Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you chart-topping songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, we have Kenny Chesney singing the #1 country music single of 2002, “The Good Stuff.”
In the song, a young man learns some critical life lessons from a middle-aged barkeep who recently lost his wife to cancer. The younger man heads to the bar after having a major disagreement with his new wife, and orders “the good stuff.” But instead of serving whiskey or beer, the bartender pours two glasses of milk and shares his views about the things in life that are really “the good stuff.”
Among these items is an engagement ring that a nervous suitor accidentally dropped into a plate of spaghetti and a cherished pearl necklace that marked a special occasion.
The sing-along chorus contains these memorable lines… “’Cause it’s the first long kiss on a second date / Momma’s all worried when you get home late / And droppin’ the ring in the spaghetti plate / ‘Cause you’re hands are shakin’ so much.”
Later in the song, Chesney sings, “Was the sight of her holdin’ my baby girl / The way she adored that string of pearls / I gave her the day that our youngest boy Earl / Married his high school love.”
Written by Nashville hitmakers Jim Collins and Craig Wiseman, “The Good Stuff” was the second single from Chesney’s album No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems.
The song zoomed to #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart and had cross-over success, topping out at #22 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. “The Good Stuff” would go on to become the #1 country music single of 2002, according to Billboard.
Wiseman told The Boot that “The Good Stuff” was loosely based on the heartbreaking story of a dear friend, Rusty Martin, who lost his wife to cancer.
“I actually played Rusty the song,” Wiseman said. “I told him the song was inspired by him in some ways so I wanted to make sure he was OK with it.”
Wiseman continued: “I had gotten in touch with the funeral home where he had buried his wife and had a matching foot stone made for her that was engraved with ‘The Good Stuff.’ I went and gave it to him at the No. 1 party. Everybody was crying.”
Born in Knoxville, TN, in 1968, Chesney has recorded 32 Top-10 singles on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay charts and has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide.
We hope you enjoy the video of Chesney's live performance of “The Good Stuff.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…
“The Good Stuff”
Written by Craig Michael Wiseman and Jim Collins. Performed by Kenny Chesney.
Well, me and my lady had our first big fight
So I drove around till I saw the neon light
The corner bar. It just seemed right so I pulled up.
Not a soul around but the old bar keep
Down at the end lookin’ half asleep
But he walked up and said, “What’ll it be?”
I said, “The good stuff.”
He didn’t reach around for the whiskey.
He didn’t pour me a beer.
His blue eyes kinda went misty.
He said, "You can’t find that here."
‘Cause it’s the first long kiss on a second date.
Momma’s all worried when you get home late
And droppin’ the ring in the spaghetti plate
‘Cause you’re hands are shakin’ so much
And it’s the way that she looks with the rice in her hair.
Eatin’ burnt suppers the whole first year
And askin’ for seconds to keep her from tearin’ up
Yeah man, that’s the good stuff.
He grabbed a carton of milk and he poured a glass.
And I smiled and said, "I’ll have some of that."
We sat there and talked as an hour passed like old friends.
I saw a black-and-white picture and it caught my stare.
It was a pretty girl with bouffant hair
He said, "That’s my Bonnie, taken ’bout a year after we wed."
He said, "I spent five years in the bar when the cancer took her from me.
But I’ve been sober three years now
‘Cause the one thing’s stronger than the whiskey.
Was the sight of her holdin’ my baby girl
The way she adored that string of pearls
I gave her the day that our youngest boy Earl
Married his high school love.
And it's a new t-shirt sayin’ I’m a grandpa.
Bein’ right there as our time got small
And holdin’ her hand when good the Lord called her up
Yeah, man, that’s the good stuff."
He said, "When you get home she’ll start to cry.
When she says, 'I’m sorry,' say 'So am I.'
Look into those eyes so deep in love and drink it up
‘Cause that’s the good stuff."
That’s the good stuff.
Since the 8th grade, Christian Liden of Poulsbo, WA, has dreamed of creating a special ring for his future wife with gemstones and gold he mined himself. With his recent discovery of a 2.2-carat yellow diamond at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, AR, Liden is about to turn that dream into a reality.
The young man began his labor of love by panning for gold in his home state. After five years, he finally accumulated enough precious metal to make the band. Next, he and a close friend built their own mining equipment and set off on an adventure to find the precious stones that would adorn the ring. They tested their equipment at a Montana sapphire mine and then headed south to Arkansas, the home of the only diamond-bearing site in the world where visitors get to keep what they find.
“I was just hoping to find a couple smaller stones and had planned to buy a center stone later,” said the 26-year-old, “but that won’t be needed now.”
The friends arrived at the park late on Friday, May 7. They had enough time to quickly survey the park’s 37.5-acre diamond search area, which is actually the surface of an ancient, diamond-bearing volcanic pipe, and then returned to mine all day on Saturday. Despite coming up short on Day 2, they returned on Day 3 and that's when the magic happened.
Linden was wet sifting when he finally spotted what he had traveled more than 2,000 miles to find.
“I saw it shining as soon as I turned the screen over and immediately knew it was a diamond,” he said. “I was shaking so bad, I asked my buddy to grab it out of the gravel for me!”
Liden placed the gem in a plastic bag and carried it to the park’s Diamond Discovery Center, where staff confirmed he had found a large, yellow diamond.
The Washingtonian's discovery is the largest diamond found at the park since last October, when a visitor from Fayetteville, AR, discovered a 4.49-carat yellow sparkler.
The park's Assistant Superintendent, Dru Edmonds, said, “Mr. Liden’s diamond is light yellow, with a triangular shape and a sparkling, metallic luster. Like most diamonds from the park, it contains a few inclusions, making it one-of-a-kind.”
Linden named his diamond “The Washington Sunshine” because it's got a nice, light yellow color, just like sunlight in Washington, according to the young man.
Liden told park officials that once he proposes, he wants to design an engagement ring with input of his bride-to-be using gems collected on his long-distance trek. The next stop on Linden's gemstone tour will be an opal mine in Nevada.
So far in 2021, 121 diamonds have been registered at Crater of Diamonds State Park. The collective weight of all of those diamonds is 20 carats.
Admission to the park’s diamond search area is currently limited to 1,500 tickets per day. Visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance at CraterofDiamondsStatePark.com.
Credits: Images courtesy of Arkansas State Parks.
Rio Tinto just unveiled the “heroes” of its 2021 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, the final collection of rare pink, red and blue gems from the now-shuttered Argyle mine in the remote east Kimberley region of Western Australia.
During its 37 years of production, the mine famously produced between 90% and 95% of the world’s pink and red diamonds. Mining operations officially ceased on November 3, 2020.
The 38th and final Tender will be attended later this year by an exclusive group of collectors, diamond connoisseurs and luxury jewelry houses. They will be bidding on 70 pink and red diamonds weighing a total of 81.63 carats.
Titled “The Journey Beyond,” the 2021 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender collection includes five "hero" diamonds selected for their unique beauty and individually named to ensure a permanent record of their contribution to the history of the world’s most important diamonds.
The headliner of the group is Lot Number 1, the Argyle Eclipse™, a 3.47-carat radiant-shaped diamond that has the distinction of being the largest Fancy Intense Pink diamond ever offered at the tender.
Other notable lots include the following:
Lot 2: Argyle Stella™ — 1.79-carat, square radiant-shaped Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink diamond;
Lot 3: Argyle Lumiere™ — 2.03-carat, square radiant-shaped Fancy Deep Pink diamond;
Lot 4: Argyle Solaris™ — 2.05-carat, radiant-shaped Fancy Intense Pink diamond;
Lot 5: Argyle Bohème™ — 1.01-carat, radiant-shaped Fancy Red diamond.
“The Argyle pink diamond story has continued to enthrall throughout the years following the remarkable discovery of the Argyle mine in 1979,” noted Patrick Coppens, General Manager of Sales and Marketing for Rio Tinto’s diamonds business. “The final Tender collection of these beyond-rare diamonds will be keenly sought after as heritage gemstones of the future, coveted by collectors and connoisseurs from around the world.”
Also offered alongside the 2021 annual Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender are 41 lots of carefully curated Argyle blue diamonds, weighing 24.88 carats in total. Titled "Once in a Blue Moon," these are the very last blue and violet diamonds to emerge from the Argyle mine.
“This final epoch-making offering of pink, red and blue diamonds encapsulates the near-impossible rarity and compelling beauty of the natural treasures gifted to the world by the east Kimberley region of Western Australia,” said jewelry historian Vivienne Becker. “Over the near-four-decade lifespan of the Argyle mine, Rio Tinto has built a unique diamond brand of integrity and authenticity, an Australian icon and source of national pride, now recognized and asked for, by name, across the globe.”
The 2021 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender will be showcased in Perth, Antwerp, Singapore and Sydney, with bidding closing on September 1, 2021.
Rio Tinto Chief Executive Officer Sinead Kaufman said the 2021 Tender represents a “historic collection of extraordinary diamonds and a testament to the amazing Argyle ore body and the men and women who have worked so hard to bring these diamonds to market.”
Credits: Images courtesy of Rio Tinto.
For St. Louis Cardinals superfan Erica Pulley and her boyfriend, Jeremy Gregge, Saturday afternoon at Busch Stadium was a dream come true.
Not only was their surprise marriage proposal captured on the giant-sized video board in centerfield, but star catcher Yadier Molina was so taken by the romantic moment that he paused his at-bat during the bottom of the seventh inning. He stepped out of the batter's box, smiled at the couple's image in centerfield, and four pitches later blasted the game-winning homer.
The beloved 38-year-old catcher and two-time World Series champion has been a Cardinal since 2004. He's also Pulley's favorite player.
Gregge told St. Louis NBC affiliate KSDK that he had been thinking about a ballpark proposal since the couple started dating.
On Saturday, he conspired with a Busch Stadium cameraman to set his surprise proposal in motion.
With a stadium full of fans and a TV audience watching in realtime, Gregge went down on one knee and proposed to Pulley, who immediately said, "Yes."
Four pitches later, the catcher who has played more than 2,000 games with the Cardinals launched a go-ahead home run to left field off Cubs pitcher Adbert Alzolay. It turned out to be the deciding run in the 2-1 Cardinals victory.
During a post-game press briefing, Molina commented about the young couple who had traveled 120 miles from Marion, IL, to create this special moment.
"Most of the time I don't look at it [the video board]," Molina said. "And this time I looked at it and was hoping she would say yes. Poor guy if she said no. I was happy for them. Obviously that moment for them was unbelievable. Especially after the home run. I wish them the best for the wedding."
To add a punctuation mark to an otherwise-perfect day, the couple was gifted a game-used base by some friendly — and generous — Cardinals fans who had been sitting in the same section as the couple.
"We took their information down," said Gregge. "They're going to get an invitation to the wedding."
Outside the stadium after the game, complete strangers approached the couple to offer their well wishes and to thank them for inspiring Molina to hit his home run.
"People were coming up and saying congratulations after the game, like so many people," Pulley said. "And they would say, 'Yadi smiled for you guys! Thanks for the win!' And we were like, 'You're welcome!'"
Pulley and Gregge now have a one-in-a-million story to tell their grandchildren, who will no doubt be Cardinal fans.
"We watched the video of Yadi basically giving us his blessing for our marriage and we're just so thankful and eternally grateful for that moment," Pulley told KSDK. "It's something we'll cherish forever."
Credits: Couple screen captures via ksdk.com; Molina screen captures via TikTok / @cardinals.
“The Sakura Diamond,” a 15.81-carat gem that takes its name from the Japanese word for cherry blossom, set two records at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale in Hong Kong on Sunday. The flawless, rectangular mixed-cut stone became the largest fancy vivid purple-pink diamond ever to appear at auction, and then went on to achieve a record price of $29.3 million, or $1.85 million per carat.
Christie's had estimated that "The Sakura Diamond" would fetch between $25 million and $38 million.
The previous record for a diamond of that color had been held by “The Spirit of the Rose,” a 14.83-carat stone that was sold for $26.6 million at Sotheby's Geneva in November of 2020.
Auctioneer Elaine Kwok opened the bidding for Christie's top lot at HK$170 million ($22.5 million). Two telephone bidders escalated the price in increments of HK$5 million. After five bids, Kwok threw down the hammer at HK$195 million ($25.1). With fees, the final price was $29.3 million.
A second pink diamond also turned heads at Christie's Hong Kong. Named "The Sweet Heart," the 4.19-carat, fancy vivid pink, heart-shaped diamond earned $6.5 million, or $1.56 million per carat.
Prices have been very strong for fine pink diamonds since Australia's depleted Argyle mine was shuttered in 2020. For 37 years, that mine had been the world’s only consistent source of rare pink diamonds, accounting for more than 90% of the supply.
According to Christie’s, the extreme rarity of the pink diamonds appearing at the Hong Kong auction had been amplified by the fact that fewer than 10% of pink diamonds weigh more than 1/5 of a carat. What’s more, only 4% of pink diamonds possess a color deep enough to qualify as “Fancy Vivid,” according to the Gemological Institute of America. Pink diamonds fall under the rare Type IIa category of diamonds, which make up less than 2% of all gem diamonds.
The 59.6-carat, flawless, fancy vivid pink diamond called "The Pink Star" still holds the record for the highest price paid at auction for a pink diamond. That stone fetched $71.2 million at Sotheby's Hong Kong in 2017. It was purchased by Hong Kong luxury jeweler Chow Tai Fook and renamed "CTF Pink Star." Not only did it set a record in the pink category, but also shattered the world record for the highest price ever paid for any gem at auction.
Credits: Images courtesy of Christies.
Welcome to Music Friday when we often feature throwback songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. In late March 1969, Dennis Yost and Classics IV reached #2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 with "Traces," a melancholy song about a man looking back on his life and longing for the love that got away.
In the song, the man finds a trove of items from the past that brings back vivid memories of a relationship that "didn't work out right." Among his "traces of love" is a ring.
He sings, "Ribbons from her hair / Souvenirs of days together / The ring she used to wear / Pages brown, an old love letter / Traces of love long ago / That didn't work out right / Traces of love with me tonight."
In the final verses, the man says a prayer, hoping that the love of his life will someday come back and dry the traces of tears from his eyes.
Even though "Traces" was released more than 52 years ago, it still gets significant airplay on oldies stations and is considered a classic. In fact, BMI placed "Traces" 32nd on its list of the top 100 songs of the 20th century.
Frontman Yost told the The Tennessean newspaper in 2002 that Classics IV was “the first soft-rock band.” The smooth, easy-listening style of Classics IV stood in stark contrast to the Woodstock-generation protest songs that were popular during the same period.
Classics IV was formed in Jacksonville, FL, in 1965, and is best known for the hits "Spooky" (1967), "Stormy" (1968) and "Traces" (1969).
During the 1980s, Yost became a popular act on the rock nostalgia circuit. In 2008, he passed away at the age of 65.
Please check out the audio clip of Yost and Classics IV performing "Traces." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along…
Written by Buddy Buie, J. R. Cobb and Emory Gordy Jr. Performed by Classics IV, featuring Dennis Yost.
Covered now with lines and creases
Tickets torn in half
Memories in bits and pieces
Traces of love long ago
That didn't work out right
Traces of love
Ribbons from her hair
Souvenirs of days together
The ring she used to wear
Pages brown, an old love letter
Traces of love long ago
That didn't work out right
Traces of love with me tonight
I close my eyes and say a prayer
That in her heart she'll find
A trace of love still there
Somewhere, oh, oh
Traces of hope in the night
That she'll come back and dry
These traces of tears from my eyes
Credit: Image by Bill Lowery Talent (management), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.
Actress Kat Dennings and her rocker boyfriend Andrew W.K. turned to Instagram last Thursday to tell the world — in very few words — that they were officially engaged.
In a post that included closeups of the 2 Broke Girls star wearing her new three-stone engagement ring, the 34-year-old simply wrote, "Don’t mind if I do." On his Instagram, Andrew W.K., 42, included the same three photos and captioned them with no words, just a diamond ring emoji. Dennings commented on her fiancé's post with a string of 22 heart emojis.
Dennings has 4.5 million Instagram followers and Andrew W.K. (whose initials stand for Wilkes-Krier) has 151,000. Their posts also caught the attention of high-profile media outlets, such as pagesix.com, whowhatwear.com, refinery29.com, purewow.com and insider.com.
Dennings' understated post earned 781,000 likes, many of which included heartfelt congratulations and positive comments about the bling, which was called “one of the most unique celebrity rings” of the year thus far by a diamond expert interviewed by pagesix.com.
The actress's new ring features a large emerald- or elongated cushion-cut diamond flanked by two trapezoid-cut diamonds in a platinum or white gold setting. Jewelry-industry experts believe the center stone weighs between 2.5 and 4 carats and may be worth $75,000 to $150,000, depending on the size and quality of the stones.
The three-stone setting — with a classic, tapered look — bucks the trend of solitaire styles chosen by most of the celebrities who announced engagements in 2021.
Dennings currently co-stars with Elizabeth Olsen and Kathryn Hahn in Wandavision, a miniseries that can be seen on the Disney+ streaming service.
Credits: Images via Instagram / katdenningsss.
As a homage to humanity, designer/artist Reena Ahluwalia has painted her interpretation of the "Mouawad — Miss Universe Power of Unity" crown — an opulent headpiece that features 1,728 white diamonds and three golden canary diamonds originating from Botswana.
The diamond painting was commissioned by Mouawad co-guardian Fred Mouawad. The piece will be auctioned, with the proceeds aimed at making a positive societal contribution and impact.
Ahluwalia often takes her inspiration from the reflective facets of diamonds. She has painted a series of historic Mouawad gems, including the “Mouawad Dragon,” a 54.21-carat round brilliant cut, fancy vivid yellow diamond, and the “Mouawad Dynasty,” a 51.03-carat round brilliant cut, D-flawless diamond.
“I paint diamonds to celebrate nature, our shining human spirit and humanity,” said Ahluwalia. “I believe we all are like diamonds — we come in all colors, we are brilliant and full of potential.”
Ahluwalia’s painting depicts an empowered woman in the form of a diamond wearing the Mouawad Miss Universe Power of Unity crown. The use of red and black in the piece was intended to convey passion and strength.
Ahluwalia envisioned a diamond female figure filled with light and limitless potential. The form confidently carries the resolve of being an agent of unity and greater societal good. The message is, literally, the crowning glory of the painting.
The Power of Unity Crown is the result of a partnership between diamantaire Mouawad and The Miss Universe Organization. The crown is estimated to be worth $5 million, making it the world’s most expensive pageant crown.
The crown’s centerpiece is a modified mixed-cut golden canary diamond weighing 62.83 carats. According to Mouawad, the large center diamond signifies a women’s inner strength and reminds us that in unity, lies power.
“The interconnected vine motifs set with diamonds are symbolic of how, through forging bonds among communities around the world, we can empower one another to become a force for good,” said Mouawad. “Likewise, the crown’s name, ‘Power of Unity,’ is a message to the world to unite in the cause of humanity.”
On May 16, Mexico's Andrea Meza was crowned Miss Universe 2021.
Credits: Images courtesy of Reena Ahluwalia.
Debswana Diamond Co. will be spending $6 billion on a massive project that will extend by 20 years the lifespan of Jwaneng, the world's richest diamond mine. When the Botswana mine reaches full capacity in 2034, it will be generating 9 million carats per year.
Since 1982, Jwaneng has been an open-pit mine, but the next phase of its operations will see the company channeling underground. Over the next 13 years, Debswana will be reaching high-grade diamond-bearing ore via 360 kilometers (224 miles) of interconnecting tunnels.
“We are still doing the studies toward transforming to an underground producer, which is a very different environment, with different capabilities and mindset,” Thabo Balopi, Debswana’s head of transformation and innovation, told reporters at a briefing.
Situated in south-central Botswana about 120 kilometers (75 mi) west of the city of Gaborone, the Jwaneng diamond mine is owned by Debswana, an equal partnership between the De Beers company and the government of Botswana. The open-pit mine lies above three kimberlite pipes that converge near the surface, covering 520,000 square meters at ground level.
The success and longevity of the mine is critical to De Beers because Jwaneng accounts for a huge portion of the company's total diamond production. In the first quarter of 2021, for example, Jwaneng yielded 3.2 million carats, or 41% of De Beers' total output. Debswana also accounts for one-fifth of Botswana's gross domestic product, according to seetao.com.
The Jwaneng mine has a reputation for producing high-quality diamonds. One of the most famous of these diamonds was sold at a Sotheby's auction in April 2019.
At the time, a Japanese private collector plunked down $13.7 million for a D-flawless, 88.22-carat oval diamond that had been cut from a 242-carat rough stone sourced at the Jwaneng mine. The collector gifted the gem to his eldest daughter and named it “Manami Star” in her honor.
Credits: Mining image courtesy of Debswana. Diamond image courtesy of Sotheby’s.
Completely redesigned and reinstalled, the 11,000-square-foot Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City are set to reopen on June 12.
The new Halls will feature more than 5,000 specimens sourced from 95 countries. Among the most notable specimens are the legendary 563-carat Star of India sapphire, the 632-carat Patricia Emerald and the 9-pound almandine Subway Garnet that had been discovered under Manhattan’s 35th Street in 1885.
“When you enter the Halls, you truly feel as if you’ve walked into the world’s jewelry box,” said museum benefactor and volunteer Allison Mignone. “These Halls, and others in the museum, take science off the page of textbooks and into the real-life experience of countless families and students.”
Ellen V. Futter, President of the American Museum of Natural History, noted that the reopening of the beloved spaces signal the renewal of New York City’s cultural life after more than a year of closings due to COVID-19.
“New Yorkers and visitors have long embraced these Halls as one of the City’s treasures,” she said. “Now, with this complete redesign made possible by Allison and Roberto Mignone, the Halls are more spectacular than ever and an even greater resource for learning about the processes that shape our changing planet and make it so endlessly fascinating.”
Top exhibits include the following:
– A pair of towering, sparkling amethyst geodes that are among the world’s largest on display;
– The DeLong Star Ruby, a 100.3-carat ruby from Myanmar;
– The Brazilian Princess topaz, a 221-facet, 9.5-pound pale-blue topaz that was once known as the largest cut gem in the world;
– The Tarugo, a 3-foot-tall cranberry-colored elbaite tourmaline that is one of the largest intact mineral crystal clusters ever found;
– The Singing Stone, a massive block of vibrant blue azurite and green malachite from Arizona, first exhibited at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago;
– A wall-sized panel of fluorescent rock that glows in shades of orange and green, sourced from Sterling Hill in New Jersey.
– A spectacular piece of yellow fluorite discovered in the Moscona Mine in the Austurias region of northwest Spain, which grew as hot water dissolved layers of limestone, replacing them with the cubic crystals coated with glistening pyrite.
Organized by Curator George E. Harlow of the Museum’s Division of Physical Sciences, the Halls’ redesigned exhibits tell the fascinating story of how the vast diversity of mineral types arose on Earth, how scientists classify minerals and study them, and how humans have used them throughout the millennia for personal adornment, tools and technology.
“When I started at the Museum, there were probably 2,000 minerals described, and now there are more than 5,500 minerals,” said Harlow. “The enhanced Halls will present up-to-date science, which has progressed significantly. I look forward to seeing visitors delight in remarkable gems and mineral specimens from across the globe and our own backyard, like those in the Minerals of New York display featuring specimens from all five boroughs.”
Admission tickets are available at amnh.org. In order to safely manage capacity while allowing visitors to experience the new Allison and Roberto Mignone Halls of Gems and Minerals, the museum will use a virtual queueing system to allow visitors to reserve time in the gallery while maintaining physical distance from other groups of visitors.
Credits: Images by D. Finnin/© American Museum of Natural History.