Friday, January 10, 2020

Music Friday: Tim McGraw Sings About a Breakup in ‘Diamond Rings and Old Barstools’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, country star Tim McGraw sings about a breakup in his 2015 hit, “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools.” This emotional ballad tells the story of former lovers who agree to go their separate ways after finally conceding that the relationship has no chance of working out.

In the first verse, McGraw sings, “Diamond rings and old barstools / One’s for queens and one’s for fools / One’s the future and one’s the past / One’s forever and one won’t last.”

In the chorus, he continues, “I guess some things just don’t mix like you hoped / Like me and you / And diamond rings and old barstools.”

Written by Jonathan Singleton, Barry Dean and Luke Laird, "Diamond Rings and Old Barstools" was released as the fourth and final single from McGraw’s chart-topping Sundown Heaven Town album. The single peaked at #11 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs list and #10 on the Billboard Canadian Country list. It was also nominated at the 58th Grammy Awards for Best Country Song.

McGraw described how he loves to get lost in the emotion of this song, stating, "The guitar is so filled with regret. It just drips with it."

The son of New York Mets star pitcher Tug McGraw, Samuel Timothy “Tim” McGraw was born in Delhi, La., in 1967. Tim was brought up by his step-dad, Horace Smith, and didn’t know that the famous athlete was his biological father until he was 11. McGraw learned to play guitar while attending Northeast Louisiana University on a baseball scholarship. He signed his first record deal with Curb Records in 1990 and married country singer Faith Hill in 1996.

McGraw is one of the best-selling music artists of all time with more than 80 million records sold since he first burst onto the country music scene in 1992. Twenty-five of his 65 hit singles have gone to #1 on the Billboard U.S. Hot Country Songs chart, and 10 of his 15 studio albums have topped the Billboard U.S. Top Country Albums chart.

Please check out the video of McGraw’s live performance of “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

"Diamond Rings and Old Barstools"
Written by Jonathan Singleton, Barry Dean and Luke Laird. Performed by Tim McGraw.

Diamond rings and old barstools
One's for queens and one's for fools
One's the future and one's the past
One's forever and one won't last

It ain't like midnight and cigarette smoke
It ain't like watered down whiskey and Coke
I guess some things just don't mix like you hoped
Like me and you
Diamond rings and old barstools

The wrongs and rights, the highs and lows
The "I love you's," the "I told you so's"
Past few miles to wherever's home
Another morning waking up alone

It ain't like midnight and cigarette smoke
It ain't like watered down whiskey and Coke
I guess some things just don't mix like you hoped
Like me and you Diamond rings and old barstools

It ain't like midnight and cigarette smoke
Nothing like watered down whiskey and Coke
I guess some things just don't mix like you hoped
Like me and you
Diamond rings and old barstools

Credit: Screen capture via

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Tsavorite's Name Honors the Kenya-Tanzania Border Region Where It Was Discovered

Tsavo National Park on the border of Kenya and Tanzania is home to lions, black rhinos, cape buffaloes, elephants and leopards. The more mountainous western section of the park is also the singular source of a gorgeous variety of green garnet called tsavorite.

Best known as January's official birthstone, garnet comes in a wide array of natural colors, including deep red, pink, purple, orange, yellow, violet, black, brown — and a vivid shade of green that is sometimes mistaken for an emerald.

Tsavorite is technically a green variety of grossular, a calcium-aluminum garnet that derives its rich color from impurities of vanadium and chromium in its chemical structure.

This exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., shows the many shades of grossular garnet — from hessonite (yellow) at the far left to leuco-garnet (clear) in the center to tsavorite (green) at the far right.

According to the Smithsonian's official website, tsavorite was first discovered in 1967 in northern Tanzania and again in 1970 in Kenya’s Tsavo National Park by world renowned geologist, Campbell Bridges. In 1971, Bridges was granted a permit to mine the Kenyan deposit, and in 1973, this variety of green garnet was named tsavorite in honor of Kenya’s Tsavo National Park, by Henry B. Platt, former president of Tiffany & Co., and Bridges, founder of Tsavorite USA. One year later, Tiffany launched a marketing campaign that brought worldwide recognition to the beautiful green gem.

The 7.08-carat tsavorite garnet seen here is on display at the National Museum of Natural History and was donated to the Smithsonian in 1981 by Dr. and Mrs. Marshall Greenman. The gem is set in an 18-karat yellow gold ring and is surrounded by 16 round brilliant diamonds.

Garnets get their name from the Latin word “granatum,” meaning pomegranate seed.

In addition to tsavorite garnets, other varieties often seen in jewelry include pyrope, almandine, andradite, demantoid, grossularite, hessonite, rhodolite, spessartine and uvarovite.

Credits: Tsavorite specimen image by Rob Lavinsky, – CC-BY-SA-3.0 [CC BY-SA]. Display by Alkivar at English Wikipedia [Public domain]. Map by Lencer [CC BY-SA]. Ring photo by Ken Larsen/Smithsonian.

Monday, January 06, 2020

Actor Wilmer Valderrama Proposes to Model Amanda Pacheco With Pear-Shaped Diamond

Actor Wilmer Valderrama rang in the New Year by proposing to model Amanda Pacheco with a 4-carat pear-shaped diamond ring. Valderrama announced the engagement with a picture-postcard-worthy addition to his Instagram page, which boasts 1.7 million followers.

Set on the coast of La Jolla, Calif., the photo captures the exact moment when the That ’70s Show star popped the question to Pacheco. The couple is shown in silhouette against a wondrous sky of puffy clouds. Pacheco is standing barefoot on a rocky outcrop while locking eyes with Valderrama, who is on bended knee, clutching an open ring box in his right hand.

He captioned the post, "'It’s just us now' 01-01-2020,” and punctuated the phrase with a blue diamond ring emoji.

On Pachecho's Instagram page (43,600 followers), the model posted the same dramatic photo and caption, but added a closeup shot of the ring, which features the prominent center stone set against a delicate diamond band crafted in rose or yellow gold. Jewelry-industry insiders estimated the pear-shaped diamond's weight at 4 carats and the ring's value at about $100,000.

According to experts contacted by People magazine, the pear-shaped diamond is making a comeback, thanks to high-profile celebrities, such as reality star Kelly Dodd, rapper Cardi B and supermodel Natalia Vodianova — all of whom were recently engaged with diamonds of that shape.

The Knot’s "2019 Jewelry and Engagement Study" recently revealed that the pear shape was the choice of 5% of recently married or engaged couples. That percentage places the diamond shape fifth in popularity, trailing the round brilliant (47%), princess/square (14%), oval (14%) and cushion (9%).

Many brides prefer fancy shapes because they add a sense of personality to their rings and because they tend to look larger than round diamonds of equal carat weight, giving the fancies more bang for the buck.

Valderrama, 39, and Pacheco, 28, had been dating since the spring of 2019. Valderrama had previously dated singer Demi Lovato, a relationship that lasted six years and ended in June of 2016.

Credits: Images via