Thursday, May 30, 2013

Clammy Hands Blamed as Picturesque Marriage Proposal Turns Into a Three-Day Nightmare for B.C. Couple

Jordan Remple staged the perfect marriage proposal for the love of his life, Jodi Hodge, on a bright Sunday afternoon at the picturesque White Rock pier in British Columbia. With his heart thumping and palms sweating, he got down on one knee and trembled a bit as he pulled an engagement ring from his pocket…


“Then I hear this clink,” Remple told The Province. The $3,000 ring had slipped through his fingers, bounced once on the pier and then disappeared through the boards and into the sea.

The 25-year-old Langley, B.C., man was devastated. “I just sat there for a second in disbelief,” he said.

Remple explained to his girlfriend of two years that her engagement ring had just fallen into the water beneath the pier, putting a damper on his well-intentioned surprise. The 22-year-old Hodge reassured him that it was just an unfortunate accident.

Now he had to figure out how to save the ring. “I wasn’t going to let it go,” he said.


Once he composed himself, Remple got to work. He drove to Walmart, where bought a pair of goggles, a towel and an underwater flashlight. He quickly learned that the water in British Columbia in the middle of May is a bit too chilly to navigate without the proper gear.

Next, he contacted a friend, who was a scuba diver. But he didn’t have air tanks and couldn’t stay underwater long enough to find the diamond ring.

A few days later, Remple and Hodge returned to the pier at low tide to scour the breakwater with a metal detector. Still no luck.

The couple was about to give up the search, but Remple said he had to give it one more shot. “I had to give it everything I had,” he told The Province.

In a last-ditch effort, he called his father’s best friend, Robert MacDonald, who works as a port inspection diver for the Canadian Forces. When MacDonald learned of Remple’s dilemma, he quickly gathered his scuba gear and headed for the pier.

With a visibility of barely one foot, it took the experienced diver about 45 minutes to spot the ring resting on a rock about 15 feet from where it had slipped through the pier.


Now, with the ring tightly in hand, Remple got on one knee and completed the proposal he started three days earlier. Jodi accepted with a tearful, “Yes!”

Hodge told The Province that her fiancé’s perseverance in finding the ring — especially diving in the freezing water with no gear — was as romantic as it gets.

“I got a three-day proposal,” she said. “How many people get that?”

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Largest Flawless Briolette Diamond Ever to Appear at Auction Sells for $11.1 Million; Edges Out Deep Blue Briolette to Set New Record

The largest flawless briolette diamond ever to appear at auction set a new record last night when an anonymous bidder paid $11.1 million at Christie’s Hong Kong, Reuters reported. The 75.36-carat, D-color gem narrowly edged out the previous record holder — a 10.48-carat fancy deep-blue briolette diamond that sold at rival Sotheby’s for $10.8 million this past November. 


"This marks the third record-breaking diamond result at Christie’s in New York, Geneva, and now Hong Kong, all in one season," said Vickie Sek, director of the Jewellery & Jadeite Department, Christie's Asia. "Collectors continue to show immense depth when bidding for great gems and masterpieces in the world of jewelry auctions.”

Despite the record, the briolette diamond failed to reach its pre-sale high estimate of $12.5 million, but easily surpassed the pre-sale low estimate of $8.5 million.


With a symmetrical shape that resembles a water drop, the 75.36-carat briolette dangles from an elaborate pendant necklace that has a marquise-cut purplish-pink diamond suspended above the briolette. Stations of smaller briolettes adorn the 18-karat white and rose gold adjustable neck chain.

An auction spokesperson described the diamond as “perfect,” and backed up that assessment with a Gemological Institute of America evaluation that rated the stone Type IIa, the GIA’s top quality grade.

In order to achieve this exceptionally rare premium rating, cutter William Goldberg started with a 160.5 carat rough diamond and sacrificed more than half the stone’s weight in a painstaking and meticulous cutting process.

The sale of the flawless briolette was part of Christie’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels sale on Tuesday, which featured more than 290 lots and generated a total of $82.9 million.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Reno Couple Wins $10,000 Prize Package for the Best Marriage Proposal

Thanks to the help of his entire family, Aaron Wike delivered a super-creative marriage proposal that won the top prize in’s national competition. Wike and fiancée Casey Cummings learned on Friday that they will be collecting a $10,000 prize package, which includes $5,000 toward a designer bridal gown, $2,500 in luxury stationery and $2,500 in cash.


The Reno, Nev., couple titled their top-rated entry “A Trip Down Memory Lane.” The proposal took place at Lake Tahoe, where the couple often spends time hiking and enjoying nature.

On the afternoon of April 21, Wike and Cummings were set for another great hiking adventure, but Wike had a few surprises in store.

The couple had just started their hike when Cummings spotted an envelope hanging from a tree. She opened the envelope to find a photo of a bar from their hometown. The note read, “Where we first met."

Following the trail, they came upon a second envelope. This one had a photo of a restaurant and a note that read, “The place where you first realized your feelings for me.”

Explained Cummings, “We continued down 'memory lane' opening more and more memories of our dating life, including the place where we first said, 'I love you.'"

When they got to the bottom of the trail, Wike presented Cummings with a card that read, “They say that when you marry someone, you marry their WHOLE family, so Casey..."


This is when Wike’s entire family joined the proposal. As the couple followed the path and turned each corner, different family members held cards asking Cummings to be their daughter-in-law, sister-in-law and auntie.

They proceeded to a dock, where Cummings opened the final envelope. The picture was of the exact location where they were standing and the note read, “This is the place where I proposed.”

Wike got down on one knee and asked Cummings to marry him. She said, “Yes."

The family and random beach-goers joined the happy couple with congratulations and cheers.


The editors of picked the couple’s entry to be a finalist from among nearly a thousand entries. Then the readers of voted for the winner from the five finalists.

“A Trip Down Memory Lane” won the contest with more than 7,000 votes. It didn’t hurt that Wike’s proposal caught the attention of a Reno television station, which encouraged viewers to vote for the couple’s proposal at’s website.

The couple will marry at Tahoe this summer.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Romantic Engineer Invents Engagement Ring That Lights Up on His Fiancée's Finger When He Is Near

Ben Kokes, a San Francisco engineer, toiled five months to design and handcraft a titanium engagement ring whose stones light up on his fiancée’s finger when he’s close-by.


Named “Project Longhaul,” the ring's journey from design to fabrication was a super-challenging labor of love for the brainy 36-year-old romantic.

The engineer chronicled the story of the ring on his website, and started the narrative this way…

"Once upon a time, a boy met a girl. Then a short amount of time later, the boy decided to design and build a ring for the girl, because doing things in the most complicated way possible is just what he does to show the love. This is that story."


The website offers a blow-by-blow description of how Kokes worked through every technical challenge of the design and manufacturing process. The site features more than 40 photographs, illustrations, diagrams and videos.

He explains on his site how the stones are backlit by tiny LEDs, which are powered by a coil of copper built into the body of the ring. The coil generates energy when it is exposed to an alternating magnetic field. A wrist-mounted device that Kokes could wear on his wrist or conceal in a pocket supplies that field.


When Kokes proposed to Julie Nicolai in mid-May with the high-tech titanium ring, the stones lit up right on cue when came within four inches of his bride-to-be. Nicolai was so impressed with the ring that she didn’t let him finish his proposal speech.

“I had a little speech prepared,” Kokes told MailOnline, “and she wouldn't let me get through it. She just started telling me how amazing it was.”

And, of course, she said, “Yes.”