Mass. Woman Digs Through 5 Tons of Trash to Retrieve Her Precious Diamond Keepsakes

A Massachusetts woman, who accidentally threw away three valuable diamond keepsakes, is breathing a giant sigh of relief after donning protective gear and rooting out her family heirlooms at the bottom of a 5-ton mound of smelly trash.

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How the jewelry ended up in the trash is an all-too-familiar scenario. Cecilia Callahan of Norwell, Mass., had been cleaning her best jewelry in preparation for a special dinner with her husband, Joe, to celebrate their 11th wedding anniversary.

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She placed her 3.1-carat diamond engagement ring, 1.75-carat diamond pendant and her grandma’s diamond ring — a treasure she’s worn for more than 40 years — in an ultrasonic cleaner. When the pieces were glistening, she pulled them from the bath, wrapped them in paper towels and set them on the counter to dry.

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The next morning, she hurried to clean off the kitchen counter before the trash collector arrived. She tossed the last few items — including the wadded-up, bling-laden paper towels — and ran the bag out to the curb.

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Two hours later, she realized what she had done.

“I was having a heart attack,” Callahan told Boston’s NBC affiliate, WHDH-TV.

With the help of a neighbor, she and her husband contacted Waste Management and learned that the truck had yet to dump its load, so the truck was diverted to the nearby Braintree transfer station where 5 tons of refuse was spread across the floor of one of its bays.

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Aided by Waste Management staffers and outfitted in protective gear, the husband-and-wife team waded for two hours through a mountain of garbage bags.

“Yeah, we were really in the trash,” Callahan joked.

But then Callahan honed in on a familiar trash bag at the bottom of the pile.

“I pulled it out and it was mine,” she said. “I was so excited.”

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Sanitation worker Joe McCarthy was surprised by the Callahans’ success.

“It was like finding the Willy Wonka (Golden) Ticket,” he told WHDH-TV. “You’ll never find what she found.”

Boston’s ABC affiliate, WCVB-TV, reported that the Callahans were so impressed by the Waste Management team that they returned to the transfer station a few days later with pizza and calzones for the staff.

“They were so kind,” said Cecilia Callahan. “They went above and beyond the call of duty. In this day and age you don’t find so many nice people.”

Credits: Video screen captures via WHDH.com.

15.99-Carat ‘Jubilee Ruby’ Sets U.S. Record for the Most Expensive Colored Gemstone Ever Sold at Auction

The 15.99-carat “Jubilee Ruby” lived up to its pre-sale hype last Wednesday when it smashed a record for the most expensive colored gemstone ever sold at a U.S. auction. The fiery top lot of Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale in New York fetched an impressive $14.16 million.

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Billed as the most important ruby to appear at a U.S. auction in 25 years, the oval-shaped Burmese ruby is framed by round white diamonds in an 18-karat yellow gold and platinum mounting by Verdura.

The ruby was mined in the legendary Mogok Valley of Burma, which is famous for yielding world-class rubies that boast the most desirable pigeon’s blood color. The extraordinary, saturated red color is attributed to the high chromium content in the ground. The element also gives the gems of that region a natural fluorescence that makes the stone “come alive” and appear internally illuminated.

“Top quality Burmese rubies of over 15 carats are an absolute rarity in the world of colored gemstones, and the record price of $18.3 million achieved for the 15.04-carat ‘Crimson Red Ruby’ at Christie’s Hong Kong in December 2015 exemplified the voracious appetite of collectors for these gems,” commented Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s International Head of Jewelry.

While the Jubilee Ruby set a new U.S. record, the $14.16 million selling price is barely half the amount achieved by the 25.59-carat Sunrise Ruby, which established a new world record for the highest price ever paid at auction for a ruby when it yielded $30.3 million at Sotheby’s Geneva in May of 2015.

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The other top lots at Christie’s April 20 sale included a 10.07-carat cushion-cut fancy intense purple-pink diamond ring and a perfect D color, flawless round brilliant-cut diamond weighing 40.43 carats. The purple-pink diamond ring, which carried a pre-sale estimate of $8 million to $12 million, sold for $8.84 million, while the flawless diamond fetched $7.22 million, also on the low-end of the pre-sale estimate of $7 million to $10 million.

Credits: Images courtesy of Christie’s.

Music Friday: Twenty One Pilots’ Frontman Tyler Joseph Dedicates ‘House of Gold’ to His Mom

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fun songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Twenty One Pilots’ frontman Tyler Joseph delivers an uplifting tribute to his mom in the 2013 release, “House of Gold.”

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In this song about the fear of aging, Joseph’s mom asks her singer/songwriter son if he’ll take care of her in her twilight years. Written as an exchange between him and his mom, Joseph sings, “She asked me, ‘Son, when I grow old / Will you buy me a house of gold? / And when your father turns to stone / Will you take care of me?'”

Joseph responds that he will not only make her the “Queen of everything you see,” but he’ll also bring her fame and cure her of disease.

“House of Gold” is the fourth track of the indie pop group’s third studio album, Vessel. The song, which features Joseph on the ukulele and bandmate Josh Dun on the drums, became a top-10 hit on Billboard‘s U.S. Alternative Songs chart. The album ascended to #21 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and was certified “gold” with more than 500,000 copies sold. The song had initially appeared as a bonus track on Twenty One Pilots’ second studio album, Regional at Best.

The name Twenty One Pilots was derived from an Arthur Miller play called All My Sons, in which a World War II contractor knowingly delivers defective airplane parts, reasoning that fixing the problems would be too costly. The tragic result is the loss of 21 pilots. Apparently, the bandmates were inspired by the lessons of the story — to avoid shortcuts and always act with integrity.

Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, Twenty One Pilots’ early fan base was made up of Ohio State University students.

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The video below was shot against the stunning backdrop of Sydney Harbor during the group’s Australian Tour. The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“House of Gold”
Written by Tyler Joseph. Performed by Twenty One Pilots.

She asked me, “Son, when I grow old,
Will you buy me a house of gold?
And when your father turns to stone,
Will you take care of me?”

I will make you
Queen of everything you see
I’ll put you on the map
I’ll cure you of disease

Let’s say we up and left this town
And turned our future upside-down
We’ll make pretend that you and me
Lived ever after, happily

She asked me, “Son, when I grow old,
Will you buy me a house of gold?
And when your father turns to stone,
Will you take care of me?”

I will make you
Queen of everything you see
I’ll put you on the map
I’ll cure you of disease

And since we know that dreams are dead
And life turns plans up on their head
I will plan to be a bum
So I just might become someone

She asked me, “Son, when I grow old,
Will you buy me a house of gold?
And when your father turns to stone,
Will you take care of me?”

I will make you
Queen of everything you see
I’ll put you on the map
I’ll cure you of disease

Credits: Screen captures via YouTube.