April 19th, 2024
Welcome to Music Friday when we like to shine the spotlight on inspirational songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, five-time Grammy nominee Brandon Heath seeks divine intervention in “Diamond,” his 2012 song about a young coal miner who "has only scratched the surface." He wants to be a better man, but needs God’s help to find the “diamond” buried deep inside.


He sings, “I got something down inside of me / That only You can see / Help me dig a little deeper now / And set that diamond free.”

For Heath, the diamond symbolizes the ability to bring his life to the next level — a life of clarity, not confusion, of compassion, not cruelty, of ambition, not excuses.

In the last lines of the song, Heath invites the Almighty to seek him out in the coal mine: “Come down with your old flashlight / Underground, black as night / No telling what you’re gonna find in me.”

“Diamond” is the fourth track on Heath’s fourth studio album, Blue Mountain. The album is unique because each song takes place in the Blue Mountains and is told from the point of view of a particular character. The real and fictional players featured in the songs include his grandfather, his mentor, a farmer, a coal miner and a death-row inmate. Each song weaves a message of hope, love and redemption.

When it was released in 2012, the album earned strong reviews and a #5 spot on Billboard‘s US Christian Albums chart. It also reached #97 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

“[The songs] are all kind of telling my story a little bit,” Heath revealed to The Clarion-Ledger. “[They talk] about my own fears, and my own desires. As a songwriter, it was more fun to give someone else my own voice. I think the best way to describe a place is to describe its people. And so, all these characters tell a story about what Blue Mountain is and who lives there.”

Born in Nashville, TN, Brandon Heath Knell turns 45 in July. The son of a police officer dad and hairdresser mom, Heath received his first guitar as a Christmas gift when he was 13. In high school, he converted to Christianity and explored his spirituality by participating in faith missions to India and Ecuador. Those trips helped inspire a career in contemporary Christian music.

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

Written by Brandon Heath, Ross Copperman and Lee Thomas Miller. Performed by Brandon Heath.

My father’s father broke this ground
Daddy mined till we laid him down
Only God knows what they found beneath

Now here I stand in my own boots
Ax to grind and a point to prove
Tangled up in my own roots, it seems

I got treasure up in Heaven
I got dirt all over me
I have only scratched the surface
Of the man I’m meant to be

I got something down inside of me
That only You can see
Help me dig a little deeper now
And set that diamond free

Why do I do the things I do
All the things that I don’t want to
Act like I don’t fear You at all

Hard head and a heart of stone
Older now but I haven’t grown
Any riches that I have to show are small

I got treasure up in Heaven
I got dirt all over me
I have only scratched the surface
Of the man I’m meant to be

I got something down inside of me
That only You can see
Help me dig a little deeper now
And set that diamond free

Set it free
Set it free
Set it free
Set it free

Come down with your old flashlight
Underground, black as night
No telling what you’re gonna find in me

Set it free
Set it free
Lord, set it free
Set it free
Come set it free

Set it free
I got treasure up in heaven

Set it free
I got dirt all over me

Set it free
I got treasure up in heaven

Come dig a little deeper now
And set that diamond free

Credit: Photo by David Holzemer, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
April 18th, 2024
With gold trading near an all-time high, it might be a great time to take a closer look at another undeniably elegant noble metal, platinum.


Gold was in the news last Friday as it hit $2,448 per ounce due to investors flocking to the precious metal as a hedge against inflation and international uncertainty. By contrast, an ounce of platinum was priced at $1,000 per ounce, about 41% of gold's value.

Historically, platinum has traded at a premium to gold. In January of 2014, for instance, one could purchase an ounce of platinum for $1,378, while an ounce of gold sold for $1,225. In January of 1990, platinum stood at $475 and gold stood at $404.

But, then at the beginning of 2011, gold started to overtake platinum.

This was an unsettling phenomenon because platinum always reflected a higher status overall. The record industry, for instance, awards a gold album at 500,000 units and a platinum album at 1 million units. The American Express Platinum Card offers far more benefits than its Gold Card.

King Louis XVI of France once said that platinum was the "only metal fit for kings." In the jewelry industry, platinum was always preferred over gold to secure the most valuable and famous gemstones in the world — including the 45.52-carat Hope Diamond.

The status of platinum in 2024 is not the first time it's been undervalued.

In the 1500s, platinum was belittled and cast aside by the Spanish conquistadors who encountered the material while mining for silver in Rio Pinto, Colombia. They named the curious metal “platina” or “little silver.” In one version of the story, the conquistadors threw the platinum nuggets back into the river hoping they would ripen into silver. (Silver is trading today at $28.45 per ounce).

Here are some additional fun facts about platinum…

Platinum is 30 times more rare than gold. If all the platinum ever mined was melted and poured into an Olympic-sized pool, the platinum would barely reach your ankles. All the mind gold, however, would fill three Olympic-sized pools.

Platinum is stronger than gold. When platinum is scratched, the material moves aside and no platinum is lost. When gold is scratched, tiny bits flake away. This is why gold rings that are worn for a long period of time often need to be re-shanked.

Platinum jewelry is typically 90% to 95% pure and includes markings in the band that say “PLATINUM, PLAT, PT, PT950, 950PT or 900PT.” Canadian quality marks can say “”platinum,” “plat.” or “platine.” In the UK, the platinum marks will say “850,” “900,” “950” or “999.” Gold purity, on the other hand, is measured in karats. Most commonly, 14-karat gold is 14/24th (58.3%) gold and alloyed with other metals. Eighteen-karat gold contains 75% precious metal.

Platinum is a true white metal. White gold, by comparison, is actually yellow gold that has been mixed with other white metals and then plated with rhodium to give a bright white appearance. That plating does wear off over time and requires re-plating.

Platinum is hypoallergenic and an excellent choice for people with sensitive skin or allergies to other metals.

Platinum is 60% more dense than 14-karat gold. It’s a difference you can actually feel.

Platinum typically occurs as small grains and crystals in certain layered igneous rocks. The extraordinarily rare platinum nugget, above, weighs 444.4 grams (just under 1 pound) and is so special that it’s on permanent exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC.

Credit: Photos by Chip Clark / Smithsonian.
April 17th, 2024
Back in October of 2017, thousands of astronomers from around the globe joined together to confirm the first-ever sighting of two neutron stars colliding in space. In just one second, the “kilonova” located 130 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Hydra triggered the equivalent of 50 Earth masses of silver, 100 Earth masses of gold and 500 Earth masses of platinum.


The scientists estimated that the gold alone was worth more than $100 octillion. That’s $100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (1 followed by 29 zeroes).

The astronomers aimed their equipment at the super-dense kilonova, looking for the signatures of heavy metals. They recorded visible light, radio waves, X-rays and gamma rays. The data confirmed the birth of massive amounts of precious metals and seemed to put to rest the long-standing mystery of how these and other “heavy” elements are formed.

A newly published study, however, is challenging conventional wisdom and deepening the mystery.

Northwestern University researchers using NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to study a mammoth stellar collapse were stunned when they found absolutely no evidence of heavy elements.

The collapse, first registered on October 9, 2002, resulted in the brightest gamma-ray burst (GRB) ever recorded. Scientists gave it the nickname B.O.A.T. (“brightest of all time”).

“When we confirmed that the GRB was generated by the collapse of a massive star, that gave us the opportunity to test a hypothesis for how some of the heaviest elements in the universe are formed,” said Northwestern’s Peter Blanchard, who led the study.

“We did not see signatures of these heavy elements, suggesting that extremely energetic GRBs like the B.O.A.T. do not produce these elements. That doesn’t mean that all GRBs do not produce them, but it’s a key piece of information as we continue to understand where these heavy elements come from. Future observations with JWST will determine if the B.O.A.T.’s ‘normal’ cousins produce these elements.”

“This event is particularly exciting because some had hypothesized that a luminous gamma-ray burst like the B.O.A.T. could make a lot of heavy elements like gold and platinum,” added second author Ashley Villar of Harvard University and the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian. “If they were correct, the B.O.A.T. should have been a gold mine. It is really striking that we didn’t see any evidence for these heavy elements.”

The findings were published last week in the journal Nature Astronomy.

According to a Northwestern University press release, the powerful B.O.A.T. explosion occurred approximately 2 billion light-years from Earth, in the direction of the constellation Sagitta and lasted a few hundred seconds. It was so bright that it saturated most of the world’s gamma-ray detectors.

“The event produced some of the highest-energy photons ever recorded by satellites designed to detect gamma rays,” Blanchard said. “This was an event that Earth sees only once every 10,000 years. We are fortunate to live in a time when we have the technology to detect these bursts happening across the universe.”

Credit: Image by Aaron M. Geller / Northwestern / CIERA / IT Research Computing and Data Services.
April 16th, 2024
Phillips is estimating that a magnificent 6.21-carat Fancy Vivid Pink diamond ring could fetch as much as $15 million as the star lot of its "Geneva Jewels Auction: TWO" on May 13.


Other baubles expected to turn heads at Hotel President Geneva include a 280.84-carat Colombian emerald and a super-rare 1.56-carat Fancy Red diamond.

In all, the meticulously curated sale of just over 100 lots will showcase signed jewels from illustrious houses such as Cartier, JAR, Sterlé, Suzanne Belperron, and Van Cleef & Arpels.

The property of an "important private collector," the 6.21-carat pink diamond boasts a VS1 clarity and a Type IIa classification reserved for diamonds of exceptional purity and transparency. The gem's Fancy Vivid rating sits at the top of the diamond color grading scale. The oval diamond is set in a ring between two kite-shaped diamonds.

The auction house set the estimated sales range at $10.5 million to $15 million.

Pink diamonds are in high demand and short supply since the November 2020 closure of Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine in Australia, which had been the world’s primary source of high-quality pink diamonds.

The “CTF Pink Star” still holds the record for any gem sold at auction. The 59.6-carat pink diamond sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong for $71.2 million in 2017.

Other auction highlights include the following:


An octagonal step-cut emerald weighing 280.84 carats, "The Amazon Queen" is expected to sell in the range of $1.5 million to $2.6 million. The gem measures 40mm x 35mm (about 1.5 inches square) and was sourced in Colombia.


"The Argyle Phoenix" is a brilliant-cut Fancy Red natural color diamond sourced from the now-depleted Argyle mine. Red is said to be the rarest diamond color in the world. "The Argyle Phoenix" is expected to fetch between $1 million and $1.5 million.


Set with pear-shaped Fancy Intense Yellow and Fancy Yellow diamonds weighing from 0.44 carats to 11.28 carats, and an oval Fancy Intense Yellow diamond weighing 5.44 carats, this Harry Winston-designed necklace is expected to sell in the range of $300,000 to $500,000.


A ring featuring a cut-cornered Fancy Intense Green diamond weighing 2.26 carats framed by circular-cut pink sapphires should yield from $260,000 to $380,000 based on Phillips' pre-sale estimate. The green diamond boasts a clarity of VS1.

Top lots from Geneva Jewels Auction: TWO will be traversing the continents before returning to Geneva for the auction. Tour stops will include New York, London, Taipei and Singapore before returning to Hotel President Geneva from May 8 until the sale on May 13.

Credits: Images courtesy of Phillips.
April 15th, 2024
A Kansas baker warned her customers on Facebook last week to bite down gently on cookies purchased from Sis’ Sweets Cookies and Café in Leavenworth. You see, the owner's engagement diamond fell out of her ring at some point between rolling the dough and placing the uncooked treats in the oven — so there's a chance the bauble was baked right into a batch.


Baker Dawn "Sis" Monroe broadcast her alert via the store's Facebook page on the morning of Friday, April 5, just after she prepared the day's cookie dough and scoured the prep area unsuccessfully for her precious keepsake.

"Bonus if you buy cookies today. My diamond is missing," she wrote on Facebook. "My heart is beyond broken. It’s been on my hand for 36 years. If you happened find it, I would forever be in debt if you would return it. It’s a marquise cut."

She was particularly concerned about the customer who might bite down onto the precious stone, which Monroe estimates to be worth $4,000.

”Mainly ‘cause I don’t want anybody to break a tooth,” Monroe told Kansas City ABC-affiliated KMBC.

Based on the variety of cookies she prepared that Friday morning, she is certain the diamond would be one of three batches: chocolate chip, sugar or peanut butter.

She also said there might be "a ton" of free cookies for the person who returns the diamond.

The baker told KMBC that her husband had picked out the marquise-cut center stone especially for her and that she hadn't take the ring off in 36 years.

“I was crying, and all [my husband] could say was, ‘You still have me,’ so that made it all better," Monroe said.

On Thursday, April 11, Cherokee Street neighbor First City Cheese Market injected some levity into a sad situation when proprietor Ryan popped into Sis’ Sweets Cookies and Café with a "diamond" cookie. Essentially, it was an Oreo with a diamond-shaped decoration protruding from the cream center.

Monroe shared a pic of Ryan and the cookie on Facebook and wrote, "Someone came in [and] brought me a cookie with a diamond in it. It’s a Topaz! We have great neighbors. We all work together to help each other!! Love our community, it’s the best! Thanks Ryan."

The baker added a final note about the missing diamond: "NO it still hasn’t been found."

As of Sunday evening, April 14, the diamond had yet to turn up. The story, on the other hand, has gone viral and circulated around the globe — delivering unmeasurable publicity to the Leavenworth baker.

Credit: Image by BigStockPhoto.com.
April 12th, 2024
Welcome to Music Friday when we feature wonderful tunes with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, introspective indie artist Briston Maroney sings about achieving his life-long dream of dating a girl with "eyes of gold" and then comes to the realization that he still feels empty in his 2017 release, "June."


He sings, "Well, I don't know, but I've been told / My woman, she's got eyes of gold / Well, I spend all day and I search all night / 'Til I see 'em in that perfect light / Oh, I'm gonna see 'em in that perfect light."

The term "eyes of gold" reflects songwriter's perception that the girl was beautiful, precious, perfect, unattainable.

According to Maroney, most people believe the song is about a college romance that ends after graduation. Throughout the song, he repeats the line, "Ain't it funny how I fell in love and then came June?"

But, in an interview with rockamag.com, Maroney revealed that the song actually reflects something "much bigger," a time in his life when many important relationships were breaking down and he didn't feel good about himself.

“I hated myself. I hated my friends, and my girlfriend at the time was so mean to me," he said. "Life had always gone up and down, but that time in my life felt different. I wrote to disconnect from everything.”

A year after releasing "June" as the first track of his Big Shot EP in 2017, he broke up with his girlfriend and dropped out of Lipscomb University in Nashville, where he studied music.

Born in Jacksonville, FL, in 1998 and brought up in Knoxville, TN, Maroney got his first taste of stardom at the age of 15, when he tried out for the 13th season of American Idol. After showing off his talent at one of the show's audition bus stops in his town, he was invited to perform in front of the American Idol judges in Salt Lake City. From there, he was sent to Hollywood as one of the 30 semi-finalists.

Maroney released his album Paradise in 2021 and followed it up with Ultrapure in 2023. The singer/songwriter will be making some high-profile appearances over the next few months: High Water 2024 (North Charleston, SC), Whale Jam 2024 (Boston, MA), Summerfest (Milwaukee, WI), Lollapalooza (Chicago, IL) and Osheaga Festival (Montreal, QC).

Please check out the video of Maroney performing "June" live at Studio C in Akron, OH, in August of 2023. The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along…

Written and performed by Briston Maroney.

Pick up the phone to calm me down
I never got used to that ringing sound
And drinking out of the same cup
When I run low, you fill me up
Yeah, when I run low, you fill me up

So dress up in your finer things
And the smile can't hide anything
And pin the flower to my chest
And count the days that I've got left
Oh, I'll count the days that I've got left

And I don't know how we got so far away
From what I had in sight
Are you gonna sleep tonight?
And I don't know where it's gonna be a year from now
Or anyhow, how it's gonna be tonight?

Ain't it funny how I wanted this all my life?
Ain't it funny how I got it here and it don't seem right?
Ain't it funny how we all want to be someone new?
Ain't it funny how I fell in love and then came June?

Well, I don't know, but I've been told
My woman, she's got eyes of gold
Well, I spend all day and I search all night
'Til I see 'em in that perfect light
Oh, I'm gonna see 'em in that perfect light

And I don't know how we got so far away
From what I had in sight
Are you gonna sleep tonight?
And I don't know where it's gonna be a year from now
Or anyhow, how it's gonna be tonight

Ain't it funny how I wanted this all my life?
Ain't it funny how I got it here and it don't seem right?
Ain't it funny how we all want to be someone new?
Ain't it funny how I fell in love and then came June?

There you go, you let me walk away
With nothing left to say
Or think, or dream, or feel, or do, or be
Oh, but I give myself a week until I'm down on my knees
'Cause I can't find what I'm supposed to be

Ain't it funny how I wanted this all my life?
Ain't it funny how I got it here and it don't seem right?
Ain't it funny how we all want to be someone new?
Ain't it funny how I fell in love and then came June?
Ain't it funny how I wanted this, oh, all my life?
Ain't it funny how I got it here and it don't seem right?
Ain't it funny how we all want to be someone new?
Ain't it funny how I fell in love and then came June?
Ain't it funny how I fell in love and then came June?
Ain't it funny how I fell in love and then came June?
Ain't it funny how I fell in love and then came June?

Credit: Screen capture via Youtube.com / TheSummitFM.
April 11th, 2024
A Botswana diamond exploration company is employing artificial intelligence (AI) to make sense of 380 gigabytes of survey data that will help identify the best places to find new deposits.


About the size of France, the landlocked Republic of Botswana in southern Africa produces more high-quality diamaonds than any other country in the world, except for Russia. Jwaneng, in southern Botswana, is regarded as the world's richest diamond mine, and Orapa, in northeast Botswana, is the world's largest diamond mine by area.

Making the monumental decision about where the country's next diamond mine should be leaves little room for error and is no easy task. In the case of Ireland-based Botswana Diamonds PLC, the decision requires the expert analysis of 260,000 files.

The exploration company's current database includes 32,000 drill hole logs, 228,000 soil sample results, 606 ground geophysical surveys and 375,000 km of airborne geophysical data.

"Our mineral database in Botswana is simply vast. Too big for timely analysis by humans," noted Botswana Diamonds chairman John Teeling. "Think of it, over 375,000 kms of geophysical data, and 32,000 drill holes logs."

The company will getting a big assist from Planetary AI Ltd Xplore, a mineral prospectivity technology that was developed in collaboration with the UK-based International Geoscience Services Limited.

According to Botswana Diamonds, Xplore is a system that uses a unique combination of semantic technology and machine learning. Semantic technology is a branch of artificial intelligence focused on understanding and representing the meaning of data, information and knowledge in a machine-readable format.

Computers can "understand" the meaning and context of geological data in much the same way a geologist would, in order to identify zones of prospective mineralization based on specific mineral deposit models.

The system acts much like a geologist, but can function quicker and more efficiently, according to the exploration company. Vast data-sets are processed though AI that finds logical gaps in the data and learns to correct them. This exercise is expected to yield fresh insights that will offer drillable targets previously unseen.

As an added bonus for Botswana Diamonds and the Republic of Botswana, the AI-supported analysis will yield information on other valuable minerals apart from diamonds.

The company acknowledges that its use of AI is in its infancy, but believes the future potential is huge.

Credit: Image by BigStockPhoto.com
April 10th, 2024
During the April 7 episode of Gold Rush: White Water, Dustin Hurt and his mining team are moved to tears after pulling a near-6-ounce nugget from their Alaskan claim.


The extraordinary find — which is estimated to be worth more than $20,000 — came at a time when the crew was struggling to make ends meet. They saw the nugget as the late Fred Hurt's way of saying thanks to the team for following his crazy dream of white water gold mining.

Fred was 80 years old when he succumbed to brain cancer only four month's after being diagnosed with the disease. The veteran miner and father of Dustin was the inspiration behind Discovery Channel's second most popular show. He was an active cast member right until the end of his life.

The April 7 episode is titled "Fred's Golden Gift."


The clip, below, opens with crew member Carlos Minor trying to contain his emotions after finding the massive nugget in the sluice box of their white water mining operation.

"Holy stinking moly, man, you see the size of that nugget?" Minor asks a member of the TV production team as he points to the heavens. "I wish Fred was here to see that. I literally do. Amen, amen, double amen, oh wow!"

Dustin reminded the show's fans that Fred was the one who assembled the team and got them to their current claim.


"He's still here with us. He's helping us out. I know he'd be so proud right now," said Dustin. "So this is definitely the high that we needed today. It's been seven years just killing ourselves and now we got this badass nugget that's just kind of like a trophy."

He continued, "We stuck it out. We put in the effort. We finally figured out the right place and the right technique. We got this. Now let's do great."

The narrator then explains that Minor's discovery is proof that there's ancient gold "here for the taking."

At their camp site, the crew members gathered to celebrate the giant find, pay homage to Fred and to determine the actual weight of the giant-sized nugget.


They put the nugget on the scale and it weighed in at 5.81 ounces, which translate into a gold value of $13,671.


Dustin explained that nuggets that size deliver extra value as specimen pieces, so it may be worth almost double the spot gold price.

The 47-year-old crew leader noted that the surprising find could be just the beginning of what may be discovered at Nugget Creek.

"There were stories up until today, but it's a reality for us now that there are big nuggets in this creek," he said. "I absolutely guarantee it."

Credits: Screen captures via Youtube.com / Discovery.
April 9th, 2024
Sparkling with 250 diamonds weighing a total of 4.10 carats, the Columbus Crew's 2023 MLS Cup ring celebrates the team's third championship and tells the story of an inspiring playoff campaign and a franchise steeped in soccer tradition.


The Crew’s journey to the MLS Cup was one of determination, resilience, tenacity and emotion. After multiple hard-fought matches leading up to a final showdown with defending champion LAFC, the Black & Gold emerged victorious and became one of only three clubs with three MLS titles (2008, 2020 and 2023).

“Like earning a championship, this ring is timeless and represents the meaningful moments, emotions and most importantly people who worked together to accomplish this exceptional goal, including our supporters,” said president and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko.

Designed by Jostens, the 10-karat yellow gold ring features the Columbus Crew crest rendered in diamonds against a striking black background crafted from a custom-cut onyx. The 57 diamonds in the crest are symbolic of the club’s regular season point total — a number that tied an all-time franchise record.

The three beveled golden stars sitting just above the crest are a nod to the Crew’s three MLS Cups.

To the left and right of the crest is the phrase “MLS CUP CHAMPIONS” rendered in raised gold capital letters against a black background.

To honor a fanbase that helped create a tremendous home field advantage throughout the year, Jostens added a row of nine diamonds to the top and bottom of the ring top edges. When combined the 18 diamonds represent the club-best 18 MLS home matches played in front of capacity crowds at Lower.com Field in 2023.


The left side of the ring shows the player's name in raised gold letters against the backdrop of the iconic black-and-gold isometric brand pattern that’s also featured on the Crew’s VeloCITY jersey. Just below the player's name is a jersey number rendered in diamonds. Above the name are the words COLUMBUS CREW in raised gold letters on a black background.

The right side of the ring shows the 2023 “ALL TOGETHER NOW” mantra, as well as the championship year in raised gold lettering. The 29 diamonds that make up the MLS Cup pays homage to the club's status as MLS' "First Club," which is now embarking on its 29th season. Twenty-nine is also the number of franchises currently in the MLS. (The inaugural season included 10 teams). The background of the ring's right side also utilizes the isometric brand pattern.

The story of the season continues on the inside of the ring. This is where the results from the 2023 playoffs and abbreviations of the Crew's opponents are displayed next to the Crew smokestack.

The inner palm of the ring displays the date of the MLS Cup, 12-9-23, and the exterior palm features the phrase, “IMPOSSIBLE IS AN OPINION,” which is a quote shared by head coach Wilfried Nancy that deeply resonated with the team, supporters and the city.

“We appreciate Jostens’ care, thoughtfulness and craftsmanship to help design a ring that is fitting for the Crew’s incredible story in 2023 and winning our Club’s third MLS championship,” said Crew Vice President of Soccer Administration & Operations Jaime McMillan. “As MLS’ First Club, it was important to our team that this ring properly reflected our history, season and city, and Jostens did a fantastic job of incorporating those elements into an elegant presentation.”

Credits: Images courtesy of Jostens.
April 8th, 2024
Determined to keep her relationship status with pro football player Nnamdi Asomugha a secret, actress Kerry Washington pinned her engagement ring to her "undergarments" — for three years.


"I loved my ring so much, so I would sleep in it at night, and then in the morning, I would pin it to my undergarments so that nobody knew we were engaged," she told James Corden during a recent appearance on his SiriusXM show, This Life of Mine.

She explained that she took extreme measures to keep their three-year engagement and summer 2013 wedding hidden from the prying eyes of the paparazzi because they were both going through a "really crazy time."

"He had a groundbreaking, record-breaking contract... and he had been in three or four Pro Bowls, you know," she told Corden. "When I met him, he was on the cover of Sports Illustrated (August 2011), and I was on this hit show (Scandal, 124 episodes).

When Washington finally revealed her bridal jewelry in August of 2013 during a Television Critics Association event in Beverly Hills, fashion writers weren't sure if the ring was a wedding band, eternity band, engagement ring or some combination of the three.

Glamour.com contributor Kim Fusaro opined at the time, "So we finally got a glimpse at her ring finger, which is sporting a dainty diamond band stacked on top of a plain gold one. I'm not sure if the diamond band is an engagement ring {I do LOVE an eternity band engagement ring!} or if the two rings are a wedding set, but either way, I adore how gorgeously understated they are."

Prior to August 2013, however, her ring remained pinned — and out of sight.

"We kept our relationship very private when we were dating, I think mostly because we just wanted to protect ourselves and each other," the 47-year-old told Corden.

The Golden Globe winner had been previously engaged to actor David Moscow from October 2004 to March 2007, and when they broke up, the actress was inconveniently appearing on the cover of a bridal style magazine.

"I think it's really hard when people have a lot to say about your relationship," she said during the SiriusXM interview. "I had been in a really public engagement that, when it ended, I was in the unfortunate position of being on the cover of a bridal magazine, and it was a bridal magazine that came out quarterly, so for three months I walked around and I thought: 'I think I'm done talking about my personal life in the public.'"

Washington and Asomugha tied the knot during a top-secret Idaho event in June of 2013 and honeymooned at a remote resort off the coast of Zanzibar, Tanzania.

There, she collected shells that remain among her most prized possessions. She told Corden that they represent the "happiest two weeks" of her life.

"Whenever I look at that collection of shells, it reminds me of the space that we gave ourselves to start our life together as a couple in this really sacred way," she said. "You know, having this sort of very private, secretive wedding and then just jumping off into this very remote place to really begin our lives together. I love that. I love that jar. It always makes me feel so grateful for the life that I have."

Credit: Image by Daniel Benavides from Austin, TX, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons..