carats annually from the coastal waters off Namibia — boosting Debmarine Namibia’s annual diamond output by 45% and creating 160 high-skilled jobs for Namibians.

Built at a cost of $420 million, the project is a 50/50 joint venture between De Beers Group and the Government of the Republic of Namibia. The Benguela Gem is the seventh ship in the Debmarine Namibia fleet, which recovers some of the world’s highest quality diamonds.

"The investment in this vessel is not just an investment in a diamond recovery vessel," noted Tom Alweendo, Minister of Mines and Energy for the Republic of Namibia. "It is an investment in the future of Namibia."

The recovery process starts 90 to 150 meters (295 to 492 feet) below sea level. The new ship will comb the ocean floor using advanced drilling technology, supported with tracking, positioning and surveying equipment. Sophisticated X-ray machines and other diamond-sorting devices separate the gems from the gravel, and leftover material is returned to the sea bed. Recovered diamonds are securely sealed in containers, loaded into steel briefcases and flown by helicopter to shore.

The Benguela Gem was designed in Norway and Poland, built in Romania and outfitted with proprietary diamond-sorting equipment by De Beers Marine South Africa. Taking two years to construct, it is the most technically advanced diamond recovery vessel in the world, underpinned by high standards of sustainability and safety performance, noted Debmarine in a press release.

The ship derives its name from the Benguela Current, which flows along the coast of South Africa, Namibia and Angola. The current mixes cool water from the Atlantic Ocean with warm water from the Indian Ocean as they converge off the capes of South Africa.

A state-of-the-art dynamic positioning system automatically optimizes the vessel’s performance in changing weather conditions to minimize energy use. The vessel also generates its own fresh water through the use of heat recovery systems and a reverse osmosis plant. Employee wellbeing is reflected in the vessel’s design. The crew has access to onboard entertainment systems, a gym, a hospital and relaxation facilities.

According to De Beers, 95% of the diamonds pulled from the seabed near Namibia are of gem-quality. This compares to just 20% of gem-quality diamonds coming from De Beers’s top mine in Botswana. Some experts surmise that the diamonds in the ocean have endured such a pounding for so long that only the gem-quality ones could remain intact.

Namibia has more than 3,700 square miles of marine diamond concessions along its southwest coast, which is expected to support the industry for the next 50 years. Debmarine has a license to operate off the coast of the African country until 2035 within a 2,316-square mile area. The diamond sector is the single biggest contributor to Namibia’s economy.

Credit: Image courtesy Debmarine Namibia.
March 23rd, 2022
OWN just premiered Marry Me Now, an unscripted reality series that follows eight Houston women who have run out of patience and refuse to wait any longer for their clueless partners to pop the question.


Each week, love and life coach Rebecca Lynn Pope will guide one woman as she takes the reins in her relationship, secretly constructing all of the elements for a surprise wedding — including selecting the rings — and culminating with a surprise public proposal to her unsuspecting groom-to-be. And it all happens in just three days.


Viewers will follow the mad scramble to secure the ideal wedding dress, select the flowers, break the news to both families and pick the perfect engagement ring and wedding bands. According to OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, some couples will, indeed, experience a fairytale wedding, while others will be utterly disappointed.

Developed by ITV Entertainment — the creative team behind Queer Eye (Netflix), Love Island (CBS), Hell’s Kitchen (FOX), My Mom, Your Dad (HBO Max), The Chase (ABC) and The First 48 (A&E) — the hour-long relationship series promises to be an unscripted rollercoaster ride of emotions.

Whether or not the couples make it down the aisle, these women will finally get the clarity they need to move forward and live happily ever after.

Marry Me Now premiered on Saturday, March 19, at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT, following the OWN network’s big hit, Love & Marriage: Huntsville. The new series will also stream the same day on discovery+.

Check out the Marry Me Now trailer, below...

Credits: Screen captures via / OWN.
March 24th, 2022
Utilizing a patented, transformative technology, The Royal Mint will be able to extract 99% of the precious metals contained within electronic waste – in seconds, at room temperature.


The Canada-based company called Excir is credited with developing the innovative, ethical and sustainable way to separate gold and other precious metals from the circuit boards of discarded laptops, tablets and smart phones.

The Royal Mint will employ the new technology in a first-of-its-kind recovery plant in South Wales. The facility will create a new source of high-quality, sustainably sourced precious metals for The Royal Mint's core products, which include coins and bullion bars.

When fully operational in 2023, The Royal Mint's facility will process up to 90 tons of UK-sourced circuit boards per week – generating hundreds of kilograms of gold per year. Embracing the principles of a circular economy, the plant will be able to process the entire circuit board, helping to reduce the environmental impact of electronic waste and foster new skills and employment in the UK.

Previously, 99% of the UK's circuit boards would be shipped overseas to be processed at high temperatures in smelters.

Commenting of The Royal Mint's initiative, Scott Butler, executive director of Material Focus, told Sky News, "Our research has indicated that if all the unwanted electricals we hoard or throw away every year in the UK were recycled, we'd have enough gold to make over 858,000 rings."

Of the more than 50 million tons of electronic waste that is generated globally each year, less than 20% is currently being recycled. If nothing is done, this number is set to reach 74 million tons by 2030.

“We are transforming our business for the future — expanding into areas which complement our expertise in precious metals, champion sustainability and support employment," said Anne Jessopp, Chief Executive of The Royal Mint. "Our investment in a new plant will see The Royal Mint become a leader in sustainably sourced precious metals and provide the UK with a much-needed domestic solution to the growing problem of electronic waste.”

Credit: Image courtesy of The Royal Mint.
March 25th, 2022
Welcome once again to Music Friday when we bring you fabulous songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. In the 1978 classic, “Hollywood Nights,” Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bob Seger tells the story of an unsophisticated Midwestern boy who moves to the West Coast and falls for a bejeweled beauty.


Seger sings, “And those Hollywood nights / In those Hollywood Hills / She was looking so right / In her diamonds and frills.”

In the end, the girl who had “been born with a face that would let her get her way” abandons our hero, leaving him brokenhearted and unsure whether he should pack up and return home.

Seger told the Detroit Free Press in 1994 that he was inspired to write the song while living 2 1/2 months in a rented house in the Hollywood Hills.

“I was driving around in the Hollywood Hills, and I started singing ‘Hollywood nights / Hollywood Hills / Above all the lights / Hollywood nights.’ I went back to my rented house, and there was a Time magazine with [model] Cheryl Tiegs on the cover. I said, ‘Let’s write a song about a guy from the Midwest who runs into someone like this and gets caught up in the whole bizarro thing.'”

Seger noted that the power behind “Hollywood Nights” comes from the use of two distinctively different drum sets playing different patterns and then dubbed over one another. Drummer David Teegarden played one pattern for the initial session, and then recorded a second pattern using a different snare, kick-drum, hi-hat, etc.

“Hollywood Nights” was released as the second single from Seger’s album, Stranger in Town. It reached #12 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and became an instant favorite among concert-goers.

Born in Detroit in 1945, the multi-talented Robert Clark “Bob” Seger is a singer-songwriter, guitarist and pianist. Among his many hits are “Night Moves,” “Turn the Page,” “Still the Same,” “We’ve Got Tonight” and “Against the Wind.” He’s also credited with co-writing the Eagles’ chart-topper, “Heartache Tonight.”

In all, Seger has sold more than 75 million albums. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012.

In the video, below, Seger is joined by country star Jason Aldean in a live performance of “Hollywood Nights.” The lyrics are also here if you’d like to sing along…

“Hollywood Nights”
Written by Bob Seger. Performed by Bob Seger and Jason Aldean.

She stood there bright as the sun
On that California coast
He was a Midwestern boy on his own
She looked at him with those soft eyes
So innocent and blue
He knew right then he was too far from home
He was too far from home

She took his hand and she led him along that golden beach
They watched the waves tumble over the sand
They drove for miles and miles
Up those twisting turning roads
Higher and higher and higher they climbed

And those Hollywood nights
In those Hollywood hills
She was looking so right
In her diamonds and frills
Oh those big city nights
In those high rolling hills
Above all the lights
She had all of her skills

He’d headed west cause he felt that a change would do him good
See some old friends, good for the soul
She had been born with a face
That would let her get her way
He saw that face and he lost all control
He had lost all control

Night after night
Day after day
It went on and on
Then came that morning he woke up alone
He spent all night staring down at the lights on LA
Wondering if he could ever go home

And those Hollywood nights
In those Hollywood hills
She was looking so right
It was giving him chills
In those big city nights
In those high rolling hills
Above all the lights
With a passion that kills

In those Hollywood nights
In those Hollywood hills
She was looking so right
In her diamonds and frills
Oh those big city nights
In those high rolling hills
Above all the lights
She had all of her skills

Credit: Photo by Adam Freese - Mitchell, SD, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
March 28th, 2022
Billed as the largest white diamond ever to appear for sale at auction, "The Rock" will be the top lot at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva on May 11. The 228.31-carat, pear-shaped gem — which was unveiled to the press at Christie's Dubai on Friday — carries a pre-auction estimate of $20 million to $30 million.


“The Rock will join the very best of legendary gemstones which have passed through Christie’s global salerooms since 1766," commented Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s International Head of Jewelry. "The market for diamonds is particularly vibrant and we are confident that this sensational gemstone will capture the attention of collectors across the globe this spring season.”


This exceptionally rare gemstone was mined and polished in South Africa more than two decades ago. About the size of an egg, the G-color, VS1-clarity diamond has passed through the hands of only three previous owners, Kadakia told The Robb Report. He also noted that Christie’s has known about The Rock for a long time because the auction house was involved with the first transaction of the stone, which had been sold privately.

The Rock is accompanied by a letter from the Gemological Institute of America stating that it is the largest existing D-to-Z color, pear-shaped diamond ever graded by the laboratory.


The previous auction record holder for the largest white diamond was a 163.41-carat gem, which sold at Christie’s Geneva in November 2017 for $33.7 million. That emerald-cut, D-flawless stunner was set in an emerald-and-diamond necklace designed by de Grisogono.


The extraordinary diamond, which was cut from a 404.20-carat Angola-sourced rough named “4 de Fevereiro,” had been dubbed “the most beautiful diamond in the world.” The necklace attained celebrity status as it toured Hong Kong, London, Dubai and New York before returning to Geneva for the high-profile sale at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues.

The asymmetrical necklace features cascading pear-shaped emeralds on the left side and cool, white emerald-cut diamonds down the right. The company chose to use emeralds in the design because the green color symbolizes good luck.

The Rock can be seen at Christie’s Dubai through March 29. The tour will make stops in Taipei and New York City, before settling in at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues Geneva from May 6 to May 11.

Kadakia told AFP why Dubai was chosen as the first stop of the tour.

“The Middle East has always had such a great appreciation for important jewels and gemstones,” he said. “We thought it would be nice for us to launch the diamond in an area where there are so many great collectors for important gems of this nature.”

Credits: Images courtesy of Christie's.
March 29th, 2022
Celebrity chef Bobby Flay revealed in a recent episode of his Always Hungry podcast on iHeartRadio that excited patrons ask him to hide engagement rings in desserts "all the time."


In a playful exchange with his 25-year-old co-host daughter, Sophie, the Beat Bobby Flay cooking star noted how his famous restaurants have served as the venues for life's most romantic moments, including many, many marriage proposals.

"Do you have any idea how many engagement rings I've hidden in desserts in my life?" he asked rhetorically.

While the 56-year-old chef didn't offer an actual number, he did confirm that it "happens all the time."

A typical suitor will seek out Flay's assistance on the day of the proposal. With an engagement ring in hand, the person planning the proposal will say, "I'm getting engaged tonight, can you hide this in the food?"

While Flay is more than happy to oblige these requests, he makes it crystal clear that the surprise has to be handled in the safest way.

"Just don't let her eat it," is his common refrain.

If he's incorporating the engagement ring into a chocolate layer cake, for example, the ring will be placed on top of the slice. It has to be very obvious so there's no chance of it being swallowed by mistake.

Sophie Flay, who is a community reporter for ABC7 Los Angeles, launched the Always Hungry podcast with her dad so they could share their cravings for food and conversation, and the connection they share, according People magazine.

"It's really a conversation about life and being a parent, being a daughter, being friends and being adventurous in the world of food," he told People.

On one side of the table, Bobby Flay represents the culinary sensibilities of New York City’s old school, while on the other side, we have the young California reporter keyed into the latest trends in food, fashion, lifestyle and culture.

According to iHeartRadio, Always Hungry gives listeners a place at the Flay table for those wonderful, spontaneous conversations that only great food and family bonds can inspire.

New episodes of Always Hungry are available each Tuesday on iHeartRadio and other podcast providers.

Credit: Image of Bobby Flay by Brooksbetz, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
March 30th, 2022
Ask Amazon's Alexa to name the rarest gem mineral ever and the know-it-all virtual assistant is likely to answer, "Painite."


Unearthed in Myanmar by British mineralogist and gem dealer Arthur C.D. Pain in the 1950s, the rare borate mineral was originally misidentified as a ruby and then reclassified as a new gem species — named painite, to honor its discoverer — in 1957. Only two more painite crystals would surface over the next 44 years.

After 2001, new discoveries from the areas surrounding the Myanmar city of Mogok resulted in an influx of more than 1,000 orange-red and brownish-red crystals. This one place on Earth remains the only source of painite.

In 2005, the Guinness Book of World Records named painite as the world's rarest gem mineral. Painite has also been called the "Holy Grail" of rare gemstones.

Chemically, painite contains calcium, zirconium, boron, aluminum and oxygen, along with trace amounts of chromium and vanadium, which are responsible for painite's topaz-like colorations. The gem is strongly pleochroic, which means that different hues appear when the stone is viewed from various angles.

Painite's extreme rarity is attributed to the unlikely convergence of zirconium and boron in nature.

Painite boasts great brilliance, attractive colors and an impressive hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale (on par with topaz or spinel). On the other hand, painite is somewhat compromised by its tendency to display natural feather-like inclusions and fractures, rendering it difficult to facet. To minimize loss and damage, cutters generally favor small sizes and shallow faceting.

The best painite crystals are said to fetch up to $60,000 per carat.

Painite is often mistaken for ruby, spinel, almandine, garnet and tourmaline. What was thought to be a brown tourmaline in the Natural History Museum in London turned out to be a painite.

Credits: Images by Rob Lavinsky, – CC-BY-SA-3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
March 31st, 2022
More than 50 gems dealers from Colombia, India, New York, Israel and Bangkok will be participating in the second-ever rough Colombian emerald auction sponsored by Fura Gems, the primary owner of the famous Coscuez emerald mine in Colombia. Crystals from the mine are noted for their large sizes, intense color and immaculate clarity.


Among the treasures that will be offered for sale in the United Arab Emirates from April 3 to 10 are two rare and exceptional emeralds weighing 81.2 carats and 83.8 carats, respectively. In all, more than 210,000 carats of uncut emeralds in high, medium and commercial qualities will be on display.

Back in 2018, the Toronto-based Fura Gems announced that it had acquired a 76% stake in Coscuez, a mine that had been in operation for more than 400 years. Up until Fura's involvement, activities at the mine had been carried out on a very traditional, small-scale basis. Fura’s automated mining operation allowed for the processing of 30 tons of material per hour.


In October 2020, Fura received a 30-year extension for its mining license in Coscuez, and in December 2021 it received the environmental approvals to upgrade the mining operations from mid to large scale. Fura projects that, by 2023, it will become the world's largest supplier of rough Colombian emeralds. The mining company claims that it is the only provider of rough Colombian emeralds in an organized platform.


In a first-ever for Colombian emeralds, Fura will guarantee the complete traceability and transparency of its entire auction lot of emerald roughs by utilizing the Gübelin Gem Lab’s Provenance Proof blockchain system. For these top-quality natural masterpieces, Gübelin’s Emerald Paternity Test certifies the mine of origin. Fura also noted that the emeralds being offered are, without exception, ethically and sustainably mined.

At the April auction, Fura will also introduce a first-of-its-kind grading system for rough Colombian emeralds. This grading system will allow buyers to select calibrated parcels and even single pieces with similar color and clarity.

Credits: Images courtesy of FURA Gems.