Here’s How a 1950s Brazilian Beauty Queen Is Forever Linked With March’s Birthstone

In 1954, Maria Martha Hacker Rocha, a statuesque beauty from Brazil, was the odds-on favorite to win the Miss Universe pageant. Admirers from all over the world were captivated by her beauty, class and amazing blue eyes.

Although she eventually earned runner-up status to American Miriam Stevenson, the 18-year-old from the Brazilian state of Bahia would be forever linked to the world of fine jewelry and March’s brilliant blue birthstone — the aquamarine.

About the same time as Rocha was competing on the world stage, an incredible aquamarine crystal was found on a farm near Teofilo Otoni, Brazil. It weighed approximately 74.5 pounds and the color was so rich, so intense that the Brazilian gem dealers needed to distinguish it from the rest.

Gemstone merchants already had names for other varieties of aquamarine, the blue member of the beryl family. The rare, intense blue aquamarines from the Santa Maria de Itabira mine in Brazil were called “Santa Maria.” Similar-color aquamarines from Mozambique and other countries in Africa were named “Santa Maria Africana.” Lighter hues were named after the Brazilian state where they were mined, specifically “Espirito Santo.”

But the 74.5 pound specimen was in a class by itself. They decided to name it “Martha Rocha” as a tribute to the Brazilian beauty queen with the captivating clear blue eyes. Even today, gem experts use “Martha Rocha” as a classification of tone and intensity when rating the finest-color aquamarines.

At 81 years old, Rocha is still a symbol of beauty in Brazil, and she has streets named after her in Bahia, Santa Catarina and São Paulo.

Aquamarines are mined in many countries, including Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Pakistan, Mozambique and the U.S., but many of the finest-quality gemstones still come from Brazil.

Credits: Martha Rocha on the cover of Brazilian illustrated weekly magazine O Cruzeiro (August 1954); Gem photos courtesy of Smithsonian/Chip Clark.


Platinum Jewelry Steals the Spotlight at the 90th Academy Awards

Hollywood’s most talented and glamorous stars celebrated their achievements wearing platinum jewelry at the 90th Academy Awards in the City of Angels on Sunday night. According to insiders, jewelry houses called in designs from around the globe and arranged high-security hand-offs to the stylists who dressed the red carpet-ready A-listers.

Platinum chic is often the choice for celebrities, and this year’s Oscars did not disappoint. Cluster chandelier earrings and magnificent statement rings set in cool platinum were among the dramatic, spotlight-grabbing baubles. Nominees, performers and presenters alike accentuated their designer gowns with bold, platinum-set looks that were nothing short of Hollywood glam.

Here are some highlights from the event:

Allison Janney, who took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in I, Tonya, wore a Forevermark by Rahaminov Diamond Riviera Necklace set in platinum, 55.26 ctw; Forevermark Exceptional Diamond Asscher Ring with side baguettes set in platinum, 18.10 ctw; Forevermark by Rahaminov diamond line bracelet set in platinum, 27.02 ctw; and Forevermark by Premier Gem round brilliant diamond studs set in platinum, 11.13 ctw.

Nicole Kidman, a presenter, wore 84 carats of Harry Winston diamonds, all set in platinum – including Winston cluster diamond chandelier earrings (23.52 carats), Secret Cluster diamond bracelet (37.62 carats), Tulip Diamond Bracelet (12.86 carats), round brilliant diamond cluster ring (4.73 carats), and an oval-shaped diamond Rock Band (5.5 carats).

Salma Hayek, a presenter, wore Harry Winston earrings with diamonds, and a ring with an oval-shaped diamond, both set in platinum.

Gal Gadot, in platinum by Tiffany & Co., wore diamond earrings, a Tiffany Blue Book Collection necklace with aquamarines and diamonds, and a Tiffany Blue Book Collection ring with a aquamarine and diamonds, all set in platinum.

Greta Gerwig, double nominee for Lady Bird (Director and Original Screenplay), wore platinum by Tiffany & Co. – a necklace with diamonds, sapphires and moonstones circa 1910-1920, set in platinum; earrings with diamonds, set in platinum (priced at $29,600); 2018 Extraordinary Colors of Tiffany Collection ring with an esteemed sapphire (approximately 5 carats) and diamonds.

Saoirse Ronan, nominee for Best Actress for Lady Bird turned heads in Cartier High Jewelry sapphire and diamond drop earrings set in platinum.

Mary J. Blige, nominee for Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Song, “Mudbound,” wore a Forevermark Exceptional Diamond cushion halo ring with split shank band set in platinum, 6.93 ctw.

Laurie Metcalf, nominee for Best Supporting Actress for Lady Bird, wore pendant earrings with old mine diamonds (11.0 carats), an Asscher-cut diamond ring (6.0 carats), and an Art Deco ring with a pink sapphire and diamond, all set in platinum.

Ashley Judd, a presenter, wore a Bvlgari necklace with diamonds circa 1930, set in platinum, and a diamond bracelet with diamonds circa 1939, set in platinum.

Helen Mirren, a presenter, wore $3.8 million worth of platinum jewelry by Harry Winston, including a necklace with a cushion-cut sapphire and diamonds (115.27 carats), and earrings with a cushion-cut sapphire and diamonds (25.22 carats), all set in platinum.

Kelly Ripa, a red-carpet regular who congratulated award winners with candy after their acceptance speeches, wore platinum by Fred Leighton, including a 19th Century old mine diamond Rivière necklace, and Art Deco old European-cut diamond earrings, both set in platinum.

Allison Williams wore platinum by Harry Winston earrings with diamonds and a bracelet with sparkling cluster diamonds, all set in platinum.

Credits: All photos courtesy of Platinum Guild International.

Music Friday: Heartless Lover Sam Outlaw Sings, ‘I See No Diamond Ring on Your Finger’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you new tunes with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, country singer Sam Outlaw takes on the persona of a heartless lover in the 2017 song, “Diamond Ring.”

Featured a few weeks ago on Amazon’s anti-Valentine’s Day playlist, “Love Me Not,” Outlaw’s “slow, sad waltz” tells the story of a couple with conflicting opinions about the status of their relationship. She wants his “heart to surrender,” but a long-term commitment is the furthest thing from his mind.

He sings, “You want my heart to surrender / I see no courage ending life here / I see no reason at all / I see no diamond ring on your finger / I see no diamond ring on you at all.”

“‘Diamond Ring’ is about being a self-centered twenty-something,” Outlaw told Rolling Stone magazine. “I’m no longer in my twenties, but the rest of that still applies to me pretty accurately.”

The 35-year-old has been performing “Diamond Ring” on tour since 2012, but the song made its “official” debut last year as the eighth track of Outlaw’s second album, Tenderheart. “Diamond Ring” got another boost when a live version of the song recorded at the 2017 Americana Music Festival in Nashville was cherry-picked in February 2018 for Amazon’s “Love Me Not” playlist.

Born in Aberdeen, S.D., in 1982, Sam Morgan moved with his family to Southern California when he was 10 and borrowed his mom’s maiden name, Outlaw, when he abruptly gave up a career in advertising to pursue his dreams of being a singer-songwriter. At the age of 30, he hit the road as a touring musician.

Outlaw describes his music as “SoCal country.” He told Rolling Stone that he’s noticed that L.A.’s appetite for Southern culture has only been growing.

“It’s nice that now I can wear my Stetson to a restaurant,” he told the magazine, “and not have people think I’m insane.”

Please check out the video of Sam Outlaw’s live performance of “Diamond Ring.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“Diamond Ring”
Written and performed by Sam Outlaw.

You took me dancing, you got me drunk
You kissed me, oh I remember
I was a man needing a woman’s touch
And that’s all that I claim to be
And now you got questions, now come the tears
You want my heart to surrender
I see no courage ending life here
I see no reason at all

I see no diamond ring on your finger
I see no diamond ring on you at all

You look so pretty, you look like hell
You kissed me, oh I remember
Couple with whiskey, from a bottomless well
I must have been quite a show
Now you want answers, now comes the fear
You want me only forever
I see no wisdom in drawing death near
I see no reason at all

I see no diamond ring on your finger
I see no diamond ring on you at all
I see no diamond ring on your finger
I see no diamond ring on you at all

So can you forgive me for not putting trust
On someone who thinks I’m so special
I’m just a man needing a woman’s touch
Someday you’ll see me again

Credit: Screen capture via

Bonnie Parker’s Bejeweled Snake Ring Is Subject of Monday’s Episode of ‘Strange Inheritance’ on FBN

The bejeweled snake ring that outlaw Clyde Barrow crafted in prison for the love of his life and partner in crime, Bonnie Parker, is the subject of Monday’s episode of Strange Inheritance, a primetime reality series on the FOX Business Network (FBN).

Monday’s episode titled “Crime Ring” recounts the story of legendary Texas sheriff Smoot Schmid and a ring that was recovered from a bullet-riddled ’33 Ford Model B after his shootout with the Bonnie & Clyde gang.

The legendary couple fled on foot, escaping the police ambush despite wounds to their legs from the bullets that passed through the car. The failed ambush would be known as the “Sowers Raid.”

Left behind in the vehicle were a number of personal items, including a silver-tone promise ring in the shape of a three-headed snake. The heads of the snakes were punctuated with green and red jewels. Schmid and his associates kept the items for themselves and hid them away.

Jewelry expert David Bellman speculated that the snake ring may have been crafted in 1930 while Barrow was incarcerated at Eastham Prison Farm near Huntsville, Texas. The ring bears his personal trademark, an arrow passing through the musical note “B.”

According to FBN, many years later, the sheriff’s heirs, Debbie Daily and Diana Knowlton, stumbled across their grandfather’s scrapbook of crime scene photos, mug shots of Bonnie and Clyde, news clippings about the failed Sowers Raid, as well as original arrest warrants and a letter written by Bonnie and signed by Clyde. They also found an inventory list with one item in particular that caught their attention: a ring with three silver snakes. They searched for the ring for days and finally found it in the back of their grandfather’s closet.

When they were ready to sell their grandfather’s Bonnie and Clyde loot, Daily and Knowlton contacted RR Auction executive Bobby Livingston in New Hampshire. The auction took place in June of 2017, and the Bonnie Parker ring, Lot 2039, netted $25,000.

Although Bonnie and Clyde were never formally engaged, the three-headed snake promise ring remains a powerful symbol of two of America’s highest-profile antiheroes.

Hosted by FBN’s Jamie Colby, the Strange Inheritance series chronicles the stories of inheritances from people and places from coast to coast. The show airs Monday, March 5, at 9PM/ET. In the photo, top, host Jamie Colby holds the “Crime Ring” as she interviews RR Auction executive Bobby Livingston.

Credits: Top image courtesy of FOX Business Network. Jewelry images courtesy of RR Auction; Bonnie and Clyde photo by one of the Barrow gang [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Work Begins on World’s Largest Diamond Mining Vessel, Confirms De Beers Group

The De Beers Group confirmed that construction has begun on the world’s largest diamond mining vessel. When it reports for duty in 2021, the 577-foot technological marvel will be extracting diamonds from the ocean floor near the coast of Namibia at a depth of 400 feet.

After more than eight decades of producing a staggering 2 million carats per year, the land-based diamond operations in Namibia are nearly mined out. Fresh sources of diamonds were discovered off the coast of Namibia, so new investments by De Beers and its partner — the Republic of Namibia — have been aimed offshore. A few decades ago, it would have been unfathomable for diamond companies to pursue deep-sea mining. But breakthroughs in technology are making this type of project viable and lucrative.

The grand vessel — the sixth in De Beers’ Namibian fleet — is being built in Norway by a firm called Kleven Verft at a cost of $173 million. Mission equipment, including crawler-mounted dredge technology, will cost an additional $432 million. The ship will look similar to the mv SS Nujoma (shown above and below), which was also built by Kleven Verft. Launched in the summer of 2017, the mv SS Nujoma is the world’s largest diamond sampling and exploration vessel. The $157 million ship is credited with greatly improving the company’s ability to target its mining activities.

The sea-based operation is called Debmarine Namibia and the reason the group is willing to make such a massive investment in a sixth mining ship is because of the treasures waiting on the ocean floor.

According to De Beers, 95% of the diamonds pulled from the seabed near Namibia are of gem-quality. This compares to just 20% of gem-quality diamonds coming from De Beers’s top mine in Botswana. Some experts surmise that the diamonds in the ocean have endured such a pounding for so long that only the gem-quality ones could remain intact.

The new ship will employ a super-powerful vacuum that will scour the ocean floor, sucking up tons of diamond-bearing gravel each hour and bringing it to the surface. On the ship, X-ray machines and other diamond-sorting devices will separate the gems from the worthless gravel. According to The Wall Street Journal, the mining operation yields a handful of diamonds for every 180 tons of material processed.

Debmarine Namibia has licensed an area that covers 3,700 square miles. It starts about three miles offshore and extends seaward 10 to 20 miles. The diamond concession is expected to yield more than a million carats per year for the next 50 years.

Credits: Images courtesy the De Beers Group.

Average Bridal Couple Spent $5,764 on Engagement Ring in 2017, Reports The Knot

Bridal couples are opting for less-formal wedding receptions, inviting fewer people, but spending more per guest, according to The Knot’s 11th annual “Real Weddings Study.”  They’re also seeking out non-traditional wedding venues and pushing back on time-honored traditions, such as tossing the bouquet.

We also learned that the engagement ring — at $5,764 — remains the second-highest-priced item on the list of wedding expenses, with the reception venue claiming the top spot at $15,163. Interestingly, The Knot also defined a sub-group of “high spenders,” whose wedding expenses exceeded $60,000 in 2017. Of that group, the average price of the engagement ring was $13,933.

The Knot, which surveyed nearly 13,000 U.S. brides and grooms married in 2017, reported that the average total cost of a wedding (excluding the honeymoon) is $33,391, which is down about $2,000 compared to the all-time high tallied in 2016.

“Weddings in 2017 showed us that couples are focused on guests, as we see them pulling out all the stops to create a truly memorable experience for their wedding attendees,” said Kristen Maxwell Cooper, editor in chief of The Knot. “Couples are also shifting away from formal affairs to create an experience that’s truly reflective of their personalities, and infusing more unique and unconventional ideas—from their venue and invitations to food, entertainment and more.”

Other key findings from the survey include the following:

• Most Expensive Place to Get Married: Manhattan, $76,944
• Least Expensive Place to Get Married: New Mexico, $17,584
• Average Spent on a Wedding Dress: $1,509
• Average Marrying Age: Bride, 29.2; Groom, 30.9
• Average Number of Guests: 136
• Average Number of Bridesmaids: 5
• Average Number of Groomsmen: 5
• Most Popular Month to Get Engaged: December (16%)
• Average Length of Engagement: 14 months
• Most Popular Months to Get Married: September (16%), June (15%) and October (14%)
• Popular Wedding Colors: Ivory/Champagne (37%), Dark Blue (32%) and Gold (30%)
• Percentage of Destination Weddings: 25% (compared to 20% in 2016 and 15% in 2015)

The average number of wedding guests in 2017 is down to 136, compared to 149 in 2009, while the cost per wedding guest reached an all-time high at $268 (up from $194 in 2009), according to the survey. Couples are looking to create the ultimate guest experience with photo booths, sparklers, selfie stations, games, musical performances, wine and liquor tastings, magicians and more.

Since 2009, formal/black-tie weddings have decreased from 20% to 16%, and ceremonies hosted in a religious institution have dropped significantly, from 41% in 2009 to 22% in 2017. Meanwhile, outdoor ceremonies accounted for 52% of all weddings in 2017, an increase from 39% in 2009.

As couples look for more unique, unconventional places to host their weddings, farm, barn and ranch reception venues increased from 2% in 2009 to 15% in 2017, and the number of weddings taking place in historic homes rose from 12% in 2009 to 14% in 2017. Banquet halls dropped (from 27% in 2009 to 17% in 2017), as did hotels and resorts (from 18% in 2009 to 12% in 2017) and country clubs (from 13% in 2009 to 10% in 2017). Other nontraditional reception sites on the rise include beach houses, wineries, rooftops, museums and parks.

The Knot also noted that some time-honored wedding reception traditions are seeing a decline, with fewer than half (49%) of brides opting to toss a bouquet (down from 53% in 2016) and only 37% of grooms choosing to toss a garter (down from 41% in 2016). Even the ubiquitous cake-cutting is seeing a bit of a push-back with 85% of couples in 2017 saying that it was part of their ceremony (down from 88% in 2016).

On the other hand, bridal couples said it was still important to infuse their heritage, culture and/or religion into their special day. Twenty-one percent of couples incorporated a traditional cultural element, including a Chinese tea ceremony, Irish bagpipers, Moroccan belly dancers and traditional Hindu ceremonies.

On average, the bride’s parents contributed 45% of the overall wedding budget, the bride and groom contributed 41% and the groom’s parents contributed 13%. (“Others” accounted for the remaining 1%.) In 2017, 10% of couples paid for the wedding entirely by themselves, and 9% of couples didn’t contribute any finances to the wedding expenses. Exactly 45% said that they went over their budgets.

These were the average costs of key bridal services in 2017: reception band ($4,019), photographer ($2,630), florist/décor ($2,379), ceremony site ($2,311), wedding/event planner ($1,988), videographer ($1,912), wedding dress ($1,509), rehearsal dinner ($1,285), reception DJ ($1,231), transportation ($830), ceremony musicians ($761), wedding cake ($540), invitations ($408), groom’s attire and accessories ($286), officiant ($284), favors ($252) and wedding day hair stylist ($119). Catering averaged $70 per person.

The 2017 Real Weddings Study is based on the responses from nearly 13,000 U.S. brides and grooms married between January 1 and December 31, 2017.

Credits: Image by Infographics courtesy of The Knot.

United Airlines Pilot Travels 2,500 Miles to Hand-Deliver Lost Bridal Jewelry to Passenger

A United Airlines pilot traveled 2,500 miles to hand-deliver a bridal set to a traveler who had lost her precious cargo while hurrying aboard a flight in New Jersey. Not only did the pilot “go the extra mile” to deliver the jewelry, but he also included a heartwarming personalized note.

The viral story took an incredible turn when it was later revealed that the traveler was Brit Morin, the founder and CEO of Brit + Co, the lifestyle media company that boasts 130 million users.

On Twitter, Morin wrote: “I lost my wedding/engagement rings last week somewhere between New York and Jackson Hole. A @United gate agent found it, put it in a safe, and then gave it to a pilot to HAND-DELIVER it back to me in SF. I have a newfound faith in humanity and airlines. Thanks United.”

Morin outlined the details of her incredible story at Brit’s Blog, a popular feature at

Morin is a frequent guest on ABC’s Good Morning America. While in New York shooting a segment for GMA on February 8, Morin had taken off her rings, explaining, “I always do this — it feels odd having a giant camera zoomed in on my ring when I’m working with my hands on set.”

After the GMA appearance, Morin was scheduled to meet her family in Jackson Hole, Wyo., for a ski vacation. The GMA segment ran late and Morin found herself rushing to make a flight at nearby Newark International Airport.

She packed her rings in a carry-on bag and made it to the gate just in time.

But, since she had gotten there later than all the other passengers, there was no overhead storage available. She quickly transferred her rings to a small toiletry bag and jammed it inside her purse. The larger carry-on bag was tagged and sent below.

Imagine Morin’s horror when she got to her final destination in Jackson Hole and realized that the engagement ring and wedding band were gone.

“Panicked, I searched all of my bags — my toiletry bag, my purse, and my suitcase — at least a dozen times, beginning to fear that the worst may have happened,” she wrote. “It must have fallen out somewhere during the suitcase transfer. I must not have zipped my toiletry bag all the way. Oh, dear god, how was I going to tell my husband? (The bigger irony? We got married in Jackson Hole nearly seven years ago, and now here we were back in a town that symbolizes our eternal love and I had no physical symbol of that love on my finger.)”

Fearing that she may never see her rings again, Morin went on the United Airlines website and filed a lost-items claim.

Meanwhile, back in New Jersey, a United Airlines gate agent had found the rings on the jet bridge. She immediately put them in a safe pending the identity of the owner.

When she learned that the owner had come forward, the agent handed the rings to United Airlines pilot Captain Jim Moorey, who was happy to ferry the rings 2,500 miles to San Francisco, where Morin lives with her family.

On February 15, Moorey hand-delivered the rings to Morin, along with a personal note that read, “From day to day, I take pride in getting passengers from point A to point B safely and on time. Today, I’m happy to be able to be part of a team focused on making just one individual happy.”

“I was ELATED,” wrote Morin. “I expected them to shoot me over a FedEx or UPS tracking number, but instead they informed me they would be HAND-DELIVERING them back to me. I couldn’t believe it.”

Credits: Ring photo, Brit Morin photo via; Aircraft photo by United Airlines.

Music Friday: Teen Star Billie Eilish Can’t Stop Thinking of His Diamond Mind and Those ‘Ocean Eyes’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fresh, new songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, prepare to be blown away by 16-year-old Billie Eilish and her debut single “Ocean Eyes.”

In the song, Apple Music’s UPNEXT Artist of the Month is suffering through a devastating breakup. She still loves her ex-boyfriend and is longing for his brilliant “diamond mind” and his dreamy “ocean eyes.”

She sings, “I’ve been walking through / A world gone blind / Can’t stop thinking of your diamond mind / Careful creature made friends with time / He left her lonely with a diamond mind / And those ocean eyes.”

Co-written by her brother, Finneas Baird O’Connell, “Ocean Eyes” was originally recorded for a dance class in 2015, when Eilish was only 14 years old. The original intention was to have her dance teacher choreograph a routine to the music.

“We put it on SoundCloud with a free download link next to it so my dance teacher could access it,” Eilish told Teen Vogue. “We had no intentions for it, really. But basically overnight a ton of people started hearing it and sharing it.”

The song soon went viral with 35 million streams on Spotify alone.

“Ocean Eyes” was featured as the lead single from Eilish’s debut EP, Don’t Smile at Me, which was released in August of 2017. One month later, she made her national TV debut on The Late Late Show with James Corden, and Apple Music named Eilish the UPNEXT artist of the month in October 2017.

Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell was born in Los Angeles in 2001 to a family of actors and musicians. She began writing songs at age 11, following the footsteps of her older brother, who was already performing original songs with his band.

Please check out Eilish’s official music video of “Ocean Eyes.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“Ocean Eyes”
Written by Arron Carl Davey and Finneas Baird O’Connell. Performed by Billie Eilish.

I’ve been watching you
For some time
Can’t stop staring at those oceans eyes
Burning cities and napalm skies
Fifteen flares inside those ocean eyes
Your ocean eyes

No fair
You really know how to make me cry
When you gimme those ocean eyes
I’m scared
I’ve never fallen from quite this high
Falling into your ocean eyes
Those ocean eyes

I’ve been walking through
A world gone blind
Can’t stop thinking of your diamond mind
Careful creature made friends with time
He left her lonely with a diamond mind
And those ocean eyes

No fair
You really know how to make me cry
When you gimme those ocean eyes
I’m scared
I’ve never fallen from quite this high
Falling into your ocean eyes
Those ocean eyes

No fair
You really know how to make me cry
When you gimme those ocean eyes
I’m scared
I’ve never fallen from quite this high
Falling into your ocean eyes
Those ocean eyes

Credit: Screen capture via

‘I Avoca-Do’: Believe It or Not, Avocado Ring Boxes Are Now a Thing

The avocado is arguably the most versatile fruit in the world. It can be used in soups, drinks, salads, dips, ice cream — and if you pop the pit and cut it in half, you’ve got the latest, coolest, trendiest ring box. Yes, thanks to Amsterdam-based food stylist, author and avocado aficionado Colette Dike, the wonder fruit has caught the attention of millennials ready to pop the question.

On February 10, Dike posted to her Instagram page a photo of a diamond engagement ring pressed into the gooey core of an “avo box.” Accompanying the photo was the following caption: “Tag someone who should propose like this.” She used the hashtags “avobox” and “avocadoproposal.”

The post went viral with 10,840 likes and 2,310 comments. What’s more, the post stirred the interest of giant media outlets, such as The Today Show, ESPN and the Daily Mail.

Reactions to Dike’s Instagram post were generally positive, humorous and good-natured.

One Instagram user wrote, “I avoca-DO,” while a second chimed in, “BEST EVER.”

A third tagged her boyfriend and wrote, “I do! Only if he brought a spoon, though.”

A few were not so kind due to the fact that avocados are notoriously mushy and their bright green hue quickly turns brown once they’re cut open.

One Instagram user called the idea “ridiculous, dumb and pathetic” while another noted sarcastically, “Here, put on this slimy ring.”

Although Dike is getting the credit for making the “avobox” into a phenomenon, The Today Show‘s website noted that Instagram user Taylor Selby in October 2016 posted a photo of her now-fiancé on bended knee, proposing with a ring embedded in a slightly overripe avocado.

Avocados originated in south-central Mexico more than 7,000 years ago, and although the Aztecs associated avocados with fertility, they were not likely used for ring boxes at that time.

A single avocado tree can produce 500 avocados each year, with an output of more than 200 pounds of fruit. About 95% of U.S. avocado production comes from Southern California. Fallbrook, Calf., claims to be the “Avocado Capital of the World” and the State of California’s official fruit is — drumroll, please — the avocado.

Credit: Image courtesy of Colette Dike via Instagram/fooddeco.

Neighbors Pool Their Plumbing Skills to Rescue Engagement Ring That Was Flushed Down Toilet

Resourceful neighbors in the community of Alamo, Calif., pooled their limited plumbing skills to reunite a future bride with the $10,000 diamond engagement ring she had accidentally flushed down the toilet.

Only 48 hours earlier, the world was filled with nothing but despair for Haleigh Morrissey and her fiancé Dean Booras.

Morrissey had been in her bathroom applying suntan lotion when she grew concerned that the ring might get stained. She asked Booras to remove it from her finger and rinse it off.

He cleaned the ring and placed it on a tissue, neatly folding the ends together to create a little ring package. And he left it there on the bathroom sink.

Later in the day, Morrissey returned to tidy up the bathroom and instinctively scooped up the folded tissue and flushed it down the toilet.

“I got to the bathroom and then I was like here’s some trash… throw it in the toilet,” Morrissey told a reporter from Fox affiliate KTVU.

Morrissey was devastated when she realized what she’d done.

“I thought there is no chance in the world that we were ever going to see it again,” Booras told the local ABC affiliate.

The panicked couple recruited a bunch of neighbors from this close-knit community 28 miles east of San Francisco. Together, they pooled their marginal plumbing experience to noodle out the best way to find a flushed engagement ring.

After watching a bunch of YouTube videos, neighbor Brett Gunari rented a plumber’s snake equipped with a camera. When that method failed to turn up the ring, fellow neighbor and building inspector Ken Gunari recommended that they flood the system and try to snag the ring further down the sewer line.

His method: “Turn on the bathtub, flush the toilet, dump the two five-gallon buckets of water into the toilet all at once,” he said.

About 200 feet from the house, the neighbors had unearthed the sewer line and rigged it with a screen to catch the ring.

Within a few minutes of the water rush, the neighbors at the site of the trap could be heard yelling, “Oh man, look at that.”

The plan worked. The ring emerged from the screen a bit mucky, but not damaged.

We’re guessing that Morrissey and Booras — who have their wedding planned for this May — will be adding a bunch of well-deserving neighbors to their guest list.

Credits: Screen captures via