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Queen Elizabeth II Wears Spectacular Sapphire Jewelry in New Portrait

Queen Elizabeth II is wearing a spectacular sapphire ensemble in an official portrait released by the Government of Canada. The 94-year-old monarch, who was separately proclaimed the Queen of Canada when she ascended to the British throne in 1953, is bedecked in a famous series of pieces called “The King George VI Victorian Suite.”

Included in the suite is a necklace, earrings, bracelet and tiara. Dangling from her ears and neckline is glittering sapphire jewelry gifted to Elizabeth by her father, King George VI, as a wedding day gift nearly 73 years ago.

The mid-19th century necklace was originally designed with 18 sapphire clusters, framed by round diamonds and spaced by an individually diamond. In 1952, the necklace was shortened by four links.

Seven years later, the Queen took the largest cluster and had it transformed into a hanging pendant, which doubles as a brooch. Each pendant earring highlights a large teardrop-shaped sapphire surrounded by smaller round diamonds. All the gemstones are set in gold.

In the early 1960s, the Queen added a matching sapphire bracelet to the ensemble.

On her head is the “Belgian Sapphire Tiara,” which the Queen purchased in 1963. The headpiece, which is sometimes called the “Victorian Sapphire Tiara,” had been refashioned from a 19th century necklace once owned by Princess Louise of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (born Princess Louise of Belgium).

In the photo, the Queen’s white dress is adorned with two important pieces of Canadian insignia: the Sovereign of the Order of Canada and the Order of Military Merit. The Order of Canada is Canada’s highest civilian honor and The Order of Military Merit recognizes distinctive merit and exceptional service displayed by the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces. The Queen is its highest-ranking member.

The new portrait of the Queen will be displayed in government buildings, schools and embassies in tribute to Canada’s ties to the Queen through the Commonwealth.

The official photo was taken at Windsor Castle in the UK by photographer Chris Jackson, who proudly shared it on his Instagram account along with this caption: “It was an incredible honor to have the opportunity to photograph HM Queen Elizabeth II on behalf of the Canadian Government for her official Canadian Portrait that has been released today. I’ve been lucky enough to have visited Canada many times now with members of the Royal Family and have the fondest memories of the people I’ve met and the incredible, vast and beautiful country that I’ve been privileged to get to know a small part of over the years.”

The Queen broke the record as the longest-reigning British monarch in September 2015. She had ascended to the throne on February 6, 1952, upon her father’s death at the age of 56. The Queen received the sapphire suite when she wed Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, on November 20, 1947. The Prince turned 99 on June 10.

Credits: Photo of Her Majestic Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, by Chris Jackson/Getty Images, courtesy of the Government of Canada. Official Canadian Portrait 2019 © All Rights Reserved.

For 2nd Time in 18 Months, Japanese Dad Honors Daughter With Flawless Diamond

Eighteen months ago, an unnamed Japanese private collector plunked down $13.7 million for a D-flawless, 88.22-carat oval diamond at Sotheby’s Hong Kong. He gifted it to his eldest daughter and named it “Manami Star” in her honor. Yesterday, it was deja vu all over again for the devoted dad, as his winning bid of $15.6 million secured a D-flawless, 102.39-carat oval diamond at Sotheby’s Hong Kong. This time, he gifted it to his second daughter and named it “Maiko Star” in her honor.

Yesterday’s single-lot auction was considered a landmark event for a number of reasons.

It was the first time a diamond of that importance and value was offered at auction without reserve. Usually, a high-value item would enter an auction with a reserve price, which is the confidential minimum selling price agreed upon between the auction house and the consigner. If the bidding failed to meet the reserve, the piece would be withdrawn from the sale. With no reserve, the top bidder is the winner, no matter what.

“Offering without reserve is really a way to let the market decide what the price is going to be for this diamond,” Quig Bruning, Sotheby’s head of jewelry in New York, told barrons.com in the lead-up to the sale.

Yesterday’s auction also represented the first time a 100-plus-carat flawless diamond was sold via a combined online and live auction. Online bidding had started on September 15 and had reached $10.9 million. Yesterday’s live sale ran for about 10 minutes with the bids slowly increasing in increments of HK$100,000 ($12,903).

The auction was also significant because this was only the eighth time a D-flawless diamond weighing more than 100 carats had been offered at auction and only the second time an oval-shaped, 100-plus-carat D-flawless diamond had been put on the auction block.

It looks like the Japanese collector got a great deal. Sotheby’s did not publish a presale estimate for the diamond, but based on previous sales of similar stones, some experts were anticipating a winning bid of $30 million.

In 2013, a 118.28-carat, D-flawless, oval diamond fetched $30.8 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong.

The 102.39-carat gem was cut by Diacore from a rough diamond weighing 271 carats. That stone was sourced in 2018 at De Beers’ Victor Mine in Ontario, Canada. The exacting process of cutting and polishing the diamond took more than a year, according to Sotheby’s.

Credit: Image courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Music Friday: Lorde Channels ‘Hunger Games’ Heroine in the Gem-Infused ‘Yellow Flicker Beat’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you awesome songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Lorde channels Hunger Games protagonist Katniss Everdeen in “Yellow Flicker Beat,” a dark jam that’s infused with references to gemstones and precious metals.

In the first verse, Lorde sings, “I’m a princess cut from marble, smoother than a storm / And the scars that mark my body, they’re silver and gold / My blood is a flood of rubies, precious stones / It keeps my veins hot, the fires found a home in me.”

“Yellow Flicker Beat” was released in 2014 as the lead single from the Lorde-curated soundtrack to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1, which starred Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen.

Lorde explained the inspiration behind “Yellow Flicker Beat” in an interview with radio station KROQ’s Kevin and Bean.

“I reread the books, and I just wanted to tap into everything that Katniss is feeling in that film,” she said. “I felt like Katniss was like, ‘OK, I’m taking names. I’m coming for blood. You don’t do these types of things to my friends and family and get away with it.’ I just wanted to make something kind of dark and haunting.”

Just before the song’s release, Lorde teased “Yellow Flicker Beat” on her Instagram by posting this photo of her hand marked with hand-written lyrics from the song.

On her own Tumblr, Lorde wrote at the time, “It’s my attempt at getting inside her head. I hope you like it.”

And a lot of music lovers did. The song was a huge hit for the New Zealand-born performer as it charted in 14 countries, including a #1 placement in her native country, #34 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and #21 on the Canadian Hot 100. It was nominated for Best Original Song at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards and Best Song at the 20th Critics’ Choice Awards.

Lorde’s performance video boasts 85.6 million views and the music video featuring clips from the movie has earned 18.6 million views. Kanye West remixed the song for the Hunger Games compilation album.

The 23-year-old singer-songwriter, who was born Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor, is clearly enamored with gemstones. In her Grammy Award-winning debut single, “Royals,” she opened with the line, “I’ve never seen a diamond in the flesh.”

The daughter of an award-winning poet, Lorde, endured the names “Dusty” and “Casper” as a child because of her light complexion.

She got her big break as a 12-year-old when Universal Music NZ executive Scott Maclachlan saw a video of her performing at an intermediate school talent show. She signed with the label one year later and reached #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 as a 16-year-old with her song “Royals.” With that feat, she became the youngest solo artist to write and perform a US chart-topper.

Please check out the video of Lorde performing “Yellow Flicker Beat.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“Yellow Flicker Beat”
Written by Ella Yelich-O’Connor‎ and ‎Joel Little. Performed by Lorde.

I’m a princess cut from marble, smoother than a storm
And the scars that mark my body, they’re silver and gold
My blood is a flood of rubies, precious stones
It keeps my veins hot, the fire’s found a home in me
I move through town, I’m quiet like a fight
And my necklace is of rope, I tie it and untie

And the people talk to me, but nothing ever hits home
People talk to me, and all the voices just burn holes
I’m done with it (ooh)

This is the start of how it all ends
They used to shout my name, now they whisper it
I’m speeding up and this is the red, orange, yellow flicker beat sparking up my heart
We’re at the start, the colors disappear
I never watch the stars, there’s so much down here
So I just try to keep up with the red, orange, yellow flicker beat sparking up my heart

I dream all year, but they’re not the sweet kinds
And the shivers move down my shoulder blades in double time

And now people talk to me, I’m slipping out of reach now
People talk to me, and all their faces blur
But I got my fingers laced together and I made a little prison
And I’m locking up everyone who ever laid a finger on me
I’m done with it (ooh)

This is the start of how it all ends
They used to shout my name, now they whisper it
I’m speeding up and this is the red, orange, yellow flicker beat sparking up my heart
We’re at the start, the colors disappear
I never watch the stars, there’s so much down here
So I just try to keep up with the red, orange, yellow flicker beat sparking up my heart

And this is the red, orange, yellow flicker beat sparking up my heart
And this is the red, orange, yellow flicker beat-beat-beat-beat

Credits: Screen capture via YouTube.com. Screen capture via Instagram.com.

 

 

Here’s Why Brazil’s Paraiba Tourmaline Has a Nearly Identical African Cousin

Paraiba tourmaline is the most prized variety of October’s birthstone. The vivid teal, turquoise and neon blue stones caused a sensation when they were first discovered in Brazil’s tropical, coastal state of Paraiba in 1987.

Worldwide demand sparked a mining frenzy and, within five years, the supply beneath “Paraiba Hill” was largely tapped out.

With the original mine depleted, gem lovers wondered if there would ever be another discovery of Paraiba tourmaline. Well, they didn’t have to wait too long. In 2001, new Paraiba-like tourmalines were unearthed far across the Atlantic Ocean in Nigeria. Curiously, the African gems boasted the same color and chemistry as the South American-sourced originals.

Some gem experts believe that the uncanny connection can be attributed to continental drift, the theory that the Earth’s continents have moved over geologic time and that South American and Africa were once connected. Paraiba, on the far eastern tip of Brazil, would have been adjacent to the west coast of Nigeria.

“Thus we may suppose that the radiant copper tourmalines from Nigeria came into being under the same conditions as those from Paraiba, at a time before the ancient continent drifted apart,” writes the International Colored Gemstone Association on its Paraiba Tourmaline web page. “Is that the reason why it is so difficult to tell one from the other? This remains one of the great riddles in the fascinating world of gemstones.”

Paraiba tourmalines are distinctly different from other varieties of tourmaline because they owe their intense blue color to trace impurities of copper. Others get their color from the presence of iron, manganese, chromium and vanadium. Gem dealers generally refer to copper-infused tourmaline as “Paraiba,” regardless of the origin.

Top-quality Paraiba tourmalines larger than a few carats are extraordinarily rare. The 1.22-carat pear-shaped gem, above, was mined in Paraiba and is now part of the National Gem Collection at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.

Tourmaline comes in a wide variety of fiery, vibrant hues, such as red, green, yellow, orange, brown, pink and purple. October’s birthstone is even available in bi-color and tri-color versions. The name “tourmaline” is, in fact, derived from the Singhalese words “tura mali,” which mean “stone with mixed colors.”

Tourmalines range from 7 to 7.5 on the Moh’s scale of hardness, which makes them durable enough to be used in any type of jewelry.

Both tourmaline and opal are the official birthstones for the month of October.

Credit: Gem photo by Greg Polley / Smithsonian. Continental drift illustration by SebM123 / CC0.

Is It Possible to Set a Diamond Ablaze? These Scientists Deliver the Answer

Diamond sits alone atop the Mohs scale as the hardest naturally occurring material known to man. It is harder than a ruby, sapphire or emerald and has the ability to slice through steel like a hot knife through butter. The only substance that can scratch a diamond is another diamond.

Under normal circumstances, diamonds truly are forever. But in the labs of the British Royal Institution, the famous De Beers ad slogan was put to the test.

Because a diamond is made from pure carbon, scientists have theorized since the 1700s that it should burn like other carbon materials, such as graphite or coal.

And, indeed, during the early 1770s, French chemist Antoine Lavoisier used two powerful lenses to magnify the sun’s rays directly onto a diamond. The diamond slowly disappeared and carbon dioxide gas accumulated, proving that the diamond was made from carbon.

In the 2013 video, below, British scientist and author Peter Wothers enlisted the help of Nobel prize-winning chemist Sir Harry Kroto to demonstrate what it takes to get a diamond to burn. (Kroto passed away in 2016 at the age of 76.)

Wothers added a bit of drama and comic relief by using Kroto’s wife’s engagement diamond for the experiment. The viewer can see Kroto getting increasingly more uncomfortable as it becomes very clear that his wife’s diamond — under just the right conditions — has ignited.

In pure oxygen, diamonds can burn at 1320 degrees F. In normal conditions, the ignition occurs at about 1520 degrees F.

Wothers’ experiment was conducted in a chamber of pure oxygen. The resulting gases were collected in a tube leading to a beaker of limewater. The experiment anticipated that if the burning material contained carbon, the smoke would contain carbon dioxide. When the carbon dioxide was mixed into the limewater, it turned the mixture a milky white color — basically delivering calcium carbonate, an antacid used to calm a sour stomach.

In his preliminary experiment, Wothers easily ignited a bit of graphite using a torch. Then he upped the ante by doing the exact same experiment using the Kroto engagement diamond.

Surprisingly, that lit up, too. The diamond burned as a golden ember without producing any flames. At that point, Kroto half-jokingly commented that he hoped Wothers could afford to pay for a replacement diamond.

As you might have figured out by now, Wothers had cleverly swapped the Krotos’ engagement diamond with a much lower quality specimen before the experiment began.

If you’re worried about how a diamond is protected when a ring needs to be retipped, for example, be assured that jewelers go to great lengths to make sure that the extreme heat of the torch does not affect the gemstone. Some jewelers use boric acid to protect the stone while others depend on the pinpoint accuracy of a laser welder to keep the diamond out of harm’s way.

Kroto won his Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996 for his work in discovering fullerenes, a pure carbon molecule that takes a shape similar to a soccer ball. Research has suggested many uses for fullerenes, including medical applications, superconductors, fiber-optics systems and nanotechnology.

Check out Wothers’ diamond-burning experiment here…

Credits: Screen captures via YouTube.com.

Model Jasmine Tookes Dishes About Her Romantic Adventure and 7-Carat Diamond Ring

Snapchat executive Juan David Borrero pulled out all the stops for his marriage proposal to Victoria’s Secret Angel Jasmine Tookes on September 21. The Ecuador-born Borrero’s romantic adventure covered three states and culminated with a drone-delivered 7-carat oval-shaped diamond engagement ring.

This past Thursday, the supermodel’s 4.1 million Instagram followers got to see intimate shots of her special day, along with a close-up look at her new ring. The 18-karat yellow gold ring features a hidden halo, diamond-embellished prongs and is estimated to be worth more than $250,000. Borrero reportedly spent eight months designing the custom ring with specialists at Ritani.

Tookes captioned the photo, “Si, mi amor! We’re engaged!!!” and punctuated the post with heart, love and crying emojis.

In an interview with Vogue.com, the 29-year-old Tookes dished all the details of her memorable day.

Early on Monday, September 21, Borrero, the 30-year-old director of international markets at Snapchat, interrupted Tookes’ workday to tell her to pack her bags. They were going on a surprise trip and they were leaving in two hours.

Tookes was blindfolded on the way to their first stop, The Rose in Venice, CA. It was the restaurant where they first met four years ago.

Then they drove off to the airport, where they boarded a plane to Page, AZ. Along the way, the model munched Popeyes chicken tenders and drank Champagne.

“I was in heaven,” she wrote, but things were about to get even more exciting.

After touching down in Arizona, they boarded a helicopter.

“[They] flew us to the most beautiful, otherworldly-like secluded place in the middle of the desert rocks in Utah. It was just us,” she told Vogue.com.

More specifically, they were at the breathtaking Lake Powell, a man-made reservoir on the border of Utah and Arizona.

The couple enjoyed a Champagne toast and sat for about an hour, taking in the gorgeous vistas and enjoying each other’s company.

“Shortly after that, he escorted me to a lookout above where we were sitting, and on the ground was a bunch of rocks which spelled out WYMM?” she said. “At first glance, I didn’t know what this meant, but it immediately dawned on me that it meant ‘Will you marry me?’”

While she tried to process what was happening, she heard a drone flying above them. Hanging from the drone at the end of a long string was a small black pouch, and in the pouch was a ring box.

Borrero grabbed the ring box, took out the ring and went down on one knee.

“I was in complete disbelief and immediately burst into tears because this was something I did not expect,” Tookes told vogue.com. “After lots of happy tears, I obviously said ‘Yes,’ and this was honestly the best day I could’ve ever imagined. We are very excited and looking forward to a future filled with lots of love and happiness.”

The couple will be tying the knot in Borrero’s hometown in Ecuador. Due to the issues related to COVID-19, plans have yet to be cemented.

“Hopefully, all of my Spanish classes will have paid off by then,” she joked.

Credits: Images via Instagram/jastookes.

25 Years of Searching Yields 2nd-Largest Diamond in Arkansas Park’s History

In a shining example of how persistence pays off, Kevin Kinard scored a 9.07-carat diamond during a Labor Day visit to Arkansas’s Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro. The 33-year-old bank branch manager from Maumelle, Ark., had caught the diamond bug during a second-grade field trip to the park and had returned regularly ever since. For 25 years, his amateur prospecting turned up no diamonds.

All that changed on September 7 when he picked up a curiously shiny, marble-sized brown crystal in the southeast portion of the park’s 37.5-acre search area. The crystal turned out to be the second-largest diamond discovered in the 48-year history of the park. The largest was the 16.37-carat white Amarillo Starlight, which was unearthed in August of 1975.

Kinard told park officials that he and his friends were wet sifting for about 10 minutes before he decided to break off from his group to walk up and down the plowed rows of the search field. While scanning the ground, a stone with a rounded, dimpled shape caught his eye.

“It kind of looked interesting and shiny,“ he said, “so I put it in my bag and kept searching. I just thought it might’ve been glass.”

After a few hours, Kinard and his friends headed to the Diamond Discovery Center, where park staffers help identify visitors’ finds.

“I almost didn’t have them check my finds, because I didn’t think I had found anything,“ Kinard said. “My friend had hers checked, though, so I went ahead and had them check mine, too.”

A few minutes later, a park manager invited Kinard into the Discover Center’s office to tell him the big news.

“I honestly teared up when they told me,” he said. “I was in complete shock!”

Park officials described the dewdrop-shaped stone as “brandy brown” with a metallic shine, which is typical of all the park’s diamonds.

Park Assistant Superintendent Dru Edmonds noted that conditions in the diamond search area were perfect for Kinard to find his diamond.

“Park staff plowed the search area on August 20, just a few days before Tropical Storm Laura dropped more than two inches of rain in the park,” Edmonds said. “The sun was out when Mr. Kinard visited, and he walked just the right path to notice the sunlight reflecting off his diamond.”

Kinard pointed out the uncanny connection between the diamond’s weight and the day he found it.

”It weighs 9.07, and I found it on 9/7. I thought that was so unique!” he said.

As is customary with large diamond finds at the park, Kinard was encouraged to give his diamond a name.

He decided to honor his friends by calling it the ”Kinard Friendship Diamond.”

“We love to travel together and had such a great time out here,” he said. ”It was a very humbling experience.”

The search area is actually a plowed field atop the eroded surface of an extinct, diamond-bearing volcanic pipe. Visitors have found more than 33,000 diamonds since the Crater of Diamonds opened as an Arkansas State Park in 1972.

Amateur miners get to keep what they find at the only diamond site in the world that’s open to the general public. The park had been closed for two months due to COVID-19 health concerns, but reopened on May 22.

Admission to the park’s diamond search area is currently limited to 1,000 tickets per day due to COVID-19 restrictions. Visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance at www.CraterofDiamondsStatePark.com, to ensure access.

Credits: Images courtesy of Arkansas State Parks.

Music Friday: Brokenhearted Sam Smith Cries Out, ‘My Diamonds Leave With You’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you brand new songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, English singer-songwriter Sam Smith tries to wrap his mind around a bitter breakup in his sensational, new single, “Diamonds.”

Throughout the song, Smith acknowledges that his ex-lover was using him for his money and fame. But, Smith hardly cares that his ex has walked away with “glitter and gold.” What’s most painful is the loss of the thing that is most precious in his world — his love, which is represented in the song as his “diamonds.”

Smith sings, “Material love won’t fool me (Mmm) / When you’re not here, I can’t breathe (Mmm) / Think I always knew / My diamonds leave with you.”

Penned by Smith and Shellback, “Diamonds” was released as the second single from Love Goes, an album that’s scheduled to drop on October 30. Today’s featured song premiered on September 17 and the official music video has become a global sensation, averaging more than a million views per day (8.7 million and counting). The official lyric video has been played more than a half million times.

On his Instagram page, Smith wrote, “I’m extremely happy and overjoyed to announce my third album (I can’t believe I’m saying that) ‘Love Goes’. This album marks a time of experimentation and self discovery in my life. I wrote this from the age of 26-28 and it’s been one hell of a ride. I hope the people who listen to it enjoy it and love it like I have and do.”

Born Samuel Frederick Smith in London in 1992, the velvety-voiced singer developed his love for music in musical theater and youth choirs. As a 20-year-old, he was featured on the Disclosure song, “Latch,” which charted in 15 countries. A year later, he would release his debut album, Lay Me Down.

To date, Smith has captured four Grammy Awards, three Brit Awards, three Billboard Music Awards, an American Music Award, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award.

Please check out the audio track of Smith performing “Diamonds.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“Diamonds”
Written by Sam Smith and Shellback. Performed by Sam Smith.

Have it all, rip our memories off the wall
All the special things I bought
They mean nothing to me anymore
But to you, they were everything we were
They meant more than every word
Now I know just what you love me for (Mmm)

Take all the money you want from me
Hope you become what you want to be
Show me how little you care
How little you care, how little you care
You dream of glitter and gold
My hеart’s already been sold
Show you how little I care
How little I care, how little I care

My diamonds leave with you (Mmm)
You’re never gonna hear my heart break (Mmm)
Never gonna move in dark ways (Mmm)
Baby, you’re so cruel
My diamonds leave with you (Mmm)
Material love won’t fool me (Mmm)
When you’re not here, I can’t breathe (Mmm)
Think I always knew
My diamonds leave with you (Diamonds, diamonds, diamonds, diamonds)

Shake it off, shake the fear of feeling lost
Always me that pays the cost
I should never trust so easily
You lied to me, lie-lied to me
Then left with my heart ’round your chest (Mmm)

Take all the money you want from me
Hope you become what you want to be
Show me how little you care
How little you care, how little you care
You dream of glitter and gold
My heart’s already been sold
Show you how little I care
How little I care, how little I care

My diamonds leave with you (Mmm)
You’re never gonna hear my heart break (Mmm)
Never gonna move in dark ways (Mmm)
Baby, you’re so cruel
My diamonds leave with you (Mmm)
Material love won’t fool me (Mmm)
When you’re not here, I can’t breathe (Mmm)
Think I always knew
My diamonds leave with you (Diamonds, diamonds, diamonds, diamonds)

Woah-oh (Diamonds, diamonds, diamonds, diamonds)
Woah-oh (Diamonds, diamonds, diamonds, diamonds)
Always knew
My diamonds leave with you (Diamonds, diamonds, diamonds, diamonds)
Woah-oh (Diamonds, diamonds, diamonds, diamonds)
Woah-oh (Diamonds, diamonds, diamonds, diamonds)
Always knew (Diamonds, diamonds, diamonds, diamonds)

You’re never gonna hear my heart break
Never gonna move in dark ways
Baby, you’re so cruel
My diamonds leave with you
Material love won’t fool me
When you’re not here, I can’t breathe
Think I always knew
My diamonds leave with you, oh

You’re never gonna hear my heart break (Mmm)
Never gonna move in dark ways (Mmm, oh)
Baby, you’re so cruel (So cruel)
My diamonds leave with you (Mmm)
Material love won’t fool me (Mmm)
When you’re not here, I can’t breathe (Mmm)
Think I always knew
My diamonds leave with you (Diamonds, diamonds, diamonds, diamonds)

Woah-oh (Diamonds, diamonds, diamonds, diamonds)
Woah-oh (Diamonds, diamonds, diamonds, diamonds)
Always knew
My diamonds leave with you (Diamonds, diamonds, diamonds, diamonds)
Woah-oh (Diamonds, diamonds, diamonds, diamonds)
Woah-oh (Diamonds, diamonds, diamonds, diamonds)
Always knew
My diamonds leave with you

Credit: Photo by marcen27 from Glasgow, UK / CC BY.

Now You Can Make the 27-Foot-Long Wienermobile Part of Your Epic Marriage Proposal

As of this month, Oscar Mayer’s 27-foot-long Wienermobiles have been making appearances at marriage proposals from coast to coast. There are currently six hot-dog-shaped promotional vehicles criss-crossing the continent, and to book one, all you have to do is visit the company’s website, fill out a request form, and hope for some good luck.

Oscar Mayer charges no fee for a Wienermobile appearance, but spots are based on availability. The company recommends that requests be made from three to 12 months ahead of the big day. The company will notify winners one week prior to the requested date.

Wienermobile proposals became a thing at Oscar Mayer after Zach Chatham, an official Wienermobile driver, revealed his plans to pop the question in front of the vehicle at Yellowstone National Park. Wienermobile drivers are called “hotdoggers,” and this hotdogger’s proposal idea caught the attention of Nick Guerten, marketing director for Oscar Mayer.

“When Zach told us about his plans to propose with the Wienermobile at Yellowstone, we knew it would be a one-of-a-kind experience they would never forget,” Guerten told foodandwine.com. “We wanted to extend this to our fans so everyone can have the opportunity of a 27-foot hot dog on wheels present during such an important life moment.”

In a clever pun-filled statement, the company wrote, “You can now relish your upcoming special day with the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. Summer weddings may have been a no-go, but proposal season is coming up FAST. So, Oscar Mayer is making the iconic Wienermobile available to anyone who’s ready to mustard up the courage to pop the question to their significant other.”

Oscar Mayer devotes a large section of its website to the Wienermobile. There, hot dog aficionados will learn that the first Wienermobile was created in 1936 by Carl Mayer, that the 1952 version of the Wienbermobile has a permanent home at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI, and that the 1969 Wienmobile featured Ford Thunderbird taillights, a Chevy motorhome frame and averaged 187 smiles per gallon. Fans can also track the whereabouts of the six Wienermobiles and fill out an appearance request.

When filling out the form, be sure to state how the Wienermobile will be incorporated into your proposal plan.

Credit: Image courtesy of Oscar Mayer.

4,000 Sapphires Sparkle in 2020 Edition of Miami Hurricanes’ ‘Turnover Chain’

The Miami Hurricanes finally unveiled the 2020 edition of their famous “turnover chain” during the highly ranked team’s 47-34 road victory against the Louisville Cardinals on Saturday. Cornerback Al Blades Jr. got to wear the massive, gem-encrusted Florida-shaped pendant after picking off a pass from Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham late in the second quarter.

The pendant is affixed to a massive Cuban-link chain that weighs 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) and measures 32 inches long. The Florida-shaped pendant weighs 300 grams and is dotted with 4,000 sapphires set in 10-karat yellow gold. The design incorporates the Hurricanes’ “U” logo positioned over the northern part of the state. The “U” is emblazoned with 700 orange sapphires and 700 green sapphires to match the team’s colors.

Most of the state of Florida is set with white sapphires, except for southeastern region, including Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, which are key recruiting areas near the school’s home base in Miami. On the pendant, those counties are filled in with orange and green sapphires.

The Hurricanes’ defensive unit didn’t cause any turnovers in their home opener against the University of Alabama so the long-awaited reveal was held over to Week 2.

During that game, fans did get to see the team’s 2020 “touchdown rings” for the first time after running back Cam’Ron Harris took a handoff, busted through the line and scampered untouched for a 66-yard touchdown. The Hurricanes would go on to win 31-14.

The rings span eight knuckles and spell out “The Crib” when the two fists are held together. The script words are adorned with orange and green sapphires. The rings are set with 829 and 1,096 gems, respectively.

The celebratory turnover chain is the team’s fourth in four years. The first incarnation of that chain, in 2017, featured a diamond-encrusted “U” hanging from a Cuban link chain. The 2018 edition highlighted a jeweled Sebastian the Ibis, the team’s mascot, but no “U” logo. The 2019 version was a diamond-adorned “305,” a number that refers to the South Florida area code.

Saturday’s win lifted the Hurricanes to  #12 in the new AP college football rankings.

Credit: Image courtesy of Miami Athletics.