James Middleton Jewelers Blog

Articles in July 2018

July 2nd, 2018
Back in the late 1950s, TV advertising pioneer Rosser Reeves purchased an unmounted star ruby and carried it in his pocket for good luck.



This was no ordinary ruby. With its rich red color and well-defined star, the 138.72-carat ruby was said to be the largest and finest star ruby the world has ever known.

He called the stone "my baby" and protected it in a small velvet pouch. Today, we call it the "Rosser Reeves Star Ruby."

The advertising executive, who penned the M&Ms slogan, “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand,” was one of the most successful admen of his day. And he attributed much of his good luck to the beautiful scarlet stone.

One day in the early 1960s, Reeves took a taxi to New York's JFK Airport to connect with a flight to London. When Reeves arrived at Heathrow Airport, he realized that his "good luck" ruby had been left behind in the cab.

"He called the taxi company, and luckily, the driver had turned in the pouch," recounted Brendan Reeves, the advertising giant's great-grandson, at geogallery.si.edu. "After that harrowing experience, Reeves donated the ruby to the Smithsonian Institution."

Since 1965, the cabochon-cut Rosser Reeves Star Ruby has been one of the most prized possessions of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. It can be seen near the Hope Diamond and Logan Sapphire at the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals.

The famous ruby has an origin of Sri Lanka although it’s not clear when it was mined. According to published reports, gem dealer Robert Fisher purchased the stone at a London auction in 1953. At the time, it weighed 140 carats, but the asterism in the stone was slightly off center and the surface had abrasions.

It was subsequently cut down to 138.72 carats to give it a prettier appearance and bring the “star” closer to the center. The ruby had become so famous in its own right that it had been the subject of stories in the New York World-Telegram and The Sun as early as 1953.

Although Reeves — who passed away in 1984 at the age of 74 — often stated that he bought the stone at an auction in Istanbul in the mid-1950s, he actually purchased the recut stone from Fisher’s son, Paul, in the late 1950s.

The asterism is caused by titanium trapped in the corundum while the crystal is forming. As the crystal cools, the titanium orients itself as needle-like structures in three directions. A cabochon cut, with a smooth, rounded surface, allows the light to reflect off the titanium and give the appearance of a six-legged star.

Ruby is the official birthstone for the month of July.

Photo: Smithsonian Institution/Chip Clark.
July 3rd, 2018
Starting in 2022, the French ApoteoSurprise agency will be offering a week-long "Marriage Proposal Around the Moon," which will literally launch couples into space on a 500,000-kilometer journey to the moon and back.



Priced at $145 million, the proposal package includes all the requisite training and a few romantic touches along the way. The self-flying spacecraft, which will take off from Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Fla., will allow the lovers to travel without a pilot.

As their autonomous spacecraft accelerates off the launch pad, the couples will experience 3G forces. But, soon the agitation will give way to calm, according to ApoteoSurprise, as the first effects of weightlessness are felt. At that moment, Richard Strauss’s “Thus spoke Zarathustra, Op.30” (Theme from 2001 Space Odyssey) will be relayed to the space lovers' helmets.

With a top speed of 38,000 kmph (23,612 mph), the spacecraft will reach the moon in about three days. The flight plan will mirror that of the famous Apollo 8 mission of 1968.

The craft will survey the surface of the moon at an altitude of only 200 to 300 kilometers and then the spaceship will slow down and disappear behind the hidden face of the moon. For about 30 minutes, all communication with the Earth will become impossible, and now alone in space, the suitor will be ready to propose to his beloved as nobody has done before.

"Fly Me to the Moon" by Frank Sinatra will be played in the couples' headsets, as the future groom pulls the engagement ring out of the box that he secretly hid in his spacesuit.

Sinatra will be singing, "Fly me to the moon / Let me play among the stars / Let me see what spring is like / On a, Jupiter and Mars / In other words, hold my hand / In other words, baby, kiss me."

Once the craft emerges from the dark side of the moon, planet Earth will be rising on the horizon and communications with the Space Center will be re-established.

When the spacecraft approaches the Earth's atmosphere, the temperature of the heat shield will increase considerably, so that a bright plasma trail will be visible through the portholes, according to ApoteoSurprise. Halfway to the stratosphere, deceleration will get close to 5G, but then a few minutes later, the parachutes will be deployed and retro-rockets will allow the space capsule to land smoothly. Eight cameras will immortalize the trip from every angle.

The training component of this adventure is no walk in the park. It demands three months of intense preparations, including cardio training sessions, high-G training in a centrifuge, acclimation to microgravity through a series of parabolic flights on board a Boeing 727, acclimation to high accelerations and speed changes on board a fighter jet flying over Mach 2, complete presentation of the spaceship and of the flight schedule, stress management strategies and emergency simulations.

Founded in 2006 by aeronautical engineer Nicolas Garreau, ApoteoSurprise offers 30 all-inclusive proposal packages, including the surprise appearance of Cinderella’s carriage with its magical glass slipper, 1,000 roses raining down on a yacht during a dinner cruise, a carrier dove sent to the beloved’s home, a limousine ride to see a giant love message light up at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, or even the deployment of an aerobatic display team to draw a huge heart in the sky.

Credit: Image via ApoteoSurprise.
July 5th, 2018
The "Lotus Ring" has just smashed the Guinness World Record for the most diamonds set in a single ring. By employing an ingenious design featuring 48 individual diamond-encrusted "petals," Indian jewelers Vishal and Khushbu Agarwal were able to set a staggering 6,690 diamonds into an 18-karat rose gold structure.



The intricately detailed ring, which took more than six months to design and craft, is valued at $4.1 million and is heavier than a golf ball at 58 grams (2.05 ounces).



Over the past seven years, the "Most Diamonds Set in a Single Ring" record has changed hands three times.



The Lotus Ring captured the record previously held by Savio Jewellery's "Peacock Ring," which had established it own record in 2015, with 3,827 ideal-cut diamonds set in 18-karat gold. That ring had an estimated value of $2.7 million.

At the time, a spokesperson for the India-based Savio Jewellery company had told JCK magazine that the manufacturing process took three years to complete, with individual diamonds ranging in weight from 0.003 carats to .01 carats. The Peacock Ring's diamond count was 51% greater than that of the previous record holder, the "Tsarvena Swan," which held its title since 2011.

Vishal Agarwal is credited with coming up with the Lotus Ring design, while Khushbu Agarwal, the owner of Hanumant Diamonds, funded the project and provided the artisans to complete the fabrication.



The Agarwals are hoping that the Lotus Ring will help raise awareness about the importance of water conservation. As the national flower of India, the lotus depicts "the beauty growing in the water-world," according to Vishal and Khushbu, who are both based in Surat, India.

"As fame is so much attached to a Guinness World Records title, we can put it to good use by bringing together like-minded people to work towards a beautiful world," they said in a statement.

Please check out the video, below, which offers an insider's view at how the Lotus Ring was manufactured.


Screen captures via Instagram/guinnessworldrecords.
July 6th, 2018
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Elton John sings about suffering from a broken heart in 2001's "Dark Diamond."



In the song composed by John with lyrics by long-time collaborator Bernie Taupin, the term "dark diamond" is used to describe a person who once flourished as a "jewel" with a fire in his soul, but is now "hard and cold."

His beloved was the one star he could count on, the only one who could show him the true meaning of love. But his inability to "break through" caused him to lose his true love and now he has only himself to blame.

John sings, "Oh, I'm a dark diamond / I've turned hard and cold / Once was a jewel with fire in my soul / There's two sides of a mirror / One I couldn't break through / Stayed trapped on the inside, wound up losing you."

"Dark Diamond," which incorporates elements of blues, pop and R&B, appeared as the second track of Songs from the West Coast, John's 26th studio album. Listen carefully and you can hear music legend Stevie Wonder making a guest appearance on the harmonica.

Although the song was never released as a single, "Dark Diamond" still gets airplay in Scandinavia and Continental Europe. The album charted in 19 countries, including #15 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and #9 on the Canadian Albums chart.

Born Reginald Kenneth Dwight, the 71-year-old John is one of the best-selling music artists in the world. In a career that has spanned five decades, John has sold more than 300 million records. John and Taupin have collaborated on 30-plus albums and are credited with more than 50 Top 40 hits.

His single in honor of Princess Diana, “Candle in the Wind 1997,” sold more than 33 million copies worldwide, making it best-selling single in the history of the U.K. and U.S. singles charts.

Please check out the audio track of John performing "Dark Diamond." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Dark Diamond"
Written by Bernie Taupin and Elton John. Performed by Elton John.

Oh, I'm a dark diamond
I've turned hard and cold
Once was a jewel with fire in my soul
There's two sides of a mirror
One I couldn't break through
Stayed trapped on the inside, wound up losing you

Tell me how does it work
How do you make things fit
Spent all my life trying to get it right
I've put it together and it falls apart
I thought to myself I might understand
But when the wall's built
And the heart hardens
You get a dark diamond
Dark diamond

Oh, I'm a dark diamond
But you're something else
You read me more than I read myself
The one star I could count on
Only comet I could trust
You burnt through my life to the true meaning of love

[Chorus 2X]


Credit: Image by Richard Mushet on Flickr (Elton John on Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.
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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 23rd, 2018
Visitors to the The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City this fall will be treated to a dazzling display of 230 precious adornments dating from 2600 B.C.E. to the present day. Titled "Jewelry: The Body Transformed," the exhibition explores from a historical perspective "how jewelry acts upon and activates the body it adorns." The 15-week installation opens November 12.



Drawn almost exclusively from The Met collection, the jewelry includes headdresses, ear ornaments, brooches, belts, necklaces and rings. Many of the exhibits utilize sculptures, paintings, prints and photographs to enrich and amplify the many stories of transformation that jewelry tells.



"Throughout history and across cultures, jewelry has served as an extension and amplification of the body, accentuating it, enhancing it, distorting it and, ultimately, transforming it," notes the MET's press release. "Jewelry is an essential feature in the acts that make us human, be they rituals of marriage or death, celebrations or battles. At every turn, it expresses some of our highest aspirations."



The exhibition will open with a dramatic display that emphasizes the universality of jewelry. This part of the exhibit unites great jewelry from around the world, organized according to the part of the body they adorn: head and hair; nose, lips and ears; neck and chest; arms and hands; and waist, ankles and feet.



The remaining galleries are organized thematically...

The Divine Body will examine one of the earliest conceptions of jewelry— its link to immortality. Among the items in this gallery is a rare head-to-toe ensemble from ancient Egypt that accompanied the elite into the afterlife. In the image, at top, we see golden sandals and "toe stalls," which were a burial luxury to protect the delicate extremities of persons of status and royalty.

• The Regal Body will look at the use of jewelry throughout history to assert rank and status.

The Transcendent Body will celebrate jewelry’s power to conjure spirits, appease gods and evoke ancestors.

• The Alluring Body will explore how jewelry engenders romance and desire.

• The Resplendent Body will focus on elegant jewelry designed strictly for luxury and opulent adornment.



The exhibition, which is being made possible by Albion Art Co., Ltd., is set to run from November 12 to February 24, 2019, at The Met Fifth Avenue.

Credits: All jewelry images courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art Newsroom. From top: Sandals and toe stalls. New Kingdom. Dynasty 18, reign of Thutmose III (ca. 1479–1425 B.C.). Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Wadi Gabbanat el-Qurud, Wadi D, Tomb of the Three Foreign Wives of Thutmose III. Gold; sandals: L. 10 3/8 x W. 4 in. (L. 26.4 x W. 10 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Fletcher Fund, 1922 (26.8.148a, b; 26.8.185–189, .193–.194, .198–.199); Jeweled bracelets, 500–700. Byzantium. Gold, silver, pearls, amethyst, sapphire, glass, quartz, overall: 1 1/2 x 3 1/4 in. (3.8 x 8.2 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.1670–1671); Pair of gold earrings with Ganymede and the eagle, ca. 330–300 B.C. Greek. Gold, total H. 2 3/8 in. (6 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1937 (37.11.9, .10); Large brooch with spirals, 1200–800 B.C. Bronze Age. Eastern Europe. Bronze, 11 x 4 x 2 5/8 in. (27.8 x 10.2 x 6.5cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Caroline Howard Hyman Gift, in memory of Margaret English Frazer, 2000 (2000.281.2); Metropolitan Museum of Art by Kai Pilger [CC BY-SA 4.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons.
July 24th, 2018
In a message to her 489,000 Instagram followers, American Idol alum Katherine McPhee posted a selfie of her new engagement ring along with an emotional account of the last time she spoke with her late father, Daniel McPhee. She described the special, unforgettable moment when she showed off her emerald-cut diamond ring and announced to her "biggest champion" that she was engaged.



"My dad was so happy for me," the 34-year-old singer/actress/songwriter explained in a bittersweet caption. "My ring was the last thing I showed my dad before he passed and [it] makes me smile when I look at this as a reminder of our last conversation."

Up until last week, McPhee had been riding a wave of good fortune. She made her Broadway debut in Waitress on April 10 and then accepted a romantic marriage proposal from music executive David Foster in Capri, Italy, on July 3. The news of her beloved father's death on Sunday, July 15, was completely unexpected.



"I can't believe I'm even writing this... But it is with heavy heart that I share that my sweet sweet Papa left this earth yesterday morning," she wrote on Instagram. "We as a family are completely heartbroken and devastated."

McPhee's fiancé helped her cope with her loss by offering sage advice.

“My love wisely said to me the other day that ‘death is the only thing that is 100 percent inevitable and the thing we are least prepared for.’ So today we’re celebrating life and not forgetting love,” she wrote on Instagram.

She described her engagement ring and its special connection to her father as the "sunshine amongst this painful loss."

The ring features an emerald-cut diamond in a halo setting on a split-shank, diamond-encrusted, white-metal band. We're guessing it's platinum.

McPhee came onto the music scene in 2006 when she was the runner-up on the fifth season of American Idol. Since then, she has released five albums, established an acting career and made her mark on Broadway.

McPhee described Daniel McPhee as her "biggest fan" and "biggest champion."

"Not sure my heart will ever be the same," McPhee wrote on Instagram. "I'm so sad he missed my Broadway debut. But when I return to the stage next week I hope he can watch it in peace and from up above."

Credits: Images via Instagram/katherinemcphee.
July 25th, 2018
Men are willing to purchase more showy, expensive diamond engagement rings for women they perceive as being highly attractive, according to a study conducted at Western Oregon University. Researchers also discovered that women are more likely to expect bigger, pricier rings when partnered with less attractive men.



The provocative study was conducted by Jaime Cloud and Madalyn Taylor and published in Springer's journal Evolutionary Psychological Science.

Cloud and Taylor had set out to determine whether a person's looks influences the choice or expectations surrounding engagement ring purchases. They presented 590 American participants, who were on average 30 years old, with a headshot and some brief information about a member of the opposite sex.

Participants had to imagine themselves as the boyfriend or girlfriend of the depicted individual, who was pre-rated to be attractive or unattractive.

Women had to choose the smallest diamond ring they were willing to accept from the man in the photo. In turn, the male participants had to indicate the size of diamond ring they would buy for their imaginary girlfriend.

They were shown five diamond solitaire engagement rings with center stones ranging in size from 0.5 carats to 1.5 carats.

A man's willingness to commit to a bigger, more expensive ring for an attractive woman corroborates previous research on how males use symbols of financial success to impress a potential mate.

According to the study, women were found to envision larger, more pricey rings for themselves if their imaginary partner was less attractive. This finding provides indirect support for the idea that women are willing to settle for a less handsome partner if his overall value can be upped by another form of compensation, such as being financially better off.

The study also found that women who rated themselves as being physically attractive were more likely to expect larger, more expensive rings, regardless of their partner's looks.

Credit: Photo by Edward Cisneros on Unsplash.
July 26th, 2018
An Egyptian funeral mask crafted of gilded silver and dating back to 664-404 BCE is being called a "sensation" by archaeologists at Germany's University of Tübingen. Discovered deep within a necropolis in Saqqara, Egypt, the mask of an ancient priest has eyes inlaid with calcite, obsidian and a black gemstone, which is believed to be onyx. The thin layer of gold leaf that once adorned the entire mask has mostly worn away.



“The finding of this mask could be called a sensation,” noted Dr. Ramadan Badry Hussein, the head of the German-Egyptian team. “Very few masks of precious metal have been preserved to the present day, because the tombs of most Ancient Egyptian dignitaries were looted in ancient times.”



Hussein explained that the mask was found on the face of a mummy, which had been placed in a wooden coffin. The badly damaged coffin had once been plastered and painted with an image of the goddess Nut and still includes the name and titles of the mask’s priestly owner, who lived during the Saite-Persian period about 2,500 years ago.

“Ancient Egyptian funeral masks of gold and silver are extraordinarily rare,” added Professor Christian Leitz, head of Egyptology at the University of Tübingen. “We only know of two comparable finds from private tombs — the most recent one in 1939.”

The tomb was found amidst a complex of burial shafts at the Saqqara necropolis, some extending more than 100 feet deep.

Tübingen archaeologists are using state-of-the-art, 3D imaging in their investigation of the site. In the effort to document the entire complex, the University of Tübingen’s eScience Center is compiling complete, high-resolution images of both the location and the key objects found there. A combination of laser scanning and image-based 3D processing makes it possible to visualize and analyze the shape and layout of the interconnected parts of the complex. Tübingen archaeologists have been investigating the site since 2016.

Credits: Photos by the University of Tübingen, Ramadan B. Hussein.
July 27th, 2018
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you nostalgic songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today's tune, "I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby," has its roots in New York City during the Roaring Twenties. In the song, a young suitor tells his girlfriend that he really wants to buy her a fine-quality diamond bracelet but — for now — all he can offer is love.



Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields had written the score for a revue at Les Ambassadeurs Club in 1928, but were lacking a "smash hit" that their producer demanded. Their inspiration for "I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby" came from a chance encounter with a young couple in front of Tiffany's on Fifth Avenue. It seemed to the writers that the man didn't have the resources to buy the diamond jewelry in the display window, and then they heard him say, "Gee, honey I'd like to get you a sparkler like that, but right now, I can't give you nothin' but love!"

McHugh and Fields ducked into the nearby Steinway Tunnel of the #7 subway line and composed the breakout show tune in less than an hour.

Their lyrics: "Gee I'd like to see you looking swell, baby. / Diamond bracelets Woolworth doesn't sell, baby. / Till that lucky day you know darned well, baby. / I can't give you anything but love."

The song was originally performed by Adelaide Hall, but over the years, "I Can't Give You Anything but Love, Baby" has been covered by the some of the most popular names in the music business, from Tony Bennett, Bing Crosby and Dean Martin to Judy Garland, Doris Day and Ella Fitzgerald. On the list of the 100 most-recorded songs from 1890 to 1954, the McHugh/Fields show tune rated #24.

The version of the song featured here was sung by Bennett in 1956 and was the fourth track of his 10-inch LP, Because of You. Interestingly, 58 years later, Bennett would reprise the song in a duet with Lady Gaga. That version appeared on their 2014 album, Cheek to Cheek.

Anthony Dominick Benedetto, better known as Tony Bennett, was born in Queens, N.Y., in 1926. At the age of 13, he started singing for money at several Italian restaurants in his neighborhood. Upon his discharge from the Army after World War II, Bennett was taught the bel canto singing discipline at the American Theatre Wing.

In 1949, he got his big break when Pearl Bailey asked him to open for her in Greenwich Village. Bob Hope, who had been invited to her show, was impressed by Bennett's talent and offered to take him on the road. The next year, Bennett signed with Colombia Records.

Amazingly, Bennett, who will celebrate his 92nd birthday next week, has been performing professionally for more than 70 years. Over that time, he has sold more than 50 million records and has won 19 Grammy Awards, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001.

Please check out the audio track of Bennett's rendition of "I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby"
Written by Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh. Performed by Tony Bennett.

I can't give you anything but love, baby.
That's the only thing I've plenty of, baby.

Dream awhile, scheme awhile
We're sure to find

Happiness and I guess
All those things you've always pined for.

Gee I'd like to see you looking swell, baby.
Diamond bracelets Woolworth doesn't sell, baby.

Till that lucky day you know darned well, baby.
I can't give you anything but love.

Rome wasn't built in a day, kid.
You have to pay, kid, for what you get.
But I am willing to wait, dear,
Your little mate, dear, will not forget.

You have a lifetime before you.
I'll adore you, come what may.

Please don't be blue for the present,
When it's so pleasant to hear you say

I can't give you anything but love, baby.
That's the only thing I've plenty of, baby.

Dream awhile, scheme awhile
We're sure to find

Happiness and I guess
All those things you've always pined for.

Gee I'd like to see you looking swell, baby.
Diamond bracelets Woolworth doesn't sell, baby.

Till that lucky day you know darned well, baby.
I can't give you anything but love.


Credit: Image of Tony Bennett performing at the Blaisdell Concert Hall in Honolulu, Hawaii, by Peter Chiapperino: a concert photographer in Lexington, Kentucky [CC BY-SA 3.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons.
July 30th, 2018
We love to write about off-beat marriage proposals — especially when they're related to food. For example, in February, we detailed a tasty McNugget proposal in Lincoln, Illinois, and earlier this month featured a sweet Kit Kat proposal in Washington, D.C. Today, we spotlight a Sacramento, California, proposal that came with a free side of guac.



Chris Piwinski and longtime girlfriend, Natalie Neach, have been fans of Chipotle since they started dating in high school. As their relationship has blossomed, the gourmet burrito restaurant has been there every step of the way.

“Chipotle... has always been an important fixture in our relationship,” Piwinski told The Knot. “We have countless memories of great times, long talks and loud laughs. It was also the place we went when we needed to ‘talk things out’ or work through tough times. I think I could credit Chipotle for helping keep us from doing the ‘high school breakup’ thing more than once.”

In January, Piwinski purchased a diamond engagement ring and was ready to pop the question, but couldn't decide on the perfect venue for the proposal. After months of deliberation, he had the answer — Chipotle.

In May, the 27-year-old suitor contacted Chipotle’s public relations department with a request for some creative assistance.



After 70 back-and-forth emails, Chipotle's PR team agreed to handle all the logistics of the surprise proposal, as well as sponsoring an engagement party that included a custom "burrito" cake, music, balloons and a professional photographer to capture the excitement.

The proposal was set for Saturday, July 21. Piwinski and Neach spent a romantic day visiting places that were special to them. They went to a winery and popped in on their favorite coffee shop. And, for dinner, they visited their local Elk Grove Chipotle.

While Neach was enjoying the first bites from her burrito bowl, the couple's family and friends were hiding out in a nearby pizza restaurant watching the proposal unfold from a security cam feed.

But then she realized something must be brewing when Piwinski handed her a poem and the couple's favorite song, “Kiss Me” by Ed Sheeran, started playing on the restaurant's loudspeakers. Piwinski's hands were noticeably shaking.



“I went blank!” Neach, 25, told The Knot. “I couldn’t even eat my burrito bowl! I read the poem and, out of the corner of my eye, I saw him stand up and get down on one knee. It clicked that he was proposing. We looked at each other and I saw the tears in his eyes. It was such an unbelievable moment.”

Of course, she said, "Yes."



Within moments, the friends and family who had been hiding nearby joined the couple with well wishes and hugs. The Chipotle staff cheered from behind the counter.



“I was not suspecting it at all,” Neach told The Sacramento Bee.

“What better way to celebrate love than over a shared love of Chipotle?” said Quinn Kelsey, a spokesperson for Chipotle. “We are so happy for this wonderful couple and are thrilled to have been a part of their special day.”

Credits: Images courtesy of True Love Photo.
July 31st, 2018
Actress Brooke Shields told InStyle magazine how she made a secret pact with a delivery-room nurse so she could wear her father's signet ring — on a chain — when she went into labor with her first daughter, Rowan. Shields' beloved dad, Francis, had passed away only a few weeks earlier, so the ring provided her with the comfort that her dad was in the room.



A towering figure at 6'7" tall, Francis wore his signet ring everywhere, according to Shields. The ring, which was engraved with an octagonal crest and topped with an eagle, had been a gift from Francis' mother, who was the daughter of an Italian prince and an American socialite. Throughout the years, the ring served as a reminder of the family's rich lineage that included noble families throughout Italy.

As a child, Shields remembered looking up at his pinky and admiring the family crest.

"He kept it on until his health took a turn for the worse in 2003," Shields told InStyle. "I was about to give birth to my first daughter when he passed away. When I went into labor a few weeks later, I asked my stepsister to bring my dad's ring to me in the hospital."

Jewelry was not allowed in the delivery room, but Shields convinced one of the nurses how important it was to have her dad's ring with her while going through labor.

"I wasn't allowed to put it on my finger because I was going into surgery, but the loveliest nurse found a chain so that I could have it around my neck," Shields said. "It was still against the rules, but she said it was 'our little secret.' I was so comforted because it was as if he were in the room with me."

The 53-year-old actress and former model has two daughters with her husband Chris Hency, 15-year-old Rowan Francis (named after Shields' dad) and 12-year-old Grier.

"I still wear the ring often and think about my dad every time I do," she told InStyle. "I love its role in our family history."

Credit: Video screen capture via Instagram/brookeshields.