Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Alexa Ray Joel, Daughter of Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley, Dishes on Her 'Ridiculously Exquisite Ring'

Singer-songwriter Alexa Ray Joel, the 32-year-old progeny of rock legend Billy Joel and former supermodel Christie Brinkley, rang in the New Year with big news of her engagement to restauranteur Ryan Gleason.

Joel turned to Instagram on Monday to share details of the romantic proposal, along with a great shot of her vintage-inspired engagement ring. We're estimating that the emerald-cut center stone is approximately 2 1/2 to 3 carats and is likely set in platinum or 18-karat white gold.

In recounting how Gleason popped the question, Joel wrote, “He said to me: ‘Before I met you, my world was in black and white. You colored it in between the lines.’ It was the most beautiful thing anybody’s ever said to me. How could I possibly say no to that?!?!”

She also revealed her reaction to seeing her engagement ring for the first time...

“So I was completely taken off-guard, dumbstruck, and shell-shocked- and FOR ONCE in my life, I had absolutely no words, and I couldn’t speak," she wrote. "I just kept staring at this ridiculously exquisite ring — and he was just hysterically laughing at me!!!”

Gleason's Instagram page summed up his feelings in five words: "Luckiest guy in the world!!!!"

The surprise proposal took place during a tropical getaway, which coincided with Joel celebrating her 32nd birthday on December 29. One day later, Gleason was on Instagram, posting a photo of his girlfriend, along with the following caption: "Happy Birthday to the strangest girl I know. You make this world such a better place. I love you so much!"

One of his followers, wormadette, wrote this insightful comment, "You’re in Love, You’ve been dating for over 3yrs, you’re both in your 30’ her the ring!!"

And he did.

Joel's dad, Billy, and mom, Christie, were married from 1985 to 1994.

Billy Joel's heartwarming "Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)" was written for Alexa when she was seven years old.

Credits: Images via Instagram/AlexaRayJoel.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Here's a First Look at the XXIII Olympic Winter Games Gold Medal; Can You Guess What It's Worth?

With the new year upon us and the Winter Olympics in South Korea right around the corner, it's time to take a close look at the medals that will be awarded at the Games and noodle out what they're really worth.

Designed by Seoul-based Sukwoo Lee, the gold, silver and bronze medals to be awarded from February 9 - 25 at the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang will range in weight from 586 grams for a gold medal to 493 grams for a bronze medal. At today's spot price, the gold medals — if they were, in fact, made of pure gold — would be worth $26,974 each.

The truth is that the gold medals contain just 6 grams of pure gold and 580 grams of 99.9% silver, resulting in an actual precious metal value of about $624. The silver medals contain 580 grams of 99.9% silver ($348), and the bronze medals are made of 493 grams of copper ($4.93).

Yes, there was a time when Olympic gold medals were made of solid gold, but the last ones were awarded in Stockholm, Sweden, way back in 1912.

Starting in 1916, the International Olympic Committee mandated that gold medals be made mostly of silver, and gilded with exactly 6 grams (0.211 ounces) of 24-karat gold. The IOC also required the medals to be at least 60mm in diameter and 3mm thick. The Pyeongchang medals are 92.5mm (about 3.6 inches) wide. The thickness of the coins range from 4.4mm to 9.42mm.

Lee's design was inspired by the texture of tree trunks, with the front bearing the Olympic rings and dynamic diagonal lines that reflect both the history of the Olympics and the determination of the participants. The reverse displays the winner's sports discipline, event and the Pyeongchang 2018 emblem. In total, 259 sets of the medals have been made.

The bark-like ridges on the face of Lee's design are made from extrusions of three-dimensional Hangeul consonants. Hangeul, which dates back to the 15th century, is the Korean alphabet and the foundation of Korean culture. The Hangeul letters extend to the edges of the coins and can be read around the rims.

The ribbons are made from gapsa, a traditional South Korean fabric. They are light teal and light red in color and embroidered with Hangeul patterns and other designs.

The medal comes with a wooden case designed with curves witnessed in Korean traditional architecture. The case will house the medal, medal description, the IOC badge and a medallist note.

The Winter Games in Pyeongchang will be followed by the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. Although the medal designs have yet to be revealed, the organizers are imploring environmentally conscious citizens to unload their old cell phones in a recycling effort to amass enough precious metal to create 5,000 gold, silver and bronze medals.

Credits: Images via