P.K. Bennett Jewelers Blog
July 20th, 2018
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you uplifting songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, country music legend Alan Jackson explores the real meaning of a wedding band in his 2010 release, "True Love Is a Golden Ring."



In the song, a once-tormented Jackson has finally found his soulmate. He admits that his search for true love had taken him "down a winding road with many turns, through fire and smoke and bridges burned." But now, he can look into his lover's eyes and finally see the truth.

He sings, "True love is a golden ring / Like the vows we made it's a precious thing / Sent from above on silver wings / True love is a golden ring."

Later in the song, he also likens love to the "endless turn of a wedding band."

Written by Jackson and Roger Murrah, "True Love Is a Golden Ring" appeared as the 11th track on Freight Train, the singer's 16th studio album.

Freight Train was a major success for Jackson as it ascended all the way to #2 on the U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums chart, #7 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and #8 on the Canadian Albums Chart.

Born in Newnan, Ga., in 1958, Jackson grew up in a modest home that started out as a one-room toolshed. Jackson's dad, Joseph, expanding the home through the years to accommodate the births of Alan and his four older sisters.

Jackson didn't pursue a music career until he was well into his 20s. He didn't own a guitar as a child and nobody in his family was musically inclined. At the age of 21, he still hadn't traveled north of the Georgia border.

“Nashville,” he said in his official bio, “seemed as far away as Japan to me.”

In 1980, after attending a concert, he told his wife, Denise, that he was interested in a music career. Three years later, at the age of 25, he started performing with local country bands and writing songs that drew on his life's experiences.

Jackson got his big break when Denise, while working as a flight attendant, met singer Glen Campbell in an airport and mentioned that her husband was looking to break into the music business. Campbell referred her to his own Nashville music publishing company and told her that the they needed to move to Nashville — which they did.

Even though he entered the business a bit late, Jackson has had a stellar music career. He has sold more than 80 million records and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2017. He even has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Please check out the audio track of Jackson performing "True Love Is a Golden Ring." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"True Love Is a Golden Ring"
Written by Roger Murrah and Alan Jackson. Performed by Alan Jackson.

True love is a golden ring
Like the vows we made it's a precious thing
Sent from above on silver wings
True love is a golden ring

Down a winding road with many turns
Through fire and smoke and bridges burned
I've held my share of stranger's hands
Now holding yours, I understand

True love is a golden ring
Like the vows we made it's a precious thing
Sent from above on silver wings
True love is a golden ring

Love is so much more than a one-night stand
Like the endless turn of a wedding band
Looking in your eyes I see the truth
After all this time I found you

True love is a golden ring
Like the vows we made it's a precious thing
Sent from above on silver wings
True love is a golden ring
Oh, true love is a golden ring


Credit: Screen capture via YouTube.com.
July 19th, 2018
Back in April, model and actress Emily Ratajkowski famously told The Tonight Show's audience how she accepted a paper clip engagement ring from beau Sebastian Bear-McClard when he popped the question at the Minetta Tavern in New York City.



"He didn't have a ring, so I was like, 'Hmmm, nah,'" Ratajkowski explained to host Jimmy Fallon. "And then he took the paper clip that the bill was paid with and made me a ring, which I actually thought was really romantic."



Now, five months after the proposal, the paper clip ring is history and top fashion publications are gushing over the model's double-stone engagement ring stunner — pear-shaped and princess-cut diamonds nestled side by side on a simple yellow-gold band.

Both Ratajkowski and Bear-McClard took an active role in the engagement ring's design. Vogue.com reported that the end result was a labor of love, as the couple worked on more than 50 sketches before agreeing on the final look.

“We liked the idea of two stones instead of one and spent a long time looking at rings with multiple stones for inspiration,” Ratajkowski told Vogue.com. “At one point it included a ruby as the second stone, [but] ultimately we loved the idea of the femininity of the pear contrasted with the architecture of the princess.

"I love it,” the 27-year-old continued. “I can’t tell you how special it feels to me.”

Last week, Ratajkowski treated her 18.5 million Instagram followers to a few closeup shots of the ring.

One can see in the Instagram pic that the dainty yellow-gold band of the engagement ring stands in sharp contrast to the wide yellow-gold wedding band.

On The Tonight Show, Ratajkowski recounted how she and her fiancé were looking to get married at City Hall soon after the proposal and had little time to pick out wedding bands.

Here's how she described what happened next...

"So then we walked into Chinatown and bought an ounce of gold, and he was like, ‘We’ll melt down the gold and make the rings.’

"So I was like, ‘I just don’t see us melting down gold, like that just seems kind of difficult,’ but then he ended up going to some store in Midtown and met this nice man— this is the night before our wedding, by the way— and this very nice Israeli man was like, ‘I know how to do that.’

"So we came into his studio after hours and then we actually hammered them out, the whole thing, used a little blow torch. And they were supposed to be temporary rings, but now I’m very attached and I really don’t want to get rid of it."

Looks like Ratajkowski kept her word. The on-the-fly, hammered-out wedding band is now part of her bridal-jewelry ensemble.

Credits: Images via Instagram/emrata.
July 18th, 2018
A quadrillion tons of diamonds lie 100 miles below the earth's surface, spread across vast rock formations called "cratons," according to a study published by a team of researchers from MIT, Harvard, the University of California at Berkeley and other top-tier institutions.



The scientists made their discovery while studying the deepest parts of the Earth using sound waves. Apparently these waves move at differing speeds, depending on the temperature, density and composition of the material they travel through.

The researchers found that the sound waves moved much faster than expected when passing through the bottom of cratons, which the scientists described as underground rock formations that resemble inverted mountains.

After conducting a series of experiments to try to simulate the results in a lab, the researchers concluded that rocks containing 1-2% diamond were the only ones that could duplicate the sound wave velocities achieved in the cratons.

“It’s circumstantial evidence, but we’ve pieced it all together,” said study co-author Ulrich Faul, a research scientist in MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. “We went through all the different possibilities, from every angle, and this is the only one that’s left as a reasonable explanation.”

In the study, which was published in the June edition of the journal Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, the researchers suggested that cratonic roots are 1-2% diamond. When they did the math, that translated into a quadrillion tons of the precious gems. The number quadrillion looks like this... 1,000,000,000,000,000.

While the researchers now believe that there are 1,000 times more diamonds hidden below the Earth's surface than they previously assumed, they were quick to point out that none of the gem crystals are accessible by conventional mining methods.

Diamonds can blast to the surface during volcanic eruptions. The vertical superhighways that take the diamonds on their 100-plus mile journey are called kimberlite pipes.

Credit: Rough diamond exhibited at the Senckenberg Museum, Frankfurt, Germany. Photo by User:KS_aus_F (User:KS_aus_F) [GFDL 1.2 or FAL], via Wikimedia Commons.
July 17th, 2018
Precious-metals experts are claiming that the world is at "peak gold," the critical point when the amount of gold mined out of the earth will begin to shrink every year, rather than increase. With aging mines yielding fewer ounces and the number of major new discoveries dwindling, global gold production is no longer able to keep up with demand.



"If I could give one sentence about the gold mining business… it's that in my life, gold produced from mines has gone up pretty steadily for 40 years," Ian Telfer, chairman of Goldcorp. told the Financial Post. "Well, either this year it starts to go down, or next year it starts to go down, or it's already going down… We're right at peak gold here."

Global production of gold escalated from 2,470 metric tons in 2005 to 3,150 metric tons in 2017. But even at that high-water mark, new gold production is hardly keeping up with global demand, which stood at 4,072 metric tons globally in 2017, according to statista.com.

The jewelry industry consumes nearly 53% of the global demand for gold, while other sectors lag far behind. They include bar and coin bullion (25%), electronics (9%), other industries (7%), central bank purchases (5%) and dentistry (1%).

The biggest reason why gold supplies are expected to drop is because mining companies are finding fewer and fewer new gold deposits.

Pierre Lassonde, the billionaire founder of Franco-Nevada, a company that invests in mining operations, told Business Insider that there haven't been any blockbuster gold discoveries in the past 15 years.

Said Lassonde, "If you look back to the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s, in every one of those decades, the industry found at least one 50+ million-ounce gold deposit, at least 10 30+ million-ounce deposits and countless 5-to-10 million ounce deposits. But if you look at the last 15 years, we found no 50-million-ounce deposit, no 30-million-ounce deposit and only very few 15-million-ounce deposits."

A startling report by Goldman Sachs on commodity scarcity outlined a scenario in which the world could run out of mineable gold in 20 years.

Meanwhile, aging mines are yielding less. South Africa, once a world leader in gold production, is expected to run out of gold within four decades, according to a recent study.

While the combination of falling output, shrinking reserves and strong demand could lead to shortages and higher prices of the precious metal, the possibility remains that new methods of detecting gold deposits or more efficient ways of mining them could bend the production curve upwards again.

When the oil industry hit its peak production about 10 years ago, the industry developed new fracking and horizontal drilling technologies to help make up the difference. The energy sector also invested in alternative industries, such as solar and wind.

Unlike the energy sector, however, the precious metals sector has no substitute for gold.

Credit: Image by Stevebidmead [CC0 or CC0], via Wikimedia Commons.
July 16th, 2018
A 3.14-carat purplish pink diamond known as "The Argyle Alpha" headlines the 2018 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender – an annual showcase of the rarest pink, red and violet diamonds produced by Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine in Western Australia.



The emerald-cut Argyle Alpha has the distinction of being the largest vivid pink diamond ever offered in the Argyle Tender's 34-year history.



The 2018 Tender, which is being billed as “Magnificent Argyle,” comprises 63 diamonds weighing a total of 51.48 carats.



Another notable diamond in this year's collection is "The Argyle Muse," a 2.28-carat oval diamond that displays a vibrant purplish-red hue. Rio Tinto described the diamond as having an "unrivaled potency of color." The Argyle Muse was cut from a 7.39-carat rough diamond that yielded a second, smaller purplish-red diamond, which is also included in this year's Tender.

From 2018's curated collection of 63 diamonds, Rio Tinto selected six “hero” diamonds based on their unique beauty. Each was named and trademarked to ensure there is a permanent record of their contribution to the history of the world’s most important diamonds:

Argyle Alpha™ — 3.14-carat emerald-shaped Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink diamond;
Argyle Muse™ — 2.28-carat oval-shaped Fancy Purplish Red diamond;



Argyle Odyssey™ — 2.08-carat round brilliant-shaped Fancy Intense Pink diamond;



Argyle Alchemy™ — 1.57-carat princess-shaped Fancy Dark Gray-Violet diamond;



Argyle Maestro™ — 1.29-carat square radiant-shaped Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink diamond;



Argyle Mira™ — 1.12-carat radiant-shaped Fancy Red diamond.

"Rio Tinto's Argyle mine is the world's only source of these highly coveted pink, red and violet diamonds, and we expect considerable interest in this year’s collection," noted Rio Tinto chief executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques in a statement. "The combination of strong demand and extremely limited world supply continues to support significant value appreciation for Argyle pink diamonds."

Of all diamonds submitted to the Gemological Institute of America each year, less than 0.02% are predominantly pink.

It is believed that pink and red diamonds get their rich color from a molecular structure distortion that occurs as the diamond crystal forms in the earth’s crust. By contrast, other colored diamonds get their color from trace elements, such as boron (yielding a blue diamond) or nitrogen (yielding yellow), in their chemical composition.

The 2018 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender will be showcased in Sydney, Hong Kong and New York with bids closing on October 10, 2018.

Credits: Images courtesy of Rio Tinto.
July 13th, 2018
Exactly 50 years ago this week, Paul McCartney and the Beatles were in a London recording studio bickering about "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da," a song from the Beatles' White Album that features Desmond Jones taking a trolley to a jewelry store to buy a "20-carat golden ring." But more on that later.



As the Beatles experimented with their first reggae-inspired song, "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" became a production nightmare. The band couldn't agree on the tempo or style that would work best. They spent a great deal of time recording and overdubbing, but after 60 takes, the band members were exhausted and the song still wasn't right. McCartney continued to make adjustments on his own, while the rest of the Beatles — George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon — took a break and continued to listen to McCartney's tweaks that seemed to be going nowhere.

Finally, a frustrated Lennon stormed back into the studio, pushed McCartney aside at the piano and banged out the opening chords of a louder, faster version. That rendition became the fourth track of Side 1 of The Beatles (also known as The White Album), a classic work that would spend 155 weeks on the Billboard 200 chart and sell more than 9.5 million copies in the U.S. alone.

In the part of the song directly associated with our Music Friday theme, McCartney writes about a pushcart vendor named Desmond Jones, who visits a jewelry store to buy a "20-carat golden ring" for Molly, a singer in a band.

Here we wonder out loud if McCartney might have intended to write karat with a "k" instead of carat with a "c." With a "c," McCartney was referring to a 20-carat gem in a gold setting. With a "k," he would be describing a simpler ring —perhaps without a precious stone — made of 20-karat gold.

McCartney became familiar with the phrase "Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on" through an acquaintance, Jimmy Scott-Emuakpor, a Nigerian conga player. Scott filed suit against McCartney claiming he deserved a writer’s credit for the lyric, but Scott and McCartney came to terms out of court and the case was dropped.

Beatles Trivia: In the second verse, McCartney mistakenly sang, "Desmond stays at home and does his pretty face." Clearly, it was intended to be "Molly," but McCartney and the Beatles decided to leave it in.

The Beatles went on to become what many agree is the greatest and most influential act of the rock era. The Beatles are the best-selling band in history, with 178 million certified records in the U.S. and 800 million physical and digital albums worldwide.

We invite you to enjoy the audio track of the Beatles performing “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along...

"Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da"
Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Performed by The Beatles.

Desmond has a barrow in the market place,
Molly is the singer in a band.
Desmond says to Molly, "Girl, I like your face,"
And Molly says this as she takes him by the hand:

Obladi, Oblada, life goes on, bra,
Lala how their life goes on.
Obladi, Oblada, life goes on, bra,
Lala how their life goes on.

Desmond takes a trolley to the jeweler's store,
Buys a twenty carat golden ring.
Takes it back to Molly waiting at the door,
And as he gives it to her she begins to sing:

Obladi, Oblada, life goes on, bra,
Lala how their life goes on.
Obladi, Oblada, life goes on, bra,
Lala how their life goes on.

In a couple of years,
They have built a home sweet home.
With a couple of kids running in the yard
Of Desmond and Molly Jones.

Happy ever after in the market place,
Desmond lets the children lend a hand.
Molly stays at home and does her pretty face,
and in the evening she still sings it with the band.

Obladi, Oblada, life goes on, bra,
Lala how their life goes on.
Obladi, Oblada, life goes on, bra,
Lala how their life goes on.

In a couple of years,
They have built a home sweet home.
With a couple of kids running in the yard
of Desmond and Molly Jones.

Happy ever after in the market place,
Molly lets the children lend a hand.
Desmond stays at home and does his pretty face,
And in the evening she's a singer with the band.

Obladi, Oblada, life goes on, bra,
Lala how their life goes on.
Obladi, Oblada, life goes on, bra,
Lala how their life goes on.

And if you want some fun, take obladiblada.


Credit: Image by Parlophone Music Sweden [CC BY 3.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons.
July 12th, 2018
A Washington, D.C., man who was widely ridiculed on social media for eating a Kit Kat bar the "wrong" way got the last laugh when The Hershey Company came to his rescue by creating a custom Kit Kat-shaped engagement ring box for his marriage proposal.



On May 31, Haley Byrd shared a picture on Twitter of a Kit Kat bar that her boyfriend, Evan Wilt, had just sampled for the first time.

Byrd captioned the photo, "'I don’t think I’ve ever had a Kit Kat before,' my boyfriend remarks before doing THIS."

Instead of "breaking off" a segment of chocolate wafer — as the Kit Kat jingle advises — he chomped through each of the four segments, leaving a half-moon-shaped bite mark.

Apparently, in the Kit Kat world this is an unforgivable offense, and the Twittersphere called for Byrd to dump her boyfriend, pronto.

CNN news anchor Jake Tapper chimed in on Twitter, "Break up with him at once."

Even Dictionary.com got into the act, writing on Twitter, "Break off: What one does to a @KITKAT. Also, break off: What one might do to a relationship with someone who does this." The post was punctuated with a finger emoji pointing at a repost of Byrd's comment about her boyfriend's odd approach to eating a Kit Kat bar.



But, while critics were calling for Wilt's ouster, Kit Kat's U.S. parent company, Hershey's, was employing a 3D printer for a special project on behalf of the young suitor.



On the Fourth of July at the National Arboretum in Washington D.C., Wilt proposed to Byrd with an engagement ring neatly hidden in a ring box that was an exact replica of a Kit Kat bar. The custom ring box was designed with an inset for the ring and a clever magnetic closure that allowed the box to break apart to reveal the ring inside.

“Haley is truly one of a kind and I knew I wanted to do something special for the proposal,” Wilt told Us Weekly. “When Kit Kat reached out, I saw this as an opportunity to create an unforgettable moment.”

"I had no idea the proposal was coming that day," Byrd told Fox News. "My mom tricked me into thinking we were going to take family photos at the Jefferson Memorial, and when we showed up Evan was there with his whole family. When I saw the Kit Kat box, I just started laughing. It was such a neat experience, and I am beyond grateful that Evan put so much thought into it.”

After accepting Wilt's proposal, Byrd was back on Twitter with snapshots of the romantic moment and this clever caption, "He still doesn’t know how to eat a Kit Kat."

Added Kit Kat on Twitter, "He truly is the Kit to your Kat @byrdinator! So glad we could provide a small break in your magical moment!"



Kit Kat also provided an array of goodies — including this Kit Kat cake (with Wilt's simulated bite marks) — for the couple's engagement party.

World Radio summed up the story with this tweet on July 9, "@EvanWilt_ may not know how to eat a #KitKat, but he does know how to get the girl."

Credits: Images via Twitter/KitKat_US, Twitter/EvanWilt_, Twitter/byrdinator.
July 11th, 2018
We've all witnessed how Mother Nature works in mysterious ways, but who knew she was a World Cup soccer fan?



Just three days prior to the Russian national soccer team's exciting quarterfinal match against Croatia in the 2018 FIFA World Cup™, Russian mining giant Alrosa discovered a diamond that looks amazingly like a soccer ball.

"Nature creates a variety of bizarre forms, but for the first time we've found a diamond in the shape of a soccer ball," Alrosa general director Sergey Ivanov said in a press release. "We hope that this is a good sign on the eve of the performance of the Russian national team in the quarterfinals.”

Igor Orlov, the governor of the Arkhangelsk region where the diamond was mined, recommended that the diamond be named "Igor Akinfeev" to honor Russia's star goalkeeper, who saved two penalty kicks in Russia's overtime win against Spain.

"It is noteworthy that the diamond was discovered on the eve of the quarterfinals, where our team made its way thanks in part to the brilliant game of Igor Akinfeev," Orlov said.

The host Russian team nearly pulled off a stunning upset in the quarterfinals, but lost to Croatia in a penalty shootout.



The half-carat diamond — which displays a similar shape and black-and-white coloration of a standard soccer ball — was plucked from Alrosa's Karpinskaya-1 pipe in Russia's Arkhangelsk region on Wednesday, July 4.

With more than $5 billion in sales annually, Alrosa has maximized its exposure as one of the main sponsors of the FIFA World Cup 2018™. Prior to the tournament, which will crown a victor this Sunday, the mining company introduced its "football" collection of 32 round polished diamonds. Each diamond weighs 0.3 carats and represents one of the teams of the international tournament. The collection will be sold at an auction in Moscow with the results being announced on July 30.

Headlining the football collection is a special unpolished stone weighing 76.53 carats. Alrosa encouraged fans to name the super-sized diamond via an online contest.

The French national team will challenge the winner of today's match between England and Croatia for the championship on Sunday.

Credits: Diamond photos courtesy of Alrosa. Soccer ball image by By Pumbaa80 (Self-published work by Pumbaa80) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons.
July 10th, 2018
A California man turned a horrific scene into something beautiful Sunday when he found his wife's bridal jewelry amidst the charred rubble of their devastated home and proposed to her all over again.



"She's the most beautiful woman I've ever known, she's the glue in our family, and I adore her to pieces," Ishu Rao told the Associated Press, "so if I can put a smile on her face I'm going to do it."

Married only eight months ago, Goleta residents Ishu and Laura Rao had barely any time to escape their home when wildfires swept through their neighborhood last Friday evening.

Laura had taken off her rings and was getting ready for bed when the fire forced them to flee with Ishu's two daughters, three dogs and a cat.

When the couple returned to check on their home on Sunday, the structure was reduced to a pile of ashes. By looking for the pipes that had remained somewhat identifiable, Ishu was able to home in on where the kitchen sink had been. That clue gave him a starting point in his search for his wife's bridal jewelry. Before long, he had located her charred engagement ring and wedding band.

In a spontaneous expression of love (and with Santa Barbara County Fire Department official Mike Eliason on hand to capture the moment), Ishu went down on one knee and asked Laura to marry him once more.

Donning a blue breathing mask, Laura burst into happy tears and said, "Yes."

"It put everything into perspective," Laura told the Associated Press. "It took all the pain away and reminded me of what matters in life: the people around you."

"It was truly a special moment out of the ashes," added Eliason, who posted photos of the proposal to the Fire Department's Twitter page.

Credit: Image courtesy of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
July 9th, 2018
Adventurer Josh Gates investigates the 2005 theft of one of the most iconic pieces of Hollywood memorabilia of all time — the ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz — during Tuesday night's episode of "Expedition Unknown" on the Discovery Channel.



Following the biggest lead in more than a decade, Gates dons his scuba gear and dives into an abandoned iron ore pit near Grand Rapids, Minn., with the hopes of finding the elusive slippers.

On August 28, 2005, a pair of ruby slippers that had been on loan to the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids were stolen in the dead of night. During Gates' investigation, he discovers that the heist has all the earmarks of an inside job. The alarm on the museum's emergency exit door had been deactivated. The access door to the exhibit area had been left unlocked and the security camera that had been aimed at the ruby slippers was turned off.



Via smoky re-enactments, the viewer learns that the thieves broke the glass of the emergency exit door, strolled into the exhibit hall, smashed the glass enclosure of the display and dashed off with the slippers. It all took less than 45 seconds.

Over the years, there had been rumors that teenage pranksters had stolen the slippers, loaded them into a can and then into a duffle bag. Apparently, they weighted the duffle bag and then dumped it into a flooded mining pit.

Reportedly insured for $1 million, the stolen slippers had been owned by California collector Michael Shaw and were among the five pairs designed by MGM’s chief costume designer Gilbert Adrian for the 1939 blockbuster. Dorothy's ruby slippers have been called “the most famous pair of shoes in the world” and “the Holy Grail of movie memorabilia.”

Recently, one of the remaining pairs was offered for sale by auction house Moments in Time for $6 million. Another pair is undergoing extensive conservation care and will be returning to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History on October 19.



In Grand Rapids, at the Judy Garland Museum, visitors can purchase ruby slipper memorabilia, including a T-shirt with the slogan, “Who Stole The Ruby Slippers?”

Find out if Gates can solve the mystery on tomorrow night's episode of "Expedition Unknown."

Check out the Discovery Channel's two-minute teaser below...


Credits: Screen captures via YouTube.com; Ruby slippers image via Smithsonian.