Thursday, April 16, 2015

Disneyland Marks 60th Anniversary With Dazzling 'Diamond Days' Celebration

A crystal Cinderella slipper adorned with a diamond-and-topaz pendant is one of the top prizes in the Diamond Days Sweepstakes celebrating Disneyland’s 60th anniversary. The removable heart-shaped pendant is affixed to the front of the shoe and glistens with pavé diamonds centered by a large heart-shaped blue topaz.


Beginning May 22, Disney also will be giving away weekly prizes that include one- and two-carat genuine diamonds laser engraved especially for Disney. Some Disney Diamonds will commemorate dates with particular significance to the “Happiest Place on Earth.” The one-carat Disney Diamonds will be paired with a stay in the Disneyland Dream Suite.


Diamonds dominate the park’s 60th anniversary branding. For instance, two graphics from the Disney web site show the iconic Cinderella castle rendered in glistening diamonds.


Some non-jewelry prizes include a private party in Fantasyland, a romantic cruise aboard the Mark Twain Riverboat and a tailgate party in Cars Land. The Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration will also include daily prizes, such as individualized tours of the parks, preferred viewing for evening entertainment experiences and priority access to selected attractions.

According to Disney Resorts’ official blog, the top prizes will vary weekly. The company did not announce when the promotion will end.

Visitors to Disneyland during the diamond anniversary year will see a new fireworks show that uses high-tech special effects to light up the night sky. Disneyland is also promoting a new parade and three new nighttime shows that will take guests into the worlds of Disney stories “like never before.”

Musical groups at the park will be incorporating "diamond" moments in their shows, from Diamond Sing-Alongs with the Dapper Dans to Diamond Dance-Alongs with the Straw Hatters.

The diamond anniversary festivities will kick off with a 24-hour party, from 6 a.m. Friday, May 22, to 6 a.m. Saturday, May 23, 2015.

Officially opened in Anaheim, Calif., on July 17, 1955, under the direct supervision of Walt Disney, Disneyland is one of the world’s most famous destinations with more than 16 million visitors annually and 650 million since its inception.

No purchase is necessary to participate in the sweepstakes. Official rules will be posted at on May 22, 2015.

Images: Disneyland Resort

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Canadian Bake Shop Celebrates Grand Opening With Blinged-Out Donut Worthy of a Jeweler’s Showcase

Decadently decorated with 24-karat edible gold and faceted sugar “diamonds,” the blinged-out “Donutopia” donut comes with a Certificate of Authenticity and would feel very much at home in a jeweler’s showcase.


The over-the-top donut, which nests in a sugar bowl and costs $100, is made with aged chocolate balsamic vinegar and infused with ice wine. In making the batter, ordinary water is replaced with Bling H20, a luxury bottled water with a starting price of $29 per 200ml bottle.


The donut is also loaded with some other treats, but a spokesperson for Dolicious Donuts, which unveiled the spectacular sweet snack to celebrate its new location in West Kelowna, British Columbia, said he couldn’t divulge what they were.

“Otherwise, I think the baker might shoot me,” he joked.

The husband-and-wife team of Torsten and Jeanne Kaminski told The Vancouver Sun that Donutopia was conceived when a regular customer wanted a special donut to be at the center of his marriage proposal.

The suitor’s plan was to hide the engagement ring in the donut and then, once his girlfriend discovered it, he would propose right there in the bakery.

“It was such a happy thing that we came up with the Donutopia,” said Jeanne Kaminski.

“Each one takes three to five hours to make. The value of the donut is more than $100,” Kaminski told The Vancouver Sun.


Media outlets were quick to pounce on the novel story. A local TV news host seemed to be impressed by the donut, but wondered aloud how diamonds could be edible. He didn’t realize the “diamonds” were actually candy.

The Donutopia aligns neatly with the owners’ strategy to create a unique experience for their customers. "Inside [the store] is completely wild and crazy, a place to escape reality," Kaminski told

Kaminski has earmarked all proceeds from the sales of the Donutopia to help establish a soup kitchen in West Kelowna.

Top image via Screen captures via and

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

‘Sunrise Ruby’ Poised to Break Price Record at Sotheby's Geneva; Gem Should Fetch $12M to $18M


The 25.59-carat, pigeon-blood-red “Sunrise Ruby” is expected to crush an auction record for the highest price ever paid for a ruby when it fetches between $12 million and $18 million at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale in Geneva next month.


The hammer price on The Sunrise Ruby should easily eclipse Laurence Graff's $8.6 million winning bid last November for the current record holder — the Graff Ruby.


The Graff Ruby is expected to retain its record for the highest price-per-carat ever paid at auction for a ruby. That record of $997,727 per carat will only be in jeopardy if The Sunrise Ruby far exceeds Sotheby’s estimates and sells for more than $25.6 million. Graff has called his treasure “the finest ruby in the world.”

Sotheby’s described The Sunrise Ruby — Lot 502 of the May 12 sale — as a superb and extremely rare ruby and diamond ring by Cartier. The cushion-shaped ruby is set between two shield-shaped white diamonds weighing 2.47 carats and 2.70 carats, respectively.

A grading report by Gübelin states that the ruby is of Burmese origin and exhibits a well proportioned cutting style.

Notes the report, “Its vivid but saturated color, poetically referred to as pigeon blood red, is due to a combination of well balanced trace elements in the stone, typical and characteristic for the finest rubies of Mogok.”

It goes on to say that rubies of this quality are generally found in small crystals. “Based on our records,” the report continues, “we can conclude that a natural ruby from Burma of this size and color is extremely rare. Thus, the described gemstone with its combination of outstanding characteristics can be considered a unique treasure of nature.”

Other top lots at the upcoming Geneva sale include the following:


“Ivresse” Diamond Necklace. Cascading with round, pear-shaped and marquise-shaped diamonds, this extraordinary necklace by Cartier has a total weight of 190.77 carats and an estimated price of $6 million to $10 million. The three largest diamonds in the piece — 10.25, 12.04 and 20.38 carats —  all are D in color.


The Historic Pink Diamond. A fancy vivid pink diamond weighing 8.72 carats is the focal point of this ring accented with two cushion-cut white diamonds, each weighing a little over a carat. The center diamond was once the property of heiress and philanthropist Huguette Clark and weighed 9 carats before it was repolished. The ring has an estimated price range of $14 million to $18 million.

Credits: Getty Images;

Monday, April 13, 2015

Anonymous Woman Uses Facebook to Gift Her $2,100 Engagement Ring to Deserving Couple

Stating that she didn’t want her diamond engagement ring to become another pawn shop ring because, for her, it was a “symbol of love and happiness,” a New Mexico woman decided to gift it to a deserving couple.


With the assistance of the Albuquerque Community Facebook page called “Inhabitants of Burque,” the anonymous benefactor, whose own relationship just didn’t work out, found the perfect match within 24 hours of posting her offer on Monday, April 6.

Dozens of couples responded to the post, which asked them to submit their photos and love stories. But, one particular story stood out from the rest...


Josh Michaels and Laura Aitken have been engaged since 2013, the same year Michaels was diagnosed with rare form of stage-four cancer. For the past two years, the couple has battled through 18 cycles of chemotherapy, three surgeries and a crushing amount of medical-related debt. Michaels is currently on disability and they are struggling to keep their home.


“I’ve been told a few different things you know, ‘I wasn’t gonna make it, I had two months left,’ and I’m still here,” Michaels told KRQE News 13.

“To break up and to give up would have been worse to me than for him to pass away,” added Aitken.

On the Inhabitants of Burque Facebook page, Michaels wrote about his medical challenges and how his devoted fiancée has been supportive every step of the way. He concluded, “It [would] be so nice to give back to someone I love [who] has helped me through one of the roughest things in life.”


The anonymous donor agreed and awarded the $2,100 antique-style ring to the young couple. In a statement, the anonymous donor said, “I didn’t want this story to be about me, which is why I choose to remain anonymous. If anything, I wanted to remind myself and the community that love is out there, and to never give up. Josh, I wish you and Laura the absolute best!”


Making the ring presentation to Michaels and Aitken was Leo York of the Inhabitants of Burque Facebook page.

“The world doesn’t always give you what you want, but there are people out there that, you know, can give you help,” York said. He told them that he thought they were amazing and that they shouldn’t think anything less of themselves. “Cancer doesn’t define you,” he said. “It’s just something that happens.”

As he viewed the ring for the first time, Michaels commented that the ring was “really nice.”


Then he proposed to Aiken as he did two years earlier. “I love you very much,” he said, as he slipped the ring on her finger. They kissed, and then Aiken said, “Yaaay!”

When asked what she would say to the ring’s original owner if they got a chance to meet, Aiken said, “I don’t know if I’d have words for her. I think I probably would just hug her, and probably cry on her shoulder a little bit, happy tears.”

“It’s just little things like this that keep you strong, keep you going,” said Michaels.


At the end of the presentation, with the media gone, Michaels and Aiken finally got to meet their benefactor, who secretly had been waiting in the wings. She exchanged hugs with the couple and confirmed that the ring was full of “positive vibes” even though her own relationship didn’t work out.

When Michaels asked about the story behind the ring, the woman said, “It was a good story. But, people change, you know.”

Images: Screen captures via; Facebook/Inhabitants of Burque.