Friday, May 04, 2018

Music Friday: Brett Eldredge Meets a 'Diamond' and Wants to Explore Her Secrets in 'The Long Way'

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you new tunes with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in title or lyrics. In his 2017 release, "The Long Way," country star Brett Eldredge meets the girl of his dreams — his diamond — and wants to get to know her better by exploring her history and hometown. He'd love to see where her daddy met her momma, and learn about the "faults and glories" that made her the person she is today. 

The recurring line, "Take me the long way around your town," reflects Eldredge's willingness to let the relationship develop slowly while he gets to know what's in her heart and soul.

He sings, "Take me the long way around your town / Were you the queen with the silver crown? / I want the secrets you keep, the shine underneath / Of the diamond I think I just found / Take me the long way around."

Co-writer Matt Rogers introduced Eldredge to the basic premise of "The Long Way" during their first-ever songwriting session, and Eldredge added the part about exploring the girl's hometown.

"In a world where we don't have conversations anymore," Eldredge told Taste of Country. "I wanna sit down and have a conversation. Put away the phones, put away everything and I wanna get to know you as a person. I want to get to know your heart."

The 32-year-old admitted to ABC Radio, that the themes in "The Long Way" reflect the love he's hoping to find.

"I want to have somebody, along with me, along for the ride and share that with them," he told ABC Radio. "I'm opening up more to it, and I think now, yeah, something like 'The Long Way' is what I'm looking for."

"The Long Way" was the second single released from Eldredge's self-titled studio album. The single shot up to #7 on both the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and the Billboard Canada Country chart. The album earned four out of five stars from AllMusic and placed #1 on the U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums chart.

Born in Paris, Ill., in 1986, Brett Ryan Eldredge was inspired as a child by the songs of Ray Charles, Ronnie Dunn, Bobby Darin and Frank Sinatra.

"My family started to have me sing the National Anthem at family parties," he recalled. "I'd get real nervous, and then someone would give me a candy bar or $5, and I'd sing. My body would shake. They'd call it the man voice, because I had this older voice coming out of a kid's body."

Eldredge signed with Atlantic Records in 2010 and performed at the Grand Ole Opry later that same year. He was named the CMA Awards New Artist of the Year in 2014.

Please check out the video of Eldredge performing of "The Long Way" on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in November of 2017. The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"The Long Way"
Written by Brett Eldredge and Matt Rogers. Performed by Brett Eldredge.

Don't think I've ever seen your kind of pretty
Wandering 'round this midnight mad house city
You got a look that says you got it all together
So if you don't mind, I'd like to know you better

Take me the long way around your town
Were you the queen with the silver crown?
I want the secrets you keep, the shine underneath
Of the diamond I think I just found
Take me the long way around

I'd love to see just where your daddy met your momma
Your hand-me-down '99 Impala
Show me the field you danced in Clover
The harvest in October
When the leaves fall from the sky just like a Sunday drive

Take me the long way around your town
Were you the queen with the silver crown?
I want the secrets you keep, the shine underneath
Of the diamond I think I just found
Take me the long way around

I didn't think tonight when I walked in
I'd be falling for somewhere I've never been

Take me the long way around your town
Were you the queen with the silver crown?
I want your red blushing stories
Your faults and your glories
That made you who you are right now
Take me the long way around
Take me the long way around

Credit: Screen capture via

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

858-Carat Uncut 'Gachala Emerald' Is One of the Finest Examples of May's Birthstone

Weighing 858 carats and displaying a superb vivid green color, the uncut "Gachala Emerald" is one of the world's finest examples of May's official birthstone.

The hexagonal crystal was found at the Vega de San Juan mine in Gachala, Colombia, in 1967, and sold to famous New York jeweler Harry Winston, who chose to keep the incredible crystal intact instead of cutting it into a number of smaller stones. In 1969, he donated the gem to the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., where it's been on permanent exhibit at the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals.

Measuring 5cm (about 2 inches) in width, the 6-ounce Gachala Emerald crystal is considered to be one of the largest gem-quality emerald crystals in the world. As part of the National Gem Collection, it is prominently displayed alongside famous emerald jewelry, such as the Mackay Emerald Necklace, the Hooker Emerald Brooch, the Chalk Emerald Ring, the Maximilian Emerald Ring and the Spanish Inquisition Necklace.

Emerald is the most valuable variety of the mineral beryl. When it comes to classifying an emerald, much of the emphasis is focused on the color. Pure green stones demand the highest prices. If the green stone displays a tint that is too yellow or too blue, it may not be considered an emerald at all. For example, if the stone is yellow-green, it might be classified as green beryl, according to the Smithsonian, while if a stone is too blue, it could be classified as an aquamarine.

In its pure state, beryl is clear. The beautiful green hues in the beryl family are caused when some of the aluminum atoms in the crystal are replaced by chromium and/or vanadium atoms.

Although the Gachala emerald mines are relatively young (mining started in 1954), other famous Colombian mines, such as the Muzo, Chivor and Cosquez, boast a recorded history that dates back to the 16th century.

In fact, lush green emeralds have excited legions of gem admirers for thousands of years. The first emerald mines were in Egypt, and Cleopatra was reportedly a big fan of the verdant member of the beryl family. The name “emerald” comes indirectly from the ancient Greek word for green gem, “smaragdos.”

Emerald is known to display a wide variety of visible inclusions, which are referred to as “jardin” (French for “garden”). These imperfections do not detract from the stone’s beauty but, instead, give each stone a unique fingerprint and distinct character.

Besides being the birthstone for the month of May, it’s also the official gemstone for 20th and 35th wedding anniversaries.

Colombia continues to be the world’s most prolific producer of fine emeralds, constituting more than half of the global supply, by value.

Credit: Gachala Emerald photo by Chip Clark, courtesy Smithsonian Institution.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Lea Michele Shows Off 4-Carat Radiant-Cut Diamond Engagement Ring on Instagram

Glee star Lea Michele announced the news of her engagement to boyfriend Zandy Reich this past weekend with an Instagram post of her wearing a stunning 4-carat, halo-style diamond ring.

Michele's five million Instagram followers got the first peek at the elongated radiant-cut diamond via a Saturday post that was captioned, "Yes," and punctuated with an engagement ring emoji. Michele posed for the photo at a beach with her diamond-adorned left hand covering her face.

An E! News insider revealed that Reich, who is the president of the clothing brand AYR, assisted with the design of the ring that features a 4-carat center stone surrounded by a halo of smaller round diamonds. The thin white-metal band is also embellished with small round diamonds.

Fans of the singer/actress/author offered their congratulations on Instagram and gave a thumbs-up to the ring...

"That ring is GORGEOUS! You deserve all the happiness in the world. Congrats!!!!!" noted kitcatkath.

"Happy for you. I love the ring! added kyliegraaceeeso.

The newly engaged 31-year-old got her start as a child actress on Broadway, but rose to national prominence playing Rachel Berry on the Fox series Glee, which followed the disparate members of the fictitious William McKinley High School glee club. Glee aired for six seasons, from 2009 to 2015.

Reich, who is a graduate of the prestigious Wharton School of Business, reportedly asked Michele’s dad for his permission before popping the question.

Michele and Reich had been friends for a few years, but started dating in July of 2017. Their wedding date has yet to be announced.

Michele will be performing this summer with Glee castmate Darren Criss. Their LM/DC Tour kicks off in Nashville on May 30 and will include stops in nine cities.

Credits: Photos via