Friday, August 08, 2014

Music Friday: Eric Clapton’s ‘Golden Ring’ Chronicles Complicated Love Triangle With Model Pattie Boyd and Beatles’ George Harrison

When 17-time Grammy winner Eric Clapton was asked by VH1 in 1999 to name his favorite song from his own catalog, he surprisingly picked “Golden Ring,” the ninth track on his 1978 Backless album.


He said the simple song was his all-time favorite because “it's obscure, people don't know it and it's about marriage.”

It was later revealed that Clapton wrote the song to chronicle his complicated love triangle with model Pattie Boyd and the Beatles’ George Harrison. Harrison and Clapton became close friends in the late 1960s, but despite their friendship, Clapton fell in love with Boyd, who Harrison had married in 1966.

In 1970, Clapton reportedly proclaimed his love for Boyd with his hit song, "Layla." When Boyd rebuffed his advances, Clapton went into a self-imposed musical exile that would last more than three years.

Boyd and Harrison eventually separated in 1974 and divorced in 1977. Clapton now had his chance to rekindle the relationship.


Clapton penned “Golden Ring” in the emotional transition year between Boyd’s official divorce from Harrison and his own marriage to Boyd in 1979. It was also the year Harrison tied the knot with author Olivia Trinidad Arias.

Clapton explained in his 2007 autobiography, "[Golden Ring] was written about the situation between me, [Pattie] and George. It referred in part to her response to the news that George was getting married again. She took it quite hard, and I, in my arrogance, found that hard to understand. So I wrote this song about the peculiarity of our triangle, which finishes with the words, ‘If I gave to you a golden ring / Would I make you happy, would I make you sing?'"

Clapton, who is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (once as a solo artist, and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and Cream), is considered one of the most influential guitarists of all time, ranking second on Rolling Stone magazine’s all-time list.

We hope you enjoy the video of Clapton’s rendition of “Golden Ring.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

Photo of Eric Clapton/Wikimedia Commons/Chris Hakkens; photo of Clapton and Pattie Boyd (uncredited).

“Golden Ring”
Written and performed by Eric Clapton.

He gave to you a golden ring;
It made you happy, it made you sing.
And I played for you on my guitar;
It didn't last long, we didn't go far.

And though the times have changed,
We're rearranged.
Will the ties that bind remain the same?

You came around after a while;
Everyone said that I made you smile.
It all went well, and suddenly then
You heard that he would marry again.

And though the times have changed,
We're rearranged.
Will the ties that bind remain the same?

Well I know that I have been here before;
I've trod on your wings, I've opened the door.
If I gave to you a golden ring
Would I make you happy, would I make you sing?

And though the times have changed,
We're rearranged.
Will the ties that bind remain the same?

And though the times have changed,
We're rearranged.
Will the ties that bind remain the same?

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Prolific Letšeng Mine Bears Another Massive Diamond; 198-Carat ‘Exceptional’ Rough Gem Could Fetch $15 Million

The prolific Letšeng mine in the tiny African Kingdom of Lesotho just yielded another massive rough diamond — a 198-carat shimmering stunner the size of a large strawberry. Experts expect it to sell for as much as $15 million.


Officials for Gem Diamonds Limited, which owns a 70 percent stake in the mine, described the stone as an “exceptional white, high-quality diamond [that] displays no florescence.” It has a Type IIa rating, which means it is chemically pure and has an exceptional optical transparency.


"The recovery of this large, high-quality white diamond continues to support the Letšeng mine's reputation as the most important source of exceptional quality, large diamonds," Gem Diamonds CEO Clifford Elphick said in a statement.

In fact, five of the 20 largest gem-quality white diamonds ever recorded were unearthed at the Letšeng mine — a mine in the kingdom's northern Maluti mountains that consistently yields the highest per-carat value of any kimberlite diamond mine in the world.

In 2001, Gem Diamonds pulled a 553-carat rough white diamond from Letšeng, and a just over a year ago the company extracted a gem-quality rough white diamond weighing in at 164 carats. That stone was eventually sold for $9 million.


London-based mining analyst Martin Potts told National Jeweler that he expects the recently discovered 198-carat stone to fetch between $12 million and $15 million.

Gem Diamonds has owned a controlling stake in Letšeng since 2006. The Kingdom of Lesotho owns 30 percent. The diamond mine is one of the highest in the world, sitting at an altitude of 10,000 feet.

Diamond photo via Gem Diamonds; Mine photo via

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

‘Ring Cam’ Gets Big Break With Featured Segment on ‘Good Morning America’

Back in February, we introduced you to the “Ring Cam,” an engagement ring box that could candidly capture in HD video the emotional and life-changing moment when she says, “Yes.”


At the time, the product was essentially a prototype, and the inventors — four grads from Hope College in Holland, Mich. — were working hard to transform a neat idea for their senior engineering project into a viable business venture.


Now, a little more than five months later, the Ring Cam team has gotten its big break with a featured segment on Good Morning America. The reporter said the Ring Cam was “giving viral proposal videos a whole new perspective.”

Other high-profile media outlets, such as the Huffington Post, InStyle magazine and the Detroit Free Press, followed suit with a flood of positive coverage.

The Ring Cam team also was encouraged by a second-round audition callback for the popular TV show, Shark Tank, where wealthy investors help entrepreneurs make it big — for a price.

The Ring Cam provides couples with a video record of one of the most momentous events of their lives — a precious snippet that can be shared with family and friends and generations to come.

By simply pushing a button on the ring box, the romantic suitor can record up to 20 minutes of video in 720p high-definition format. The auto-focus, wide-angle lens is mounted near the ring, so the priceless reaction shots are seen from the ring’s point of view.

The ring boxes may be rented for $100 or purchased for $200. They have a USB connector that allows for video captures to be easily transferred to a computer for editing.

The inventors believe that jewelry stores will be a perfect place to rent or buy a Ring Cam. For now, the team is distributing its product through its website,

In describing the original concept for the product, founding team member Sam Tzou told the Holland Sentinel, “We’ve had a lot of friends get engaged... In listening to their stories, [we learned] how excited they were and all the things they did getting ready to propose. We thought, ‘How awesome would it be to capture that moment on video?’”

The Ring Cam was conceived as a Hope College senior project and then migrated to the school’s 10-week summer incubator program, where it was refined. The early development was financed with a $5,000 infusion from Start Garden, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based program that “seeds” would-be entrepreneurs’ innovative ideas.

Now, it looks like the Ring Cam is ready to take off.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Sergio Garcia’s Errant Tee Shot Yields a ‘Diamond in the Rough,’ Literally, After Ball Blasts Spectator’s Engagement Ring

Spaniard Sergio Garcia’s errant tee shot on the third hole of Sunday’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational was nearly the most costly golf shot ever as it knocked a solitaire diamond right out of the setting of a spectator’s engagement ring — and out of sight.


Clever commentators on CBS were quickly calling the incident a “diamond in the rough,” which is literally where the lost gemstone ended up.


Garcia, who had been leading the tournament at the time, arrived on the spot to find a woman in a grey top showing the CBS cameras the empty four-prong setting of her engagement ring.


Seemingly shaken by the mishap, Garcia signed a golf ball and handed it to the surprisingly cheerful woman. He also apologized to her and asked tournament officials to get the woman’s contact information so he could make good on her loss.


After a few minutes of searching through the gnarly rough at the Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, a young patron finally spotted the diamond and returned it to its owner.


When asked by how he felt about the incident, Garcia said, “Obviously, it didn’t feel very good. You never like to hit anybody, but if you hit someone and make her lose her diamond, it feels even worse.”

Garcia also revealed that he was prepared to buy the woman a new diamond if the original couldn’t be found. “I don’t know how [my fiancée] Kathy would have felt about that, but other than that, it was okay,” he said.

Garcia, who currently stands at #3 in the Official World Golf Ranking, had tied the course record with a 61 on Friday and mounted a six-shot lead. But, after plunking the spectator, Garcia’s fortunes turned south. He went on to bogey the third hole and eventually placed second in the tournament to a surging Rory McIlroy, who won by two strokes.

Check out the two-minute video of Garcia’s notorious tee shot and its crazy aftermath. It’s been viewed more than 223,000 times on YouTube.

Images: YouTube screen captures

Monday, August 04, 2014

After narrowly escaping a devastating house fire with only the shirts on their backs, a Connecticut couple took the recovery of their engagement ring from the smoldering ashes as a sign they should put their wedding plans on the fast track. Find out why the bride wore sweatpants at our daily blog.

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Chad Kroeger Rocks Avril Lavigne’s World With a 17-Carat Diamond Ring for Their First Wedding Anniversary

Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger clearly forgot to consult the Hallmark list of traditional and modern anniversary gifts when he surprised his wife of one year, Avril Lavigne, with a 17-carat emerald-cut diamond set in platinum.


While Hallmark recommends a first anniversary gift of paper (traditional) or a clock (modern), Kroeger decided on a diamond ring that was even larger than the dazzling 10-carat pear-shaped engagement ring he presented to the “Complicated” singer in 2012.

This past Thursday, Lavigne revealed the ring on Twitter with a captioned photo of her and Kroeger. On Lavigne’s left hand is a diamond that covers much of her petite ring finger. In the tweet, she breathlessly wrote, “I still can’t believe my 1 year anniversary gift. 17 carat emerald cut. Wow. I love my hubby.” Lavigne has 16.3 million followers on Twitter.

The ring’s value could range from several hundred thousand dollars to several million dollars, depending on the color, cut and clarity of the diamond.

The Twitter post was later taken down, presumable because the pop-punk singer was caught out of character when she gushed over her new jewelry.

Screen Shot 2014-08-03 at 6.48.31 PM

In August of 2012, Kroeger proposed to Lavigne with a vintage-style platinum engagement ring featuring a 10-carat pear-shaped center stone accented on each side with specially cut half-moon-shaped diamonds totaling an additional 4 carats. The ring’s estimated cost was $350,000. The couple married in the South of France in July 2013.

The 29-year-old diva said that her relationship with Kroeger, 39, started as a simple song-writing collaboration, but quickly turned into something much bigger.

The couple had been dating for only a month when Kroeger popped the question at a recording studio. According Lavigne, she had been making a scrapbook filled with cute stickers and Polaroid photos recounting her time in the studio. On one special day, she walked into the facility and caught Kroeger adding a photo to the book.

“He had taken a photo of himself holding a ring box,” said Lavigne. “He put the Polaroid in my scrapbook along with a sticker that said, ‘Will you marry me.’ It was really romantic.”

We can’t wait to see how Kroeger tops himself for the couple’s second anniversary.

Photo top: Twitter/Avril Lavigne