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Welcome to the Start of ‘Engagement Season’ — the Most Romantic Time of the Year

Thanksgiving Day marked the start of the "engagement season," a romantic time of the year that stretches all the way to Valentine's Day. The period accounts for 23% of the calendar, but proudly claims about 40% of all marriage proposals.According to WeddingWire.com, Christmas Day is the most popular day to get engaged, followed by Valentine's Day, Christmas Eve and New Year's Day.These statistics are affirmed — in a slightly different order — by Facebook, whose 2 billion-plus active users (yes, that’s billion with a “b”) love to...

Golden Laurel Leaf Trimmed From Napoleon’s Coronation Crown Sells at Auction for $730,000

A golden laurel leaf trimmed from the coronation crown of French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in 1804 sold for a surprising $730,000 at an auction near Paris on Sunday. The hammer price was more than four times the pre-sale high estimate.Weighing barely 10 grams (.35 ounces), the leaf's precious metal value is less than $500. But Jean-Pierre Osenat of the auction house that bears his family's name told Reuters that the sale price "certainly isn't based on the weight of the gold, but on the weight of history."Osenat...

Sierra Leone Yields Second Massive Diamond of 2017; This One Weighs 476.7 Carats

It's been a banner year for tiny West African nation of Sierra Leone. The recent discovery of the 476.7-carat "Meya Prosperity" — which followed the March discovery of the even more massive 709.1-carat "Peace Diamond" — gives Sierra Leone the distinction of being the source of the world's two biggest diamond finds of 2017.The yellow-hued Peace Diamond is believed to be the 14th largest diamond ever discovered, and the colorless Meya Prosperity is being slotted at #29.The Peace Diamond, which was pulled from a river bed by...

Mother Nature Dazzles Us Again: Natural Freshwater Pearl Bears Uncanny Likeness to a Swimming Fish

A natural freshwater pearl bearing an uncanny likeness to a swimming fish proves, once again, that Mother Nature is the world's greatest artist, sculptor and designer.Measuring a little less than an inch in length, the specimen's shape, color, scale-like texture and seemingly articulated head and body make for a one-of-a-kind masterwork that has the gemological and jewelry communities buzzing.The Gemological Institute of America’s New York City lab recently completed an examination of the unique fish-shaped brownish orange pearl. Sally Chan Shih and Emiko Yazawa wrote about the interesting...

Music Friday: Sonny Turner of The Platters Sings, ‘With This Ring I Promise I’ll Always Love You’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great throwback songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today we celebrate the 50th anniversary of "With This Ring," a feel-good sing-along that was a huge hit for The Platters and frontman Sonny Turner.In this song, Turner is about to marry the girl of his dreams. He admits to having been a "wanderer," but now he's ready to settle down. The ring represents his promise to be faithful and to always love her.He sings,...

Meet the Smartphone Case That Doubles as a Ring Box and Delivers the Ultimate Proposal Selfie

A few days ago, The Knot revealed that 47% of all couples are enlisting a photographer or videographer to capture the exact moment of their proposal. With so much emphasis on sharing that big news on social media, it was inevitable that someone would come up with a smartphone case that doubles as a ring box and delivers the ultimate proposal selfie.Introducing the RokShok, a smartphone case with a twist. When opened, the unique mechanism extends the engagement ring perfectly in front of the phone's camera. As...

Largest D-Flawless Diamond Ever to Appear at Auction Fetches $33.7 Million at Christie’s Geneva

The largest D-flawless diamond ever offered at auction — a 163-carat emerald-cut stunner set in an emerald and diamond necklace by de Grisogono — fetched $33.7 million at Christie's Geneva yesterday. The piece was purchased by an anonymous bidder and the hammer price exceeded the pre-sale estimate by about 10%.The extraordinary diamond, which was cut from a 404.20-carat Angola-sourced rough named “4 de Fevereiro,” had been billed as "the most beautiful diamond in the world." The necklace attained celebrity status as it toured Hong Kong, London, Dubai...

The Knot Reports a Resurgence in Time-Honored Traditions, Such as Getting Down on Bended Knee

Time-honored marriage proposal traditions are back in vogue, according to The Knot's "2017 Jewelry & Engagement Study." When it comes to getting down on bended knee, using the phrase "Will you marry me" and asking her parents for permission, everything old is new again.For instance, exactly 87% of future grooms told The Knot that they proposed on bended knee. That number is up 10 percentage points since 2011. About 9 in 10 grooms claimed they popped the question with engagement ring in hand (up from 85% in...

Intricately Carved Agate Detailing a Battle Scene Is Called a Bronze-Age ‘Masterpiece’

Measuring barely 1.5 inches across and carved with astonishing skill, this 3,500-year-old sealstone is considered one of the finest works of prehistoric Greek art ever discovered.Emerging from the surface of the agate is a finely detailed battle scene showing a victorious warrior who, having already vanquished one unfortunate opponent sprawled at his feet, now turns his attention to another much more formidable foe. Some of the elements are so incomprehensibly small that they must be viewed with a magnifying glass or via photomicroscopy to be truly appreciated.The...

Music Friday: After Sad Breakup, Vance Joy Reminisces in His New Release How We Were ‘Like Gold’

Welcome to Music Friday when we often bring you fresh, new tunes with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, we feature a nostalgic ballad from Aussie singer-songwriter Vance Joy. Introduced via Joy's Twitter account on November 2, "Like Gold" tells the story of a perfect love, a painful breakup and the promise of a second chance.As many authors and lyricists have done in the past, Joy uses "gold" to symbolize something pure and ideal.He sings, "Closing my eyes, remember how we were...

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