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Articles in November 2022

November 1st, 2022
The colossal cushion-cut specimen you see here is the American Golden Topaz, a 22,892-carat Smithsonian resident that's widely recognized as one of the largest faceted gems of any type in the world. It's also a great example of November's official birthstone.


Despite its impressive address, life was not all glitz and glamor for this famous gemstone. In fact, its backstory includes a bunch of twists and turns, including a near-fatal fall barely 10 seconds into the cutting process.

Sourced in Minas Gerais, Brazil, the uncut topaz weighed 26 pounds (about 59,000 carats) and was described as a weathered stream-rounded cobble. The owner was University of Washington sociology professor and amateur rockhound Ed Borgatta, who possessed the basic skills to hone the stone down to 15 pounds, revealing the its rich golden-yellow coloring.

Borgatta eventually put the project in the hands of master cutter Leon Agee. Over the next two years, starting in early 1986, Agee would devote more than 500 hours to cutting and polishing what he privately called "The Beast." He had agreed to take on the project if he could complete the job during his spare time at his own pace.

“When I saw it, I was startled,” Agee told The Spokesman-Review in 1998. “I’d cut a 1,500-carat piece of quartz for a guy in Arkansas, but this was 20 times that size. I was awestruck.”

Working at this scale was a tremendous challenge for Agee. It took him six months to rig a cutting machine that could handle the massive stone.

As he began the cutting process, he used a standard epoxy to adhere the stone to the turntable.

“But 10 seconds into the cutting, the stone popped off and rolled around the top of the machine,” Agee recalled.

Luckily, he was able to snatch the massive stone before it crashed onto his basement floor. The impact could have fractured the stone, rendering the project a complete failure.

Agee resumed his work, this time using a heavy-duty 2-ton epoxy.

According to Agee, the Smithsonian got wind of the project and was interested in obtaining the gem — as long as its finished weight could beat out the then-record-holder, the 21,327-carat Brazilian Princess. (That stone was part of the collection curated by the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.)

Agee refused to weigh the gem until his work was completed. In the end, the 172-facet gem tipped the scales at a whopping 22,892 carats (10.09 lbs). About the size of a honeydew melon, the gem outweighed its rival by more than 1,500 carats. No jeweler's scale was equipped to handle a stone of that size, so he sought the help of the nearby Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Benton County, WA, so he could get a precise weight on a laboratory scale.

Agee admitted to The Spokesman-Review that he secretly pre-weighed the gem on a meat scale at a grocery store in Walla Walla and knew he had beaten the Brazilian Princess.

In May of 1988, both Agee and Borgatta were in attendance during the American Golden Topaz's dedication ceremony at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC. Exactly 30 years later, in May of 2018, Agee passed away at the age of 85.

The American Golden Topaz is part of a popular family of gemstones that can be seen in a wide array of warm colors, including brownish-yellow, orange-yellow and reddish brown. It’s also found in white, pale green, blue, gold and pink.

In addition to Brazil, topaz is mined in Mexico, Sri Lanka, Africa and China. Topaz is a talisman for the sign of Sagittarius and is the suggested gift for the 23rd or 50th wedding anniversary.

Credit: Image by NMNH Photo Services and digitally enhanced by SquareMoose.
November 2nd, 2022
For more than 130 years, the sunken steamer known as the Ship of Gold, rested undisturbed in the Atlantic Ocean 7,200 feet beneath the surface, about 200 miles off the coast of South Carolina.


The side-wheeler, also known as the SS Central America, met its watery demise in 1857 when it got torn up by a hurricane while transporting precious cargo from Panama to Philadelphia via New York City. Onboard were 30,000 pounds of Gold Rush-era treasure and 578 passengers.

Only 153 people survived the disaster and all the cargo was lost. Headlines across the country declared the sinking of the 280-foot SS Central America as the country’s worst peacetime disaster at sea. The loss of the gold cargo was a major factor in the economically devastating financial Panic of 1857 in the United States.

The long-lost ship was back in the news in 1988 when an inventor named Tommy Thompson spearheaded a recovery operation, which involved sending down to the ocean floor a remotely operated vehicle named Nemo. Recovery from the shipwreck site occurred in several stages between 1988-1991 and again in 2014, according to Fred Holabird, president of Holabird Western Americana Collections.


Artifacts from the site included dozens of 1850s gold rings, stickpins, cufflinks, a gold belt buckle, and several recovered pocket watch cases and covers. Some of the recovered rings have heart shapes waiting to be engraved with lovers’ initials once they reached their destination. California gold quartz items, such as cufflinks and brooches, were also found.


“Much of the gold jewelry was part of a commercial shipment, either carried by one of the jewelers on board or by a separate shipment transported on the voyage going to New York," explained Holabird. "Gold nugget stickpins were found still attached to their original thick paper boards, ready for resale on the New York or eastern seaboard jewelry market.”

On December 3, 2022, selected artifacts from the Ship of Gold will highlight a public auction at the Reno Convention Center in Nevada. Bidding will also take place online at

A second auction of hundreds of additional artifacts retrieved from the famous shipwreck will be offered in February 2023 (Exact dates to be announced).

“Many collectors have been waiting for these extraordinary items to come on the market since the legendary SS Central America was located in 1988 and Life magazine proclaimed it America’s greatest treasure ever found,” said Holabird.

According to a press release, insurance claims for the loss were paid in the 1850s, and the company that discovered and retrieved the treasure starting in 1988 settled with the insurers and their successors in 1992. With court approval, California Gold Marketing Group acquired clear title to all of that remaining treasure in 1999 as well as all the items recovered in 2014.

Credits: Images courtesy of Holabird Western Americana Collections.
November 3rd, 2022
Four hundred years ago, a galleon named Nuestra Señora de Atocha was making a return trip to Spain from the New World when it was hit by a squall and sank along the reefs near the Florida Keys.


This was no ordinary ship. It was packed to the rafters with treasures collected from Bolivia, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, the Caribbean and the Andes. The bounty included 24 tons of silver ingots, 180,000 silver coins, 125 gold bars and discs, 70 pounds of emeralds and a cache of precious natural pearls.

Lost for 363 years, the ship was finally discovered by treasure hunter Mel Fisher with the assistance of some high-profile benefactors, such as chicken magnate Frank Perdue. Fisher and his team would eventually recover artifacts with an estimated value of more than $1 billion, and Perdue was awarded a portion of the spoils, most of which he donated to Delaware Tech and the Smithsonian.

One item that he kept was a rough emerald that he would have cut into a 6.25-carat finished stone and mounted in an engagement ring for the love of his life, Mitzi. He proposed with the octagonal-shaped, step-cut gem in 1988.

The homespun chicken entrepreneur — who coined the phrase, "It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken" — passed away in 2005 at the age of 84.

On December 7, author and philanthropist Mitzi Perdue's 400-year-old historic emerald will hit the auction block at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels Sale in New York, with all proceeds going to benefit humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. The auction house has set a high estimate at $70,000, but due to the gem's provenance and charitable nature of the offering, it could sell for much more.

According to Artnet News, Mitzi was inspired to support Ukraine after visiting the country this past summer.

“I fell in love with the brave Ukrainian people and left with the deepest desire to do whatever I could to support the war-torn country,” said the human rights activist, who also happens to be the heiress to the Sheraton Hotels fortune (her dad co-founded the chain).

Mitzi told Fox News Digital, "When I was a child, my father told me, ‘The greatest pleasure my money has ever given me is in giving it away.’ I took those words to heart and he became a role model for me for the rest of my life."

The 81-year-old philanthropist holds degrees from Harvard University and George Washington University, is a past president of the 40,000 member American Agri-Women and was one of the U.S. Delegates to the United Nations Conference on Women in Nairobi.

She was a syndicated columnist for 22 years and authored more than 1,800 newspaper and magazine articles on family businesses, food, agriculture, the environment, philanthropy, biotechnology, genetic engineering and women’s health.

Her historic emerald ring will be on public display starting November 30 at Sotheby's in New York City.

Credit: Image courtesy of Sotheby's.
November 3rd, 2022
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great throwback songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. In today’s selection, John Lennon of The Beatles performs the lead vocals to “Anna,” the third track of the legendary group’s 1963 debut studio album, Please Please Me.


In the song, Lennon woefully accepts the fact that his girlfriend is in love with another man. He also insists on the return of the shining symbol of his affection, singing, “Anna, just one more thing girl / You give back your ring to me / And I will set you free / Go with him.”

Written and originally recorded by Arthur Alexander, “Anna” was a favorite of Lennon, who recommended that The Beatles cover it for Please Please Me.

When Alexander released his version 60 years ago in September 1962, it peaked on the Billboard chart at a modest #68. Less than a year later, it would be included on one of the most famous albums of all time — a work that would launch the careers of The Fab Four.

The album Please Please Me was released in the UK in March 1963 and in the U.S. in January of 1964 by Vee-Jay Records under the name Introducing… The Beatles.

Interestingly, the U.S. version stalled for nine weeks at #2 on the Billboard album chart. The #1 album during the same period was Meet The Beatles on Capitol Records.

Music critics noted that Lennon’s raspy vocals on “Anna” reflected a “tortured pain.” One explanation is that Lennon had a terrible cold during the historic session of February 1, 1963, when The Beatles recorded 11 songs in 10 hours.

Another oddity about the song is its subtitle (Go to Him). The lyrics of both Alexander’s and The Beatles’ versions clearly state, “Go with him.”

The Beatles went on to become the best-selling band in history, with 177 million certified records in the US and 600 million records worldwide. In 2004 and again in 2011, the group topped Rolling Stone magazine's list of the Greatest Artists in History.

The two surviving Beatles are Paul McCartney (80) and Ringo Starr (82). John Lennon was shot and killed by an obsessed fan in New York City in 1980. He was 41. George Harrison died of lung cancer in 2001 at the age of 58.

We invite you to enjoy the audio track of Lennon and The Beatles performing “Anna.” As a bonus, we've also included Alexander's original version. The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

“Anna (Go to Him)”
Written by Arthur Alexander. Performed by The Beatles.

Anna, you come and ask me girl
To set you free, girl
You say he loves you more than me
So I will set you free
Go with him
Go with him

Anna, girl, before you go now
I want you to know now
That I still love you so
But if he loves you more
Go with him

All of my life I’ve been searching for a girl
To love me like I love you
Oh, now
But every girl I’ve ever had
Breaks my heart and leaves me sad
What am I, what am I supposed to do?
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

Anna, just one more thing girl
You give back your ring to me
And I will set you free
Go with him

All of my lifeI’ve been searching for a girl
To love me like I love you
But let me tell you now
But every girl I’ve ever had
Breaks my heart and leaves me sad
What am I, what am I supposed to do?
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

Anna, just one more thing girl
You give back your ring to me
And I will set you free
Go with him
Go with him
You can go with him girl
Go with him

Beatles Version 1963

Arthur Alexander Original Version 1962

Credit: The Beatles with Ed Sullivan by CBS Television, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

November 7th, 2022
The Kafubu Cluster, a colossal 187,775-carat matrix of individual and intertwined emerald crystals, is expected to set a Gemfields' price record at the mining company's rough tender in mid-November.


The impressive, 82.8-pound specimen was extracted in March 2020 from the Chama pit of the famous Kagem emerald mine in Zambia. Kagem is believed to be the world’s most prolific emerald mine.

“Rarity is one of the factors that makes emeralds hold such a special value in many cultures around the world, but the combination of this crystal cluster formation, the overall quality and the sheer enormity of the Kafubu Cluster is something I never thought possible,” commented Jackson Mtonga, Kagem's assistant sort house manager.


What's unique about the formation is that it's made up almost entirely of hexagonal emerald crystals. Hardly any other minerals are present.

According to the mining company, the Kafubu Cluster displays all the desired characteristics that an emerald should possess, including a vivid green color that glows and shines. The cluster also presents various levels of crystallization that will allow a cutter to create a collection of gems, ranging from fine-quality faceting material to cabochons and beads for everyday fun.


Gemfields believes the Kafubu Cluster could be transformed into tens of thousands of carats of commercial-to-fine-quality cut emeralds. There is also a possibility that the winning bidder will choose to preserve it in its natural form.

The Kafubu Cluster owes its name to the Kafubu river, which forms the natural southwest boundary of the Kagem property. Gemfields noted that the name Kafubu honors the unique landscape in which the colossal cluster was formed.

Gemfields, which owns 75% of the Kagem mine in a partnership with the Zambian government, noted that emeralds from Kagem tend to have a higher iron content than emeralds from other origins. This means they are less fragile and have fewer surface-reaching fractures.

Given its size and quality, it is likely that the Kafubu Cluster will be the most expensive single emerald piece ever sold by Gemfields. Viewing of the spectacular piece began last week at Gemfields' London headquarters. Bidding is set to close on November 17.

Credits: The Kafubu Cluster images courtesy of Gemfields.
November 8th, 2022
Despite economic headwinds, holiday season spending is expected to shatter previous records. The National Retail Federation (NRF) is predicting that retail sales during November and December 2022 will grow between 6% and 8% compared to 2021. That translates into consumer purchases that could top $960 billion, and easily outpace the $889.3 billion record-breaking tally of 2021, when sales grew 13.5% compared to the year before.


Historically, holiday retail sales have averaged an increase of 4.9% over the past 10 years.

“This holiday season cycle is anything but typical,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “NRF’s holiday forecast takes a number of factors into consideration, but the overall outlook is generally positive as consumer fundamentals continue to support economic activity. Despite record levels of inflation, rising interest rates and low levels of confidence, consumers have been steadfast in their spending and remain in the driver’s seat.”


NRF noted that while ecommerce will remain important, households are expected to shift back to in-store shopping and a more traditional holiday shopping experience.

Online and other non-store sales are predicted to increase between 10% and 12% to between $262.8 billion and $267.6 billion. This figure is up from $238.9 billion in 2021, which saw extraordinary growth in digital channels as consumers turned to online shopping to meet their holiday needs during the pandemic.

“The holiday shopping season kicked off earlier this year – a growing trend in recent years – as shoppers are concerned about inflation and availability of products,” Kleinhenz said. “Retailers are responding to that demand, as we saw several major scheduled buying events in October. While this may result in some sales being pulled forward, we expect to see continued deals and promotions throughout the remaining months.”

Kleinhenz’ comments mirror NRF’s consumer data, which shows that consumers have been kicking off their holiday shopping early over the last decade in order to spread out their budgets and avoid the stress of holiday shopping.

NRF’s holiday forecast is in line with the organization’s full year forecast for retail sales, which predicted retail sales will grow between 6% and 8% to more than $4.86 trillion in 2022.

NRF's holiday forecast is based on economic modeling that considers a variety of indicators including employment, wages, consumer confidence, disposable income, consumer credit, previous retail sales and weather. NRF’s calculation excludes automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants to focus on core retail. NRF defines the holiday season as November 1 through December 31.

Credits: Image by Chart by National Retail Federation.
November 9th, 2022
The sunny yellow November birthstone you see here is the world’s largest faceted citrine — an oval-cut, 20,200-carat marvel that vanished from the public eye in 2012.


Named for what was once its host city, the “Malaga” had been selected as one of the “Special Exhibition Gems” of the Programa Royal Collections. It was 2010, and the curated collection of 24 world-class gems was expected to attract huge crowds to the Art Natura Malaga, a natural science museum on Spain’s Costa del Sol.

The mammoth rough citrine crystal that would be transformed into the Malaga was unearthed in Mina Gerais, Brazil, in 1990. Due to the risks, complexity and special equipment required to cut and polish the stone, it remained in its original form for 19 years. Finally, in 2009, a team of Brazilian gem cutters took on the formidable challenge of shaping the stone — with startlingly beautiful results.

Rarely does nature present a citrine crystal that could yield such a large faceted stone. Typically, citrine crystals are found in geodes and measure just a few centimeters in size. When they are found in larger formations, the quality is usually lacking and those specimens are used as decorative items.

The internally flawless Malaga citrine measured 20 x 15 x 10 centimeters (7.87 x 5.90 x 3.93 inches) and was set to take up permanent residency at Art Natura alongside other extraordinary citrines, including the previous record holder, the oval-cut, 8,200-carat “Sol del Sur” (Southern Sun) and the 6,705-carat, emerald-cut “Soledade” (Solitude).

Art Natura boasted one of the world’s largest collections of museum-quality gemstones. In all, the collection comprised more than 500,000 carats, and each gem represented the best in its class in terms of size, purity and color.

All the excitement surrounding the opening of Art Natura Malaga came to a screeching halt during the fall of 2012, when legal disputes between the museum's owners and the Malaga City Council forced the complex to close.

Art Natura Malaga continues to have a website and a Facebook page, but both properties seem to be stuck in November of 2012. Sadly, the internet hasn't provided any clues as to the whereabouts of the Malaga citrine or its supersized citrine cousins. In the meantime, we'll just have to relish that special time a decade ago when the Malaga citrine was a rock star.

Credit: Courtesy photo by Programa Royal Collections, 2010.
November 10th, 2022
A private Asian collector is the proud new owner of the 18.18-carat "Fortune Pink" diamond after placing the winning bid of 24.5 million Swiss francs ($24.6 million) at Christie's Geneva on Tuesday. With the buyer's premium, the final price for the stone touted as the largest pear-shaped "fancy vivid pink" diamond ever to appear at auction rose to $28.4 million Swiss francs ($28.5 million).


With a capacity crowd on hand to witness the excitement at the Hotel des Bergues in Geneva, bidding started at 17 million Swiss francs and continued to escalate for four tense minutes. Three telephone bidders vied to capture the diamond whose 18.18-carat weight carat promised to bring prosperity to the owner because the pairing of "18s" literally translates to “get rich for sure” in Chinese.

The unnamed Asian collector finally broke free from the pack by hiking his final offer by 500,000 Swiss francs.

The final price of $28.5 million ($1.57 million per carat) was in the lower range of the Christie's presale estimate of $25 million and $35 million.

The Christie's official who had been communicating the winner's bids via the telephone told AFP that the Asian collector described the successful purchase of the Fortune Pink as a "dream come true."

Max Fawcett, head of Christie's jewelry department in Geneva, told CBS News that the Brazilian-sourced Fortune Pink is a "truly incredible diamond" and a "true miracle of nature."

The extreme rarity of an 18-carat pink diamond of this quality is amplified by the fact that fewer than 10% of pink diamonds weigh more than 1/5 of a carat, according to the Gemological Institute of America. What’s more, only 4% of pink diamonds possess a color saturated enough to qualify as “fancy vivid.” Pink diamonds fall under the rare Type IIa category of diamonds, which make up less than 2% of all gem diamonds.

The largest fancy vivid pink diamond ever sold at Christie’s was the rectangular-cut, 18.96-carat “Winston Pink Legacy,” which achieved $50.37 million and set a world record price-per-carat for a pink diamond at auction ($2.65 million).

“The Pink Star” still holds the record for the highest price paid at auction for a pink diamond. That 59.6-carat, flawless, fancy vivid pink diamond fetched $71.2 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in 2017. It was purchased by Hong Kong luxury jeweler Chow Tai Fook and renamed the “CTF Pink Star.” Not only did it set a record in the pink category, but also shattered the world record for the highest price ever paid for any gem at auction.

Pink diamonds have become increasingly rare since the 2020 closure of Australia’s Argyle Mine, which had been the source of 90% of the world’s pink diamonds.

Credit: Image courtesy of Christie’s.
November 11th, 2022
Welcome to Music Friday when we often bring you uplifting songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Canadian recording artist Kelita performs “Tears,” an inspirational song about inner healing and overcoming adversity.


In this song, Kelita compares herself to a sparrow with broken wings. But, instead of accepting her fate of never being able to “fly,” she describes how the Holy One will take away the pain by cradling her teardrops in His hand and transforming them into precious stones.

She sings, “Shimmering diamonds, rubies of red / Bright as the blood that my dear Savior shed / Emeralds of green, sapphires of blue / He’ll take away your teardrops / Turn them into jewels.”

“Tears” first appeared in 2000 on Kelita’s Naked Soul album, a work that earned her a nomination for a Juno Award (Canada’s version of a Grammy) for Best Gospel Album. Kelita also included the song as the final track of her Heart of a Woman album in 2010.

Born Kelita Haverland in Alberta, Canada, the singer/songwriter/actress/comedian draws her strength from having overcome a series of seemingly insurmountable life challenges. As a child, she suffered physical abuse at the hands of a sibling. Her alcoholic father committed suicide and then her mother died from cancer. Her abusive sibling later died from a heroin overdose, and Kelita nearly lost her own life in a terrible auto accident.

Kelita’s official website explains that the artist writes, sings and speaks what is gleaned from her own life experiences. From a relentless life of tragedy to triumph, the lessons are shared with a transparency and honesty that engages, encourages and inspires. Her ability to touch and penetrate the hearts of audiences is what drives her success.

Kelita helped launch the career of an aspiring 19-year-old singer name Eilleen (Shania) Twain. The teenager from Timmins, Ontario, sang backup on Kelita’s hit song, “Too Hot to Handle.” Twain has gone on to become one of the best-selling artists of all time with more than 100 million records sold worldwide.

Please check out the audio clip of Kelita singing “Tears.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

Written and performed by Kelita Haverland.

Tiny little sparrow fell from the tree
Sometimes I feel that little wounded sparrow is me
Tiny broken wings that never will fly
I wonder does her little heart know how to cry

Does her heart know how to cry
Are her tears gently falling inside
Crying tears she’s been trying to hide
Does her heart know how to cry like mine

Warm velvet words poured like sweet honey from his tongue
Until tonight I’d never heard the Holy one
He said that he would cradle every teardrop in His hand
He’d take away the pain and turn them into precious gems

Jesus knows the tears that you’ve cried
And he has seen them falling inside
Crying tears you’ve been trying to hide
Jesus knows the tears that you’ve cried like mine

Shimmering diamonds, rubies of red
Bright as the blood that my dear Savior shed
Emeralds of green, sapphires of blue
He’ll take away your teardrops
Turn them into jewels

Jesus knows the tears that you’ve cried
And he has seen them falling inside
Crying tears you’ve been trying to hide
Jesus knows, Jesus knows,
Jesus knows the tears that you’ve cried like mine

Credit: Promotional image via
November 14th, 2022
In a wonderful example of serendipity, Jessica and Seth Erickson of Chatfield, MN, mined their own 10th anniversary diamond at Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park.


The couple had recently embarked on an 11-state road trip to celebrate their anniversary milestone and was excited to schedule a stop at the only diamond site in the world that’s open to the general public. The 37½-acre search field at the Murfreesboro park is actually the exposed eroded surface of an ancient diamond-bearing kimberlite pipe and amateur miners get to keep what they find.

The Ericksons arrived at Crater of Diamonds early on a Friday morning and spent the first few hours of their visit collecting material in the north section of the search field. By 11 a.m. they were wet sifting at the North Washing Pavilion with the assistance of some knowledgeable park regulars.

The regulars offered the Minnesota couple tips on how to properly sift their material using two screens — one with a quarter-inch mesh and the second with a 1/16th-inch mesh. The two-stage sifting process washes away the fine dirt and allows the smaller gravel to fall through the first screen and into the second.

According to park staff, about three-fourths of all diamonds registered at the Crater of Diamonds are found by wet sifting.


Although most diamonds are found after flipping gravel from the second screen onto a flat surface, Seth first spotted a metallic-looking gem in the bottom of the first screen. He knew right away it was a diamond and excitedly showed Jessica. Diamond, of course, is the official 10th anniversary gemstone.

According to park officials, it is very unusual to catch a diamond in the top screen of a screen set. The mesh size of the top screen is typically used to catch and remove bigger pieces of gravel – not diamonds. The average diamond size found wet sifting is a quarter of a carat. Typically, larger diamonds are found by surface searching.

The Ericksons placed their tea-color gem in a clear vial and walked it to the park’s Diamond Discovery Center, where park staff registered it as a 1.90-carat brown diamond about the size of a pony bead, a glass or plastic bead often used in children's crafts.

Many people who find diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park choose to name their gems. The Ericksons called their gem "HIMO," derived from the initials of each of their children.

So far this year, 581 diamonds have been registered at Crater of Diamonds State Park. An average of one to two diamonds are found by park visitors each day. Since the Crater of Diamonds opened as an Arkansas State Park in 1972, visitors have found more than 33,000 diamonds.

Credits: Photos courtesy of Crater of Diamonds State Park.
November 15th, 2022
Japanese scientists are on a mission to save the species of oyster responsible for producing the world's most beautiful cultured pearls. The Japanese pearl oyster — Pinctada fucata — is fighting for its survival as viruses and red tides have taken a savage toll on oyster populations and, as a result, pearl production in Japan has shrunk by 70% over the past 20 years.


In an effort to preserve the future of the Japanese pearl industry, scientists have constructed a high-quality, chromosome-scale genome of the Pinctada fucata species, which they hope can be used to breed hardier, more resilient mollusks. The research was published recently in DNA Research.

“It’s very important to establish the genome,” said Dr. Takeshi Takeuchi, staff scientist in the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Marine Genomics Unit. “Genomes are the full set of an organism’s genes — many of which are essential for survival. With the complete gene sequence, we can do many experiments and answer questions around immunity and how the pearls form.”

Scientists at the OIST, in collaboration with K. Mikimoto & Co.'s Pearl Research Institute and the Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency, reconstructed 14 pairs of chromosomes (28 in total) and found key differences between the two chromosomes of one pair—chromosome pair 9. Notably, many of these genes were related to immunity.

“Different genes on a pair of chromosomes is a significant find because the proteins can recognize different types of infectious diseases,” said Dr. Takeuchi.

The scientists believe that the current state of the pearl farming industry is due partly to the lack of genetic diversity in the oyster population. Pearl farmers often breed oysters that have a higher rate or survival or ones that produce more beautiful pearls. But, researchers observed that after three consecutive inbreeding cycles, the genetic diversity was significantly reduced. Genetic deterioration due to the inbreeding of oysters with superior traits makes it difficult for the species to respond to various environmental changes and the emergence of pathogens.

“It is important to maintain the genome diversity in aquaculture populations,” concluded Dr. Takeuchi.

Akoya pearl production is currently 20,000kg (44,092 lbs) per year, down from 70,000kg (154,323 lbs) per year two decades ago. The scientists are hoping to restore an aquaculture industry that was generating 88 billion yen ($630 million) in annual revenue in the early 1990s. Despite diminished numbers, cultured pearls still rank as Japan's second-most-exported marine product, after scallops.

Credit: Image courtesy of K. MIKIMOTO & CO., LTD, Pearl Research Institute.
November 16th, 2022
In the aftermath of a terrifying tornado that flattened their home near Hopewell, TX, Dakota Hudson and his girlfriend, Lauren Patterson, were thankful to be alive. They survived the ordeal by taking shelter in their bathroom, holding each other and praying as the twister shook their new home from its foundation.


Once the storm had passed, Hudson told his girlfriend of seven years that he had been planning to propose and that the tornado had consumed the engagement ring that he had hidden in the back closet their now-obliterated house.

"I told her, I was like, 'I lost your engagement ring and your wedding band,' and she told me it was alright," he recounted to local TV station KXII. "All she needed was me."


On Tuesday of last week, the Paris Junior College softball team volunteered to do some salvage and cleanup work for the devastated community and was randomly paired with the young couple.

Hudson hinted to the girls that if they could find the engagement ring, he would proposal on the spot.

"I guess when you tell 20 girls that you’re looking for an engagement ring they’re going to make sure you’re engaged by the end of the day," Hudson told a Fox4 reporter. "They did not let up. They all came out there and they were all workhorses. The amount of work they were able to put in to help us out was phenomenal."

After hours of digging through debris, clues started to emerge. Some of the girls found pieces of the ring box scattered in different areas. Then about an hour later, outfielder Kate Rainey made the discovery of a lifetime.

“I was just kind of digging through the mud in this certain particular spot, and I kept digging there,” Rainey told KXII. “I don’t know why. I felt [that I was] led to dig right there. I found a little piece of a metal circle, and it was not [just] metal. It was gold. I didn’t believe it. When I found it, I was like, ‘there’s no way I just found it.’”

The engagement ring had been torn from its box and traveled seven yards from its original hiding place in the closet. The tornado had buried the ring two inches under ground.


Rainey ran the ring over to Hudson who washed it off with bottled water and then, true to his word, got down on one knee and proposed to Patterson amidst the tangled remains of what used to be their home. Patterson immediately said "Yes" and the couple embraced to the cheers of the Paris Junior College softball team.

“All the glory goes to God,” Hudson told KXII. “I wasn’t going to wait anymore.”

Head coach Shelby Shelton commented on her Facebook page that the proposal was "truly one of the most remarkable things we have witnessed."

"Congrats to the newly engaged couple!," she wrote. "Our girls can’t wait to attend the wedding."

Credits: Team and proposal photos via Shelby Shelton / Facebook. Photo of couple via Lauren Patterson / Facebook.
November 17th, 2022
This past August, Lucapa Diamond Co. introduced the 170.2-carat Lulo Rose as the largest pink diamond discovered in the past 300 years. Pundits favorably compared the chemically pure, Type IIa, specimen from the Lulo alluvial diamond mine in Angola to some of the most heralded pink diamonds of all time, including the oval-shaped CTF Pink Star, a 59.6-carat gem that sold for a record $71 million in 2017.


It was speculated that the 170-plus-carat rough gem might be cut into a finished stone weighing upwards of 70 carats and challenge the CTF Pink Star's record for the highest price ever paid for a pink diamond, or any gemstone for that matter.

On Tuesday, Sodiam E.P., the Angolan State Diamond Marketing Company, successfully sold the Lulo Rose at an international tender, but failed to disclose the price or the new owner.

Instead, Sodiam reported that the Lulo Rose was one of seven "specials" from the Lulo mine that collectively realized a total of $20.4 million. We also learned that the total weight of all seven rough stones was 767 carats, which put the average price per carat at $26,536.

It's safe to say that if all the gems were of similar size and quality, the 170.2-carat Lulo Rose would have accounted for at least $4.5 million of the tender revenue. But due to its historic size and fancy color, the Lulo Rose likely warranted a premium. The other diamonds in the tender were described as white Type IIa diamonds, three of which topped 100 carats.

When pressed about the Lulo Rose's selling price, a spokesperson for Lucapa told IDEX Online that it didn't provide details for individual stones.

According to Lucapa and its partners, Endiama E.P. and Rosas & Petalas, the historical pink diamond is the fifth largest diamond discovered at Lulo. At the time of its discovery, it was the 27th 100-plus-carat diamond recovered at the site. In September, Lucapa announced that its tally of 100-plus-carat diamonds had grown to 30.

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.

Earlier this year, Lucapa reported that it had discovered 24 new kimberlites at Lulo, bringing the total number to 133. Kimberlite exploration is conducted by the Lulo partners through the separate Projecto Lulo joint venture. This exploration is designed to locate the hard-rock primary sources of the exceptional Lulo alluvial diamonds.

Credit: Image courtesy of Lucapa Diamond Co.
November 18th, 2022
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you classic songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Patsy Cline plays the role of a jilted lover who reminisces about a special class ring and other cherished mementos of a relationship gone bad in her 1962 chart-topper, "She's Got You."


She sings, “I’ve got your class ring that proved you cared / And it still looks the same as when you gave it, dear / The only thing different, the only thing new / I’ve got these little things, she’s got you.”

Songwriter Hank Cochran told Cline biographer Ellis Nassour that in 1961 he called the country star and told her he’d just written her next #1 hit. Cline invited Cochran to come over to her house and play the song on guitar.

She immediately fell in love with the song and learned it that same night. Excitedly, she called her producer, Owen Bradley, and sang it to him on the phone. At that point, Cline and Bradley were certain they had a winner — and they did.

Originally a #1 country hit for Cline in 1962, “She’s Got You” has been covered by an all-star group of music artists, including Rosanne Cash, LeAnn Rimes, Timi Yuro, Jimmy Buffet, Lee Ann Womack and Loretta Lynn.

And the song still has legs.

A 17-year-old Emily Ann Roberts sang "She's Got You" on The Voice in September of 2015. The Season 9 finalist's rousing rendition earned accolades from coach Blake Shelton and helped launch her career. “She’s Got You” was so well received by the viewers of The Voice that the song made it into the iTunes Top 10 and ascended to #21 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

Born Virginia Patterson Hensley in 1932, Cline is often cited as one of the most influential vocalists of the 20th century and the first country music artist to cross over to pop. Just one year after "She's Got You" was released, Cline tragically died in an airplane crash near Camden, TN. She was 30 years old.

We know you will enjoy the audio track of Cline's performance of “She’s Got You.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“She’s Got You”
Written by Hank Cochran. Performed by Patsy Cline.

I’ve got your picture that you gave to me
And it’s signed with love, just like it used to be
The only thing different, the only thing new
I’ve got your picture, she’s got you

I’ve got the records that we used to share
And they still sound the same as when you were here
The only thing different, the only thing new
I’ve got the records, she’s got you

I’ve got your memory, or has it got me
I really don’t know, but I know it won’t let me be

I’ve got your class ring that proved you cared
And it still looks the same as when you gave it, dear
The only thing different, the only thing new
I’ve got these little things, she’s got you

I’ve got your memory, or has it got me
I really don’t know, but I know it won’t let me be

I’ve got your class ring that proved you cared
And it still looks the same as when you gave it, dear
The only thing different, the only thing new
I’ve got these little things, she’s got you

Credit: Image by Shanecollinswiki, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
November 21st, 2022
On December 18, after four weeks of heart-thumping soccer matches, members of a single national team will emerge as champions and experience one of the ultimate thrills in professional sports — raising aloft the 18-karat gold FIFA World Cup Trophy. Four years ago in Russia, that honor went to the squad from France. This year in Qatar, 31 teams will be vying to unseat the defending champs.


The coveted trophy, which is 14.5 inches tall and depicts two human figures holding up the earth, is made of 11 pounds of 18-karat gold and features two rows of green malachite at the base. The trophy is estimated to be worth $20 million, although the actual precious metal value is closer to $231,000.


For years, FIFA, the governing body of soccer, had said the trophy was made of solid gold, but that claim hasn’t held up to scrutiny and it’s very likely that it has a hollow center.


Martyn Poliakoff of the United Kingdom’s Nottingham University did the math and determined that, based on its dimensions, a FIFA trophy made of solid gold would weigh an unwieldy 154 pounds. Gold is nearly 20 times as dense as water, and to get some perspective on just how heavy that is, consider this… A standard gold bar measures just 7 x 3 5/8 x 1 3/4 inches, but weighs more than 27 pounds.

The winning team will be taking home a gold-plated replica of the actual trophy. The real one will remain in the possession of FIFA. The bottom of the base bears the engraved year and name of each FIFA World Cup winner since 1974. The names are not visible when the cup is standing upright.

The tournament takes place every four years, usually during May, June or July in the northern hemisphere. The average high temperature in Qatar during the summer is 107 degrees, so the tournament was moved to the November - December timeframe when the average high temperature is a more comfortable 75 degrees.

It is estimated that five billion people will be tuning in for the World Cup this winter. That's up from 3.5 billion in 2018.

For the past 92 years, there have been only two designs for the FIFA trophy. The current one was conceived by Italian artist Silvio Gazzaniga and presented for the first time in 1974.

In describing his design, Gazzaniga said, “The lines spring out from the base, rising in spirals, stretching out to receive the world. From the remarkable dynamic tensions of the compact body of the sculpture rise the figures of two athletes at the stirring moment of victory.”

In 1970, the Brazilians got to keep the previous version of the trophy — the Jules Rimet Cup — when the team captured its third world title.

Rimet, the founding father of the FIFA World Cup, had stipulated 40 years earlier that any team that won three titles could have the cup permanently. FIFA made good on that promise in 1970, but in 1983 the cup was stolen in Rio de Janeiro and never seen again.

The Jules Rimet Cup, which was originally called “Coupe du Monde,” was designed by French sculptor Abel Lafleur and depicted the goddess of victory holding an octagonal vessel above her. It was 13.7 inches tall and weighed 8.4 pounds. It was made of gold-plated sterling silver, with a base of lapis lazuli.

In 1966, an earlier version of the Jules Rimet Cup was stolen from a public display in London just before the Brits were about to host the World Cup. It was discovered seven days later at the bottom of a suburban garden hedge by a clever canine named Pickles.

During World War II, the Jules Rimet Cup spent some time in a shoebox under the bed of FIFA vice president Dr. Ottorino Barassi, who feared it might fall into the hands of the Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

Brazil currently holds the record for the most FIFA World Cup victories (5), followed by Italy and Germany with four wins each. Favored teams in the current tournament include Brazil, Argentina, France and England.

The North American triumvirate of the US, Canada and Mexico will co-host the next FIFA World Cup games in 2026.

Credits: Photo of 2018 FIFA World Cup champions photo by, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Photo of French footballer Djibril Sidibé holding the FIFA World Cup Trophy in 2018 by Антон Зайцев, CC BY-SA 3.0 GFDL, via Wikimedia Commons. Photo of FIFA World Cup Trophy by Revol Web, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
November 22nd, 2022
Armed with a powerful XP Deus metal detector, 69-year-old David Board took another stab at a long-forgotten hobby. It had been nearly 50 years since Board scoured the beaches of Dorset on England's southwest coast in the hopes of recovering valuable treasure. He hadn't found much back then, but a family friend encouraged him to try his luck again since he was newly retired.


Board got permission to search the pasture of a local farm near Thorncombe. The farmer was an employer and friend for many years. Board had driven a milk tanker for his operation.

On his third pass through the field, Board got a strong signal near a footpath. At a depth of 5 inches, he exposed what at first glance seemed to be a candy wrapper. But then looking more closely he realized it was a muddy piece of metal and stashed it in his top pocket.


"It was once I got home and washed it off that we realized it was a lot better than we thought," he told CNN.

The Finds Liaison Officer Lucy Shipley took the ring to the British Museum and confirmed that it was Medieval in date. The stunning piece is now known as "The Lady Brook Medieval Diamond Ring," a very rare example of what high-end bridal jewelry looked like in the late 1300s.

Board told BBC News that this was a "once in a lifetime" discovery.


“This ring is in almost perfect condition and has an inverted diamond set into the raised bezel so that it comes to a point," explained Nigel Mills, Consultant (Coins and Antiquities) at Noonans, where the ring will be auctioned later this month. "The hoop is composed of two neatly entwined bands symbolizing the union of the couple."

Inside the band is an inscription in French "ieo vos tien foi tenes le moy," translating as "I hold your faith, hold mine."

The property on which the ring was discovered had been acquired by Henry de Broc (or de la Brook) from Reginald de Mohun (1206–1258), Feudal baron of Dunster in Somerset. The baron had inherited this land from his first wife, Hawise Fleming, daughter and heiress of William Fleming. It then passed by descent through the Brook family, coming into the possession of the wealthy landowner Sir Thomas Brook (c.1355-1418).

The auction house noted that, due to the exceptionally fine quality of this ring, it was quite possibly the wedding ring given by Sir Thomas Brook to his wife Lady Joan Brook for their marriage in 1388.

Noonans noted that the ring reflects the medieval notions of chivalry and courtly love that were at their zenith at that time.

The ring is expected to fetch up to £40,000 ($47,000) when it's offered for sale by the London-based auction house Noonans Mayfair on November 29, 2022. The proceeds will be split between Board and the landowner, according to BBC News.

Board said he will use his share of the money to help his partner's daughter secure a mortgage.

Credits: Images courtesy of Noonans Mayfair.
November 23rd, 2022
Thanksgiving Day marks the start of “engagement season,” the romantic time of the year that stretches from tomorrow until Valentine’s Day. The period accounts for just 23% of the calendar, but claims nearly 40% of all marriage proposals.


Facebook has famously reported that about 2.5 million of its 240 million US users change their status to “engaged” in an average year. And that number aligns neatly with The Knot's estimate that 2.6 million weddings would take place in 2022.

The average length of an engagement is about 14 months, so the couples getting engaged in the current season (2022-2023) will likely exchange their vows in 2024.

For many years, Christmas Day has been 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.

Due to COVID-related travel restrictions in the winter of 2020, Christmas Day lost its long-standing top spot to Valentine's Day, according to WeddingWire’s 2021 Newlywed Report, which covered engagement-related activities throughout the full year of 2020.

In that report, Cupid’s Day was followed by New Year’s Day, Christmas Day, Christmas Eve and the Fourth of July (Independence Day). Interestingly, a bunch of warmer weather weekend dates, such as June 20th, September 12th, October 10th and May 16th cracked the Top 10 list in 2020, presumably because of the prevalence of COVID-inspired fresh air proposals.

But now with most restriction lifted, it's safe to assume that the long-standing favorites should climb back to the top of the list.

About 19% of all proposals take place during the month of December, which is more than twice as popular as any other month. The reason for December's dominance is the fact that couples love to get engaged on the days leading up to Christmas all the way through New Year's Eve, which is still officially December 31 until the ball drops.

Here's a rundown of the traditional Top 10 days to pop the question…

Christmas Day. Christmas is a time when families and friends come together from far and wide to celebrate the spirit of the season. It's the perfect time to pop the question because loved ones are present to participate in the festivities.
Christmas Eve. A joyful time to share a festive meal, sit in front of a fireplace and open a package or two ahead of Christmas Day.
Valentine’s Day. The one day each year set aside for lovers is also an ideal time to pop the question.
New Year’s Day. Is there a better way to start off the New Year?
New Year’s Eve. Say goodbye to 2022 and hello to 2023 with the one you love - and a ring.
Day Before Valentine’s Day. When getting engaged on Valentine’s Day may be too obvious, jumping the gun by 24 hours is a strategy to preserve the element of surprise.
Saturday Before Christmas Eve.
Two Saturdays Before Christmas Eve.
December 23rd (Day Before Christmas Eve).
Fourth of July (Independence Day). It’s fun, festive, patriotic and the only date in the Top 10 list that finds itself outside of “engagement season.”

An “Engagement Expectations” study conducted by The Knot and De Beers Group exactly one year ago revealed that 96% of pre-engaged women wanted to have some involvement in the selection of the engagement ring and would not want the proposal to be a total surprise.

Three-fourths of pre-engaged women have thought a lot or some about their engagement ring and most noted they would prefer personalized and unique engagement rings.

A Wedding Wire study confirmed that 72% of respondents worked as a couple to choose an engagement ring and a third of respondents shopped for the ring together.

Credit: Image by
November 28th, 2022
An obscure third-century Roman emperor, once written out of the history books as a fictional character, was likely the real deal, according to researchers at University College London.


By using microscopes, ultraviolet imaging and infrared spectroscopy, researchers led by Professor Paul Pearson determined that the fine scratch marks on the surface of coins bearing Emperor Sponsian's likeness proved that they were in circulation 2,000 years ago and couldn't be modern forgeries. The findings were recently published in the journal PLOS 1.

The only historical reference to Emperor Sponsian is a portrait of him that appeared on a small cache of gold coins discovered in Transylvania 309 years ago. At first, the coins were believed to be genuine, but by the mid-1800s that opinion had flipped 180 degrees.

Henry Cohen, a scholar at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, declared in 1863 that the Sponsian coins were "very poor quality modern forgeries." Cohen described the obverse of the coin as "barbaric and strange" and pointed out that the coins were cast instead of struck. (Casting was a method used by forgers.) The Sponsian coins were also unusually heavy compared to similar Roman coins of that period.

At the time, historians surmised that if the coins were fake, Sponsian was likely a fake character, as well.

The Sponsian coins discovered in 1713 eventually found their way to the Hunterian Museum at Glasgow University, where they remained locked away in a cupboard.

That's until Professor Pearson decided to revisit the mystery of Emperor Sponsian and the crudely designed coins.

Pearson and his team discovered that the Sponsian coins all bore similar patterns of microscopic wear apparent on authentic coins of the third century. A chemical analysis of the dirt caked on the coins confirmed they had been buried for a prolonged period of time.

The wear marks confirmed that the coins were handled in countless transactions over an extended time period and that they were used as a part of a monetary economy, Pearson reported.

"What we have found is an emperor," Pearson told the BBC. "He was a figure thought to have been a fake and written off by the experts. But we think he was real and that he had a role in history."

So, if Sponsian really existed, why don't we know more about him?

Researchers believe that Sponsian was a Roman army officer who was in charge of a remote province called Dacia, in what is now Romania. It was the year 260 AD, and Dacia was physically cut off from Rome during a period of chaos, civil war and a pandemic.

It is believed that Sponsian was "on an island" and had no way of communicating with the supreme command, so he did what he had to do in order to protect the civilian and military populations. One of those things was to declare himself emperor and another was to mint coins so the province could have a functioning economy.

This would theoretically explain why the Sponsian coins were so unlike other coins minted by the Romans at that time.

Credit: Image © 2022 Pearson et al. Sponsianus, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
November 29th, 2022
British actress Lily James, the Natural Diamond Council's newly appointed Global Ambassador, recently visited Botswana to experience the positive impacts the natural diamond industry is having on the country, and to see these precious gems at their point of origin.


Famous for her starring roles in Cinderella (2015) and Downton Abbey (2012-2015), the 33-year-old James recently received her first Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series for her performance as Pamela Anderson in Pam & Tommy (2022). She is also the star of the NDC's global advertising campaign titled "To Treasure, Now and Forever."

James's trip to Botswana began with four days on Safari at The Selinda Reserve, a picturesque wildlife sanctuary that is home to thousands of elephants and the famous Selinda lion pride. From there, she visited the Orapa Game Park — part of the De Beers Diamond Route — which illustrated firsthand the positive results of the natural diamond industry's conservation efforts.

James also met with students and teachers at the Livingstone House Primary School, one of four schools in the community that are run by Debswana — a diamond mining company owned by De Beers and the government of Botswana.


This was followed by a visit to Lucara Diamond Corp's Karowe Diamond Mine, as well as the De Beers Global Sightholder Sales facility in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana. Her last stop was the KGK Diamonds cutting and polishing facility in Gaborone, where she met with some of their employees. A majority of them are native citizens whose livelihoods are supported by the natural diamond industry.

"I've been awestruck by the natural beauty and the vibrant communities I've seen in Botswana," said James. "To know so much of this land — over 1,000 square miles globally — is protected by the natural diamond industry makes me incredibly proud to be the NDC's Global Ambassador."

Natural diamonds support the livelihood of more than 10 million people worldwide and nowhere is the positive impact felt more than in Botswana, where they accounted for 33% of Botswana's GDP in 2021. Botswana also has the highest percentage of women-owned businesses in the world.

"The natural diamond industry is an example to others as to how collaborations between governments and business can transform the lives of so many people and the communities in which they live," said David Kellie, CEO of NDC.

The diamond industry's partnership with the government of Botswana sustains a school system educating approximately 522,000 children a year. In 1966, there were just three secondary schools. Today there are 300 and every Botswanan child receives free primary and secondary education.

Additional benefits of the natural diamond industry include providing healthcare for more than four million people globally and funding critical infrastructure development, including schools, hospitals, and roads.

NDC's advertising campaign starring James showcases a range of diamond jewelry styles, from staples, such as tennis bracelets and necklaces, studs and hoops, to original creations including statement earrings or spiral bracelets.

Credits: Images courtesy of Natural Diamond Council.
November 30th, 2022
The video of Scott Clyne's comical headlong dive into Sarasota Bay to retrieve a fumbled engagement ring box earned the Florida resident an appearance on the Today show, 1.6 million Likes on TikTok and viral online coverage by numerous outlets, including the Daily Mail, People and Brides.


On his Facebook page, Clyne used this caption to summarize the video of his marriage-proposal-gone-awry: "This is 100% real. 100% my luck. 100% will never forget…"

On Saturday, November 12, everything was in place for Clyne to deliver an epic proposal to his girlfriend of eight years, Suzie Tucker. The sunset was stunning, the bay was picturesque and rose petals littered the bow of the boat, where Clyne and his girlfriend posed with their arms spread wide as if they were reenacting the iconic scene from Titanic.

But, seconds later, the perfect moment turned into an implausible disaster when Clyne reached into his back pocket and fumbled the box containing Tucker's engagement ring. The box bounced off the deck and into the bay.

Instantly, Clyne followed the box into the water with a dive that was so comical that he later captured a frame of the exact moment his head and torso disappeared into the water, leaving his legs sticking straight up. That pic is his new Facebook profile picture.

Fortunately, the ring box had some buoyancy, so Clyne was able to grab it before it sunk. You can see the full video here…

Clyne's friend helped him get back into the boat, where the soaking wet suitor continued with his bended knee proposal and, despite the mishap, Tucker said, "Yes."

Clyne told the Daily Mail that the corner of the ring box got caught up on top of his pocket, causing it to slip out of his hands.

"Everything was a blur after that," he told the outlet. "I panicked and reacted by lunging for the ring box before it could sink, not caring if I fell into the water. Luckily, I was able to recover the ring!"

Even though it's always risky to pop the question on a body of water, Clyne was determined to go ahead with the boating proposal.

"We absolutely love boating and I couldn't imagine proposing any other way," he said.

Clyne told the Today show that he originally intended to propose to Tucker in September while the couple was on vacation in the Florida Keys. Hurricane Ian put the kibosh on that plan, so Clyne moved the proposal to November.

After the successful Sarasota proposal, Clyne decided to stick with his plans to take Tucker out for a celebratory dinner.

"I didn’t bring an extra pair of clothes," he told the Today show audience, "so I attended dinner soaking wet.”

Credit: Illustrative image by