July 12th, 2024
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you nostalgic tunes with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Dion helps us celebrate July’s official birthstone with his 1963 hit, “Ruby Baby.”

Dionrubybaby1

In this song of unrequited love, Dion croons about a girl who may be out of his league. He sings, “I got a girl and Ruby is her name / She don’t love me, but I love her just the same / Ruby Ruby how I want you / Like a ghost I’m gonna haunt you / Ruby Ruby when will you be mine?”

Written by the powerhouse hitmakers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, “Ruby Baby” ranks a close second to the Rolling Stones’ “Ruby Tuesday” on our unofficial list of the most famous “ruby” songs of all time.

“Ruby Baby” was originally recorded in 1956 by The Drifters, who watched it rise to #10 on the R&B charts. But when Dion released his version in 1963 it zoomed to #2 on the broad-based US Billboard Hot 100 chart and remained in the Top 40 for 11 weeks. The song brought Dion worldwide fame.

Some of Dion's most popular songs include "A Teenager in Love" (1959), "Lovers Who Wander" (1959), "Runaround Sue" (1961) and "The Wanderer" (1961).

Dion DiMucci, who will celebrate his 85th birthday next week, launched his career as the frontman for Dion and the Belmonts in the late 1950s. The group’s name was derived from the fact that the four singers all lived on or near Belmont Avenue in the Bronx, NY.

Dion would go on to have a successful solo career that has transformed him from a handsome teen idol to a widely respected grandfather of Rock & Roll. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.

We hope you enjoy this classic clip of Dion performing “Ruby Baby.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“Ruby Baby”
Written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Performed by Dion and The Belmonts.

I love a girl and Ruby is her name
She don’t love me, but I love her just the same
Ruby Ruby how I want you
Like a ghost I’m gonna haunt you
Ruby Ruby when will you be mine?

Each time I see you baby my heart cries
I’m gonna steal you away from all those guys
From the happy day I met you
Made a bet that I would get you
Ruby Ruby Ruby when will you be mine?

I love a girl and Ruby is her name
When this girl looks at me she sets my soul aflame
Got some hugs and kisses too
Gonna give them all to you
Ruby Ruby when will you be mine?
Gonna get you sometime

Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby will you be mine?
Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby girl you're so fine?
Ruby Baby you know I love ya
I'm gonna get you by the stars above you
Ruby Ruby when will you be mine?
When will you be mine?



Credit: Screen capture via YouTube.com / EWTN.
July 11th, 2024
Newly engaged General Hospital star Kate Mansi was a bit miffed when her "official" announcement pic turned out to be a semi-unflattering selfie showing her squinting at the camera while chomping on a burrito. On the flip side, her emerald-cut diamond engagement ring looked great.

Mansi3

Producer Matt McInnis, 40, proposed to Mansi, 36, on July 3, during an Independence Week excursion to a cabin retreat framed by sky-high trees and spectacular mountains.

Mansi4

One day later, McInnis posted a pic of the couple on his Instagram page with the caption, "Apparently today is a holiday, but I think July 3rd was even better."

Manci commented on McInnis's post "LGM(atty)."

Mansi5

Eagle-eyed editors at etonline.com, noticed a sparkle on the ring finger of Mansi's left hand and started digging. What they came upon was a photo on Mansi's Instagram Story showing her enjoying a hefty burrito. The photo was captioned, "LGM(atty)."

Apparently the etonline.com editors interpreted LGM to mean "Let's Get Married" and ran with the story of their engagement.

Soon after, Mansi reposted the burrito pic to her Instagram timeline with a proper explanation. Apparently, she and her new fiancé are baseball fans…

"Never did I expect this to be the official photo of our announcement, but here we are. (And LGM = Let’s Go Mets. But… semantics)."

Mansi1

On the same day, Manci shared on Instagram a series of more appropriate announcement photos, simply captioned: "7.3.24."

The first of the group shows Manci snuggled in her fiancé's embrace, with the ring clearly visible as she puts her hand on his chest.

Mansi2

A second shot shows Manci's type-written letter "to the love of my life" with her left hand resting on the page and her emerald-cut diamond set on a simple white-metal band clearly in view.

Mansi currently portrays Kristina Davis on General Hospital. Prior to that, she won a Daytime Emmy award for her role as Abigail Deveraux on Days of Our Lives.

McInnis is a film and television producer who is best known for his work on Marvel-themed projects, such as Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Helstrom.

Credits: Photos via Instagram / katemansi, Instagram / matt_mcinnis.
July 10th, 2024
A playful and picturesque beachside proposal took a terrible turn for the worse when the groom-to-be scooped up his new fiancée, tossed her over his shoulder and marched her into the surf — only to have her lose her brand new engagement ring.

Beastbarbie1a

It's a jewelry-industry truism that the exchange of diamond jewelry should never take place in or around large bodies of water.

Unfortunately, 24-year-old Katie Nicholson (a fitness influencer known as Beast Barbie) and her now-fiancé Steven Frank had to learn this the hard way.

In social media posts that have been viewed more than a half million times, Nicolson described a proposal that quickly transitioned from elation to desperation.

Frank, who owns Beast Elite Training in Bedford, IN, was enjoying the Fourth of July holiday weekend with Nicholson at an ocean beach when he got down on one knee and surprised his girlfriend with a princess-cut diamond engagement ring. She said, "Yes," to Frank's proposal and the couple embraced.

Beastbarbie2a

Outfitted in a white sundress, Nicolson proudly showed off the ring in a photo shared on her TikTok and Instagram pages.

Beastbarbie3a

But then Frank, dressed in beige slacks and a white dress shirt, took Nicholson for an unscripted dip in the ocean. They disappeared under the waves, and when they emerged, Nicholson noticed that her ring was gone.

Beastbarbie4a

"Wait the ring," she titled one of the photos showing her and her fiancé digging through the sand in a hopeless attempt to retrieve the ring in knee-deep water.

Beastbarbie5a

The next photo shows how the scene has grown more intense as many passersby join to help in the search.

"There's no way we're finding it," read her next caption. "It’s in the OCEAN.”

Beastbarbie6a

But in the final frame, Nicholson reveals that the ring was found by one of the Good Samaritans. She simply calls him "Miracle Guy."

"& now we have the craziest engagement story to tell," Nicholson wrote in a social media post punctuated by a Grinning Face With Sweat emoji, a Grinning Face with Tears of Joy emoji and a Loudly Crying Face emoji. "This was quite the emotional roller coaster but I think we’re meant to be together."

On Instagram, she wrote, "My forever. How lucky am I to get to spend it with my best friend & the most amazing man. I’m so excited for this next chapter with you."

Credits: Screen captures via Instagram / beastbarbie_ and stevenfrank3_.
July 9th, 2024
In honor of July’s official birthstone, we present the bizarre story of the “Timur Ruby,” one of the world’s largest and most historic “rubies.” We use the word "rubies" in quotes, because the massive unfaceted 352.5-carat gem, which resides among the British Crown Jewels, was exposed in 1851 as a red spinel.

Timur.ruby1

The Timur Ruby gets its name from Timur, the ruthless 14th century Turco-Mongol conqueror, who founded the Timurid Empire. Hailing from what is now Uzbekistan, Timur’s military conquests were vast, spanning from Mongolia in the east and the Mediterranean in the west, to India in the south and Russia in the north.

Timur.ruby5

After successfully capturing Delhi in 1398, Timur left India six months later weighed down with a bounty of jewelry and gemstones. One of those stones was the Timur Ruby.

Timur.ruby4

The unfaceted stone has a semi-polished flat face that is inscribed in Arabic script with the names of four Mughal emperors and two Persian rulers who possessed the stone. The inscriptions are dated between 1612 and 1771.

Timur.ruby2

In 1841 or 1842, the fourth Maharaja of the Sikh Empire, Sher Singh, sat for a portrait wearing the Timur Ruby around his neck. Gracing his biceps were two massive and equally famous diamonds: the 186-carat Koh-i-Noor and the 182-carat Daria-i-Noor, both set within a golden armlet. (Singh met his untimely death in 1843 at the age of 43).

Timur.ruby3

In 1849, when the British East India Company took over the Punjab region (which is now eastern Pakistan and northern India), it also confiscated the Timur Ruby and the massive diamonds from ruler Ranjit Singh.

The East India Company presented the Timur Ruby to Queen Victoria in 1851. The Queen was so excited about the gift that she wrote the following in her journal: “The [Timur Ruby] is the largest in the world, therefore even more remarkable than the Koh-i-Noor!”

Later that same year, advancements in gemology and mineralogy led to the determination that the “largest ruby in the world” was actually a big spinel.

Nevertheless, Garrards, the British crown jeweler, set the Timur Ruby in an Oriental-inspired necklace in April 1853. Two months later, the jeweler adjusted the necklace to allow the Timur Ruby to be detached for use as a brooch and to alternate with the recently re-cut Koh-i-Noor diamond.

Today, the Timur Ruby resides among the priceless British Crown Jewels, but has never been worn by a British Royal. Some speculate that members of the monarchy were hesitant to wear the necklace for fear of backlash from critics, who see the piece as historically Indian.

Gemologists know now that it’s virtually impossible for a ruby to be 350-plus carats. They understand that chromium atoms incorporated in a ruby’s aluminum oxide crystal give the gem its rich, red color. They also acknowledge that the chromium so vital to the ruby’s beauty is also responsible for causing fissures in the crystal, making rubies larger than 3 carats in size extremely rare and very valuable.

Credit: Painting of Maharaja Sher Singh by August Schoefft, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. Photo of Timur sculpture by user:shakko, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
July 7th, 2024
A silver pocket watch that accompanied Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt and his Rough Riders at the Battle of San Juan Hill in 1898 was recently returned to the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site on Long Island after it went missing for 37 years.

Rooseveltwatch2

A gift from his youngest sister, Corinne, and brother-in-law, Douglas Robinson, the 17-jewel Waltham watch with a hunter-style case was one of the former president's most precious possessions.

Rooseveltwatch1

Roosevelt received the watch just before he was deployed to Cuba as a Lt. Colonel in the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry during the Spanish-American War. The inscription reads: "THEODORE ROOSEVELT FROM D.R. & C.R.R."

On May 5, 1898, President Roosevelt wrote this thank-you note to his sister: “Darling Corinne, You could not have given me a more useful present than the watch; it was exactly what I wished…Thank old Douglas for the watch – and for his many, many kindnesses.”

Rooseveltwatch3

In addition to enduring his famous charge up San Juan Hill, the future president would take this watch with him on other well chronicled adventures, including hunting wild game in Africa and exploring the Amazon in South America.

Rooseveltwatch4

In his 1914 book, Through the Brazilian Wilderness, the former president mentions the watch in a passage about a particularly difficult bayou crossing: "One result of the swim, by the way, was that my watch, a veteran of Cuba and Africa, came to an indignant halt.”

According to the National Park Service (NPS), the valued watch "would travel with him, be damaged, repaired, and kept as a keepsake. It is likely to have accompanied Theodore Roosevelt for significant portions of his presidency, including his two inaugurations."

After Roosevelt died in 1919, the watch became a family heirloom, but was eventually donated in 1963 to the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site (the 26th president's former home) in Oyster Bay, NY.

The watch resided at Sagamore Hill until 1971, when it was lent to the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site in Buffalo, NY. Originally called the Ansley Wilcox House, this is where then-Vice President Roosevelt took the oath of office after the assassination of President William McKinley on September 14, 1901.

In 1987, the watch went missing from the Buffalo historic site and there were no signs of it for the next 36 years. Then, in 2023, the watch turned up at a Florida auction house.

According to an FBI press release, the auctioneer realized that the watch may have belonged to Roosevelt, so he contacted the historic sites in Oyster Bay and Buffalo. Both confirmed the authenticity of the watch.

NPS, the lead investigative agency, contacted the FBI Art Crime team for additional assistance. Both the NPS and FBI confirmed that this was the watch stolen almost 40 years earlier.

"This watch was a fairly pedestrian Waltham 17-jewel watch with an inexpensive coin silver case. It's a 'Riverside' grade and model '1888' with a hunter-style case, meaning it has a lid on either side which fold and encase the dial and the movement," said Special Agent Robert Giczy, a member of the FBI Art Crime Team.

Roosevelt’s watch was returned to Sagamore Hill National Historic Site during a repatriation ceremony on June 27. Representatives from the NPS and the FBI attended.

“It is an honor to have a role in preserving American history for current and future generations to learn from,” NPS Director Chuck Sams said. “Recovering and returning this remarkable piece of presidential history, a cherished personal item of President Theodore Roosevelt, to its rightful home here at Sagamore Hill reflects the dedication and hard work of NPS and partners in the spirit of preservation.”

The watch is currently featured in an exclusive exhibit at the Old Orchard Museum, part of Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, and is available for free public viewing over the next three months.

Credits: Watch images courtesy of the National Park Service. Rough Riders image by Photographer: William Dinwiddie, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.
July 5th, 2024
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you awesome songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. When The Chainsmokers and Coldplay released “Something Just Like This” in 2017, the lyric video set a YouTube record with more than 9 million views in 24 hours. To date, that video has been seen an astonishing 2.2 billion times.

Somethingjustlikethis1

“Something Just Like This” uses a precious metal reference to tell the story of a young man who discovers that he doesn’t have to possess superhuman qualities to get a shot at true love.

In the first verse, Coldplay’s frontman Chris Martin compares himself to legendary heroes and faces the harsh reality that he doesn’t stack up.

He sings, “I’ve been reading books of old / The legends and the myths / Achilles and his gold / Hercules and his gifts / Spiderman’s control / And Batman with his fists / And clearly I don’t see myself upon that list.”

His level-headed girlfriend is far more realistic about what is really important in a relationship.

Martin sings her response: “I’m not looking for somebody / With some superhuman gifts / Some superhero / Some fairytale bliss / Just something I can turn to / Somebody I can kiss / I want something just like this.”

Written by members of both The Chainsmokers and Coldplay, “Something Just Like This” became an international sensation when it hit the airwaves in February of 2017. The song charted in 39 countries, and topped out at #3 spot on both the US Billboard Hot 100 and the Canadian Hot 100 lists and #2 on the UK Singles Chart. The song was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards in 2018.

Andrew Taggart of The Chainsmokers told New Musical Express (NME) how the song came together during a studio session.

“We found some chords that everyone loved and then Chris plugged a mic into the PA in the studio and free-styled for an hour. This song was the result,” Taggart said. “We’ve never seen a song written in such a stream of conscious. It’s hard to maintain your identity when working with such an established artist, but we feel this song is a great balance between both us and Coldplay.”

The song was released by both bands. It was the second single from The Chainsmokers’ debut album Memories… Do Not Open. A live version, recorded in Tokyo, appeared as the first single from Coldplay’s Kaleidoscope EP.

The Chainsmokers and Coldplay dazzled the audience of the 2017 BRIT Awards with a remarkable live rendition of “Something Just Like This.” The video of that performance has earned more than 120 million views on YouTube and can be seen below. Here are the lyrics if you’d like to sing along…

“Something Just Like This”
Written by Andrew Taggart, Guy Berryman, Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland and Will Champion. Performed by The Chainsmokers & Coldplay.

I’ve been reading books of old
The legends and the myths
Achilles and his gold
Hercules and his gifts
Spiderman’s control
And Batman with his fists
And clearly I don’t see myself upon that list

But she said, where’d you wanna go?
How much you wanna risk?
I’m not looking for somebody
With some superhuman gifts
Some superhero
Some fairytale bliss
Just something I can turn to
Somebody I can kiss

I want something just like this
Doo-doo-doo, doo-doo-doo
Doo-doo-doo
Oh, I want something just like this
Doo-doo-doo, doo-doo
Doo-doo-doo
Oh, I want something just like this
I want something just like this

I’ve been reading books of old
The legends and the myths
The testaments they told
The moon and its eclipse
And Superman unrolls
A suit before he lifts
But I’m not the kind of person that it fits

She said, where’d you wanna go?
How much you wanna risk?
I’m not looking for somebody
With some superhuman gifts
Some superhero
Some fairytale bliss
Just something I can turn to
Somebody I can miss

I want something just like this
I want something just like this

Oh, I want something just like this
Doo-doo-doo, doo-doo-doo
Doo-doo-doo,
Oh, I want something just like this
Doo-doo-doo, doo-doo
Doo-doo-doo

Where’d you wanna go?
How much you wanna risk?
I’m not looking for somebody
With some superhuman gifts
Some superhero
Some fairytale bliss
Just something I can turn to
Somebody I can kiss
I want something just like this

Oh, I want something just like this
Oh, I want something just like this
Oh, I want something just like this



Credit: Screen capture via YouTube / The Chainsmokers.
July 3rd, 2024
Denver Broncos quarterback Zach Wilson proposed to his model/influencer girlfriend Nicolette Dellanno on Italy's picturesque Amalfi Coast this past weekend. On Sunday, the pair turned to Instagram to share pics of their incomparable megawatt smiles and closeups of Dellanno's oval-cut diamond engagement ring.

Wilson1

The diamond appears to be prong-set on a delicate yellow gold band.

On her Instagram page, the 21-year-old Dellanno wrote, "Zach, you are the best thing that has ever happened to me. Everyday I admire your strength and I’m so incredibly proud of you. I’m so in love with you and can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives together, I love you." She punctuated the last sentence with a white heart emoji.

Wilson2

Wilson, 24, stepped out of his social media comfort zone (his previous post on Instagram was 102 weeks ago) by writing, "To the love of my life, I never truly understood what love was until I met you. You’re not just my partner, but my best friend and my everything. I can’t wait to make a lifetime of memories with you, Nic I love you." Wilson's emoji of choice was a red heart.

Wilson3

In pics shared to both of their Instagram pages, Dellanno is beaming as she proudly shows off her new bling. In another stunning photo, the couple poses on a terrace against the backdrop of the Amalfi Coast at night.

According to the New York Post, Wilson and Dellanno have been linked since 2022, when they were seen at a New York Yankees game in the Bronx. At the time, Wilson was playing for the New York Jets. The 2021 first-round pick in the NFL draft was traded to Denver in April of this year.

Wilson is reportedly "in the mix" to become the Broncos' starter this season.

Even though Wilson has, until recently, offered few glimpses of his personal life on his own social media, he has made numerous appearances on his fiancée's page. A few months ago, she shared posts of the couple enjoying a vacation on Lake Powell along the Utah/Arizona border.

Credits: Images via Instagram / nicolettedellanno.
June 28th, 2024
Welcome to Music Friday when we often bring you inspirational songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Christian hip-hop recording artist TobyMac collaborates with American Idol star Hollyn on “Lights Shine Bright,” an uplifting tune about making "this third rock glow" by magnifying God’s light with the brilliance and intensity that only a perfectly cut diamond could achieve.

Tobymac4

He sings, “I wanna magnify Your light / I wanna reflect the sun / Cut like precious diamonds / With the colors by the millions.”

Written by David Garcia, Truett McKeehan and Solomon Olds, “Lights Shine Bright” appeared as the fourth track on TobyMac’s 2015 release, This Is Not a Test. The album topped out at #4 on the Billboard 200 and scored a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album in 2016.

TobyMac explained on his website that the songs on the album provide an essential reminder that “we only have one shot at life.”

“What hits me now more than ever is that you really don’t get a practice run at life,” he noted. “This is it. In my friendships, raising my children, loving my wife, loving people, performing with my band and stepping on stage at arenas, I want to make every moment count.”

“Lights Shine Bright” features the vocal stylings of Hollyn, who is best known for her successful run on American Idol during Season 12. A native of Waverly, OH, the 27-year-old, whose birth name is Holly Marie Miller, released an album in November of 2023 called Christmas Morning Magic.

Born Kevin Michael McKeehan in Fairfax, VA, in 1964, TobyMac has sold more than 16 million records and has earned seven Grammy Awards out of 18 nominations. He first came onto the Christian music scene in 1987 as a member of the vocal trio DC Talk. In 2000, the group announced a hiatus and TobyMac embarked on what has been a successful solo career during which he released nine studio albums and five remixed albums.

He is currently touring with appearances set for Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana, Tennessee, Washington and North Carolina.

Please check out the official video of “Lights Shine Bright.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“Lights Shine Bright”
Written by David Garcia, McKeehan, Truett McKeehan and Solomon Olds. Performed by TobyMac, featuring Hollyn.

Lights shine bright everywhere we go
Music for the people to illuminate the soul
Lights shine bright everywhere we go
Music for the people, makin’ music for the people

I wanna magnify Your light
I wanna reflect the sun
Cut like precious diamonds
With the colors by the millions
This is the only world we know
And for now this rental’s our home
If we gonna be a reflection
Gotta make this third rock glow
(Just so you know…)

Lights shine bright everywhere we go
Music for the people to illuminate the soul
Lights shine bright everywhere we go
Music for the people, makin’ music for the people

Lights shine bright everywhere we go
Music for the people to illuminate the soul
Lights shine bright everywhere we go
Music for the people
Jesus music for the people

Everywhere we go
Lights shine bright, lights shine bright
Everywhere we go
Lights shine bright, lights shine bright

Lights in the city might be more than pretty, pretty
That freaky shine might be more than meets the eye
Anytime you see that sparkle in the dark you might look deeper, deeper
It might be more than simply theatre

Yo, that smile might be joy that’s connected to the spirit
The spirit might be contagious if you dare, you dare come near it
I remember, can’t forget, peace that you can’t second guess
Sparkle as the light reflects we writin’ pay it forward checks

Lights shine bright everywhere we go
Music for the people to illuminate the soul
Lights shine bright everywhere we go
Music for the people, makin’ music for the people

Lights shine bright everywhere we go
Music for the people to illuminate the soul
Lights shine bright everywhere we go
Music for the people
Jesus music for the people

Everywhere we go
Lights shine bright, lights shine bright
Everywhere we go
Lights shine bright, lights shine bright

The lights in the city shine bright
The lights in the city shine bright
So let your heart light shine tonight

Lights shine bright everywhere we go
Music for the people to illuminate the soul
Lights shine bright everywhere we go
Music for the people, makin’ music for the people

Lights shine bright everywhere we go
Music for the people to illuminate the soul
Lights shine bright everywhere we go
Music for the people
Jesus music for the people

Everywhere we go
Lights shine bright, lights shine bright
Everywhere we go
Lights shine bright, lights shine bright…



Credit: Photo by Luke Jones, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
June 27th, 2024
In her iconic role as Dorothy Gale in 1939's The Wizard of Oz, teen actress Judy Garland famously clicked the heels of her Ruby Slippers three times while repeating, "There's no place like home."

Slippersauctionfollowup4

Now, the Judy Garland Museum and Minnesota lawmakers are making an aggressive play to bring the Technicolor treasures back home to Grand Rapids by winning them at auction in December. The Minnesota legislature has already allocated $100,000 in Legacy funds, but the state will need much more, say $3.5 million, to be competitive.

The wild story behind this pair of Ruby Slippers — one of only four known to exist — could be the subject of its own feature film.

Fans of the Ruby Slippers may remember they were stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in August of 2005 during a brazen after-hours smash-and-grab robbery. Collector Michael Shaw had loaned them to the museum for what was supposed to be a 10-week exhibition.

Someone had slipped into the museum after hours, shattered the plexiglass case holding the slippers and stole them, leaving behind only a single red sequin.

In July 2018, the FBI and Grand Rapids Police Department finally recovered the pair during a sting operation.

In May 2023, a federal grand jury indicted Terry Martin for stealing “an object of cultural heritage.” He told the court he’d stolen the shoes because he thought they were adorned with genuine rubies. He sadly learned the shoes were were covered in thousands of red sequins and a few bugle beads.

Unable to sell the Ruby Slippers on the black market, Martin said he ditched them with the person who had recruited him for the job. Martin’s accomplice was charged with theft of a major artwork and witness tampering.

In March of this year, Shaw was finally reunited with his beloved Ruby Slippers in a private ceremony at the scene of the crime, which is actually the site of Garland’s restored birthplace home.

During the event, Shaw turned over the slippers to Heritage Auctions, which will spotlight them during an international tour — in Beverly Hills, New York, London and Tokyo — and then auction them on December 7.

Heritage Auctions' executive vice president Joe Maddalena told Minnesota Public Radio, "They could sell for $1 million. They could sell for $10 million. They’re priceless.”

The FBI put their value at $3.5 million.

“You cannot overstate the importance of Dorothy’s ruby slippers," Maddalena commented earlier this year. "They are the most important prop in Hollywood history.”

The Minnesota legislature put aside $100,000 for the purchase, hoping that the seed money would encourage benefactors to step up to the plate. Fundraising took place at the annual Judy Garland Festival, which ran from June 20-23. A new exhibit and guided tour focused on the ruby slipper theft.

“It would be a Hollywood happy ending to this ruby slippers saga,” Janie Heitz, executive director of the Judy Garland Museum, told The New York Times. “This would be a good final home for them, which is what Dorothy was searching for in The Wizard of Oz, so it’s a full-circle story for the slippers.”

Minnesota governor Tim Walz shared on social media that if the shoes could be won at auction, local officials would "make sure they remain safe at home in Grand Rapids – on display for all to enjoy – under 24/7, Ocean’s Eleven-proof security.”

Credit: Photo courtesy of Heritage Auctions / HA.com.
June 26th, 2024
Back in January, researchers at Sun Yat-sen University in Zhuhai, China, theorized that Mercury, the tiniest planet in the solar system and the one that orbits closest to the Sun, could be littered with an untold wealth of diamonds.

Mercurydiamonds4a

They argued that the pockmarked surface of Mercury is evidence of the planet being pummeled by asteroids over billions of years. Since Mercury's surface is covered in carbon-rich graphite, the impact pressure from those events would have produced enough energy to transform the surface carbon into “shock diamonds.”

Now, a new study published by researchers at China’s Center for High Pressure Science and Technology Advanced Research in Shanghai floats the idea that there's a thick layer of diamonds hidden hundreds of kilometers below Mercury's surface.

Yes, Mercury may be flush with diamonds — inside and out.

NASA’s Messenger was the first spacecraft to orbit the planet back in 2011. It took nearly seven years for the probe to complete its 224-million-mile trip, and one of the important takeaways from the mission was that Mercury’s dark grey surface contained a lot of graphite.

The Shanghai researchers recognized that where there's a lot of graphite, there's a lot of carbon. And where there's a lot of carbon, there could be — under the right pressure and heat — a lot of diamonds.

It was previously believed that Mercury's relatively weak gravitational field and modest pressure within its ancient magma ocean would have been insufficient to generate diamonds.

But, according to iflscience.com, the Chinese researchers generated new models of Mercury’s gravity field that called this into question.

The new data encouraged the team led by Yongjiang Xu to expose samples of the elements that were likely present during Mercury's formation to 7 gigapascals of pressure at almost 2,000°C (3,600°F).

They concluded that there were at least two scenarios where diamonds could have been formed on Mercury.

The first theory is that diamonds formed within a magma ocean, but this would have been possible only if great quantities of sulfur were present at the time.

The second, more likely, theory is that diamonds were squeezed out of the core as the magma ocean crystallized.

The study was recently published in the journal Nature Communications.

If diamonds do exist in massive quantities on Mercury, it's unlikely that the economics of mining them would ever make for a viable business plan. What's more, its inhospitable daytime temperatures can reach 800°F, higher than the temperature inside a commercial pizza oven.

The BepiColombo mission launched in October 2018 will descend into Mercury's orbit in 2025. A joint effort of the European and Japanese space agencies, BepiColombo is equipped with high-resolution cameras that could provide conclusive evidence of diamonds on that planet’s surface.

Credit: Image courtesy of NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution Of Washington.