Testing out a pre-release version of the HTC Vive virtual reality headset at game developer Valve’s headquarters in Bellevue, WA, Kelly Tortorice explored wondrous environments. She swam through the ruins of a sunken ship, climbed the snowy Alps, repaired robots and painted with fire. But, then, to her surprise, a virtual engagement ring started floating toward her.
Across the room, Valve employee Chandler Murch slowly approached his girlfriend while holding a trackable HTC Vive wand controller, which she saw through her headset as a mighty large blue-tinted diamond ring floating in mid-air.
“Chandler told me to grab [the virtual ring],” Tortorice explained on her Facebook page. “Then, he told me to take off my headset, and there he really was, on one knee, with a real ring.”
Tortorice was so blown away by the experience that a simple “yes” to his marriage proposal would not suffice.
“It wasn’t imaginary anymore. I didn’t say, ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘OF COURSE I WILL MARRY YOU!’ Thank you for such a hilarious and fun surprise,” she wrote.
She added: “I love you, and I can’t wait for the life ahead of us.”
Murch’s “room scale” virtual reality marriage proposal is likely the first of its kind in history. Room scale virtual reality allows for the users to move about within the environment, as opposed to the player being confined to a seat.
Murch had arranged for his now-fiancée to visit his workplace to demo a pre-release of the HTC Vive headset. Developers, such as Valve Software Corporation, had access to the product even though it’s not expected to reach store shelves until late 2015 or early 2016.
A writer for Time magazine wondered if a virtual wedding couldn’t be far off.
Moms from coast to coast should be delighted on Sunday because their families are expected to spend $4.3 billion on jewelry gifts for Mother’s Day. This dollar amount represents an all-time high and is nearly 20% more than was spent on jewelry in 2014. What’s more, 34.2% of shoppers said they would splurge on jewelry this year, up from 31.7% last year.
According to the National Retail Federation’s 2015 Mother’s Day Spending Survey, total Mother’s Day expenditures are expected to exceed $21 billion. Americans will spend an average of $172.63 on their moms, a $10 increase over 2014.
The biggest spenders this Mother’s Day are expected to be 25- to 34-year-olds ($244.32), compared to 18- to 24-year-olds, who plan to spend an average of $214.81.
While jewelry certainly has the biggest “wow” factor of all Mother’s Day gifts, flowers, gift cards and apparel are all expected to be strong categories.
Of course, some Mother’s Day gifts are out-of-this-world. Presented to the Duchess of Cambridge by the Natural Sapphire Company of New York in celebration of the birth of Princess Charlotte this past Saturday, this $45,000 rattle is absolutely dazzling. It is encrusted with sapphires, rubies and diamonds in the shape of England’s Union Jack, and is promised to be cast in 18K Welsh White Gold – matching that of the Royal couple’s wedding bands.
Last year, for the birth of their son Prince George, NSCo were similarly extravagant, crafting a beautiful and breathtaking sapphire pacifier, based on the design of Kate Middleton’s (and formerly Princess Diana’s) engagement ring.
Of course, whether big or small, Mother’s Day is about showing your appreciation to all of the mothers in your life, whether it be your own or the mother of your children. “They don’t get enough thanks throughout a normal day,” says Koorosh Daneshgar, Chief Designer and CEO of Wedding Bands & Company, “so it’s important to pack everything you can into the one day meant for it. Sometimes, the gifts are disguised as being for the babies or children, but it’s clearly designed for the mother as thanks.”
If you’re interested in browsing our selection of Mother’s Day gift selections, make sure to check out our special Mother’s Day page. Have any nice pictures or comments about your mom and Mother’s Day? Share them with us on Facebook or Twitter!
Love spans multiple generations, as anyone can tell you. And, when Eric came into Wedding Bands & Company to design a ring with Ring Master Koorosh Daneshgar, he had something special in hand and in mind. Eric wanted to build and design a special ring that would last through the ages, though one that incorporated the past as well as the future. In order to do that, he supplied a very special diamond, courtesy of his girlfriend’s family. What was created through Eric’s love and devotion to Jessica was a truly special and unique piece, a monument to their bond together.
It all started back in 1947, when Jessica’s grandfather (or, as the affectionate term she called him by, ‘Zaide,’) began picking out a ring for her grandmother. As a jeweler, he knew what to look for in terms of quality, and strove to give his future wife the ring she deserved; nothing but the best! It was a diamond and ring of great personal significance, one that later became an heirloom to the family. So, when the time came for Jessica to marry, her family made the decision to pass along this brilliant ring to be made anew.
When Eric and Jessica first brought the ring in, Koorosh was stunned by the design and quality of the diamond. “It has the whitest color, perfectly cut…nearly flawless interior and clarity. It really shows the passion and drive that Jessica’s grandfather had for his profession, as well as the devotion to his wife.” Jessica wanted this passion to carry on, not only within the ring but on the diamond itself, through a small but heartfelt engraving: “Zaide 1947.”
“When you buy a diamond or a ring,” says Koorosh, “you want the goal for it to become a cherished memory, an heirloom like this one has. You want for it to last for years, so you can pass it down to children or grandchildren and let it survive in your family as a treasure!”
As Jessica had supplied the diamond for her ring, Eric wanted to design the mounting to be just as beautiful and important to her. Like the diamond, he wanted something that would be a lasting symbol of their relationship, and something that they could similarly pass beyond themselves into their growing family. He succeeded in this respect by choosing a platinum-based band – which, being that platinum is much stronger and more durable than gold, fulfilled his requirements precisely. Furthermore, he sought to enhance and highlight the diamond through the addition of eye-catching sapphires.
This is where Koorosh, Wedding Bands & Co’s CEO and Chief Designer, stepped in. He had the diamond, the material and a general theme for the ring: that of a throne, something worthy of the beautiful stone set upon it. Now, he needed to find the right inspiration for the design. To do this, he began asking the important questions to Eric: What were the important memories they shared together? Was there anywhere special that meant a lot to them? Where did they meet at?
These questions all pointed to the Lincoln Park area of Chicago, a personal favorite of Koorosh. “There are a lot of young people in Lincoln Park, a lot of couples starting their lives together.” Films like My Big Fat Greek Wedding were filmed there, and a lot of Chicago’s romance buds from the area. Plenty of natural and man-made sights and venues hold special meaning. What Eric sought was strength, a solid foundation to build their lives upon, and the eternal, timeless devotion of their love. From all of these factors, and after a bit of personal inspection of the Park, Koorosh settled upon the masonry and architecture of the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial Statue located east of the Zoo. “The statue, like their ring, is a gateway that links past to present. It is a bridge between two different times, how they can all come together to form a lasting union.” When all of these factors came together, they produced a truly breathtaking, one-of-a-kind piece.