Goodin's Jewelry
January 17th, 2017
A lower-Manhattan restaurant called Industry Kitchen has created a $2,000 gilded pizza that would feel right at home in one of our fine jewelry showcases.

gildedpizza3

Completely covered in strips of 24-karat gold leaf and sprinkled with 24-karat gold flakes, "The fancy'za" is marketed to the tony Wall Street crowd who can afford to purchase what may be the most expensive pizza to ever emerge from a wood-fired oven.

Certainly, you need more than gold leaf to make a luxurious pizza, and Industry Kitchen's executive chef Braulio Bunay took the challenge seriously.

gildedpizza2

The pizza starts with a squid ink dough, which needs to rest for 48 hours. The chef stretches the greyish-black dough and tops it with a generous portion of Stilton cheese from England. Next, it's baked in a wood-fired oven at 585 degrees.

Once cooked, the pizza is sliced into eight pieces and is ready for a number of ultra-special toppings, including shaved truffles and slices of foie gras from France, 24-karat gold leaf and gold flakes, large dollops of Osetra caviar from the Caspian Sea and edible flowers. The gold leaf is delicately applied in rows of one-inch-wide strips, while the gold flakes are added using a shaker.

gildedpizza1

"It is the epitome of decadence," Bunay told Town and Country. “The pizza is extremely rich. If you’re in the mood for a lavish meal, this is the pizza for you.”

Those interested in trying Bunay's glittery and pungent pie at the restaurant's South Street location in the Financial District will need to order it 48 hours in advance (the squid ink dough needs that time to do its thing).

Interestingly, of all the extraordinary ingredients layered onto "The fancy'za" pizza, the 24-karat gold elements are the least tasty. In fact, gold leaf and gold flakes have no taste at all. They're used for their aesthetic value.

Bunay is not the only chef to add gold to his pizzas. Last year, over at Pizza Hut's test kitchen in Plano, Texas, the fast food chain came up with a special version of its Stuffed Garlic Knots Pizza that was topped with $100 worth of edible 24-karat gold.

Fifty fans who ordered that type of pizza on the day of the 2016 Super Bowl were surprised when a Pizza Hut delivery person drove up with the gilded version. The pizza was presented in a specially designed golden box along with a $100 Pizza Hut Gold Card.

Check out Insider's video, which shows how Bunay assembles his gilded pizza...


Credits: Screen captures via YouTube.com/Insider; Pizza image via Facebook/IndustryKitchenNYC.
January 16th, 2017
On the tiny island of Guam, a cold-hearted soccer referee booked a player for celebrating his sensational bicycle kick goal with an on-field marriage proposal.

guam1

guam2

On January 7, NAPA Rovers' striker Ashton Surber was having his best day ever. In the 35th minute of the Premier Division match against the first place Shipyard team, the player buried a bicycle kick — also called an overhead kick or scissors kick — into the top corner of the goal to put his team up 3-0.

guam3

The ecstatic player sprinted toward the visitor's sideline, looking for his girlfriend in the stands while stripping off his shirt. Under his team shirt was an undershirt with the question “MARRY ME?” emblazoned in bold black letters on the front.

guam3a

Apparently, the striker had been planning to propose, but needed the perfect moment to pop the question. Successfully executing a bicycle kick — during which a player faces away from the goal, jumps backwards into the air and then kicks the ball when it is above his head — was just the ticket.

guam4

As he made eye contact with his now-fiancée, La’Kiesha Pereda, Surber's elation contrasts with the scowl of the referee, who has followed the player to the sideline.

guam5

The referee reaches into his pocket and issues Surber a yellow card for the infraction of removing his shirt during a game. From the referee's viewpoint, he can't see the proposal message on Surber's shirt and seems oblivious to the fact that he's throwing shade on an epic romantic moment.

guam6

Unfazed, Surber continues the proposal and the celebration. He gets down on one knee, blows a kiss to his girlfriend and points to the cheering fans.

The defending champion NAPA Rovers won the match 5-1, putting the team on top in the Premier Division.

More importantly, Pereda said "Yes" to her boyfriend's proposal.

On Twitter, the Guam Football Association posted a clip of the fun sequence with the following caption: "When your life goals come together w/your soccer goals - a bicycle kick goal and by a proposal to now fiancée."

The Guam Football Association also published a longer clip on YouTube.com. Enjoy.


Credits: Screen captures via YouTube.com/GuamFootball.
January 13th, 2017
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you awesome songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, singer-songwriter Dan Fogelberg compares his love to the hardest material known to man in the introspective "Diamonds to Dust."

fogelberg1

In the song, Fogelberg decodes how even the strongest relationships can break down over time — and uses a precious gemstone to make his point. He sings, "Once there was love here / And once there was trust / Once it was honest / And open and just / Our love was a diamond / That grew between us / But time can turn even / Diamonds to Dust."

"Diamonds to Dust" appeared as seventh track from Fogelberg's album Love in Time. The album was released in September of 2009, nearly two years after the artist's untimely death at the age of 56. Fogelberg, who battled with cancer since 2004, had completed the songs for the album and put them in a safe deposit box. He asked his wife, Jean, to release the album after his death. Fogelberg passed away at his home in Deer Isle, Maine, on December 16, 2007. His ashes were scattered into the Atlantic Ocean.

When the album was released, Jean wrote, "His music continues — a living legacy to one of the most versatile and talented musicians, singers and songwriters of his generation."

Jean used the phrase "living legacy" as a nod to her husband's favorite, and most famous song, "Leader of the Band" (1981), which he wrote to honor his father, Lawrence, a high school band director. For that song, he penned the famous line, "I'm just a living legacy to the leader of the band."

Born in Peoria, Illinois, in 1951, Daniel Grayling "Dan" Fogelberg was the youngest of three sons. As an adolescent he taught himself to play a Hawaiian slide guitar — a gift from his grandfather. At age 14, he joined a Beatles cover band, The Clan, and by 1967 he was writing songs for another cover band, The Coachmen. By the late 1970s and into the early 1980s, Fogelberg was topping the charts with a string of platinum-selling albums and singles. His 1982 Greatest Hits album went triple platinum.

In a tribute to its hometown hero, the city of Peoria renamed Abington Street in the city's East Bluff neighborhood "Fogelberg Parkway."

Please check out the audio track of Fogelberg performing "Diamonds to Dust." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Diamonds To Dust"
Written and performed by Dan Fogelberg.

Diamonds to Dust
Oh, Diamonds to Dust
Time can turn even
Diamonds to Dust

Love is a question
That few understand
It runs like a river
Between a woman and man
But its course can get twisted
And its bed can run dry
And our hearts become deserts
In the wink of an eye

Once there was love here
And once there was trust
Once it was honest
And open and just
Our love was a diamond
That grew between us
But time can turn even
Diamonds to Dust

(chorus)
Diamonds to Dust
Oh, Diamonds to Dust
Time can turn even
Diamonds to Dust
Time is a teacher
It’s kind and it’s cruel
It gives you the wisdom
To see you’re a fool
And it gives love and takes love
It hurts and it heals
And it never parts easy
With the truth it reveals

(chorus)


Credit: Screen capture via YouTube.com
January 12th, 2017
January's official birthstone, the wonderfully versatile garnet, comes in a wide array of natural colors, including red, pink, purple, yellow, violet, green, black, brown and orange. Orange spessartine garnets are particularly stunning, as illustrated in this butterfly brooch that seems to be taking flight.

garnet1

Masterfully created by Buzz Gray and Bernadine Johnston, the brooch is part of a much larger collection that has appeared at both the San Diego Natural History Museum and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles.

Gray, a master lapidarist, and Johnston, a jewelry designer, used bright orange spessartine garnets sourced from the Hercules Dike at the Little Three Mine in Ramona, Calif. Specimens from this mine are regarded as some of the finest in the world, although spessartine garnets are also found in Australia, Myanmar, India, Afghanistan, Israel, Madagascar and Tanzania.

The Spessartine Butterfly is beautiful to behold. The vivid orange gemstone body contrasts elegantly with the gold-outlined geometric patterns of the black and white enamel wings. Adding extra dimension to the wing design are dozens of spessartine garnets and a handful of colorless diamonds. Vivid green tsavorite garnets from Kenya are used for the eyes.

The Natural History Museum in Los Angeles explained that garnet refers to a group of silicate minerals with the same internal arrangements of atoms, but different chemical compositions. Spessartine is a manganese-aluminum-garnet popular in jewelry due to its bright shades of yellow, orange or red. Tsavorite is a green variety of grossular, a calcium-aluminum garnet, with impurities of vanadium and chromium, which give the green color.

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

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

Credit: Image courtesy of NHM.org.
January 11th, 2017
Sure, they're the ultimate symbol of love, but diamonds also have become the darling of the scientific community. We're starting to wonder: Is there anything a diamond can't do?

Back in November, we reported how imperfect diamonds could hold the key to the future of long-term, high-density data storage. Then, in December, we reviewed how a diamond battery made from nuclear waste could generate power for more than 5,000 years.

redgps1

Now, we've learned how lab-grown red diamonds could replace GPS systems and help make driverless cars a reality. Wow.

A team at Element Six, a tech company based in Oxfordshire, England, report that red diamonds have a remarkable sensitivity to magnetic waves due to a "nitrogen vacancy defect" in their atomic lattice. Amazingly, these diamonds can currently detect a passing car at 300 meters away.

redgps2

The scientists are suggesting that the diamonds could be programmed to pinpoint their own location on the earth by reading the magnetic waves from the sun. The new method of determining geolocation could render GPS satellites obsolete and make way for the future of driverless vehicles.

“If you have a device that is capable of sensing the surrounding magnetic fields, it also knows where it is,” noted principal research scientist Richard Bodkin. “So once you can harness all of those technologies into a single device, there is no reason why driverless cars can’t be realized.”

While the possibilities are fascinating, Element Six scientists said that diamond-guided geotracking could be decades away.

Incidentally, Element Six's primary business is developing diamond-infused cutting tools for heavy industry. The firm is principally owned by diamond mining giant De Beers.

Credit: DeYoung Red Diamond photo by Chip Clark/Smithsonian. Satellite rendering via GPS.gov.
January 10th, 2017
Guys, we know you're under a lot of pressure to "make a splash" when popping the question. You have to select the perfect ring, pen the perfect proposal and deliver it all at the perfect venue. But, despite all the meticulous planning, even the best-laid plans can end up under water, literally.

splash1

Many a young suitor has learned a hard lesson about why engagement rings and fast-moving bodies of water don't mix. From the stories we've covered over the years, we can say for certain that it's never a great idea to get engaged near a waterfall, on a footbridge, in a paddleboat or when trying to outmaneuver crashing waves at an ocean beach.

Just recently, Isaiah Adams decided to pop the question to the love of his life, Grace, at the site of Maryland's majestic and picturesque Cunningham Falls.

A video, which has since been posted to YouTube.com and viewed 280,000 times, shows the starry-eyed gentleman on bended knee gazing up at his beloved with the roaring falls in the background.

He pulls out a ring box and asks Grace to marry him. She says, "Yes," they embrace and all seems to be perfect in their world.

splash2

That is until he attempts to place the ring on her finger.

splash3

Isaiah and Grace fumble the ring and it is swept away by the icy torrent.

splash4

Onlookers can be heard screaming, "Oh my God."

Syndicated TV show Inside Edition caught up with couple a few days later. In the clip, both Isaiah and Grace are smiling despite the sad reality that the ring is likely gone forever.

splash5

Perhaps the joy came from the fact that they still had each other and that their viral video made them instant celebrities.

“I was crying with happiness, but then I was crying with fear at the same time," Grace told Inside Edition. "I looked up and his face was just shock.”

Losing an engagement ring to a mighty waterfall was hardly a reason for the couple to change their wedding plans, however. They will be getting married on schedule.

Please check out Inside Edition's coverage of the cringeworthy proposal and surprisingly cheerful interview...


Credits: Screen captures via YouTube.com/InsideEdition.
January 9th, 2017
Tennis star Serena Williams announced her engagement to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian on December 29, and for the past 10 days her fans have been clamoring for a closeup look at the ring.

williams1

On January 2, Williams joked with her five million Instagram followers by posting a photo of an engagement ring, with the diamond replaced by a taco. Her caption: "Sneak peek. It was a corn tortilla of course in case you were wondering."

williams2

Four days later, she took her antics one step farther by posting a romantic photo of her and her fiancé on a cobblestone street in Rome — the city where the 33-year-old Ohanian proposed. Williams, who is obsessed with tacos, is shown wearing a pair of Nike sneakers and a taco on her left ring finger where her diamond ring should be. She captioned the photo, "Can't resist a strong shoe game."

williams3

The original, unedited version of the same shot appears on Reddit under the title "Engagement Shoe Game." That photo, although taken from a distance, reveals a massive sparkler. Details of the shape of the stone, its carat weight and the setting style have yet to be released.

On December 29, the 35-year-old Williams posted to the "I Said Yes" subreddit a poem that described the details leading up to Ohanian's fairy tale marriage proposal.

She wrote, "I came home / A little late / Someone had a bag packed for me / And a carriage awaited / Destination: Rome / To escort me to my very own "charming" / Back to where our stars first collided / And now it was full circle / At the same table we first met by chance / This time he made it not by chance / But by choice / Down on one knee / He said 4 words / And / I said yes."

williams4

Along with the post was an adorable illustration of Williams and Ohanian, each rendered as an orange-eyed Snoo, the cartoon mascot of Reddit. The Ohanian Snoo is kneeling with a larger-than-life pink diamond in his hand. The Williams Snoo, dressed in a pink-and-white tennis outfit, seems to be levitating off the ground. The headline of the illustration reads: "Future Mrs. KnOthing," a nod to Ohanian's handle on Reddit.

Ohanian responded to the Reddit post by writing, “And you made me the happiest man on the planet.”

Williams added, "Edit: You're also a really cute Snoo. As I was drawing this for you, I thought, "Our Snoos should go out on a date sometime."

The power couple has been dating since October 2015, and E! News is reporting that the wedding is expected to take place in about a year.

Credits: Photos via Reddit.com; Instagram.com/serinawilliams.
January 6th, 2017
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Easton Corbin delivers a singing marriage proposal — while revealing what's under this old hat — in his 2009 chart topper "A Little More Country Than That."

corbin1

In the song about trust and small town sensibilities, Corbin makes the case for why he would make a great husband. He paints a picture of the rural life he loves, his appreciation for the simpler things and the importance of being a true gentleman. He promises to never mislead her or play games behind her back because he's "a little more country than that."

In the line that includes the jewelry reference, he sings, "Yeah, I'm sure that you've heard those three words from others / But they fell flat / But this ring ain't something that I mean to give you / And then take back / I'm a little more country than that."

Although "A Little More Country Than That" was penned by Wynn Varble, Rory Lee and Donald Poythress, the 34-year-old Corbin said the song mirrors his own life experiences.

"Even though I didn't write it, this song identifies who I am," he said. "It shows character and that's important where I'm from. You learn to say, 'Yes, ma'am' and 'No, sir,' and to open doors for the ladies."

"A Little More Country Than That" was the lead single from Corbin's self-titled debut album. The song went to #1 on the Billboard U.S. Hot Country Songs list while the album topped out at #4 on the U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums chart. The single was certified Gold, which means it sold more than 500,000 copies.

Interestingly, the writing team originally intended the song for Blaine Larsen, but his record label passed on it.

A native of Trenton, Fla., Corbin lived on his grandparents' farm following his parents' divorce. At the age of 14, he starting taking guitar lessons from long-time session musician Pee Wee Melton. Soon after, he joined a band and performed at music festivals.

Corbin got his first big break in 2005 when he visited 1st Street Music in Lake City, Fla., to enter a contest for the Annual Suwannee River Jam. The manager of the store was impressed by Corbin's in-store demo and connected the him with songwriter Reese Wilson in Nashville.

Corbin moved to Nashville in 2006, and four years later he took home three American Country Awards for "New/Breakthrough Artist of the Year," "Music Video by New/Breakthrough Artist" and "Single by New/Breakthrough Artist."

Please check out the official video of "A Little More Country Than That." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"A Little More Country Than That"
Written by Wynn Varble, Rory Lee and Donald Poythress. Performed by Easton Corbin.

Imagine a dirt road full of pot holes
With a creek bank and some cane poles
Catching channel cat
I'm a little more country than that

Picture a small town with an old hound
Laying out front of the court house
While the old men chew the fat
I'm a little more country than that

I just want to make sure you know just who you're getting under, this old hat
Cause girl I'm not the kind of two time or play games behind your back
I'm a little more country than that

Think of a hank song from days gone
With a steel ride that's so strong
It sends chills up your back
I'm a little more country than that

If you want a brick home in a school zone
With the doors locked and alarms on
Girl, you're way off track
I'm a little more country than that

I just want to make sure you know just who you're getting under this old hat
Cause girl I'm not the kind of two time or play games behind your back
I'm a little more country than that

Yeah, I'm sure that you've heard those three words from others
But they fell flat
But this ring ain't something that I mean to give you
And then take back
I'm a little more country than that
I'm a little more country than that
I'm a little more country than that


Credit: Screen capture via Instagram.com/eastoncorbin.
January 5th, 2017
A handful of YouTube channels are dedicated to crushing objects with a hydraulic press. Among the items that have been spectacularly squished against their will in the name of viral entertainment have been a tenderizing mallet, a can of Silly String, a Rubik's Cube, a hockey puck, a couple of bullets and — you guessed it — a diamond.

crush2

Although diamonds are the hardest substance known to man, they can be fractured with a blunt force. So when pitted against the 10,000 psi power of a hydraulic press, one would expect the lovely faceted diamond to be turned into a pile of diamond dust.

crush3

Last May, the Hydraulic Press Channel put a round 1.2-carat lab-grown diamond to the test. In the video that has been viewed more than 10 million times, we see the press descending slowly on the stone.

crush4

The press moves steadily and then seems to meet with just a bit of resistance. In the next instant, the diamond shatters like a piece of glass being bashed by a hammer.

crush5

The hardest substance on earth, in this case, was no match for the press.

crush6

But then in June, rival YouTube channel Hydraulic Press VS promoted a similar showdown, and the results were startling different.

crush7

For its face-off, Hydraulic Press VS used a .25-carat, F-color, SI1-clarity, natural diamond and placed it under the crusher with the pavilion (pointy side) facing down. Unbelievably, the diamond defeats the press as it gets embedded into the steel below — without a scratch. The testers seem to be amazed by the outcome.

crush1

When Hydraulic Press VS repeated the challenge with a larger stone placed with the pavilion pointing up, the stone seems to explode under the massive pressure. This video has been viewed more than 11 million times.

It's important to clarify that there is a big difference between hardness and strength. Hardness is a surface property. A diamond earns the top-of-the-line 10 rating on the Mohs hardness scale because no material except for a diamond can scratch it. Sapphires and rubies, by comparison, are rated 9, topaz is rated 8 and quartz is rated 7. Each of these relatively hard materials can be easily fractured with a hammer blow.

Because of a diamond's hardness rating, the material is often used to enhance cutting devices, such as drills and saw blades.

Carbon fiber, on the other hand, is extremely strong but can be easily cut with a standard steel drill bit or even a pocketknife.

Check out the videos below. The first is from the Hydraulic Press Channel and the second is from Hydraulic Press VS.



Credits: Screen shots via YouTube.com.
January 4th, 2017
We're excited to add Twilight actress Ashley Greene to the list of starlets who received gorgeous engagement rings during the holiday season.

ashley4

In a heartfelt message posted Friday to her 761,000 Instagram followers, Greene called her new engagement ring from Aussie TV personality Paul Khoury "the most beautiful thing I've ever seen." The ring features an oval-cut diamond set with four prongs on a delicate diamond band.

Khoury, 41, who has been dating Greene since 2013, popped the question during their romantic trip to Bridal Veil Falls in Waikato, New Zealand. Although the actual engagement took place on December 19, the couple didn't announce the exciting news until this past Thursday.

ashley3

A video of the Bridal Veil Falls proposal appeared on the Instagram pages of Greene and Khoury. In the video, we see Green from Khoury's perspective as she takes in the beauty of the falls and tells him how magical it is. Then he enters the frame and asks her to marry him. She says "Yes" and he hops up and down like an excited child. Then he scoops up his fiancée and spins her around — just like in the movies.

ashley1

In describing the proposal, the 29-year-old Greene wrote, "This is the most beautiful moment I could have ever hoped for. You've successfully made me the happiest, luckiest woman alive. I can't wait to show you my unfaltering immeasurable love for the rest of our lives."

Equally romantic was Khoury's caption for the video: "I promise to put a smile on your face for the rest of our lives. You complete me in ways I didn't even know was possible. I love you more than anything and excited to take this next step in life with you!"

ashley2

One day later, on Friday, Greene posted a photo her ring, along with an animated appraisal of her new jewelry.

"I'm SO lucky and SO excited that I get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend," she wrote. "But the ring doesn't hurt either. It's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen."

On Khoury's Instagram page, the classic ring is shown from a different angle. He captioned the photo, "This is the woman I'm going to spend the rest of my life with."

Credits: Photos via Instagram.com/ashleygreene; Instagram.com/paulkhoury.