Music Friday: Impossibly Cute ‘Trolls’ Are Feeling ‘Like Diamonds or Some Gold’ in ‘Hair Up’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fun songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, the impossibly cute cast of characters from the blockbuster animated film Trolls sing about bling in “Hair Up,” the opening track from the official motion picture soundtrack.

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In this feel-good anthem written by Justin Timberlake and four collaborators, the overly optimistic Trolls — voiced by Timberlake, Gwen Stefani and Ron Funches — put their hair in the air and have a fever for diamonds and gold.

They sing, “I’ve got a fever coming on / And now it’s beating on my bones / I feel like diamonds or some gold / So DJ play it that’s my song.”

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The film focuses on two trolls who are on a quest to save their village from the woefully pessimistic Bergens, creatures who can only gain happiness by consuming Trolls. The mismatched duo of perpetually happy Poppy (voiced by Anna Kendrick) and overly cautious curmudgeonly Branch (Timberlake) embark on a rescue mission full of adventures and mishaps.

At one point in the movie, a Zen-like Troll named Creek (Russell Brand) is held captive in the jewel that decorates the king’s mantle. While the Trolls are successful in stealing the jewel, they are dismayed to discover that it is empty. Creek has betrayed them to save himself.

Since Trolls was released in theaters on October 8, it has generated more than $150 million in box office revenue in the U.S. and $330 million worldwide.

Trolls: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was released on September 26 and zoomed to #3 on the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart. It also charted in 13 other countries. The Trolls official promotional trailer, which includes snippets from “Hair Up,” has been viewed more than 3.9 million times on YouTube.

The film features five original songs performed by Timberlake, Ariana Grande, Anna Kendrick and Gwen Stefani.

We’ve included two videos at the end of this post. The first is the Trolls promotional trailer and the second is the full audio track of “Hair Up.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“Hair Up”
Written by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin, Shellback, Savan Kotecha and Oscar Holter.

Hair in the air, hair in the air
Put your hair
Put your hair in the air

Hair in the air, hair in the air
Put your hair
Put your hair in the air

I’ve got a fever coming on
And now it’s beating on my bones
I feel like diamonds or some gold
So DJ play it that’s my song

Go, go, go, go, go
Put your hair in the air
Go, go, go, go, go, go
Hair up

Come on baby
Let’s go crazy
We ain’t never gonna stop
Hair up
Come on baby
Let’s go crazy
We ain’t never gonna stop
Hair up

Put your hair in the air (hair up)
We don’t care (hair up)
Put your hair in the air (hair up)
We don’t care (hair up)

I’ve got a fever coming on
And now it’s beating on my bones
I feel like diamonds or some gold
So DJ play it that’s my song

Go, go, go, go, go
Put your hair in the air
Go, go, go, go, go, go
Hair up

Come on baby
Let’s go crazy
We ain’t never gonna stop
Hair up
Come on baby
Let’s go crazy
We ain’t never gonna stop
Hair up

Put your hair in the air (hair up)
We don’t care (hair up)
Put your hair in the air (hair up)
We don’t care (hair up)

Hair up
Hair up in the air, hair up in the air, hair up in the air
Hair up in the air, hair up in the air, hair up in the air
Put your hair in the air

Hair up
Come on baby
Let’s go crazy
Put your hair in the air

Hair up
Come on baby
Let’s go crazy
Put your hair in the air
Hair up
Put your hair in the air
Hair up

Trolls Trailer…

“Hair Up” audio track…

Credits: Screen captures via YouTube.com.

Country Star Kelsea Ballerini’s New Engagement Ring Is ‘Classic and Beautiful, Like Her’

Red-hot country star Kelsea Ballerini got the greatest gift on Christmas morning — a marriage proposal and a beautiful diamond engagement ring from the love of her life, Australian musician Morgan Evans.

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The ring features a large round center stone framed by a cushion-shaped halo of smaller round diamonds. The cushion halo adds extra surface area and a larger look than a conventional round halo. This effect is achieved by using diamonds of various sizes to fill out the halo around the center stone. The ring also has a dainty diamond-embellished band.

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“I had the ring custom made with a diamond I picked from a local designer here in Nashville,” Morgan told People Style. “I wanted it to be classic and beautiful, like her.”

On Sunday, the 23-year-old Ballerini — a nominee for Best New Artist at the 2017 Grammy Awards in February — let her fan base in on the exciting news with a series of photos posted to Instagram and Twitter. The songstress has 669,000 followers on Instagram and 180,000 on Twitter.

When Morgan popped the question, we’re guessing Ballerini responded with the title of her latest single, “Yeah Boy.”

Ballerini posted a romantic outdoor photo showing her and her new fiancé embracing in a park, her left arm extended toward the camera with the new ring in full view. The photo includes a caption that references exactly how long it’s been since the two met while co-hosting Australia’s Country Music Channel Awards in March.

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“This morning, 9 months and 13 days later, he got down on one knee in the kitchen while I was burning pancakes and asked me to marry him,” she wrote. “Loving him has been the greatest gift of my life. And now I get to do it for life. #HECALLEDDIBS.”

Evans, 31, posted the same photo to his Instagram page with this romantic caption: “When you know, you know… she’s perfect.”

On Twitter, the “Love Me Like You Mean It” singer posted a close-up shot of the ring with a caption that read, “My heart is bursting from loving this human so much.”

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Ballerini used the Instagram Boomerang app on Monday to post a cute mini-video of herself drinking from a mug that’s printed with the phrase, “Does this ring make me look engaged?”

The couple has yet to set a wedding date.

Credits: Photos via Instagram/KelseaBallerini, Instagram/MorganEvansMusic.

Survey: Consumers Consider Color and Clarity More Than Any Other Factors When Buying Gems

Color and clarity are the most important factors influencing a consumer’s gem-buying decision, according to a recent study conducted on behalf of Gemfields, one of the world’s leading suppliers of responsibly sourced precious stones.

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The study of 12,900 U.S. consumers between the ages of 21 and 64 revealed that when it comes to purchasing rubies, sapphires and emeralds, color is the key consideration, followed by clarity, carat weight and, to a much lesser degree, the country of origin.

The survey also showed that millennials (those born between 1982 and 2004) have a greater fondness for precious gemstones than other groups. Overall, 41% of millennials said that they had acquired jewelry featuring a ruby, emerald or sapphire within the past 24 months. That percentage is significantly higher than the 31% registered by the overall survey sample.

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As an interesting side note, millennials are nearly twice as likely as non-millennials to use social media and mobile devices to research jewelry and gemstones.

Precious gemstone owners love to wear their jewelry, according to the survey. Exactly 43% of women reported that they wear their rubies, emeralds or sapphires every day. About one in four said they wear the gemstone jewelry at least once a week and just 7% noted that they only wear the jewelry on special occasions.

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Another interesting finding was related to multiple purchases. Nearly four in 10 (38%) of those who had purchased fine gemstone jewelry during the prior 24 months had actually gotten two items. Fifteen percent acquired three pieces and 10% had bought four or more.

For the overall sample, the average price paid for a piece of precious stone jewelry was $1,386, although men ($2,048) and affluent buyers ($2,499) with incomes of $100,000-plus were apt to pay significantly more.

Half of the respondents who said they purchased precious colored stone jewelry in the past two years and two-thirds of those in affluent households said they are likely to buy another piece within the next year.

The study, which reflects a nationally representative sample, was conducted for Gemfields by a third party to determine the overall size and potential of the U.S. market and to better understand consumers’ beliefs and perceptions about the value, price and use of precious gemstone jewelry.

Credits: Carmen Lúcia Ruby, Logan Sapphire and Maximilian Emerald courtesy of Smithsonian/Chip Clark.

Gold Coin Donations Make the Holiday Bright for The Salvation Army

Anonymous donations of valuable gold coins — including one recovered from a 300-year-old shipwreck — made the 2016 holiday season bright for Salvation Army chapters from Florida to Oregon.

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The Salvation Army’s bell ringing season starts each November and runs through Christmas Eve. Most of the donations come in the form of pocket change and paper money, but this year a bunch of benefactors generously dropped gold coins into the iconic red kettles.

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In Sebastian, Fla., an anonymous donor decided to hand his coin donation to veteran bell ringer Jim Bessy. The 300-year-old gold escudo, which is said to be worth several thousand dollars, had been recovered from the wrecks of the Spanish treasure ships known as the 1715 Plate Fleet. The donor didn’t want to drop the gold escudo into the kettle because he feared it would get mixed in with the other loose coins.

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The coin, which was recovered off the Florida coast and encased in plastic with the label “1715 Fleet 1 Escudo,” will benefit the operations of the Salvation Army chapter in Vero Beach.

“This coin will help bring light on so many stories of families in need right here in Indian River County,” Salvation Army Lt. Jay Needham told USA Today. “With this great contribution and so many more from around this generous community, we are able to help people that are in need during the Christmas season and into the New Year.”

In past years, we’ve written about anonymous benefactors dropping diamond and gold jewelry into the Salvation Army kettles during the Christmas season. This year, the most surprising donations were in the form of 1-ounce gold coins worth about $1,200 apiece. Here’s the rundown, as compiled by USA Today

• In Wisconsin, exactly 80 2016 American Eagle 1-ounce gold coins were dropped into Salvation Army kettles in locations near Manitowoc County and Green Bay. One-ounce South African gold Krugerrands were also scooped from red kettles in Mukwonago and De Pere.

• In Colorado, a pair of 1-ounce South African gold Krugerrands were found in red kettles in Fort Collins. Salvation Army Capt. Isaias Braga told USA Today that in years past an anonymous gold coin donor always returned to The Salvation Army to buy back the item at $1,000 more than its value.

• In Kentucky, Salvation Army officials discovered a 1-ounce South African gold Krugerrand in a red kettle at a Louisville Walmart.

• In Montana, a new Salvation Army lieutenant found a 1-ounce American Buffalo gold coin while sorting red kettle donations in Bigfork.

• In Oregon, an anonymous donor placed an Austrian 100-corona gold coin into a kettle in Salem. The 1915 coin is worth about $1,100.

The Salvation Army red kettle program can track its origins to 1891, when Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee was distraught because so many poor individuals in San Francisco were going hungry. During the holiday season, he resolved to provide a free Christmas dinner for the destitute and poverty-stricken. He only had one major hurdle to overcome — funding the project.

According to The Salvation Army’s official website, McFee’s red kettle idea was inspired by his days as a sailor in Liverpool, England. There, he remembered an iron kettle called “Simpson’s Pot” into which passers-by tossed a coin or two to help the poor.

The next day McFee placed a similar pot at the Oakland Ferry Landing at the foot of Market Street. Beside the pot, he placed a sign that read, “Keep the Pot Boiling.” He soon had the money to see that the needy people were properly fed at Christmas.

Credits: Images via Facebook/1715 Fleet – Queens Jewels, LLC; Red kettle via Facebook/SalvationArmyUSA.

Town of Nördlingen, Germany, Sits in a Massive Crater Filled With 72,000 Tons of Diamonds

The picturesque Bavarian town of Nördlingen, Germany, is situated in a crater filled with 72,000 tons of diamonds, according to a story posted Friday by Smithsonianmag.com.

Although the town’s origins date back to 898 A.D., it wasn’t until 50 years ago that scientists realized that the 9-mile-wide depression, known as the Ries crater, was formed by the impact of an asteroid. The intense pressure resulting from the asteroid crashing into the Earth caused the graphite-bearing rock in the region to transform into diamonds.

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“We assume that the asteroid was a stony one with a weight of [approximately] three billion tons,” Gisela Pösges, a geologist and deputy director of the Ries Crater Museum in Nördlingen told Smithsonianmag.com. “[We think that] the asteroid was a similar size to the town of Nördlingen, about one kilometer (less than three-quarters of a mile) across.”

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The diamonds formed from the asteroid impact will never find their way to the center of an engagement ring. The largest ones are 0.3mm in size (barely 1/100th of an inch). A 1mm diamond, by comparison, weighs 0.005 carats.

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The high-pressure impact didn’t only create diamonds, but also a material called suevite, which is a rock embedded with angular fragments of glass, crystal and diamonds.

Interestingly, when medieval residents set out to build the majestic St.-Georgs-Kirche church in the center of town, they used local materials to create the structure, including chunks of suevite. In fact, most of the town’s structures were constructed with diamond-infused suevite.

“Our church, St. Georgs, is made of suevite [and contains] about 5,000 carats of diamonds,” Pösges told Smithsonianmag.com. “But they’re so tiny… that they have no economic value, only scientific value. You can observe the diamonds only with a microscope.”

Scientists estimate that the asteroid impact on Nördlingen generated 60 gigapascals of pressure. To turn carbon into diamonds, it takes between 24 and 136 gigapascal of pressure.

Guided tours of the diamond town of Nördlingen are regularly offered by the Ries Crater Museum, where suevite samples are on display.

Credits: Nördlingen photo via BigStockPhoto.com; Map by Googlemaps.com; Relief map by Batholith (Wikimedia Commons) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Suevite by H. Raab (User: Vesta) (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.0 at], via Wikimedia Commons.

Music Friday: Straight No Chaser’s Viral ‘12 Days of Christmas’ Captures the Spirit of the Season

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you the coolest songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. With Christmas only two days away, we bring you one of YouTube’s most popular Christmas song videos of all time — Straight No Chaser’s witty and masterfully arranged rendition of “The 12 Days of Christmas.” To date, the original version of SNC’s “12 Days” has been viewed more than 20 million times.

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As everyone knows, the jewelry reference in this holiday favorite comes on the fifth day of Christmas when “my true love gave to me, five golden rings.”

The a cappella group’s “12 Days” is famous for its clever infusions of other songs, such as “I Have a Little Dreidel” and Toto’s “Africa.” SNC’s version of the popular Christmas song was inspired by a 1968 comic arrangement of the song by Richard C. Gregory, a faculty member of The Williston Northampton School in western Massachusetts.

Originated on the campus of Indiana University in 1996, Straight No Chaser is truly a grassroots, internet-inspired phenomenon. The 10-man group owes its worldwide fame to a video of its 1998 performance that was first posted to YouTube eight years later. That video went viral and caught the attention of Atlantic Records CEO Craig Kallman, who signed the group to a five-album deal in 2008.

Straight No Chaser is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary and supporting its I’ll Have Another… Christmas Album with live shows in Indianapolis, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Honolulu and Maui. The album, which was released in October, sits at #12 on the U.S. Billboard Holiday Albums chart, having peaked at #4.

Check out the video of Straight No Chaser’s live performance of “The 12 Days of Christmas.” It is guaranteed to brighten your holidays and bring a smile to your face. Enjoy!

Credit: Promotional photo via Facebook.com/StraightNoChaser.

Precious Metal Value of the 23 Gold Medals Michael Phelps Wears on the Cover of SI Will Surprise You

For the first time ever, swimming icon Michael Phelps graces the cover of Sport Illustrated wearing every one of his 23 Olympic gold medals. That’s nearly 14.5 pounds of precious metal, but what is it really worth?

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The size of gold medals have varied over Phelps’ four Olympic appearances. In 2004, the medals of the Athens Games weighed 135 grams. Four years later, the Beijing medals grew to 200 grams. In 2012, the London Games awarded 412-gram gold medals, and in 2016, the Rio de Janeiro medals weighed a whopping 500 grams (1.1 pounds).

If each of Phelps’ medals were made of pure gold — as they were back in 1912 — the entire gold cache would tally $239,235.

But, alas, starting in 1916, gold medals were made mostly of silver. The International Olympic Committee mandated that gold medals must be plated with at least 6 grams of 24-karat gold over 96% pure silver.

As we do the math, we find that the gold content in each Phelps medal is worth about $219. The total gold value of the 23 medals is an unspectacular $5,034. The silver value of the complete group is $3,274.

The combined value of all the gold and silver in the gold medals is $8,308, less than the price of Phelps’ round-trip, first-class airfare from Los Angeles to Rio de Janeiro.

While the most decorated Olympic athlete won’t get rich by melting down his Olympic hardware, he has already amassed a fortune in multi-million-dollar sponsorship deals with high profile companies, such as Speedo, Visa, Omega watches, Subway, Kellogg, Under Armour, Head and Shoulders, Louis Vuitton, Procter & Gamble, Hilton hotels, HP and Powerbar. Coupled with the prize money earned at competitions, Phelps’ net worth is estimated at $55 million.

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In the Sports Illustrated article, the 31-year-old Phelps didn’t offer much hope to fans wishing to see him competing in the Olympic pool at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

“If I do get the desire to come back, great,” Phelps told SI. “Right now, I just don’t see it.”

Phelps’ wife, Nicole, believes that the person who may be able to convince the vaunted swimmer to compete again is his son, Boomer. It’s going to take a little while before Boomer can communicate that message to his dad. He’s only seven months old.

Overall, Phelps has won 28 Olympic medals — 23 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze.

The December 22nd issue marks the 12th time Phelps has appeared on a Sports Illustrated cover. The record is held by basketball star Michael Jordan, who has enjoyed the honor 50 times.

Credit: Michael Phelps cover by Sports Illustrated.

‘Offcuts’ Removed During the Faceting of Super-Large Diamonds Reveal Their Deep-Earth Origin, Says GIA Study

The world’s largest diamonds, such as the Cullinan or Constellation, have a much different composition and structure than their smaller counterparts, states a breakthrough study by the Gemological Institute of America. Unlike smaller diamonds that materialized at a relatively shallow depth of 90 to 125 miles amid oxygen-rich rocks, the biggest diamonds formed 200 to 500 miles below the surface within patches of oxygen-deprived liquid metal.

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The stunning revelations were based on research led by GIA Postdoctoral Research Fellow Evan Smith, who studied the “offcuts,” or remnants, of large rough diamonds that had been faceted into precious gemstones. The offcuts offered a window into the workings of the Earth’s deep mantle because their inclusions are teeming with other elements. Typically, these flaws are removed during the cutting and polishing process to enhance the perfection of the end product. For the researchers at GIA, the neatly preserved inclusions held all the value even though some were no wider than a human hair.

“You really couldn’t ask for a better vessel to store something in,” Smith told NPR. “Diamond is the ultimate Tupperware.”

The GIA obtained eight fingernail-sized remnants for this study. After grinding them down and analyzing them with microscopes, lasers, electron beams and magnets, the team concluded that the diamonds contained a solidified mixture of iron, nickel, carbon and sulfur.

Unexpectedly, they also found traces of fluid methane and hydrogen, which led them to conclude that pure carbon crystallized to form diamonds in an oxygen-deprived mix of molten metallic liquid in Earth’s deep mantle.

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“Some of the world’s largest and most valuable diamonds… exhibit a distinct set of physical characteristics that have led many to regard them as separate from other, more common, diamonds. However, exactly how these diamonds form and what they tell us about the Earth has remained a mystery until now,” explained Dr. Wuyi Wang, GIA’s director of research and development, and an author of the study.

The breakthrough research, which was featured in the most recent issue of Science magazine, is significant because it offers a glimpse beneath Earth’s tectonic plates — an area largely inaccessible for scientific observation.

Despite their origins far below the Earth’s surface, diamonds can blast to the surface during volcanic eruptions. The vertical superhighways that take the diamonds on their 100-plus mile journey are called kimberlite pipes.

Credit: Diamond “offcuts” by Evan Smith; © GIA. Constellation photo courtesy of Lucara Diamond.

Carrie Ann Inaba’s Engagement Ring From Robb Derringer Took Her Breath Away

Dancing With the Stars’ judge Carrie Ann Inaba couldn’t be more elated with the 3.68-carat oval-cut diamond engagement ring that actor Robb Derringer placed on her finger during a bonfire-lit proposal at the site of their magical first date.

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The ring features a number of secret, symbolic, unseen elements, including an oval-cut ruby that is flush-set on the inside of the band. Also hidden from view are inscriptions of their first names and two flush-set birthstones, a ruby for him and a garnet for her.

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The oval center stone — Inaba’s preferred diamond shape — is accented by an 18-karat rose gold band embellished with 120 round brilliant-cut diamonds.

“When Robb put it on my finger, it took my breath away,” she wrote in an Instagram post. “It is beautiful and elegant.”

Derringer collaborated with French-born celebrity jeweler Jean Dousset to create an amazing ring for his bride-to-be.

In an Instagram post directed at the jeweler, Derringer commented about the design process: “You made the experience of conceptualizing and creating Carrie’s ring, the symbol of my love and commitment to her, one of the most enjoyable and anticipated components of this most beautiful event in our lives.”

“Exhilarating is the best way to describe Robb’s dedication and thoughtfulness in creating the most perfect ring for Carrie Ann,” the great-great grandson of iconic jeweler Louis Cartier told People Style. “True love is alive and well!”

Celebrity stylist Michael O’Connor estimated the value of the ring at $100,000.

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“We shared our desire to commit to one another for life by beginning that journey in a very intimate and private way, just the two of us, alone on the beach with a bonfire, a bottle of Aubert Chardonnay and the majestic Pacific Ocean that has always been an integral force in both our lives,” Inaba told People Style. “Getting engaged where we had that perfect first date, was really such poetic destiny.”

Noted Derringer on his Instagram page, “So overjoyed to share the best thing that has ever happened to me when @carrieanninaba made me the luckiest guy in the world in saying… yes.”

The 48-year-old Inaba, who is a dancer, choreographer, actress, game show host and singer, is best known for her work since 2005 on ABC-TV’s Dancing with the Stars.

Derringer, 49, played Kyle Sloane on ABC-TV’s General Hospital during 2014 and 2015 and will soon take the role of Scooter Nelson on NBC-TV’s Days of Our Lives.

Images by Carrie Ann Inaba; Instagram.com/robbderringer.

Mass. State Troopers Recover Elderly Couple’s Wedding Rings Alongside Interstate Highway

Two Massachusetts state troopers recently went above and beyond the call of duty to recover the wedding rings of a senior couple who had lost them alongside Route I-495 in Wareham — about 20 miles from the historic Plymouth Rock.

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On December 8, troopers Kurt Bourdon and Jonathan O’Loughlin responded to midday calls from concerned drivers regarding two elderly individuals with metal detectors who were walking along the breakdown lane of the busy interstate highway.

The Cape Cod couple told the troopers that a day earlier they had been on a road trip when they decided to pull over to swap driving responsibilities. During the first part of the drive, the wife was the passenger and had taken off her rings, resting them on her lap. When they pulled over to the shoulder of the highway to switch positions, she forgot about the rings and they slipped off her lap and into the grass.

Many miles later, the distraught wife realized that the rings were missing.

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The couple attempted to retrace their route, but neither could remember the exact location of the stop. They did remember that it took place on I-495 in the town of Wareham. Unfortunately, the town has four exits that span eight miles.

The rings were lost on December 7. The next day, they returned with metal detectors and a determination to find the keepsake jewelry, which included two diamond wedding bands and a diamond engagement ring.

“This couple was in their 70s and had been married for 46 years,” Bourdon told Wareham Week. “One of the rings had belonged to her mother. [Trooper O’Loughlin] and I related to them like they were our parents.”

Instead of shutting down their potentially dangerous search, the troopers offered to help.

“We were looking at a legitimate 8-mile stretch of road to search,” said Bourdon. “But the engagement ring had belonged to her mother and was very important to her.”

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After scouring the roadside for 90 minutes, the troopers spotted something sparkly in the grass at the highway’s 3-mile marker. Despite the needle-in-a-haystack odds against them, the troopers had found the rings.

The troopers handed the rings to the husband, who had been searching the same stretch of highway about 75 yards behind.

The husband was ecstatic and relieved, but instead of howling the awesome news to his wife, the sly septuagenarian decided to tell her a little white lie.

“He went up to her and said, ‘Hon, why don’t we call it a day,’” Bourdon told Wareham Week. “She started crying, thinking they were going to give up, and then he showed her the rings and instantly she went from crying tears of sadness to tears of joy.”

A few days later, the couple expressed their appreciation by delivering a large gift basket to the Bourne State Police Barracks, where Bourdon and O’Loughlin are stationed.

Bourdon told Wareham Week that he and O’Loughlin were happy to help. “They are great people,” he said.

“I was pleased and really happy that the troopers took the extra time and effort to find the ring and make everything right,” Massachusetts State Police Lt. James Plath, Bourne Barracks commander, told WickedLocal.com.

Credits: Jewelry photo courtesy of Kurt Bourdon; Map by Googlemaps.com; Logo via Massachusetts State Police.