Clodius and Co. Blog
March 19th, 2019
Love was in the air at the 46th Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., last Wednesday as pro golfer Sergio Garcia was enlisted to help with an epic marriage proposal at the scenic 17th hole.

When Ricardo Fonseca started planning a special golf-themed marriage proposal for his girlfriend Emma Baxley, he knew that his future father-in-law, Bob, might be able to pull a few strings. You see, the Baxley family has volunteered at The Players Championship for 44 years.

Bob Baxley conspired with Garcia, Fonseca and PGA Tour communications officials to stage a wondrous surprise during the tournament's practice round.

It's been 11 years since the Spanish golfer won The Players Championship, and he would eventually place 22nd in the 2019 tournament, but what he did for the young couple was definitely a hole in one.

PGA Tour cameras caught up with poppa Baxley and Garcia in the moments leading up to the proposal.

"Thanks for doing that," Baxley said, as he handed off the ring box to Garcia. "I really appreciate it."

"Can I look at it?" Garcia asked.

"Sure," said Baxley.

Garcia opened the box to reveal what appeared to be a cushion-cut diamond in a halo setting.

"Oh, beautiful," Garcia commented.

Garcia stashed the ring box in his pocket and the conspirators proceeded to the par-3 17th hole.

As they approached the green, Garcia and Baxley took a slight detour to meet Baxley's family, who were all standing behind a rope barrier. At that point, Garcia picked young Emma out of the crowd and invited her onto the course. Emma's boyfriend can be seen smiling in the background as his girlfriend scoots under the barrier.

The Spaniard asked Emma if she spoke Spanish and she responded, "Un poquito," which translates to "a little."

The starstruck young lady asked the pro if it was OK for her to be on the course, and he affirmed that all was good.

As they walked over a footbridge, the golfer said, "Emma, I have a little surprise for you."

At this time, her boyfriend approached them and took a ring box handoff from Garcia.

"Thank you, sir. I really appreciate the help," Fonseca said.

Then he turned his attention to his future bride.

With cameras rolling and the giant video board documenting the moment in real time, Fonseca dropped to one knee and said, "Emma, I love you and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you. Emma, will you marry me."

Onlookers burst out in a rousing cheer and the video board proclaimed, "She said yes."

Garcia fist-bumped Emma's dad. A job well done.

To make the occasion even more special, Garcia later presented the couple with a check from The Players Championship for $20,000. They will use the money toward their wedding expenses.

Thankfully, Emma said yes. It's rumored that Fonseca would have plunged head first into the pond had she said no.

Check out the PGA Tour's video below...

Credits: Screen captures via Tour.
March 18th, 2019
Atlanta United players received their colorful, gem-encrusted 2018 MLS Cup Championship rings in a private ceremony last week. The rings use white diamonds, yellow diamonds, custom cuts of garnet and onyx, and a single ruby to tell the story of a remarkable franchise that shot to the top of the soccer world in just its second season. The diamonds weigh a total of 2.03 carats.

Crafted in 10-karat white and yellow gold, the rings are adorned with 101 white diamonds that create a cascading waterfall effect on the ring top. An additional 14 color-enhanced yellow diamonds form the “A,” which sits atop the iconic five stripes, which mimics the distinctive red and black uniform of the team.

Ring manufacturer Jostens rendered the five stripes in alternating custom-cut slices of garnet and black onyx. The stripes represent the five pillars of the team: unity, determination, community, excellence and innovation. The red color symbolizes victory and the black color symbolizes strength and power.

Yellow gold "train tracks" wrap around the top of the ring edges as an ode to Atlanta’s railroad history. The tracks are punctuated with a single white diamond and a single ruby. The two gemstones represent the number of years the franchise has been in the MLS.

Completing the ring top are the words “MLS CUP CHAMPIONS” in raised white gold lettering, accented with a gold star.

The right side of the ring features the club name set in raised yellow gold lettering above the Atlanta skyline, which is rendered in white gold. The coveted MLS Cup, in contrasting yellow gold, sits in the center of the city skyline, with the word “CONQUERED” boldly set upon the trophy. The championship year date of 2018 completes the right side of the ring.

The left side of the ring displays the club's rallying cry “UNITE & CONQUER” in yellow gold, set above the recipient’s name in white gold. In contrasting yellow gold, the “UNITED” mark pays tribute to Atlanta’s unwavering perseverance. The "I" in "UNITED" is replaced with a golden spike, a nod to the city's railroad history.

Prior to each match, players and supporters get to sign a giant-sized golden railroad spike, which is then ceremoniously marched into the stadium and hammered into a platform by a local VIP. After each game, the Man of the Match gets to hammer the spike, as well.

Completing the left side of the ring is the player’s number set with diamonds.

The interior of the ring features the date the championship was won, the final score of the match and motto “5-STRIPES DON’T STOP.”

Credits: Images courtesy of Jostens.
March 15th, 2019
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you awesome songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Lee Greenwood sings about making a 24-karat mistake in his 1984 tune, "Fool's Gold." His character is agonizing over a broken marriage and losing the love of his life. In hindsight, he admits he was a fool and it was all his fault.

He sings, "I took a perfect love and gave you a perfect heartache / I took a band of gold and made a 24-karat mistake / and turned it into... / Fool's gold, and I was a fool 'cause I let you go."

Written by Timmy Tappan and Don Roth, "Fool's Gold" was released as the second single from Greenwood's third studio album, You've Got a Good Love Comin'. The song shot to #3 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and #5 on the Canadian RPM Country Tracks chart. The album was certified Gold, which means it sold more than 500,000 units.

Over his 57-year career, Greenwood released more than 20 albums. He's also credited with more than 35 singles on the Billboard country music charts, including seven #1 hits.

Greenwood is best known for his patriotic 1984 song, "God Bless the U.S.A." The song regained its popularity during the Gulf War in 1991, and then again after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Melvin Lee Greenwood was born in South Gate, Calif., in 1942. He grew up on his grandparents' poultry farm and started singing for his church at the age of seven. He started his first band at the age of 20 and performed mostly in Las Vegas casinos. When the band broke up in the 1970s, Greenwood made ends meet by dealing blackjack during the day and singing at night.

In 1979, he was "discovered" in Reno by Larry McFaden, the bassist for Mel Tillis. Two years later, his demo tapes landed at the Nashville division of MCA. Greenwood earned a contract and McFaden was hired on as his manager.

If you were wondering, fool's gold is a shiny yellow mineral called pyrite that bears a great resemblance to gold, but contains little or no precious metal.

Please check out the audio track of Greenwood performing "Fool's Gold." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

Fool's Gold
Written by Timmy Tappan and Don Roth. Performed by Lee Greenwood.

If I only knew then what I know now
You wouldn't be sayin' goodbye
But I let you down, I was never around
When you needed me there by your side
I took a perfect love and gave you a perfect heartache
I took a band of gold and made a 24-karat mistake
and turned it into...

Fool's gold, and I was a fool 'cause I let you go
Fool's gold, yes I was a fool 'cause I didn't know
Too many times I just didn't try
Now all I hear is you sayin' goodbye
Starin' at an empty hand full of fool's gold

If I took the time just holdin' you tight
and sharin' my feelings with you
Then you'd understand what's inside of this man
and you'd know what I'm goin' through
I know that I was wrong now that it's too late
I took a band of gold and made a 24-karat mistake
and turned it into...

Credit: Photo by Yoland Hunter (U.S. Air Force), Public Doman via Wikimedia Commons.
March 14th, 2019
Having just secured a spot on Team Legend during Monday night's Blind Auditions on The Voice, R&B crooner Denton Arnell asked judge John Legend if he could bring his girlfriend, Tiffany, onstage to share the special moment.

What happened next will live in infamy as one of the most embarrassing (and romantic) unscripted moments in television history. The 10 million viewers of The Voice will brag one day that they witnessed the scene playing out in real time.

"Can she come up?" asked the 31-year-old Chicagoan.

"Yeah, why not?" said Legend.

The surprised girlfriend, who had been in the wings watching Arnell's outstanding performance of Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home” with other supporters, was quickly escorted onto the stage and handed a microphone. She exchanged a few pleasantries with Legend, but then Arnell had something special to say...

“Being that [John] gave me a yes, I want to see if Tiffany would give me a yes,” said Arnell.

At that point, the handsome suitor reached into his pocket and pulled out a black ring box. The crowd erupted, anticipating a made-for-TV moment.

Tiffany closed her eyes and leaned forward as she pressed her palms to her face in disbelief. At the exact same time, Arnell, looking down at the diamond engagement ring, also leaned forward as he settled down to one knee. Their microphones magnified the "thwack" of their heads coming together in a comical "Three Stooges" moment. The studio audience roared with laughter and coach Kelly Clarkson could hardly contain herself.

Tiffany stumbled, but despite the scary sound of skulls clashing, came up smiling. Arnell, clearly amused, was now able to get back to business.

This time, Arnell safely descended to one knee and slipped the ring on his girlfriend's finger. Tiffany tearfully accepted his proposal and the couple embraced.

The home audience was then treated to a reaction shot of Legend — sporting an ear-to-ear grin while leading a standing ovation. Arnell raised his arms victoriously and Tiffany remained overwhelmed, her hands covering her face.

Later on Twitter, Legend wrote, "I think I win the award for best wingman ever. We both won tonight, Denton!"

Please check out the video of Arnell's performance and the ensuing proposal. Arnell's request to bring his girlfriend onstage starts at the 2:15 mark.

Credits: Screen captures via Voice.
March 13th, 2019
A world-class facility dedicated to Australia's national gemstone is taking shape at the edge of the outback in New South Wales.

The new Australian Opal Centre in Lightning Ridge — a two-story underground building designed by internationally renowned architects Glenn Murcutt and Wendy Lewin — will be filled with glittering treasures from the earth and the stories of the people who found them.

National, regional and local officials have already raised $14 million to launch the $24 million project. The Australian Opal Centre will be a world-class tourism attraction and an internationally recognized hub for opal-related knowledge, training and certification. In 1994, opal was declared Australia’s National Gemstone.

Opal is often referred to as the Queen of Gems. It boasts every color of the visible spectrum, from deepest and clearest blues and greens to rippling golden orange. Opal's hues also range from delicate pink and violet to rich turquoise, shocking vermilion, carmine and fuchsia.

An opal may contain any or all of these colors, arrayed in wondrous patterns. Opal experts have given these patterns names, such as harlequin, pinfire, Chinese writing, flower garden, mackerel sky, flagstone and rolling flash.

Opals get their color from tiny spheres of silica dioxide. The spheres are so tiny they can only be seen using an electron microscope.

About 90% of the world’s finest opals are mined in the harsh outback of Australia, where a unique combination of geological conditions permitted the formation of opal near the margins of an ancient inland sea.

Interestingly, 95% of the opals found by miners is void of color. These specimens are white, grey or black. The locals call it "potch" and it has very little value. Potch is composed of the exact same mineral as fine opal – spheres of silica dioxide. The only difference is that in potch, the tiny spheres are jumbled, whereas in precious opal they’re all laid out evenly.

The value of a fine opal is based on a number of factors: Brightness, color, pattern, body tone and consistency (how it looks from multiple angles).

Fundraising for the final stage of the Australian Opal Centre will take place while the first stage is constructed and opened to the public. The facility in Lightning Ridge is an eight-hour inland drive from the coastal city of Brisbane.

Credit: Image by Dpulitzer [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
March 12th, 2019
Every time Elvis Presley's personal jewelry comes up for auction, we're reminded of the singer's legendary generosity. You see, for all the treasures Presley kept for himself, he gave away nearly as many, according to his personal jeweler.

Presley famously wore gem-encrusted rings and pendants, and often gifted the jewelry to friends, colleagues and fans. It wasn't unusual for Presley to wear a favorite piece and then present it to a staffer who admired it.

The diamond and ruby 14-karat gold ring being offered for sale today at UK-based Omega Auctions was originally owned by the King of Rock and Roll, but was gifted to a fan after a June 1975 concert at the Hofheinz Pavilion in Houston.

That ring is just one of a series of Presley's personal pieces that will hit the auction block today. Another auction highlight is a gold bracelet that had been gifted to Sam Thompson, Presley's friend and member of his security team. He gave away the bracelet when they worked together in Las Vegas in 1976. Both the ring and bracelet are each expected to sell for about $13,000.

Presley often traveled with his personal jeweler, Lowell Hays, who would carry around a suitcase full of gemstone-adorned baubles.

During a 1975 show in North Carolina, Presley asked Hays to bring the jewelry suitcase onstage. Hays said Presley was in "one of his moods" and started handing out jewelry to the women in the front row.

“So when the show ended, I ran out the back door and jumped in Elvis’ car and I said, ‘Elvis, I’m embarrassed. I just wish I hadn’t been here and then you wouldn’t have lost all that money. You just gave away all that money out there!’” Hays recalled. “And he looked at me and he laughed that little Elvis laugh he has and he said, ‘You know what, Lowell? I’m going to have to sing five minutes more tomorrow night to pay for it.’”

Hays explained that among Presley most cherished jewelry possessions was the “TCB” ring the jeweler crafted for him using 56 diamonds, including an 11.5-carat solitaire. "TCB" stood for "Taking Care of Business," Presley's mantra and also the name of his backing band.

During a 2017 interview with that marked the 40th anniversary of Presley's passing at the age of 42, Hays recounted an incident that earned him a coveted TCB necklace, a piece of jewelry normally reserved for Presley's inner circle.

Hays was attending one of Presley's shows at the International Hotel in Las Vegas when he noticed a man trying to sneak on stage.

“Elvis is pointing [at the guy], but the bodyguards aren’t paying any attention," Hays told, "so I bailed out of my seat and took care of it.”

After the show, Presley ripped into his bodyguards. Then he asked Hays if he had any TCB pendants in his case. Hays handed the jewelry to The King, but then Presley gave it right back, saying, “It’s about time you had one of these.”

Credit: Image of Ring and bracelet via Image of Elvis Presley (1970) by Ollie Atkins, chief White House photographer at the time. See ARC record. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. TCB pendant via
March 11th, 2019
Back in 2001, Jennifer Lopez famously sang, "My love don't cost a thing," but that didn't stop boyfriend Alex Rodriguez from spending upwards of $5 million for an eye-popping emerald-cut diamond engagement ring. The couple proudly displayed a romantic hand-in-hand photo of the ring on their respective Instagram pages Saturday.

The former New York Yankee and 14-time All Star popped the question to the chart-topping performer and style icon while the two were vacationing at Baker's Bay Golf & Ocean Club in the Northeastern Bahamas.

A-Rod, 43, captioned his post, "She said yes," and punctuated the phrase with a heart emoji. The simple, heartfelt message struck a chord with his followers and received more than one million Likes.

The 49-year-old J. Lo, who claims 88.3 million followers on Instagram, captioned her version of the sweet photo with no words, just eight heart emojis. Her post earned 4.7 million Likes.

The couple hasn't revealed the weight of the diamond or the value of the ring, so jewelry-industry pundits were asked to offer their best guesses when questioned by leading fashion and celebrity websites. Overall, size estimates ranged from 10 to 20 carats, with price tags starting at $1 million and topping out at $5 million. The highest estimate was made with the assumption that the diamond is flawless.

All the experts described the emerald-cut diamond as "classic," a shape that was popular back in the 1920s, and is making a comeback. Included on the growing list of celebrities opting for emerald-cut diamonds are Amal Clooney and Beyoncé.

Because the emerald-cut diamond is so spectacular, Rodriguez chose to go with a very simple setting, one that wouldn't detract from the stone itself. The pundits also said that the elongated shape of the emerald-cut diamond accentuates the length of Lopez's fingers.

When Us Weekly asked Lopez for the secret behind the success of her relationship with Rodriguez, she said, "We just support each other. It’s just how we do it.”

Lopez and Rodriguez have been dating for two years and each has two children from previous marriages. All the kids are between the ages of 10 and 14. This will be the fourth time Lopez has tied the knot. Rodriguez has been married one other time.

Credits: Images via
March 8th, 2019
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you dreamy songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, American singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey takes us on a flyover of Miami and describes the scene as aquamarine in her 2015 love song, "Salvatore."

Del Rey's cinematic singing style is reminiscent of Frank Sinatra, and although the song takes place in contemporary Miami, the artist paints a picture of summer romance in an Old World town on the coast of southern Italy.

March's official birthstone makes a guest appearance in Del Rey's first verse...

She sings, "All the lights in Miami begin to gleam / Ruby, blue and green, neon too / Everything looks better from above, my king / Like aquamarine, oceans blue."

British singer Adele offered the song high praise in an interview with Vogue magazine, stating, "The chorus makes me feel like I'm flying..."

Del Rey told BBC Radio 1, "It's probably the track that's the most different from the other tracks on the record. It has a little bit of an Old World Italian feel. It's kind of a weirder song, but I love the chorus. It's filmic."

"Salvatore" appeared as the 10th track on Del Rey's fourth studio album, Honeymoon. Music critics loved the album and so did the record-buying public. Honeymoon charted in 31 countries, including a #2 spot on the U.S. Billboard 200 and a #3 spot on the Canadian Albums chart.

Born Elizabeth Woolridge Grant in New York City in 1985, Lana Del Rey's stage name is a nod to Lana Turner and the Ford Del Rey sedan. Although she was raised in Upstate New York, she moved back to Manhattan as a 20 year old to pursue a music career. Her preoccupation with glamour, melancholia and post-WWII pop culture placed the young artist in a genre all her own.

Del Rey told Artistdirect, "I wasn't even born in the '50s but I feel like I was there."

Her breakthrough came in 2011 after the viral success of her single "Video Games." Since then, she has produced two #1 albums and earned Grammy and Golden Globe nominations. Her official YouTube channel has netted more than 3.1 billion views. Eleven of her videos have topped 100 million views on Vevo.

Please check out the audio track of Del Rey singing "Salvatore." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

Written by Elizabeth Grant and Lana Del Rey. Performed by Lana Del Rey.

All the lights in Miami begin to gleam
Ruby, blue and green, neon too
Everything looks better from above, my king
Like aquamarine, oceans blue

Ciao amore
Soft ice cream

All the lights are sparkling for you it seems
On the downtown scenes, shady blue
Beatboxing and rapping in the summer rain
Like a boss, you sang jazz and blues

Ciao amore
Soft ice creams

The summer's wild
And I've been waiting for you all this time
I adore you, can't you see, you're meant for me?
Summer's hot but I've been cold without you
I was so wrong not to tell, Medellín, tangerine dreams

Catch me if you can, working on my tan, Salvatore
Dying by the hand of a foreign man happily
Calling out my name in the summer rain, ciao amore
Salvatore can wait
Now it's time to eat soft ice cream

Ciao amore
Soft ice cream

Credit: Image by Georges Biard [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.
March 7th, 2019
Actress Debby Ryan recently had some fun with her Twitter followers as she sought advice on how to keep her new diamond engagement ring secure on the set of Insatiable as she begins filming the second season of the Netflix comedy.

Ryan, 25, and Twenty One Pilots drummer Josh Dun, 30, were engaged just before Christmas, and the former Disney star proudly posted pics on Instagram of the bended-knee proposal and the emerald-cut diamond ring.

Unfortunately, Ryan's character, Patty, is not engaged, so the ring can't be part of her on-set wardrobe.

She clarified that her engagement ring needed to be stashed in a secure location, but not visible on camera. She was concerned about the safety of her ring because of the number of people who have access to the set. She also noted that her Apple Watch was stolen from her cast chair during Season 1.

On Monday, as she began filming Season 2, Ryan shot out this message to her four million Twitter followers: "Hey actors and people who have to take your engagement/wedding rings off for work all the time, wyd [what do you do] with them??"

Her question quickly generated more than 600 replies, some serious, some silly.

When one Twitter follower suggested that she wear the ring on a necklace, Ryan responded, "No I can’t put it on a necklace. Where would young Patty get a chain with a thick engagement ring on it. Her mom doesn’t even give her money for dinner. And she’s a killer not a thief. Come on you guys."

Twitter follower @popcornchams told Ryan that she should do what the actors do on the set of Grey's Anatomy: "Pin it to the inside of your shirt. Out of site, but safe and close by."

Fan @DugyFresh had this novel idea: "Oh yes. You could even connect it to a cool lip piercing or mouth gauge so nobody would know your secret. If someone gets suspicious past that, say it's a training device for throat singing."

To which Ryan clapped back, "Ohhh, this is a very good and novel idea. Been meaning to ask you, 'What’s that key ring looped between your molars?'"
A few other practical-minded followers suggested that she should simply hide it in her bra, slip it in a sock, hire a bodyguard, leave it at home or place it in a safe in her trailer.

Ryan wrote, "How do you bolt the safe down?"

Twitter follower @onlyskeletons made this offer: "You can also contract me to be a ringsitter. I'll be safe with me. I'll take care of it. I'll feed and clean it."

Ryan's Instagram Stories revealed how she eventually solved her dilemma. She slipped the ring onto a padlock and affixed it to an immoveable object in her trailer — although it was unclear from the photo exactly what it was locked onto.

Follower @DelegardeLloyd assumed she locked it onto a dresser handle, sparking this snarky remark, "Saw what you did with your ring and I have to laugh."

He noted that any determined thief could unscrew the handle and walk off with the ring. "Try again, ma'am," he wrote.

At the end of December, just after Ryan accepted Dun's proposal and her new engagement ring, the pair turned to Instagram to share the news with their fans.

“I said yes!” Ryan declared. “Well technically I said ‘NO WAY’ but I meant yes.”

Dun wrote, "I found a tree house in the woods in New Zealand and proposed to my girl. She my dude for life. I love you Debby."

Ryan and Dun have dated on and off since May of 2013.

Credits: Images via;
March 6th, 2019
Weighing 10,363 carats, the "Dom Pedro" is the largest faceted aquamarine in the world and the masterwork of Bernd Munsteiner, an Idar-Oberstein-based gem cutter, who has been called “The Picasso of Gems” and “The Father of the Fantasy Cut.”

Standing nearly 14 inches tall, the obelisk-shaped Dom Pedro is, arguably, the most beautiful example of March’s official birthstone and one of the few objects in the world that can hold its own in a display case just 30 feet from the Hope Diamond at the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology in Washington, D.C.

Back in 1992, when Munsteiner viewed the gem for the first time, “it was love a first sight!” according to an account at, and transforming the rough crystal into the Dom Pedro would become the “project of his life.”

Munsteiner spent four months studying a massive 57-pound rough aquamarine crystal before embarking on a grueling six-month adventure to meticulously cut, facet and polish the stone. Munsteiner is famous for his “fantasy cuts,” where he facets a pattern of “negative cuts” into the back of a gem, which reflects the light from within. The finished work weighs 4.57 pounds.

Named after Brazil’s first two emperors, Dom Pedro Primeiro and his son, Dom Pedro Segundo, the aquamarine was originally part of a much larger crystal that was discovered by three Brazilian prospectors — garimperos — in the state of Minas Gerais in the late 1980s. While being transported, the one-meter-long, 100-pound crystal fractured into three pieces. Two were eventually cut into smaller gemstones, but the largest piece had much greater potential. Its exquisite green-blue color and pristine clarity opened a window of opportunity for a cutter with the skill of Munsteiner.

While cutting the gem completely by hand, he was never concerned with the eventual carat weight. His attention was purely on the beauty and the brilliance. “When you focus on the carat weight, it’s only about the money,” he said. “I cannot create when I’m worried about the money.”

Unveiled at the annual gem fair in Basel, Switzerland, in 1993, the gem became a traveling ambassador for the German government, a tangible example of German craftsmanship and ingenuity.

But, by the late 1990s, the gem’s future was in jeopardy. The Brazilian consortium partner wanted the gem to be sold so he could recoup his investment. Gem collector Jane Mitchell and her husband Jeffery S. Bland stepped in to purchase the Dom Pedro in 1999, ensuring that it would remain intact and not sliced up into smaller stones.

The couple generously gifted the Dom Pedro aquamarine to the Smithsonian in 2011. It was made part of the permanent exhibition at the very end of 2012.

Aquamarine is the pretty soft blue variety of the mineral beryl. Other gems in the same family include green emerald, pink morganite and golden yellow heliodore.

Credits: Dom Pedro photos by Donald E. Hurlbert / Smithsonian.