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Articles in August 2022

August 3rd, 2022
Remember the name "Lulo Rose" because this 170-carat rough pink diamond has the potential to become one of the most celebrated gemstones of all time.


Discovered by Lucapa Diamond Company at its Lulo alluvial diamond mine in Angola, the Type IIa, chemically pure specimen is believed to be the largest pink diamond discovered anywhere in the world during the past 300 years. Only the 182-carat Daria-i-Noor, unearthed in India during the 17th century, weighs more.

At this juncture, there's no telling exactly what type of finished stone will emerge at the cutting wheel but, historically, rough diamonds will lose about 40% to 60% of their original carat weight during the cutting and polishing process. If that turns out to be true, the finished pink diamond could weigh upwards of 70 carats and establish a new the record for the highest price ever paid for a pink diamond, or any gemstone for that matter.

In 2017, Hong Kong-based jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group paid a record $71 million for the 59.6-carat Pink Star. The stone was later renamed the CTF Pink Star and remains the priciest gem of all time.

The Lulo Rose is unique because it is an alluvial diamond — a diamond eroded over eons from its primary source and discovered in a secondary location. Since the discovery of alluvial diamonds at Lulo in 2015, geologists have continued to seek the kimberlite pipes that would have been the primary source of these spectacular stones.

The Lulo Rose will be sold via international tender in what's expected to be a closely followed event conducted by Sodiam E.P, the Angolan State Diamond Marketing Company.

“This record and spectacular pink diamond recovered from Lulo continues to showcase Angola as an important player on the world stage for diamond mining and demonstrates the potential and rewards for commitment and investment in our growing diamond mining industry,” said Diamantino Azevedo, Angola’s Minister of Mineral Resources, Petroleum and Gas.

According to Lucapa, the historical pink diamond is the fifth largest diamond discovered at Lulo. It's also the 27th 100-plus-carat diamond recovered at the site.

The largest diamond ever recovered in Angola was souped at the Lulo mine. In February of 2016, Lucapa unearthed the 404.20-carat rough named “4 de Fevereiro.” That gem was eventually cut into a 163.41-carat emerald-cut diamond that was sold for $33.7 million at Christie's Geneva in 2017.

Credit: Image courtesy of Lucapa Diamond Co.
August 4th, 2022
Did you know that olivine, the non-precious variety of August's birthstone — peridot — could play a key role in the global effort to reverse the effects of climate change?


According to scientists at the Project Vesta, olivine's chemical makeup is perfectly suited to counter ocean acidification and permanently remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

They've calculated that a billion tons of olivine sand distributed over 28,000 miles of coastline annually will result in the capture of 1 gigaton of CO2. The wave action of beaches on crushed olivine allows for more rapid weathering than other natural deposits of olivine.

Peridotwarming 2

"Olivine absorbs carbon dioxide through a chemical reaction similar to the rusting of iron metals," explained The Daily Beast, "except that instead of iron + water + oxygen = rust, the reaction goes olivine + carbon dioxide + water = silicate + calcium carbonate + magnesium ions."

Olivine is nature's air purifier, sucking carbon dioxide out of the sky and ocean and locking it up in harmless products that can form things like coral reefs, noted The Daily Beast.

“If we spread olivine over 2% of the world’s shelf sea, then that will be enough to capture 100% of human emissions,” Tom Green, executive director of Project Vesta, told

The scientists at the Vesta Project emphasized that olivine is globally abundant and accessible. It makes up more than 50% of the Earth's upper mantle and more than a trillion tons can be collected easily.

At full scale, they claim, the distribution of olivine will cost less than 10% of the price of other carbon capture technologies.


If, and when, the Vesta Project gets off the ground, beaches around the globe will start looking a lot like Hawaii’s Mahana Beach.

Today, that's the most popular of only four “green” beaches in the world. The others are Talofofo Beach on Guam, Punta Cormorant on Floreana Island in the Galapagos Islands and Hornindalsvatnet in Norway.

These beaches owe their astounding color to olivine crystals eroded from the belly of ancient volcanoes and delivered to the shore by ocean waves.

Hawaiians 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 addition to being the official birthstone of August, peridot is also the 16th anniversary gemstone. Colors range from pure green to yellowish-green to greenish-yellow, but the finest hue is green without any hint of yellow or brown, according to the Gemological Institute of America.

Peridot is currently sourced in Burma, the US, Norway, Brazil, China, Australia and Pakistan. The world’s largest faceted peridot weighs 310 carats and is part of the Smithsonian’s National Gem and Mineral Collection.

Credit: Peridot photo by Chip Clark / Smithsonian. Beach image by Wasif Malik, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Closeup of beach sand by Tom Trower, NASA Ames Research Center, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.
August 5th, 2022
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fabulous songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, rock legend Paul Simon tells the story of an unlikely romance between a poor boy and a rich girl in New York City. Simon says the boy is as "empty as a pocket" and she's got "diamonds on the soles of her shoes."


The meaning behind the gem-embellished footwear has been hotly debated since Simon first performed "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes" on Saturday Night Live in 1986. Do the diamonds simply symbolize conspicuous consumption or is there something much deeper that the singer-songwriter wanted to convey?

Simon sings, "People say she’s crazy / She’s got diamonds on the soles of her shoes / Well, that’s one way to lose these / Walking blues / Diamonds on the soles of her shoes."

Some critics see the girl in Simon's story as an unlikeable character who is so rich she can afford to set diamonds into the bottoms of her shoes. Others believe she is metaphorically hiding her wealth.

But, perhaps Simon has created an enchanting character who sees the best in everything. One contributor to compared wearing diamonds on the soles of one's shoes to looking at the world through rose-colored glasses.

"Everywhere you go, your interaction is done through the diamonds on your shoes," he wrote, "and diamonds as a symbol of wealth, happiness and love mean you are interacting with your world through a constant 'happy' filter, you have a skip to your step, you are happy."

The same writer believes the poor boy may have not been poor in the literal sense of the word. He wears ordinary shoes, which may mean he's just poor in spirit.

After a night of dancing, the couple falls asleep in a doorway on Upper Broadway in Manhattan. At that point, the lyrics change. They're now wearing diamonds on the soles of "their" shoes. The poor boy has finally discovered love and true happiness.

"Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes," which features guest vocals by a South African group called Ladysmith Black Mambazo, was released as the fifth track on Simon's wildly successful Graceland album. Frequently cited as one of the best albums of all time, Graceland sold more than 14 million copies and won the 1987 Grammy for Album of the Year.

Born in Newark, NJ, and raised in Queens, NY, the 80-year-old Simon is one of the world's most accomplished singer/songwriters. He’s won 12 Grammy Awards and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice (once as a solo artist and the other time as half of Simon & Garfunkel). He also was named by Time Magazine as one of the “100 People Who Shaped the World.”

Trivia: The brainy Simon attended Brooklyn Law School for one semester in 1963.

Please check out the video of Simon's live performance of "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes" at The African Concert in 1987. The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along…

"Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes"
Written by Paul Simon and Joseph Shabalala. Performed by Paul Simon with Ladysmith Black Mambazo singing group.

(a-wa) O kod wa u zo-nge li-sa namhlange
(a-wa a-wa) Si-bona kwenze ka kanjani
(a-wa a-wa) Amanto mbazane ayeza

She’s a rich girl
She don’t try to hide it
Diamonds on the soles of her shoes

He’s a poor boy
Empty as a pocket
Empty as a pocket with nothing to lose
Sing, Ta na na
Ta na na na
She got diamonds on the soles of her shoes
Ta na na
Ta na na na
She got diamonds on the soles of her shoes
Diamonds on the soles of her shoes
Diamonds on the soles of her shoes
Diamonds on the soles of her shoes
Diamonds on the soles of her shoes
People say she’s crazy
She’s got diamonds on the soles of her shoes
Well, that’s one way to lose these
Walking blues
Diamonds on the soles of her shoes

She was physically forgotten
Then she slipped into my pocket
With my car keys
She said, “You’ve taken me for granted
Because I please you
Wearing these diamonds”

And I could say, Oo oo oo
As if everybody knows
What I’m talking about
As if everybody here would know
What I was talking about
Talking about diamonds on the soles of her shoes

She makes the sign of a teaspoon
He makes the sign of a wave
The poor boy changes clothes
And puts on aftershave
To compensate for his ordinary shoes

And she said, “Honey take me dancing”
But they ended up by sleeping
In a doorway
By the bodegas and the lights on
Upper Broadway
Wearing diamonds on the soles of their shoes

And I could say Oo oo oo
And everybody here would know
What I was talking about
I mean, everybody here would know exactly
What I was talking about
Talking about diamonds

People say I’m crazy
I got diamonds on the soles of my shoes
Well, that’s one way to lose
These walking blues
Diamonds on the soles of your shoes

Credit: Photo by Matthew Straubmuller (imatty35), CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
August 8th, 2022
Legend has it that in the year 41 BC Cleopatra gulped down a pearl-infused cocktail to demonstrate to her lover — the Roman leader Marc Antony — her immense wealth and power.


Roman naturalist and philosopher Pliny the Elder (23 - 79 AD) offered a detailed account of the event in his book, Natural History. It's been called one of the most celebrated banquets in literature and here's how it went down.

Pliny the Elder wrote, "There were formerly two pearls, the largest that had been ever seen in the whole world: Cleopatra, the last of the queens of Egypt, was in possession of them both, they having come to her by descent from the kings of the East."

The 28-year-old Cleopatra (69 - 30 BC) was Egypt's hostess with the mostest, and with Antony (83 – 30 BC) as her guest, she spared no expense to impress him. The meals she presented were so extravagant that the Roman politician and general wondered out loud if it was even possible to make the banquets more magnificent.

Cleopatra responded that she could spend 10 million sesterces on a single dinner. (Scholars believe the equivalent value in today's dollars might be $25 million or more).

Pliny the Elder explained, "Antony was extremely desirous to learn how that could be done, but looked upon it as a thing quite impossible; and a wager was the result."

On the following day, Cleopatra — her face set alight by her priceless pearl earrings — hosted another spectacular banquet, but it was no better than what Antony had experienced before.

When the second course was served, Antony curiously looked on as a single vessel filled with vinegar was placed before the queen.

According to Plany the Elder, the liquid possessed the sharpness and strength to dissolve pearls.


"At this moment she was wearing in her ears those choicest and most rare and unique productions of Nature," he wrote, "and while Antony was waiting to see what she was going to do, taking one of them from out of her ear, she threw it into the vinegar, and directly it was melted, swallowed it."

Lucius Plancus, who had been named umpire in the wager, placed his hand upon the other pearl at the very instant Cleopatra was making preparations to dissolve it in a similar manner, and declared that Antony had lost the bet.

Pliny the Elder's accounting of this story has sparked the imagination of scientists and gemologists, who wondered if melting a pearl in vinegar is really a thing.

Youtubers have tried to duplicate the feat, and scholars have written about it in professional journals. The bottom line is that, yes, pearls can be dissolved in vinegar but, no, they don't dissolve instantly, as Pliny described.

Pearls consist of calcium carbonate. Vinegar is acetic acid. When combined, there is a chemical reaction that initiates the breakdown of the pearl into calcium acetate, water and carbon dioxide.

In the Youtube experiments, pearls can be seen losing their form and turning into a gel-like substance within a few days of vinegar submersion.

Tip: In addition to vinegar, pearls shouldn't be exposed to chlorine bleach, hydrogen peroxide, ammonia, hairspray, perfume, cosmetics or any harsh chemicals.

It is plausible that Cleopatra crushed the pearl before immersing it in vinegar and swallowing it down. Many recent accounts of the Cleopatra-Antony banquet wager attempt to correct Pliny the Elder's apparent scientific inaccuracies by describing the pearl as crushed or pulverized.

Credit: Painting by Andrea Casali (1705-1784). Andrea Casali, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.
August 9th, 2022
Spotlighting treasures recovered from the shipwrecked 17th century Spanish galleon the Nuestra Señora de las Maravillas, Allen Exploration’s Bahamas Maritime Museum in Freeport, Grand Bahama, opened its doors to the public for the first time on Monday.


The museum tells the story of The Bahamas’ rich maritime legacy, from the history of Lucayan free-divers and the horrors of the slave trade to the magnificent treasures hidden in the bellies of Spanish fleets and the pirates that lurked nearby.

Often called "The Bahamas’ Sunken Crown Jewel," the Nuestra Señora de las Maravillas (Our Lady of Wonders) was lost off the northern islands on January 4, 1656.


The 891-ton Maravillas was the vice-flagship of the Tierra Firme (mainland) fleet, homeward-bound to Spain from Havana, Cuba, and loaded with royal and private consignments. Also on board was the recovered bounty of a Spanish ship that had wrecked off the coast of Ecuador 18 months earlier.

According to, the Maravillas lost its bearings near midnight and was rammed by its flagship. Thirty minutes later, it violently collided with a reef and sank like a stone, weighed down by its double cargo. Of the 650 crewmen, only 45 survived.

Allen Exploration is currently exploring a debris trail left behind by the Maravillas and uncovering remarkable finds. The wreck is scattered across an area of at least 18 by 8 kilometers.


Alongside Spanish olive jars, Chinese porcelain, iron rigging, and gold and silver coins, the team has discovered fantastic gemstones and jewelry, including rough emeralds and amethysts, and a pendant featuring a gold Cross of St. James atop a large green oval Colombian emerald. The outer edge is framed by 12 more square emeralds, perhaps symbolizing the 12 apostles.

“When we brought up the oval emerald and gold pendant, my breath caught in my throat,” said Carl Allen, entrepreneur, explorer, philanthropist and the founder of Allen Exploration. “The pendant mesmerizes me when I hold it and think about its history. How these tiny pendants survived in these harsh waters, and how we managed to find them, is the miracle of the Maravillas.”


Allen explained how the Maravillas has had a tough history. It was heavily salvaged by Spanish, English, French, Dutch, Bahamian and American expeditions in the 17th and 18th centuries, and blitzed by salvors from the 1970s to early 1990s.

“Some say the remains were ground to dust," Allen said. "[But] using modern technology and hard science, we’re now tracking a long and winding debris trail of finds. We’re delighted to be licensed by the Bahamian government to explore the Maravillas scientifically and share its wonders with everyone in the first maritime museum in The Bahamas.”


A stunning AllenX discovery is an 887-gram gold filigree chain, 176 centimeters long, made up of 80 alternating circular links. They are decorated with four-lobed rosette motifs.


Unlike former projects that had a commercial focus, Allen Exploration is committed to keeping its entire collection together for public display in The Bahamas Maritime Museum.

Nothing is being sold. In fact, Allen is buying back past shipwreck material to return it to The Bahamas.


“For a nation built from the ocean, it’s astonishing how little is understood about The Bahamas’ maritime links,” said Dr. Michael Pateman, director of The Bahamas Maritime Museum. “Few know that the indigenous Lucayan peoples, for instance, settled here 1,300 years ago. Or that the whole population, up to 50,000 people, was forced out by Spanish guns, made to dive for pearls off Venezuela, and killed off in less than three decades. There was a dazzling Old World culture in The Bahamas long before European ships thought they found a New World. The Lucayans, slave trade, pirates and the Maravillas are core stories we’re sharing in the museum.”

While searching for the missing Maravillas, Allen Exploration has so far discovered approximately 18 other wrecks. There are hundreds more on the Little Bahama Bank and thousands spread across The Bahamas, according to Allen.

Credits: High-status personal belongings. © Brendan Chavez - Allen Exploration. Ship photo © Allen Exploration. Gold and emerald pendant. © Nathaniel Harrington - Allen Exploration. Carl Allen holds an amethyst on the Maravillas site. © Matthew Rissell - Allen Exploration. Golden filigree chain. © Nathaniel Harrington - Allen Exploration. Gold and pearl ring. © Nathaniel Harrington - Allen Exploration. Maravillas exhibit at the Bahamas Maritime Museum. ©Matthew Lowe – Bahamas Maritime Museum.
August 10th, 2022
Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, AR, is celebrating its 50th Anniversary by offering park guests a limited-edition replica of the famous 4.60-carat, D-flawless Esperanza diamond pendant.


Discovered in 2015 by Bobbie Oskarson, the icicle-shaped Esperanza weighed 8.52 carats uncut and was the fifth-largest diamond ever found at the park. The Coloradan spotted the diamond within 20 minutes of entering “The Pig Pen,” a section of the 37 1/2-acre plowed field that is actually the eroded surface of an extinct, diamond-bearing volcanic pipe.


A ceremonial shovel affixed to an informative sign now marks the exact spot where the Esperanza diamond was unearthed.


Later in 2015, the oblong rough was cut into a first-of-its-kind triolette shape by master diamond cutter Mike Botha during a weeklong live-streamed event at Stanley Jewelers Gemologist in North Little Rock, AR.


Botha’s 147-facet triolette resembles a teardrop and merges the elements of both emerald and trapezoid shapes. The painstaking cutting and polishing process took 130 hours.

Upon completion, the diamond was shipped to the American Gem Society Laboratories, where it was graded as colorless (D) and internally flawless (IF). The Gemological Institute of America later affirmed the D-flawless grading.

Now owned by a team of three investors, the Esperanza (meaning “hope” in Spanish) is said to be worth upwards of $1 million, making it one of the most valuable diamonds ever found in the U.S.

Master jeweler Ian Douglas designed a custom setting for the Esperanza, featuring flowing shapes that complement the diamond’s cut. Jewelry manufacturer Byard Brogan crafted the pendant out of platinum.


The replicas — in a limited series of 35 units — feature a cubic zirconia faux Esperanza set in sterling silver. Each piece was crafted under the strict supervision of the original team. The photo above shows the actual Esperanza diamond pendant (left) alongside its near-identical replica, minus the diamond accents.

Each replica comes with a certificate of authenticity signed by Mike Botha - Master Diamond Cutter, and may be purchased at the park for $500.

More than 33,100 diamonds have been found by park visitors since the Crater of Diamonds became an Arkansas state park in 1972.

Credits: Images courtesy of Crater of Diamonds State Park;; Laura Stanley.
August 11th, 2022
The Perth Mint has just unveiled the "Great Southern Land" coin, a limited-edition 2-ounce pure gold collectible set with colorful, iridescent opal slices puzzled together in the shape of the Australian continent and illustrated with a menagerie of native species.


The Perth Mint frequently pays tribute to themes that are truly Australian. Opal is Australia’s national gemstone and about 90% to 95% of the world’s finest opals are mined in the harsh outback of Australia, where a unique combination of geological conditions permitted the formation of opal near the margins of an ancient inland sea.

Opals have been an important part of Australian culture since ancient times. Dating back 65,000 years, the Aboriginal "Dreamtime" stories describe how opal was created when the colors of the rainbow touched the earth.

The map-shaped opal insert is encircled by representations of iconic Australian animals, including the Tasmanian devil, koala, emu, kangaroo, wombat, bilby, monitor lizard, echidna, snake and frilled-neck lizard. Also included on the reverse is the coin’s "2oz" weight, "9999" fineness, "2022" year-date and "P" mintmark. The reverse of the coin was designed by Aleysha Howarth, a renowned artist specializing in wildlife.


The obverse features the Jody Clark effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II surrounded by a ray pattern, the "200 DOLLARS" monetary denomination, "AUSTRALIA" and the Queen’s name.

Limited to a mintage of 200 pieces, the new proof-quality coins are considered Australian legal tender. Measuring 36.6mm in diameter, the Great Southern Land coin is about twice the width of a US quarter.


Each collectible coin is priced at AUD$7,998.99 and comes in a wooden display case along with a numbered certificate of authenticity. The Perth Mint's website is currently showing the status of the item as backordered.

Scientists believe that between 100 million and 97 million years ago, Australia’s vast inland sea, which was populated by marine dinosaurs, began retreating. As the sea regressed, a rare episode of acidic weather was taking place, exposing pyrite minerals and releasing sulphuric acid. As the surface of the basin dried further and cracked, silica-rich gel became trapped in the veins of the rock. Over time, the silica solidified to form opals.

Credits: Images courtesy of The Perth Mint.
August 12th, 2022
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you classic songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today, we present Heart’s amazing rendition of what is arguably one of the greatest rock songs of all time, Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.”


Co-writer and lead vocalist Robert Plant revealed in Led Zeppelin: The Biography that the gilded lyrics came to him in a flash of inspiration.

“I was holding a pencil and paper, and for some reason I was in a very bad mood," he said. "Then all of a sudden my hand was writing out the words, ‘There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold / And she’s buying a stairway to heaven.’ I just sat there and looked at the words and then I almost leapt out of my seat.”

Plant explained that the story is about a woman who gets everything she wants without giving anything back. She accumulates great wealth, only to find out her life has no meaning and that her money won’t get her into heaven.

Despite that basic premise, the song is filled with thought-provoking metaphors, allusions and mystical references.

“Depending on what day it is, I still interpret the song a different way — and I wrote the lyrics,” Plant said, according to

Released in 1971 as the fourth track of Led Zeppelin IV, “Stairway to Heaven” became the group’s signature song. Amazingly, it was the most requested song on FM radio stations in the US in the 1970s even through the original version ran 8:02 and was never released as a single.

DJs played promotional singles, which quickly became collector’s items. In 2000, VH1 selected “Stairway to Heaven” #3 on its list of the 100 Greatest Rock Songs of all time.

Led Zeppelin, which is widely considered one of the most successful and influential rock groups in history, disbanded shortly after the death of drummer John Bonham in 1980.


In December 2012, Led Zeppelin’s legacy was the focus of a star-studded tribute at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Surviving members Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones watched from the balcony with great pride as Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart — supported by a full orchestra and powerful choir — brought down the house with an inspired performance of “Stairway to Heaven.”

The video of the performance earned more than 86 million views on YouTube.

Playing the drums was Jason Bonham, who looked strikingly like his dad, John, and is a fabulous talent in his own right. Plant is clearly misty eyed as the song builds to a rousing crescendo.

It’s an amazing moment in rock history, and we have a great video to share. We know you will love Heart’s brilliant rendition of “Stairway to Heaven,” which was broadcast on CBS. The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“Stairway to Heaven”
Written by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. Originally performed by Led Zeppelin. Tribute performed by Heart.

There’s a lady who’s sure
All that glitters is gold
And she’s buying a stairway to heaven

When she gets there she knows
If the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for

Ooh ooh ooh ooh
and she’s buying a stairway to heaven

There’s a sign on the wall
But she wants to be sure
‘Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings

In a tree by the brook
There’s a songbird who sings
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiving

Ooh, it makes me wonder

There’s a feeling I get
When I look to the west
And my spirit is crying for leaving

In my thoughts I have seen
Rings of smoke through the trees
And the voices of those who stand looking

Ooh, yeah
Ooh, yeah

Your head is humming and it won’t go
In case you don’t know
The piper’s calling you to join him
Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow
And did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind

And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our soul
There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to gold
And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last
When all are one and one is all
To be a rock and not to roll

And she’s buying the stairway to heaven

Credits: Screen captures via YouTube.
August 15th, 2022
A team of archaeologists has uncovered a hoard of 169 gold rings dating back 6,500 years during the excavation of a burial site near the Romanian-Hungarian border. The tomb was discovered during the construction of a new road linking the Romanian city of Oradea with the A3 freeway.


The rings, which weigh a combined 200 grams (0.44 pounds), were extracted from a tomb of a "high status" woman near Biharia, Romania, according to a statement from the Tarii Crisurilor Museum.


During a recent press conference, Dr. Calin Ghemis described how the 169 gold rings were not intended to be worn on the woman's fingers but, instead, adorned her hair. Also found in her tomb was a multi-spiral copper bracelet, two golden beads and about 800 mother-of-pearl beads. Based on an examination of her teeth and stature, the Tiszapolgár woman is believed to have been a person of high social status.


Ghemis said the find is "sensational" because the total number of gold pieces ever recovered from the Carpathian Basin — a vast area centered on modern-day Hungary, but also including parts of Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Austria — is only 150.

"Here, there are over 160 in just one inventory,” he said.

Gold items representing the Tiszapolgár culture (4500–4000 BC) are very rare because gold was very hard to come by in that prehistoric time period. The rings were made from alluvial gold extracted from sand using a washing process that removes the lighter sand and leaves the dense gold particles. This time period pre-dates the technique of extracting gold from rock.

Labs in Romania and the Netherlands will be using carbon-14, DNA analysis and anthropological research to determine a precise dating of the tomb's contents. After the analysis is completed, the hoard will go on display at the Tarii Crisurilor Museum in Oradea, Romania.

Credits: Images courtesy of Tarii Crisurilor Museum. Map by Google Maps.
August 16th, 2022
Throughout much of history, gem "experts" couldn't distinguish a ruby from a spinel. It was not until 1783 that spinel — August's newest official birthstone — was recognized as a mineral distinct from its far more famous red lookalike.


Ruby is composed of aluminum oxide, while spinel is made of magnesium aluminum oxide that forms when impure limestone is altered by extreme heat and pressure. Both gems get their reddish color from impurities of chromium in their chemical structure. In nature, they are often found side by side.

The physical similarities between the two gems created a jumble of confusion evidenced in these high-profile blunders.

Catherine the Great commissioned the Imperial Crown of Russia in 1763 and never knew that the impressive “ruby” topping the regal headpiece was actually a spinel.

At her coronation in 1838, Queen Victoria wore a newly designed Imperial State Crown, which prominently displayed the 170-carat Black Prince Ruby. It 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, also was a misidentified spinel.

In Burma (now Myanmar), the high luster, perfect octahedral spinel crystals found in the Mogok region have a special name, according to the Smithsonian. They are called "anyon nat thwe," meaning spinels that have been cut and polished by the spirits.

In 2016, the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) and Jewelers of America (JA) announced jointly that spinel would join peridot as an official birthstone for the month of August. The news came as a surprise to gem aficionados because the modern birthstone list — up until that point — had been amended only a few times during its 100-plus-year existence.

Established in 1912 by the American National Retail Jewelers Association (now known as JA), the modern birthstone list saw a significant change in 1952 when alexandrite (June), citrine (November), tourmaline (October) and zircon (December) were added. The list was amended again in 2002 when tanzanite joined the group of December birthstones.


According to the Smithsonian, pure spinel is colorless, but impurities give rise to a range of colors, most typically pink or red, but also purple, green and blue.

The spinels on this page are from the Smithsonian’s National Gem Collection.

The leading sources of spinel are Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand, while other significant spinel production takes place in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Vietnam and Russia.

Spinel 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.

Credits: Spinel trio (top) by D. Penland / Smithsonian. Spinel grouping (bottom) by Ken Larsen / Smithsonian.
August 17th, 2022
NASA's highly anticipated summer 2022 mission to "16 Psyche" — a 140-mile-wide asteroid made of gold, platinum, iron and nickel — has been postponed due to the late delivery of the spacecraft's flight software and testing equipment.


A 15-member independent review board is currently re-evaluating the costs and benefits of the Psyche mission before NASA can reschedule the launch. The results, to be released in late September, will have heavy implications for space-mining entrepreneurs who are looking to capitalize on what could become a quintillion-dollar industry.

When we first wrote about 16 Psyche in the summer of 2019, NASA had no immediate plans to do any mining on the asteroid and it was deemed way too large to tow back to Earth.

But, during the past three years, in the run-up to the actual launch, scientists described how a SpaceX Starship, for example, could theoretically orbit the asteroid while mining robots worked the surface. The Starship would be capable of carrying upwards of 100 metric tons of ore to facilities in low-Earth orbit for processing.


The value of 16 Psyche's natural resources is hotly debated. The estimate of $700 quintillion (700 followed by 18 zeroes) lies on the high end of the spectrum while $11.65 trillion occupies the low end. The wide discrepancy is rooted in one estimate that assumes the precious metals run throughout the asteroid as opposed to only the surface.

A team of researchers from Purdue University and Brown University suggested that the "golden asteroid" — which orbits the Sun between Mars and Jupiter — was less dense than previously believed. They argued that 16 Psyche is actually a rocky object covered with a layer of metal that erupted from the core.

The US government has already made legal preparations for the eventuality of space mining. The SPACE Act, which became law in 2015, includes provisions for private companies to extract resources from asteroids with limited government interference. Although the law does not allow for companies to claim, say, an asteroid, for their own, miners may keep anything they obtain from their exploration and mining.

Beyond the precious metal implications, NASA and its university partners were excited to explore 16 Psyche because it appears to be the exposed core of an early planet, perhaps the size of Mars, that lost its rocky outer layers due to violent collisions that occurred while the solar system was forming.

Measuring about 140 miles (226 km) in diameter, Psyche 16 is named after the nymph Psyche, who, according to Roman mythology, married Cupid but was put to death by Venus. At Cupid’s request, Jupiter — the king of the Gods — made Psyche immortal. The unique metal asteroid was discovered in 1852 by Italian astronomer Annibale de Gasparis.

NASA's original plan was to launch the Psyche spacecraft in the summer of 2022 from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. After a 1.5-billion-mile, 3 1/2-year journey, the NASA spacecraft would have arrived at the asteroid in 2026.

If the review board gives the project a thumbs-up in September, the launch date is expected to be rescheduled for 2023 or 2024.

Credits: Orbiter illustration by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Arizona State Univ./Space Systems Loral/Peter Rubin. 16 Psyche illustration by NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU.
August 18th, 2022
Thanks to summer shoppers who continued to spend on "experiences and goods that make them feel good," the retail jewelry sector posted another terrific month, with July 2022 recording a startling triple-digit increase compared to the pre-pandemic figures of July 2019.


Mastercard SpendingPulse™, which measures in-store and online sales across all forms of payment, reported that July's jewelry sales performance was up 18.6% over July 2021 (YOY) and a whopping 109.1% over July 2019 (YO3Y).


The jewelry sector's YO3Y growth outpaced all other sectors by a wide margin.

“The latest retail trends place an emphasis on consumer choice and passion-driven spending," said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and Chairman of Saks Incorporated. "They’re hunting for deals, shopping across channels and ultimately still spending on experiences and goods that make them feel good.”

Interestingly, luxury items (excluding jewelry) were down 3.7% during July 2022 compared to the year before. It was the only sector in Mastercard's list to be mired in negative territory.

Despite rumblings in the marketplace about inflation and a possible downturn in the economy, consumers were undaunted when it came to pulling out their credit cards. Total retail sales in July 2022 (excluding auto) were up 11.2% YOY and 22.4% YO3Y, with both in-store and e-commerce sales enjoying YOY increases of more than 11%.

The credit card company noted that road-trippers saw some relief at the pump and travel remained a priority with lodging up 29.6% YOY and airline sales up 13.3% YOY.

Mastercard SpendingPulse™ findings are based on aggregate sales activity in the Mastercard payments network, coupled with survey-based estimates for certain other payment forms, such as cash and check.

Credits: Shopper image by Table courtesy of Mastercard SpendingPulse™.
August 19th, 2022
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you wonderful songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today, the much-beloved Olivia Newton-John reminds us in her inspirational 2006 song, “Pearls on a Chain,” that all of us have been touched in some way by cancer.


She sings, “Every little thing that I am, so you are / And if you look in my eyes / You will see we are souls alike / We are pearls / We are pearls / We are pearls on a chain.”

After surviving breast cancer in 1992, Newton-John became a staunch advocate for cancer patients and their families. In 2008, she raised funds to help build the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Melbourne, Australia.

The world shed a collective tear when the singer-actress-activist lost her decades-long battle to the dreaded disease last week at the age of 73.

In describing her motivation for writing “Pearls on a Chain,” Newton-John reminded Aussie concert-goers in 2008 how cancer has likely touched all of them in some way.

“Perhaps it’s someone in our family or someone that we know, or a friend of a friend,” she said. “I know that over the years I'd get calls once a month and now twice a week from someone who has a friend that’s going through it, and in that way we’re all connected — like pearls on a chain.”

“Pearls on a Chain” is the second track on Newton-John’s Grace and Gratitude album, which she released in 2006 and distributed exclusively through Walgreens pharmacies to benefit various cancer charities.

It was re-released with normal distribution in 2010 as Grace and Gratitude Renewed. That version charted in Australia and the US, with the album earning the #2 spot on the US Billboard New Age Albums chart and #36 on the US Billboard Christian Albums chart.

Born in Britain and raised in Australia, Newton-John was a 1970s singing sensation with a flood of #1 hits that included “I Honestly Love You” and “Have You Never Been Mellow.” In 1978, she played Sandy Olsson opposite John Travolta’s Danny Zuko in the wildly popular musical, Grease. She was 29 when she convincingly portrayed a high school exchange student from Australia.

The four-time Grammy Award winner has sold more than 100 million records and is considered one of the best-selling music artists of all time.

In September 2018, she revealed that she was being treated for cancer at the base of her spine. Previously, she had battled breast cancer during the early '90s and again in 2017.

She passed away on August 8, and as a sign of respect and admiration, many landmarks in Melbourne and Sidney, Australia, were specially lit in her honor.

We invite you to check out the video of Newton-John performing “Pearls on a Chain” at Sydney's State Theatre in September of 2008. All the proceeds from the event went to the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre Appeal. The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along...

“Pearls on a Chain”
Written and performed by Olivia Newton-John.

Every living thing on this earth has a heart
Every little thing that I am, so you are
And if you look in my eyes
You will see we are souls alike
We are pearls
We are pearls
We are pearls on a chain

Every day my sunrise will dawn where you are
Every night we sleep underneath the same stars
And if we stand face to face
We will see love’s amazing grace
We are pearls
We are pearls
We are pearls on a chain

And if you look in my eyes
You will see we are souls alike
We are pearls
We are pearls
We are pearls on a chain
We are pearls
We are pearls
We are pearls on a chain
… on a chain … on a chain

Credit: Photo by Eva Rinaldi, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
August 22nd, 2022
McDonald's Netherlands is encouraging the proper disposal of trash by giving away limited-edition jewelry inspired by discarded fast-food packaging. Among the items are gold earrings made to look like empty dipping sauce containers and a red crystal pendant resembling a slightly scrunched french fry box.


Created by the TBWA\Neboko ad agency, the “Litter and Glamour” campaign includes 258 participating restaurants, each of which has installed a special golden trash can. Customers who drop their waste in the special receptacle between August 16 and September 12 are automatically entered to win one of the seven unique items from the collection.


A 30-second commercial supporting the campaign shows how an average McDonald's customer can become a red-carpet celebrity by simply throwing her rubbish in a bin. The spot shows the woman finishing up a drink in a McDonald's parking lot and throwing out the cup. Then the scene transitions to a fantasy starring the same woman and the same drink. This time the paparazzi and fans watch breathlessly as she walks toward a golden trash can and tosses the cup inside. This woman is a winner, of course, and she joyfully shows off her reward — a dazzling french fry box necklace. The master of ceremonies explains, "In this way, we make the neighborhood a little more beautiful."

“Turning seemingly worthless items you find in the streets into valuable jewelry is very disruptive, especially when you stimulate people to throw away their waste into a bin and have the chance to win it back as a limited collection of McDonald’s jewelry," Darre van Dijk, chief creative officer for TBWA\Neboko, said in a statement. "Now that’s how you encourage good behavior!"


An independent notary will determine in advance the time, date and location of each winning trash deposit. The customer who drops trash in a golden receptacle at that exact time (or the who is first after that moment) will be the winner.

In addition to the dipping sauce container earrings and the french fry box pendant, the collection includes a milk shake lapel pin, a Big Mac box ring, a coffee creamer pendant, a soft drink cup pendant and mini french fry box dangle earrings.

The design and fabrication of the collection is the result of a collaboration between the sixth-generation jewelry firm De Vaal and casting specialist Bronze Special Art.

The anti-littering campaign carries on the messaging of McDonald's previous initiatives called "You Bin It, You Win It" (2020) and "Trash Dance" (2021).

Currently, 91% of the product packaging used by McDonald's in the Netherlands is made from renewable, recycled or certified materials. The goal is 100% by 2025.

Check out the “Litter and Glamour” commercial here...

Credits: Jewelry photos courtesy of McDonald's. Paparazzi screen capture via / TBWA\NEBOKO.
August 23rd, 2022
A Pennsylvania family enjoying a vacation at Rehoboth Beach, DE, expected the trip would net a lot of quality time and a bounty of souvenir mugs and T-shirts. What they got as a bonus was a rare purple pearl and a memory of a lifetime.


Scott Overland of Phoenixville, PA, was finishing up his littleneck clams appetizer at Salt Air restaurant when he encountered a hard object.

“I thought I bit down on a piece of shell or something,” Overland told “My wife thought it was a piece of candy because it looked like those candy dots.”


The bright lavender object was domed at the top and flat on the back, similar to the button candies that come on a paper roll. But, when Overland inspected the inside of the clam shell, he noticed an indentation where the pearl had grown. He placed it there and it fit perfectly.

“We had never heard of a pearl in a clam," he added. "I always thought they came in oysters.”

Overland has since learned that natural pearls do, indeed, grow in clams. They are very rare and a single specimen — depending on the size, quality and shape — can be worth thousands of dollars.

Pearls found in clams are classified as non-nacreous and have a porcelain-like appearance. Pearls grown in oysters present a deeper glow caused by layers of nacre that refract the light.

Natural pearls are organic gems, created by a mollusk totally by chance, without human intervention. Cultured pearls, by comparison, are grown under controlled conditions, where a bead is implanted in the body of the mollusk to stimulate the secretion of nacre.

Clams served at the Salt Air restaurant are the popular northern quahog variety grown by Cherrystone Aqua Farms in the Chesapeake Bay. A spokesperson for the grower's parent company, Ballard Clams and Oysters, told that he hears about diners finding pearls in their clams or oysters two or three times a year.


Overland, 37, told Fox 5 DC that he was planning to get the pearl appraised and had no immediate plans to sell it.

He said that the craziest part of the story is that the clams were nearly returned to the kitchen uneaten because they came with a pepper garnish that Overland's wife didn't care for.

They decided to accept the appetizer as it was presented and were rewarded with a glistening gem.

“It’s a fun story and a fun memory,” Overland told

Credits: Images courtesy of Scott Overland.
August 24th, 2022
Donning a headlamp and wetsuit, 60-year-old metal detector enthusiast Lou Asci waded waist-deep into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of New Hampshire to rescue a diamond wedding ring lost a week earlier by 29-year-old Francesca Teal. It was the third time Asci searched the site.


“I don’t take failure all too well,” Asci told The Boston Globe. “I wanted to go back and give it one last shot.”

Teal had lost her cherished family heirloom on August 6 while tossing a football with her husband, Austin, in the shallows at North Beach in Hampton, NH, about 40 miles north of Boston. The soldered-together engagement ring/wedding band combo carried extreme sentimental value because the rings had been passed down from her great-grandmother.


“This one throw hit my hand, and I saw the ring pop off my finger and go into the water,” Teal told The Globe. “In that moment, my heart dropped.”

Austin marked the approximate spot the ring hit the water. They borrowed a pair of goggles from a nearby beachgoer, but couldn't find the ring. After two hours, the gave up.

When the got home, Teal then turned to social media for help. She posted a plea and a reference photo on the Hampton Beach Residents & Friends Facebook page.

She wrote," “Hello! Long shot here… earlier today I was at The Wall, North Beach, Hampton N.H. & unfortunately lost my wedding ring in the ocean. We searched for hours with no luck… hoping this gets to anyone who might have a metal detector and goes to North Beach frequently. It was in front of/around the 18th street area… just hoping if someone does happen to find it it can make its way back to me… I appreciate all the help from those on the beach today looking as well. Here’s a photo for reference… thank you!”

Members of the Facebook page enthusiastically shared Teal's story and before long it caught the attention of Asci, a resident of Marshfield, MA, who wrote to Francesca and told her, "Don't lose hope." He was on the case.

Asci failed in his first two attempts to find the ring, but on the third try — on August 14 — he decided to venture further out into the surf.

“It was getting late, it was getting dark, and the tide was coming in,” Asci told The Boston Globe. “I decided to go out deeper than where I thought it was.”

The water was higher than waist level when he got the hit he was hoping for. The ring had been buried under four inches of sand.


Asci sent Teal a photo of his find along with a comical tongue-in-cheek message: “Please tell me this is the ring so I can finally get off this beach.”

The hero ring finder even traveled to the Teal home so Austin could place the ring back on Francesca's finger.

Teal returned to the Hampton Beach Residents & Friends Facebook group to report the great news and to credit the numerous people who helped in the efforts to get her ring back.

“My ring was found and has been brought back to me!” she wrote. “Thank you to everyone who shared that post, sent well wishes or prayed to St. Anthony. But mostly thank you to Lou Asci & all the other very kind, generous & inspiring strangers that took time out of their days to search for it."

She commented that she was overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers.

"It has been so amazing to witness humanity in this positive way & has brought so much faith to myself & others," she added. "People helping people, I will always extend my hand to others in the way you all have showed to me. As my Dad would say, ‘Do good, be good.’ Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Ironically, Asci found a second ring — a men's wedding band — while searching for Teal's ring. He shared news about his find on the Hampton Beach Residents & Friends Facebook group and is hoping to return it to its rightful owner.

Credits: Images courtesy of Francesca Teal.
August 29th, 2022
There are few things in the world Philadelphian Sarah Keller loves more than a pint of Milk Jawn's delectable Troop Leader-flavor ice cream. So, when her boyfriend, Paul Kimball, planned to pop the question recently, he conspired with the brand's founder and CEO, Amy Wilson, to make the romantic event even more special.


“Oh my God, I was totally honored,” Wilson told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “I thought it was amazing.”

Wilson and Kimball worked with the brand's design firm to create a custom pint that would look and feel like a conventional Milk Jawn product, except for a few key modifications.

Milk Jawn would be rebranded as "Wife Jawn" and the variety would be called "The Forever Flavor."


Ice cream played a vital role in the couple's courtship. After the their first dinner date back in February of 2021, Kimball told Keller that he needed to stop by his house to pick up something special for the second part of the date, which would take them to a nearby park.

It was a pint of Troop Leader, a creamy mix overflowing with Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies. Keller had revealed her ice cream preference during an earlier online conversation.

“I thought it was incredibly sweet that he had picked up on the fact it was my favorite ice cream and he planned ahead,” she told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “It was just one of the signs of his thoughtfulness, and an early sign of how wonderful he is.”

On August 14, Kimball had the professionally designed pint container of Wife Jawn stowed away in a backpack during the couple's romantic getaway to Sea Isle City Beach, just south of Ocean City, NJ. Kimball had requested an empty container because he knew the ice cream wouldn't survive the beach day and because he wanted to save it as a keepsake.

After several hours at the shore, Kimball told his girlfriend that he had brought along some ice cream. Sarah shot back that there's no way ice cream could have stayed frozen in a backpack for that long.

“I pulled out the pint and handed it to her," he said, "and while she was reading [the label], I used it as a distraction get down on one knee to propose.”

Keller was overwhelmed with emotion as her boyfriend presented her with an oval diamond mounted on a simple gold band.

"I looked down and he was kneeling in front of me with his cute little face holding the ring,” she told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “He said some sweet things to me, I don’t remember what they were, and then he asked me to marry him.”

Of course, she said, "Yes" — even though the container was empty.

On its Instagram page, Milk Jawn told the romantic story and posted pics of the custom ice cream container and the newly engaged couple.

“It’s our most-liked post out of everything we’ve ever posted,” Wilson said.

Although the wedding date and venue have yet to be determined, Keller is certain about one thing: Ice cream has to be on the menu.

“And if it can be Milk Jawn, all the better,” she said.

Established in Wilson's kitchen back in 2012, Milk Jawn has grown into a Philadelphia-area favorite. The delicacy is made Philly-style (without eggs), using local Pennsylvania dairy products.

The word "jawn," if you were wondering, is Philadelphia slang for literally anything. The noun can stand in for objects, places, people and events. As the website explained, "jawn can mean nothing and everything."

Credits: Images via / milkjawn; / kellahhhhhandpaul.kimball.
August 30th, 2022
With all the recent internet buzz over asteroids strewn with precious metals and exoplanets where it rains liquid rubies and sapphires, we found this a perfect time to unpack a story we originally published in the summer of 2014 about a dwarf star made completely of diamonds.


Fifty light-years away in the constellation Centaurus is a white dwarf star two-thirds the size of the Earth that's likely the galaxy’s largest diamond weighing in at 10 billion trillion trillion carats.

Given the pet name “Lucy” by astronomers in deference to the Beatles’ famous song, “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds,” the dwarf star is officially known as “BPM 37093.” It is 4,000km in diameter, and likely the coldest white dwarf ever detected.

“You would need a jeweler’s loupe the size of the Sun to grade this diamond,” joked astronomer Travis Metcalfe, who led the team that studied it at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Today, Metcalfe runs the Golden, CO-based White Dwarf Research Corporation, a non-profit organization dedicated to scientific research and public education. He also heads up a non-profit adopt-a-star program to help fund research.

The white dwarf star is the compressed dying remnant of what used to be a star very much like our Sun. Once a star uses up its fuel, it shrinks in on itself and starts to cool off. Since it’s made mostly of carbon, the crystallization of the super-dense material produces a diamond.

Before you think about planning a mining expedition to Lucy, take note that her super-cool temperature (compared to other stars) is still a blistering 5,000 degrees F, nearly twice the melting point of steel. Our sun at its core is about 27 million degrees F.

White dwarf stars are nearly impossible to identify because they are extremely difficult to see. Lucy, for instance, shines with only 1/2000th of the Sun’s visual brightness. Lacking visual clues, astronomers have relied on other methods to pinpoint a white dwarf in space. In the case of Lucy, she happens to do an “orbital tango” with a pulsar, or fast-spinning neutron star.

Metcalf noted that in five billion years our own Sun would likely meet the same fate as Lucy. It will cool down, shrink, crystallize and become a huge diamond in the center of our solar system.

“Our sun will become a diamond that truly is forever,” said Metcalfe.

Credit: Image by Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics / Travis Metcalfe, Ruth Bazinet.
August 31st, 2022
In what is expected to be the final tournament of her illustrious 27-year tennis career, Serena Williams stepped onto the court in the first round of the US Open in Flushing, NY, wearing custom Nike shoes emblazoned with 400 hand-set diamonds.


Prior to the match, which she handily won in straight sets over Danka Kovinic, the 23-time Grand Slam champion shared an unboxing video on Instagram where she called the shoes "epic, flashy and amazing."


Williams pointed out that Nike collaborated with Serena Williams Jewelry to modify the PE NikeCourt Flare 2 shoes to include solid gold lace deubrés (ornamental shoelace tags) that spell out "QUEEN" and "MAMA" in glistening diamonds against a ground of black ceramic. The Swooshes are rendered in Swarovski crystals.

She concluded the video by joking that the shoes were too nice to wear on the court.

"I can't just wear these, right?" she asked. "I just need to let them sit in this box in my bedroom. This is so wild and so crazy and I've never worn better shoes for the Open. I am excited. Thank you, Nike."

On its website, Nike noted that Williams took a hands-on-approach to designing her 2022 look.


She paired the blinged-out black shoes with a black outfit inspired by the graceful competition dresses worn by figure skaters. The crystal-encrusted bodice alludes to the night sky above center court in Flushing. The six-layer skirt is a nod to her six prior US Open titles.


Having beaten Kovinic 6-3, 6-3 in the first round of the 2022 US Open, the 40-year-old Williams will set her sights on second-seed Anett Kontaveit in round two. This will be their first-ever meeting on the WTA tour and it's expected to be a barn burner.

The 26-year-old Kontaveit told reporters that she was rooting for Williams in the first round and relished the opportunity to play against her. The match is slated for Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET and can be seen on ESPN, ESPN2 and the ESPN App.

"I'm really looking forward to it," she said. " I'm not sure if I'll ever experience something like this again."

Credits: Serena Williams' unboxing screen capture via Instagram / serenawilliamsjewelry. Apparel photos by Nike. US Open photo by Edwin Martinez from The Bronx, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.