Friday, July 29, 2016

Music Friday: Elvis Presley Croons, 'That's Why I Sing, Because She Wears My Ring'

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you awesome throwback songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today, we feature Elvis Presley singing about the powerful symbolism of a wedding ring in his 1973 cover of "She Wears My Ring."


To a smitten Presley, the ring he placed on his love's finger is not only an expression of his commitment, but also a signal to the world that "she's mine eternally."

Presley sings, "This tiny ring is a token of tender emotion / An endless pool of love that's as deep as the ocean / She swears to wear it with eternal devotion / That's why I sing, because she wears my ring."

Reinterpreted with English lyrics by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant in 1960, "She Wears My Ring" was adapted from a Spanish-language song, "La Golodrina." That song was penned by Mexican physician Narciso Serradell nearly 100 years earlier, when the doctor had been exiled to France during the French intervention in Mexico. He wrote "La Golodrina," ("The Swallow" in Spanish) as a fond tribute to the country he left behind. The song is about a migrating bird yearning to return to her homeland.

Although Presley's rendition of "She Wears My Ring" is the most memorable, the song was originally performed by Jimmy Bell in 1960 and covered by Roy Orbison in 1962 and Ray Price in 1968.

"She Wears My Ring" appears as the fifth track of Good Times, Presley's 20th studio album.


Born in Tupelo, Miss., in 1935, Elvis Aron Presley ascended to stardom in the mid-1950s with his good looks, silky voice and outrageous performance style. Not only did he top the charts during the 1950s and 1960s, but he also starred in more than 30 movies, including Jailhouse Rock (1957) and Viva Las Vegas (1964).

Presley met Priscilla Ann Beaulieu in 1960 and married her after a seven-and-a-half-year courtship. The ceremony took place at the Aladdin hotel in Las Vegas and, yes, she wore his ring.

"The King," as he was known, would eventually become one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. He is the best-selling solo artist in the history of recorded music, with more than 600 million records sold worldwide. His Memphis home, Graceland, is still a major tourist attraction.

Elvis died in Memphis on August 16, 1977, at the age of 44.

Please check out the audio track of Presley performing "She Wears My Ring." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"She Wears My Ring"
Written by Felice & Boudleaux Bryant. Performed by Elvis Presley.

She wears my ring to show the world that she belongs to me
She wears my ring to show the world she's mine eternally
With loving care I placed it on her finger
To show my love for all the world to see

This tiny ring is a token of tender emotion
An endless pool of love that's as deep as the ocean
She swears to wear it with eternal devotion
That's why I sing, because she wears my ring

She swears to wear it with eternal devotion
That's why I sing, because she wears my ring

This tiny ring is a token of tender emotion
An endless pool of love that's as deep as the ocean
She swears to wear it with eternal devotion
That's why I sing, because she wears my ring
That's why I sing, because she wears my ring

Credit: Wedding image in the public domain via Wikimedia Commons; Jailhouse Rock publicity pic by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Do Diamonds Rain on Jupiter? On the Planet's Doorstep, NASA's Juno Space Probe May Find Out

Earlier this month, NASA's Juno space probe successfully entered Jupiter's orbit after a 365-million mile trek that took nearly five years. For the next 20 months, Juno will discover what's hiding under the planet's thick clouds and transmit that information back to Earth. Don't be surprised if Juno encounters diamond crystals the size of hailstones along the way.


Two prominent scientists — Dr. Kevin Baines of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Mona Delitsky from California Specialty Engineering — made headlines three years ago when they floated the idea that diamonds rain on Jupiter.

In 2013, at the 45th annual meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society, they outlined the circumstances under which Jupiter's atmosphere would rain down thousands of tons of ring-sized diamonds every year.

It all boiled down to chemistry...

Many readers already know that the Earthly diamonds form naturally when carbon is heated to an extreme temperature and put under intense pressure about 100 miles below the surface. The diamonds find their way to the surface via kimberlite pipes — the equivalent of volcanic superhighways.

While diamonds on the Earth come from the bottom up, diamonds on Jupiter come from the top down, say the scientists.

Baines and Delitsky believe the tremendous gravitational pull of Jupiter results in a super-dense atmosphere of extreme heat and pressure — the same conditions found deep within the Earth.

Lightning storms in the upper atmosphere of Jupiter are responsible for initiating the process that eventually yields a diamond. When lightning strikes, methane gas is turned into soot, or carbon.

"As the soot falls, the pressure on it increases,” said Baines. “And after about 1,000 miles it turns to graphite — the sheet-like form of carbon you find in pencils."

As it falls farther — 4,000 miles or so — the pressure is so intense that the graphite toughens into diamond, strong and unreactive, he said.

The biggest diamond crystals falling through the atmosphere of Jupiter would likely be about a centimeter in diameter — "big enough to put on a ring, although, of course, they would be uncut," said Baines.

Because Jupiter is made of gas and is hotter than the Sun at its core, what happens next to the falling diamonds is the saddest part of the story. As they descend another 20,000 miles into the core of the planets, they eventually melt into a sea of liquid carbon.

"Once you get down to those extreme depths, the pressure and temperature is so hellish, there's no way the diamonds could remain solid,” he said.

In 2013, skeptics asked Baines, "How can you really tell? Because there's no way you can go and observe it."

At the time, he answered, "It all boils down to the chemistry. And we think we're pretty certain."

Now, with Juno on Jupiter's doorstep, we may know for sure...

Credit: Illustration courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Determined 9-Year-Old Future Geologist Lands 1.53-Carat Diamond at Crater of Diamonds State Park

Blazing temperatures topping 100 degrees couldn't keep aspiring geologist and gem lover Grace Houston from uncovering the find of a lifetime during her family's vacation to Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas. On Saturday, the nine-year-old from Missouri landed a 1.53-carat diamond while wet-sifting with her grandma.


Despite a National Weather Service Heat Advisory, the determined young lady insisted on going back to the park for a second day of prospecting after the first day failed to yield the gemstone she so desperately wanted.


Houston's family had planned the trip to Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro six months in advance, but decided to keep it a secret so the fledgling geologist would be surprised.

After finding the diamond, the young girl's elation nearly turned to disappointment when she fumbled her pea-sized precious discovery back into the soil. Never deterred, Houston went back to work and found it again.


Park interpreter Betty Coors snapped the reaction of Houston's mom (orange shirt) when she learned of her daughter's discovery.

Coors reported that Houston wants to keep the diamond in its natural state. When pressed about whether she would possible use it in an engagement ring when she was older, the youngster responded, "No! I would never put such a rare and special and precious thing into an expensive piece of jewelry!"

Hmmm. We think there's a fair chance she could change her mind.

Treasure hunters visit Crater of Diamonds State Park year round to try their luck at bagging a precious gem at the only diamond site in the world open to the general public.

Only last year, Bobbie Oskarson made international headlines when she found an icicle-shaped 8.52-carat diamond at the park. Dubbed the “Esperanza,” the rough diamond was eventually crafted into an elongated briolette by master cutter Mike Botha. He called the unique shape the "Esperanza Cut."

The entry fee to Crater of Diamonds State Park is a modest $8 for adults and $5 for children ages 6 to 12. Kids under 6 get in for free.

The 37½-acre search field in Murfreesboro, Ark., is actually the eroded surface of an ancient diamond-bearing kimberlite pipe.

The park maintains a generous finder’s keepers policy and even provides experts to help amateur prospectors identify what they’ve found. Besides diamonds, the search field often yields amethyst, garnet, peridot, jasper, agate, calcite, barite and quartz.

More than 75,000 diamonds have been pulled from the Murfreesboro site since farmer John Huddleston, who owned the land, found the first precious gems in 1906. The site became an Arkansas state park in 1972. The largest diamond ever discovered in the U.S. was unearthed here in 1924. Named the Uncle Sam, the white diamond with a pink cast weighed an astounding 40.23 carats.

Credits: Images by Betty Coors, Crater of Diamonds State Park.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Supermodel Miranda Kerr's New Ring From Snapchat's Evan Spiegel Is the 'Quintessence of Classic Style and Understatement'

Wedding bells will be ringing for supermodel Miranda Kerr and Snapchat Founder and CEO Evan Spiegel. The former Victoria’s Secret Angel took to Instagram to announce their engagement and show off the ring on July 20.


Kerr, 33, shared the good news by posting a photo of her beautiful bauble, with a custom Snapchat filter (of course). The photo is captioned, “I said yes!!!” and features a Bitmoji cartoon depiction of the proposal, with the words “Marry Me!" in the bubble text. A cartoon version of Spiegel kneels in front of his bride. According to People, Bitmoji is now the property of Snapchat.

After a year of dating, Spiegel, 26, put a ring on it — and what an epic ring it is. Described as a “stunning super sparkler,” the gorgeous ring features a classic, round-cut center stone embraced by two elegant tapered baguettes.

"Miranda's ring is the quintessence of classic style and understatement," celebrity stylist Michael O'Connor told Us Weekly. "It's a classic round diamond of about 2.5 carats. The value of the ring would be approximately $55,000."

The magazine also reported that the couple will have “an extravagant wedding, in true Evan style."


The Australian beauty and the media mogul first met at a Louis Vuitton dinner in New York in 2014. They were first spotted as a couple in June of 2015. In May of this year, they bought a sprawling $12 million dollar home in L.A.’s chic Brentwood neighborhood.


Spiegel, co-founder and CEO of the mobile app Snapchat, created the platform with Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown while they were all students at Stanford University. According to TechCrunch, Snapchat has a valuation of more than $22 billion.

“He’s 26, but acts like he’s 50,” said Kerr to Net-a-Porter’s The Edit. “He’s not out partying. He goes to work in L.A.’s Venice. He comes home. We don’t go out.” Kerr revealed to People that the pair are “decidedly low key.”

“We’d rather be at home and have dinner, go to bed early,” she said.

The Australian beauty and style icon was previously married to actor Orlando Bloom, with whom she shares a 5-year-old son, Flynn. After the split, Kerr established rules with her ex for introducing Flynn to a significant other. “We had to know the person for six months and feel good about them,” she said. “Evan met Flynn, so, yeah, things are going well. Orlando thinks he’s great. We’re just a modern family now!”

Credits: Ring photo via Instagram/mirandakerr; Miranda Kerr photo by Eva Rinaldi [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons; Evan Spiegel by cellanr [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.