Friday, February 14, 2014

Music Friday: Kelly Price Sings About Tying the Knot on Valentine’s Day in ‘He Proposed’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. As a tribute to Valentine’s Day, we shine the spotlight on Kelly Price, the R&B star who gushes about a February 14 marriage proposal in the appropriately titled song, “He Proposed.” Yesterday, we reported that six million American couples were planning to tie the knot today.

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Price describes in the 2004 Grammy-nominated song how her boyfriend surprised her on Valentine’s Day with a diamond engagement ring. She sings, “He proposed to me, my baby proposed with a diamond ring / 
I couldn't believe it, I looked in his eyes and I said yes.”

In one of the final lines of the song, Price adds an important detail about the ring: “He proposed and what a surprise / Ten carats nearly filled my eyes.”

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Set in what seems to be Price’s living room, the music video for “He Proposed” shows the singer dishing the details about her romantic Valentine’s Day proposal to a delighted group of girlfriends.

“He Proposed” is the 10th track on Price’s third studio album, Priceless. The song earned Price a Grammy nomination in 2004 for the Best Traditional R&B Performance.

The 40-year-old Price, who has been called a cross between a "streetwise Mariah Carey and a domesticated Mary J. Blige" is a seven-time Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter.

She has collaborated with the likes of Mariah Carey, George Michael, Elton John, The Isley Brothers, Brian McKnight, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Faith Evans, Whitney Houston, Donnie McClurkin, Eric Clapton and the late James Brown.

Please check out the official music video of “He Proposed.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

“He Proposed”
Written by Bobby Arrington. Performed by Kelly Price.

It was Valentine’s Day, February the 14th
My baby took me to a special place
Said he had a surprise for me

He told me to close my eyes, so that I could not see
And when I opened them up
He was on one knee reachin' for my hand

That's when

He proposed to me, he proposed with a diamond ring
I started crying, he placed it on my finger and I said yes
He proposed to me, my baby proposed with a diamond ring
I couldn't believe it, I looked in his eyes and I said yes

I'll never forget that night. It was 8:43p.m. to be precise
He looked in my eyes and said
"You've made me the happiest man alive"

And soon as I got home I called my mother on the phone
I said, "Momma, you won't believe what just happened to me"

He proposed to me, he proposed with a diamond ring
I started crying, he placed it on my finger and I said yes
He proposed to me, my baby proposed with a diamond ring
Couldn't believe it, I looked in his eyes and I said yes

'Cuz we will be together baby and this I know
See, we will love forever baby, my heart told me so
See, if you promise to hold me tight and never let me go
We will be husband and wife for the rest of our lives

He proposed to me, he proposed with a diamond ring
I started crying, he placed it on my finger and I said yes
He proposed to me, my baby proposed with a diamond ring
Couldn't believe it, I looked in his eyes and I said yes

He proposed to me, he proposed with a diamond ring
I started crying, he placed it on my finger and I said yes
He proposed to me, my baby proposed with a diamond ring
Couldn't believe it, I looked in his eyes and I said yes

He proposed and what a surprise
Ten carats nearly filled my eyes
I started crying, I looked in his eyes and I said yes
My baby proposed to me

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Love Is in the Air: Six Million American Couples Eagerly Awaiting a Valentine’s Day Marriage Proposal

Love is in the air... Six million American couples expect to receive or deliver a marriage proposal on Valentine’s Day, according to a recent survey by American Express. Of the 13 million American couples who were likely to become engaged by the end of 2014, nearly half reported that February 14th was the day they expected to tie the knot.


The survey also revealed that the average price couples expected to pay for an engagement ring was $2,311. Twenty-five percent put the amount between $2,000 and $4,999, while 16% expected the price to be $5,000 or higher.

Men said that they would prefer to pop the question on vacation (31%), while a large portion of woman said they craved the romantic ambiance of home (27%).

Overall, the 2014 American Express Spending & Saving Tracker reported that Americans will be doling out a whopping $37 billion on their celebration of Valentine’s Day.

Nearly three-quarters of the respondents (74%) said they would be doing something special on the most romantic day of the year, and 60% said they were planning to purchase a gift for their significant other.

Jewelry was the go-to purchase for nearly a quarter of the men in the survey (24%), while 54% said they’d opt for flowers.

Women were most likely to buy gadgets (16%) and gift cards (13%). Exactly 57% of the men and 59% of the women will purchase greetings cards.

Men expected to spend $254 on Valentine’s Day, while their female counterparts said they would spend $125.

The American Express Spending & Saving Tracker research was completed online among a random sample of 1,504 adults, including the general U.S. population, as well as an Affluent demographic defined by a minimum annual household income of $100,000.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Furry NBA Mascot Proposes to Kate Upton With Fist-Sized Ring After Justin Verlander Leaves Girlfriend Unattended for a Moment

Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander learned a hard lesson about leaving his supermodel girlfriend Kate Upton unattended at a professional basketball game. The Detroit Tigers star pitcher had left his seat for only a few minutes, but it was time enough for Orlando Magic mascot Stuff the Magic Dragon to swoop in and pop the question to the Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover girl with a fist-sized faux diamond ring.


The 21-year-old Upton accepted the ring and kissed the furry winged mascot on the snout, but didn’t exactly say “Yes” to the proposal that took place during a break in the action at Friday night’s close contest between the Magic and the Oklahoma City Thunder at Orlando’s Amway Center.


Verlander, 30, displayed mock outrage when he returned to his seat to find his beaming girlfriend cradling a bouquet of flowers and wearing a supersize engagement ring. “I was gone for 5 seconds!!” he tweeted, along with a photo of his animated confrontation with the green-and-pink dragon.


Upton seemed to enjoy the mascot fun as well as the exciting game that was won by the Magic 103-102 on a last-second dunk. On Twitter, she posted a snapshot of herself flashing her enormous ring, along with a tweet, “Thanks @STUFF_mascot for the proposal tonight! Great game!”


The audacious dragon tweeted out to Upton and his fans, “She didn’t say yes… and she didn’t say no… so you’re saying there’s a chance!”

On her return to Los Angeles, a TMZ reporter intercepted Upton at LAX airport and asked how she felt about the mascot proposal. “It’s a huge honor,” she said. “He’s a magic dragon, so how could I say ‘No.’”

The six-time MLB All-Star pitcher and the high-profile model have been dating on and off since 2012. Some observers believe Stuff’s public proposal could be the wake-up call Verlander needs to start his own search for Upton’s perfect engagement ring.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Superstitious Figure Skating Darling Gracie Gold Goes for the Gold With the Help of a Very Special Piece of Jewelry

Winter Olympics figure skating darling Gracie Gold always wears a very special piece of jewelry to all of her big competitions. The superstitious Sports Illustrated cover girl and gold medal hopeful believes an evil eye necklace given to her by a ballet teacher years ago has helped propel her to stardom.


“I always wear my evil eye necklace to ward off bad karma. I always wear one to protect me,” she told People magazine. “When I first started working with a ballet teacher, she gave me one before my first national championships. It worked really well. I ended up on the podium!”


The evil eye necklace has yet to fail her. The athletic and graceful skater won the U.S. Junior title in 2012, placed second at the U.S. Nationals in 2013, and won U.S. Nationals in 2014.


On Sunday, the fashion-conscious 18-year-old wore bright blue gemstone earrings while performing a flawless routine, scoring a career-best 129.36 and leading the U.S. team to a bronze medal in the team figure skating event.


Interestingly, athletes are prohibited from wearing earrings, necklaces and hair adornments in Olympic-level figure skating competitions. A strict interpretation of the rules could result in the deduction of critical points from the competitor’s score.

Brad Griffies, an ice-skating costume designer who created the dress worn by Gold for this year’s U.S. National Championships, told Cosmopolitan magazine that the rules about accessories are rarely enforced and most competitors ignore them altogether. This is fortunate for Gold, who wore her evil eye necklace, stud earrings and a blingy hair clip during the U.S. Nationals, which took place in Boston, only a few miles from her birthplace of Newton, Mass.

The costume designer also revealed that there is a precise limit to the number of crystals that may be applied to a skater's costume. That number is 100,000. Griffies told Cosmopolitan that while it may take two to four hours to construct a skating outfit, the crystals could take four to 40 hours to apply.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Valentine Special: ‘Blue Heart Diamond’ Is One of the Most Famous — and Romantic — Diamonds of All Time

Valentine’s Day is this Friday, so we’ve decided to kick off the week with a close-up look at one of the most famous — and romantic — diamonds of all time. It’s the remarkable 30.62-carat “Blue Heart Diamond,” a gemstone so special that it has lived on four continents and now has a permanent residence at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.


A heart-shaped diamond has always been the ultimate symbol of love and romance. Whether mounted in an engagement ring or pendant, the heartfelt message to the lucky recipient on Valentine’s Day is powerful and crystal clear.

Discovered in 1908 at South Africa’s legendary Premier Mine (now known as the Cullinan Diamond Mine), the Blue Heart Diamond started as a 100.5-carat rough stone. It was cut into a heart shape by Parisian jeweler Atanik Eknayan in 1910 and purchased by Pierre Cartier that same year.

According to the Smithsonian, Cartier set the lively blue diamond in a lily-of-the-valley brooch and sold the piece to Mrs. Unzue of Argentina in 1911. Van Cleef & Arpels purchased the diamond in 1953, reset it as a pendant and sold it to a European family that same year.

In 1959, Harry Winston obtained the stone and mounted it into a platinum ring. The setting included 25 round brilliant-cut colorless diamonds. American socialite and founder of General Foods Marjorie Merriweather Post purchased the ring in 1960 and gifted it to the Smithsonian’s National Gem Collection in 1964.


The Gemological Institute of America graded the Blue Heart as a natural fancy deep blue diamond with a clarity grade of VS2. The stone measures 20.01 mm wide, 19.99 mm tall and 11.89 mm deep. At 30.62 carats, the Blue Heart Diamond is the 11th largest blue diamond in the world and the largest blue diamond ever cut into a heart shape.

Historically, there has been some confusion about the origin of the Blue Heart Diamond. Some accounts say that it was once known as the “Eugenie Blue” and owned by Empress Eugenie of France. These claims don’t hold water because the empress died in 1870, 38 years before the diamond was discovered.

The GIA offered these tips when choosing a heart-shaped diamond: If the wearer has an active lifestyle, but sure to pick a diamond that is mounted with a V-shaped prong at the point to prevent chipping. Choose a stone that is nicely proportioned with both lobes of the heart the same size.

Photos by Chip Clark.