December 8th, 2023
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you popular songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Kelly Clarkson reveals her vulnerable side and wonders out loud if her boyfriend can embrace her flaws in the 2012 hit, “Dark Side.”


In this soaring synth-pop ballad, songwriters Alexander Geringas and Michael Busbee touch on the diamond’s origin story to illustrate Clarkson’s true potential.

Specifically, they reference how carbon has the ability, over time, to transform into a precious diamond. Clarkson argues that even though she’s not “picture perfect” and has an ominous “dark side,” she is still a gem at her core.

The 2002 American Idol winner sings, “Like a diamond / From black dust / It’s hard to know what can become if you give up / So don’t give up on me.”

Clarkson told New York radio station Z100 that she liked “Dark Side” because “it’s a sweet-sounding song, but with a dark lyric, and I like that.”

In reviewing "Dark Side," Kat George of VH1 said, “This is what we love best about Kelly... acknowledging the pitfalls of her personality, Kelly invites us all to be imperfect without letting us (or herself) be any less perfectly lovable.”

“Dark Side” was released as the third single from Clarkson’s Grammy-award winning album, Stronger. The song topped the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart and peaked at #42 on the Billboard Hot 100. Overall, it charted in 13 countries.

A year after the release of “Dark Side,” Clarkson made jewelry-industry news when she was stymied in her bid to claim the 200-year-old turquoise ring once owned by famed British novelist Jane Austen. Clarkson had won the ring in 2012 at a Sotheby’s auction in London.

Clarkson’s winning bid of $235,000 was more than five times the auction house’s high estimate. But instead of allowing Clarkson to take the ring back to the US, British authorities unexpectedly declared the ring a “national treasure” and blocked its export. If a British patron could match Clarkson’s winning bid, the singer would have to forfeit the ring so it could stay in the UK.

Jane Austen’s House Museum launched an aggressive fundraising appeal through its website and Facebook page. Donations from around the world flooded into the “Bring the Ring Home” campaign, generating an infusion of $253,000 — more than enough to match Clarkson’s bid.

Born in Ft. Worth, TX, in 1982, Kelly Brianne Clarkson rose to fame in 2002 after winning the inaugural season of American Idol. Since then, Clarkson has sold more than 25 million albums and 45 million singles worldwide. She also has the distinction of becoming the first artist in history to top each of Billboard's pop, adult contemporary, adult pop, country and dance charts.

Clarkson's daytime talk show on NBC, The Kelly Clarkson Show, has been airing since September of 2019. During the past four years, the show has earned 13 Daytime Emmy Awards. Clarkson was named "Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host" in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Please check out the official video of Clarkson's “Dark Side.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“Dark Side”
Written by Alexander Geringas and Michael Busbee. Performed by Kelly Clarkson.

There’s a place that I know
It’s not pretty there and few have ever gone
If I show it to you now
Will it make you run away

Or will you stay
Even if it hurts
Even if I try to push you out
Will you return?
And remind me who I really am
Please remind me who I really am

Everybody’s got a dark side
Do you love me?
Can you love mine?
Nobody’s a picture perfect
But we’re worth it
You know that we’re worth it
Will you love me?
Even with my dark side?

Like a diamond
From black dust
It’s hard to know what can become if you give up
So don’t give up on me
Please remind me who I really am

Everybody’s got a dark side
Do you love me?
Can you love mine?
Nobody’s a picture perfect
But we’re worth it
You know that we’re worth it
Will you love me?
Even with my dark side?

Don’t run away
Don’t run away
Just tell me that you will stay
Promise me you will stay
Don’t run away
Don’t run away
Just promise me you will stay
Promise me you will stay

Will you love me?
Ohh, everybody’s got a dark side
Do you love me?
Can you love mine?
Nobody’s a picture perfect
But we’re worth it
You know that we’re worth it
Will you love me?
Even with my dark side?

Don’t run away
Don’t run away
Promise you'll stay

Credit: Photo by vagueonthehow from Tadcaster, York, England, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
December 7th, 2023
For the third time in two years, Dennis Senibaldi and his team at the Windham Transfer Station in New Hampshire successfully located an engagement ring amidst 20 tons of very disgusting and smelly trash.


Exactly a year ago, we recounted how the general services director used surveillance video to narrow down the location of a garbage bag containing a bridal set that had been accidentally thrown away.

A local resident mistakenly discarded the rings that his wife had cleaned and wrapped in a white napkin to dry. In the Windham community, trash bags can be delivered directly to the local transfer station.

Senibaldi knew their surveillance video would provide vital clues as to exactly when and where the man dropped off his garbage. After viewing the video, Senibaldi, his crew and the owner spent 30 minutes sorting through a trailer and found the ring in a grey-handled white trash bag.

Fast-forward to the week of Thanksgiving, when another distraught resident contacted the Windham Transfer Station with a similar story.

“She gave me some particulars: at what time her husband threw the trash out, what was in the trash bag, what kind of car he was driving,” Senibaldi told Boston's WHDH-TV.

Once again, Senibaldi reviewed the video to pinpoint where the bag may have ended up.

“We were able to track when he was here, exactly what time he threw the trash out and where the trash in the trailer was located,” he said.


The trash in question “was literally the first scoop into the trailer,” according to Senibaldi. That meant the bag was at the bottom, 12 feet deep.

After two hours of digging through the trailer of trash, Senibaldi and his crew found the solitaire diamond engagement ring. It somehow escaped its bag and ended up on the floor of the trailer covered in red paint.

“I grabbed the ring, brought it up, cleaned it up for her, called her up,” Sendibaldi told WMUR-TV.

“Talking to her on Wednesday, she was completely heartbroken," he told WHDH-TV. "Friday, when she came in, she was happy as can be, gave me a big hug and was very thankful."

Senibaldi noted that the story could have easily had a tragic ending. If she had called 15 minutes later, the trailer would have already been at the incinerator.

“We are public servants and I think this really... brings the meaning of public service,” Senibaldi told WHDH-TV. “That’s why I work here.”

Credits: Screen captures via 7News,
December 6th, 2023
Ladies, it's never too early to start planning for a Leap Day role-reversal marriage proposal. Yes, if you've been waiting far too long for your significant other to pop the question, Thursday, February 29, 2024, is your day.


The concept of women proposing to men on Leap Day is rooted in 5th century Ireland, where St. Brigid of Kildare forged a deal with St. Patrick to permit women to propose to men on a single day once every four years. In Ireland, Leap Day is also called Bachelor’s Day.

This scenario was the basis for the 2010 romantic comedy, Leap Year. Amy Adams plays the part of Anna, who is frustrated when another anniversary passes without a marriage proposal from her boyfriend. When she learns about the Irish tradition that allows women to pop the question on Leap Day, she rushes to Dublin to track down the boyfriend at a convention just in time to deliver a marriage proposal on February 29.

Although the tradition started in Ireland, it has slowly migrated throughout that region and around the world. Irish monks introduced the concept to Scotland, which passed a law in 1288 that allowed women to propose on Leap Day. If the man refused the proposal, he would have to pay a fine, ranging from a kiss, to a silk dress or a pair of gloves. In upper-class circles, the fine for a proposal denial was 12 pairs of gloves. Presumably, the gloves would hide the shame of not wearing an engagement ring.

In England, the day February 29 held no legal status, so people believed that traditional customs held no status on that day either. Hence, women were free to reverse the unfair custom that permitted only men to propose marriage.

Surveys have shown that both men and women are increasing open to the idea of role reversal when it comes to popping the question.

In 2015, a survey of 500 men by Glamour found that 70% of men would be “psyched” if their female partner popped the question.

Pinterest revealed in December 2018 that searches on its site for the phrase “women proposing to men” had skyrocketed 336% compared to 2017.

As reported by Yahoo Life, the UK-based website "Guides for Brides" found that 27% of women responding to a recent survey would like to, or have already, proposed to their male partner.

Their reasons for initiating the proposal included the following:
-- 39% Not believing the notion that only men can pop the question
-- 17% Finding it empowering
-- 14% Being "fed up" of waiting for a proposal from their other half

The same survey noted that 73% of the male partners said they would accept the proposal, while 15% said they would refuse.

The reasons for turning down a proposal included the following:
-- 28% Wanting to stick to tradition
-- 26% Believing it’s the man’s responsibility to propose
-- 14% Not being ready to get married

Credit: Image by
December 5th, 2023
Said to be rarer than diamond by a factor of 1,000 times, tanzanite is mined in only one location on earth — a 2 km by 4 km swath along the Merelani Hills of Tanzania at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. The mine's remaining lifespan is less than 30 years.


Tanzanite’s color is an intoxicating mix of blue and purple, unlike any other gemstone. The Gemological Institute of America describes exceptional tanzanites as having an intense violetish-blue color with red flashes of pleochroic color coming from within the stone.

Pleochroism is an optical phenomenon in which a gemstone appears to have different colors when observed at different angles.

The “Petersen Tanzanite Brooch,” shown above, is part of the Smithsonian’s National Gem Collection in Washington, DC. The piece was designed by Harry Winston in 1991 and donated to the museum by Donald E. and Jo A. Petersen in 2002.

The triangular-cut matched tanzanites weigh approximately 30 carats and are adorned by 24 carats of marquise, pear and baguette-cut diamonds in a floral motif. The tanzanite “flowers” may be detached and worn as earrings.

In 2002, a jewelry-industry trade organization — the American Gem Trade Association — designated tanzanite as an official birthstone for the month of December. The occasion was momentous because, up until that point, the list hadn’t been amended since 1912.

A Maasai tribesman named Jumanne Ngoma is credited with discovering a cache of blue-violet gems that, at first glance, appeared to be sapphires. Gemologists would later confirm that Ngoma’s find was a totally unique variation of zoisite.

Samples of the mineral caught the attention of Tiffany & Co., which launched a campaign to market the gems as “tanzanite” to honor its country of origin and the only place on earth where tanzanite can be found. (The name “blue zoisite” was panned by the Tiffany marketing team because it sounded too much like “blue suicide.”)

Credit: Photo by Penland and digitally enhanced by SquareMoose / Smithsonian.
December 4th, 2023
More than 600 million carats of diamonds over a lifespan of 60 years. That's the production estimate for Angola's new Luele mining project — one of the world's largest based on anticipated performance.


Sitting atop a kimberlite pipe in Angola's northeastern Lunda Sul Province, the Luele diamond deposit was discovered back in 2013, but officially began operations last week.

"This is the only major new diamond mine in the world that will commence production this decade," independent diamond analyst Paul Zimnisky told Reuters.

Angola has a reputation of supplying some of the world's finest diamonds. Among the most notable are the 170-carat "Lulo Rose," the largest pink diamond discovered anywhere in the world over the past 300 years, and the 404.20-carat white diamond named “4 de Fevereiro.” Both were mined by Lucapa Diamond Company at its Lulo alluvial diamond mine in Angola.

The Luele mine — formerly known as Luaxe — is billed as one of the largest discoveries in the diamond industry in more than half a century. During its pilot phase, Angola's state-controlled diamond miner, Catoca, extracted five million carats from the 600-meter-deep deposit. The site should reach full capacity by 2025.

The Luele mine is just 20 km from the already-successful Catoca mine, the world’s fourth largest, with an annual production capacity of 10 million carats.

According to published reports, the Luele mine is expected to double Angola's production, making it the world’s third-largest diamond producer, behind only the Russian Federation and Botswana. Catoca has a 50.5% stake in the Luele mining project.

Credit: Image of Catoca mine by Gsmart-ao, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
December 1st, 2023
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great throwback songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, second-hand bridal jewelry on display at a pawn shop in Chicago is the focus of “Golden Ring,” a chart-topping duet by country legends George Jones and Tammy Wynette.


In the song, we follow a golden band through a cycle of young love, marriage and eventual heartbreak. Jones and Wynette were married for six years, but divorced in 1975. They continued to perform after the breakup and scored a #1 hit in 1976 with a song that seemed to mirror the story of their tumultuous relationship.

The beginning of the song introduces the listener to a glittering ring that symbolizes all the promise of a young love. The second verse sees the couple exchanging vows and making a home for themselves. In the last verse, however, we learn that the relationship has gone sour and the ring has returned to the window display at the store where it was originally purchased.

The chorus punctuates the prevailing theme: “By itself it’s just a cold metallic thing / Only love can make a golden wedding ring.”

Written by Bobby Braddock and Rafe Van Hoy, “Golden Ring” was the title track to the Jones/Wynette duet album released in 1976 and the second of three #1 hits sung by the duo. The first was “We’re Gonna Hold On” (1973) and the last was “Near You” (1977).

Even though her marriage to Jones didn’t end well, in her autobiography, Wynette wrote, “The most fun, the most wonderful part of my career was working with George.”

Born in a log cabin in the small town of Saratoga, TX, Jones got his first guitar at the age of nine. By 1955, at the age of 24, Jones had already served in the Marines, was married twice and recorded his first hit song, “Why Baby Why.” In 1969, he married Wynette.

Over a career that spanned seven decades, Jones is credited with charting 168 country songs. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1992. Jones passed away in 2013 at the age of 81.

Wynette, who was born in Tremont, MS, in 1942, is considered to be one of the most influential singers in country music history. She scored 20 #1 hits on the U.S. country singles charts (16 solo, three with Jones, and one with David Houston). She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and was ranked #2 in Country Music Television’s “40 Greatest Women of Country Music.”

Plagued by medical problems, which required 15 major operations, Wynette passed away in 1998 at the age of 55.

Please check out the performance of “Golden Ring” by Wynette and Jones. The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“Golden Ring”
Written by Bobby Braddock and Rafe Van Hoy. Performed by Tammy Wynette and George Jones.

In a pawn shop in Chicago
On a sunny summer day
A couple gazes at the wedding rings
There on display

She smiles n’ nods her head
As he says, “Honey that’s for you,
It’s not much, but it’s the best
That I can do.”

Golden rings (golden ring) with one tiny little stone
Waiting there (waiting there) for someone to take you home
By itself (by itself) it’s just a cold metallic thing
Only love can make a golden wedding ring

In a little wedding chapel later on that afternoon
An old upright piano plays that old familiar tune
Tears roll down her cheeks
And happy thoughts run through her head
As he whispers low, “With this ring, I thee wed.”

Golden ring (golden ring) with one tiny little stone
Shining ring (shining ring) now at last it’s found a home
By itself (by itself) it’s just a cold metallic thing
Only love can make a golden wedding ring

In a small two room apartment
As they fought their final round
He says, “You won’t admit it,
But I know you’re leavin’ town.”

She says, “One thing’s for certain,
I don’t love you any more.”
And throws down the ring
As she walks out the door

Golden ring (golden ring) with one tiny little stone
Cast aside (cast aside) like the love that’s dead and gone
By itself (by itself) it’s just a cold metallic thing
Only love can make a golden wedding ring

In a pawn shop in Chicago
On a sunny summer day
A couple gazes at the wedding rings
There on display,
Golden ring

Credit: Screen capture via / TammyWynettemusic.
November 30th, 2023
Cat lovers planning to pop the question this December have a chance to win $4,750 towards the cost of the engagement ring — as long as they share how their kitty will be involved in the memorable milestone moment.


Felix Cat Insurance just launched "A Purr-fect Proposal," a contest that will help one cat-loving couple celebrate the next chapter of their lives with extra cash and a curated collection of treats for their furry friend.

Those planning a proposal can privately share their cat-related engagement strategy at Whether your kitty will be toting a ring on its collar or posing alongside a romantic bouquet of flowers, Felix wants to know all the "catified" details.

Explained the sponsor, "With December being the most popular month for engagements, Felix is stepping in to provide a bit of holiday magic by covering the cost of the engagement ring… as long as those popping the question promise to include their cat in the proposal!"

On December 22, 2023, the insurance brand will select one lucky winner to receive a cash prize of $4,750 to help cover the cost of an engagement ring. According to The Knot's 2022 Jewelry and Engagement Study, the average cost of an engagement ring in the US is about $6,000, although the study revealed significant regional differences. Couples in the Mid-Atlanic spent the most on engagement rings ($8,400), while Midwestern residents spent the least ($5,200).

Felix didn't forget to acknowledge the star of the promo. The winner's cat will get a celebratory package of treats, including a plush champagne toy and festive feline fashion accessories — so kitty can dress up for the special occasion. The contest is open to US residents 18 years of age and older.

"Our felines are family members and just like your closest friends and family, we want to include them in celebrating meaningful moments like this," said Jamie Maxfield, marketing director and brand expert at Felix Cat Insurance. "Not only is Felix here to ease the expense of this core life event, we can also be there every step of the way afterwards."

Credit: Image courtesy of Felix Cat Insurance.
November 29th, 2023
Moriah Prichard tried to keep her cool as her boyfriend, Troy Goldschmidt, was being detained during a routine traffic stop in front of the Pablo Center in downtown Eau Claire, WI.


Officers Maggie Anderson and Josh Miller had pulled the couple over, claiming that one of the car's tail lights was out. But then Miller instructed Goldschmidt, who was driving, to step out of the car because there was an issue with his license.

The situation got even more dicey when Officer Anderson asked Prichard to get out of the car and Officer Miller seemed to be placing her boyfriend under arrest. Goldschmidt was on one knee with his hands behind his back.

"My nervousness was growing a little bit, but I thought it must just be a mistake," Prichard told WQOW News 18. "Looked over my shoulder and noticed his hands were being put behind his back, and I was definitely starting to get a little concerned."


Prichard's despair turned to elation when Goldschmidt — still on one knee — professed his love and presented the ring box he was hiding behind his back. Yes, the traffic stop was a carefully orchestrated ruse.

"I love you so much. You are my best friend," he began. "I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Would you marry me?"

Without hesitation, Prichard said "Yes."

At that point, he opened the box, stood up and put the engagement ring on her finger.


The officers congratulated the couple as hugs and handshakes were shared all around.

"You guys have been awesome," Goldschmidt told the officers.

Then the groom-to-be asked his new fiancée if she liked the ring.


"It's gorgeous!" she exclaimed.

The Eau Claire Police Department shared the body cam footage on its official Facebook page under the caption, "You never know what's going to happen on a traffic stop."

The Wausau couple had a great time when they visited Eau Claire back in March and were impressed by how friendly the people were. In fact, Prichard had lost her phone on that trip and Officer Anderson helped her recover it.

Goldschmidt was certain that he would return to Eau Claire with his girlfriend in late November when he was planning to propose.

"They had a very positive experience with Officer Andersen, and Troy was hoping she could be involved in the proposal," officer Miller told News 18. "Troy said they were coming into town again… to see a show, so he and I coordinated to do a traffic stop on them when they got into town."

You can check out the three-minute video here…

According to WEAU 13 News, both Goldschmidt's and Prichard's families were inside The District Pub & Grill watching the proposal happen across the street.

Commenting on the video post, Goldschmidt wrote, "Thank you so much, ECPD! I'm glad you had the video because I barely remember what I said. Neither Moriah and I have been able to stop smiling!"


A spokesperson for the ECPD responded, "It was such a pleasure to be a part of your special moment. Congrats to you both!"

On her own Facebook page, Prichard noted that she is not a big social media user, but HAD to share the ECPD video, writing, "Thank you SO much Eau Claire Police Department for volunteering your time! And Troy Goldschmidt for your love, care and creativity! I couldn't be happier, and I can't WAIT to spend the rest of my life with you! Excuse me while I go practice writing my new last name…"

Credits: Screen captures via Facebook / EauClairePD.
November 28th, 2023
The festive holiday season got off to a roaring start on Black Friday as the strength of the jewelry and apparel segments helped propel retail sales by 2.5% year-over-year. The Black Friday sales results built upon the double-digit growth experienced in 2022, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which measures in-store and online retail sales across all forms of payment.


While experiential gifts have been the popular choice the past few years, Mastercard noted, consumers continue to search for something to unwrap for the holidays, with jewelry and apparel being the top gift sectors of the day.

“Consumers are navigating the holiday season well and taking advantage of holiday promotions, giving them ample choice as they hunt for gifts for everyone on their list,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and Chairman of Saks Incorporated. “Consumers are also shopping smarter, using all of their tools – from searching across channels to cross checking on apps and websites – to maximize value while they spend time with friends and family.”

Retailers once again started their Black Friday sales early in the month, giving consumers ample time to search for promotions and score the best deals.

According to Mastercard, e-commerce sales on Black Friday increased 8.5% YOY as consumers shopped deals online. Adobe data reported that US consumers spent $9.8 billion on Friday alone, a new sales record. The firm expected another $10 billion to be spent over the Thanksgiving weekend and a record $12 billion on Cyber Monday.

Interestingly, in-store shopper traffic outperformed expectations. Black Friday in-store visits were up 4.6% compared to 2022, according to Sensormatic Solutions, which tracks shopper traffic at brick-and-mortar stores. Mastercard noted that Black Friday in-store sales increased 1.1% YOY.

“Consumers are again finding joy in brick-and-mortar shopping, seeing it as an experience to be shared with loved ones," noted Grant Gustafson, head of retail consulting and analytics at Sensormatic. "It’s a testament to the hard work retailers have done to streamline journeys and deliver satisfying experiences.”

Nearly 182 million people were set to shop online and in stores between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, according to the National Retail Federation.

Credit: Image by
November 27th, 2023
Taco Bell Canada is about to unveil its "biggest crown jewel yet" — four 1-carat lab-grown diamonds made from taco shells. The diamonds serve as an ode to what the company calls "the perfectly imperfect nature of tacos."


"Taco Bell is all about celebrating life's messy moments and embracing what it means to be imperfect," said Devon Lawrence, marketing director for Taco Bell Canada. "The idea that even something as beautiful as diamonds have imperfections reinforces our brand mantra to 'Live Mas,' and celebrate our authentic, messy and beautiful selves! And what better way to mark the occasion than with friends – the people who celebrate you for exactly who you are."

On December 1 and 2 at a pop-up event at 1153 Queen St. W. in Toronto, besties are invited to see the diamonds up-close and enjoy a variety of activities for free. These include the following:

-- Getting matching tote bags
-- Taking cheesy photos at the photo booth with fun props and filters
-- Receiving matching temporary tattoos
-- Getting permanent friendship bracelets

What's more, Taco Bell fans in Canada are encouraged to enter a drawing to win a pair of matching Taco Bell Diamond Friendship Necklaces featuring the taco-derived diamonds. Each pair is valued at $20,000 CAD.

As the hardest substance know to man, the diamonds in the Taco Bell Canada promotion celebrate the unbreakable friendships in our lives.

According to Taco Bell Canada's marketing team, the process of growing the diamonds from taco shells took more than 12 months to complete at a "top-secret, undisclosed location." We're not sure why the process took so long because conventional lab-grown diamonds typically require only a few weeks to form.

Diamonds are composed of pure carbon. And while we've heard of diamonds grown from the carbon obtained from hair or cremation ashes, this may be the first time taco shells have been used in the process.

To enter the contest, Taco Bell lovers must follow Taco Bell Canada on Instagram or TikTok, like the "Friends Are Forever" post and tag their bestie in the comments. The contest is open to Canadian residents, except for those in Quebec, and runs from November 21 to December 8, 2023. The winners will be drawn on December 11, 2023.

Credit: Image courtesy of CNW Group/Taco Bell Canada.