Thursday, March 02, 2017

UK Treasure Hunters Unearth Four Golden Torcs Dating Back 2,500 Years

Two buddies with a passion for treasure hunting unearthed four 2,500-year-old golden torcs within the parish of Leekfrith (pop. 363) in the English countryside.


The items, which include three neck torcs and one bracelet weighing between 1 ounce and 8 ounces, may date back to 400 BC and represent the earliest Iron Age gold work ever discovered in Britain. An antiquities expert called the Iron Age torcs a "unique find of international importance."


British metal detectorist buddies Joe Kania and Mark Hambleton found their bounty in a field about 30 miles southeast of Manchester. Each item was buried just under the surface about one meter apart from the next.

Hambleton explained to the BBC that he and Kania were searching a field back in December, but had come up empty. Hambleton was just about to quit for the day when his friend approached with a golden surprise.


"He pulled this big torc out of his pocket and dangled it in front of me," Hambleton said. "When I'd gotten some air back into my lungs, my head had cleared and my legs had stopped wobbling, I said, 'Do you realize what you've found there?'"

The discovery of the large torc led the treasure hunters to the three other items, each of which was determined to be crafted of at least 80% gold.


"The torcs were probably worn by wealthy and powerful women, perhaps people from the [European] continent who had married into the local community," surmised Dr. Julia Farley, the British Museum's curator of British and European Iron Age collections. "Piecing together how these objects came to be carefully buried in a Staffordshire field will give us an invaluable insight into life in Iron Age Britain."

The fabulous Leekfrith Iron Age torcs will be exhibited for the next three weeks at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke, a short distance from where they were discovered.

“This amazing find of gold torcs in the north of the county is quite simply magical, and we look forward to sharing the secrets and story they hold in the years to come,” said Staffordshire County Council Leader Philip Atkins in a statement.

The UK's Treasure Act of 1996 states that finders have a legal obligation to report all potential treasure to the local coroner in the district where the find was made. The Act allows a national or local museum to acquire the treasure for the public's benefit and pay a reward, which is usually shared equally between the finder and landowner. The value of the four golden torcs will be determined by experts at the British Museum.

Credits: Images courtesy of Staffordshire County Council. Screen captures via

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Jewelry Collection of Celebrated Author Jackie Collins to Hit the Auction Block at Bonhams

One thousand lots from the estate of celebrated author Jackie Collins — including a 6.04-carat pear-shaped diamond — will hit the auction block on May 17 and 18 at Bonhams in Los Angeles.


The star and socialite, who wrote 31 novels which together sold more than 500 million copies in 40 countries worldwide, passed away in September of 2015 at the age of 77. During her stellar 47-year writing career, Collins amassed an impressive collection of fine art, sculpture and jewelry.

Bonhams is calling the two-day auction "Jackie Collins: A Life in Chapters." The lots are estimated to be worth in excess of $3 million in total.


The jewelry reflects the style and glamor of the British-born author, who called Beverly Hills her home since 1992.

• The top item in the jewelry category is a 6.04-carat pear-shaped diamond ring. Carrying a pre-sale estimate of $100,000 to $150,000, the platinum ring features tapered baguettes on the shoulders.


• A second head-turner is this geometric platinum necklace set with diamonds and emeralds weighing a combined 44 carats. The pre-sale estimate is $40,000 to $60,000.


• A collection of three diamond-and-platinum Flamme brooches are expected to sell for $15,000 to $20,000. Two of the brooches are set with round brilliant and baguette-cut diamonds, while the third is set solely with baguette diamonds. The total weight of the three pieces is 26.70 carats.


• Verdant cabochon emeralds are the focal point of these ear clips, which boast a diamond total weight of 17.65 carats. The clips carry a pre-sale estimate of $8,000 to $12,000.


"Our mother never did anything in small measures!" noted Collins' daughters — Tracy, Rory and Tiffany — in a joint statement. "She was passionate about collecting, and spent many decades selecting paintings, statuettes and jewelry which brought her joy and creative inspiration."

The daughters said that in the early 1990s their parents designed and built a breathtaking contemporary home in Beverly Hills, which became the custom designed backdrop to their mother's collections.

"She had a unique and extraordinary eye for a design and aesthetic that combined elegance and glamor with humor and warmth," they said.

Bonham's announced that a portion of all proceeds from the auction will be donated to support the empowerment of young women in the arts and education.

Credits: Images courtesy of Bonhams.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

McMatch Made in Heaven: Man Pops the Question With Ring Hidden in Box of Chicken McNuggets

When Lincoln, Ill., native Kristian Helton was plotting the perfect way to propose to girlfriend Karsyn Long on Valentine's Day, he knew that McDonald's Chicken McNuggets had to be the focus of the plan. You see, Long absolutely loves, loves, loves the crispy batter-dipped morsels.


"She has devoted her life to chicken nuggets," Helton told NBC affiliate WAND, "so that had to be part of the engagement. I mean, it was just a given."

Helton, 19, decided he would surprise Long with a diamond engagement ring hidden in a 10-piece box.


"Her love for chicken nuggets I'm sure is more than she loves me," Helton joked.

Excited to get a jump on his plan, Long headed out to his local McDonald's at 7:30 a.m. He ordered the large box of nuggets, but was told that it was way too early to get food off the lunch menu.

Long pleaded his case to department manager Tina Summers, revealing that the nuggets would be central to his proposal that was set to take place later that same morning. The kind-hearted manager not only made a special batch of nuggets for Helton, but gave it to him for free.

Armed with the nugget box, which would double as a ring box, Long had only a few modifications to pull off. On the inside cover of the box he wrote in orange marker, "Will You McMarry Me??" And then he pressed a pretty solitaire engagement ring into one of the nuggets.

Long, 16, was thrilled to accept Helton's proposal.


"I didn't hesitate to say yes because he is obviously the one I want to spend my life with,” Long told WAND.

The local McDonald's was excited to share Long's Facebook post, where she included a photo collage and a description of the events leading up to the proposal.


McDonald's included an intro that read, "Love is in the air at your Central Illinois McDonald's! The Lincoln, IL McDonald’s was instrumental in helping pull off a very McRomantic engagement. Check out how he asked below:" The fast-food restaurant also congratulated the future Mr. and Mrs. Helton and wished them a Happy Valentine's Day.

This is how Long described her unforgettable day... "This morning at 7:30 a.m. my boyfriend went to McDonald's and they don't serve lunch until 11 or so and my boyfriend asked for a 10-piece chicken nugget and they told him they don't serve [nuggets] until lunch. Well, my boyfriend said I'm proposing to my girlfriend and she's a crazy nugget girl! And they made him chicken nuggets and gave them to him for free... It was the sweetest thing ever. Thank you so much McDonald's. I'm one happy girl now!!!"

The story of the couple's sweet, homespun, deep-fried marriage proposal has gone viral. The story was picked up by, Fox News,, the New York Post and numerous other media outlets.

Helton and Long are planning a Valentine 2018 wedding. It's rumored that McDonald's has offered to do the catering.

Screen captures via,; McDonald's collage by Kristian Helton via Facebook/McDonald's at 1109 Hickox Dr.

Monday, February 27, 2017

'Real Is Rare. Real Is a Diamond' Commercial Shares Limelight During Last Night's Academy Awards

More than 30 million viewers tuning into the 89th annual Academy Awards last night got their first glimpse of "Runaways," the second in a series of “Real is Rare. Real is a Diamond” commercials produced by the Diamond Producers Association (DPA). It's been 10 years since the diamond category has shared the limelight of the Oscars — the second-most-watched event in the U.S. behind the Super Bowl.


Aimed at a millennial audience and shot as a short film, the provocative commercial offers a modern take on love and diamonds.

In the full one-minute version, the viewer gets to experience the whirlwind romance of a young couple, as told from the man's point of view. For this couple, it was love at first sight. They ran away together, and even though time has passed, the passion is still strong, as symbolized by her necklace strung with three diamond rings. An abbreviated 15-second version of "Runaways" ran last night at 10:24 p.m. EST during the Oscars.


How much DPA paid for the 15-second spot was not disclosed, although it is well known that a 30-second spot during this year's show has been selling for $2 million. The DPA reported that 67 percent of Oscar viewers are women.

"The DPA's 'Real is Rare. Real is a Diamond' marketing platform aims to connect with new generations in a way that is highly personal and emotionally relevant," observed Deborah Marquardt, DPA Chief Marketing Officer. "The campaign acknowledges millennials' desire to demonstrate their commitment in a more individualist, but equally sentimental and significant, way than previous generations."


The DPA successfully capitalized on Hollywood's biggest night. Before the show, viewers were dazzled by a red carpet parade of starlets decked out in head-turning gowns, complemented by stunning diamond and gemstone jewelry.

Established by the world’s biggest diamond mines to raise the profile and allure of diamonds for a millennial market, the DPA will release its third “Real is Rare” commercial this April. In September, DPA will roll out the second phase of its campaign, which will be targeted to a slightly older 25- to 32-year-old demographic, which tends to be more traditional when it comes to getting married.

Credits: Image captures via