Ring Purchased At Garage Sale May Be Worth Almost Half A Million Dollars

Shopping at garage sales can be hit or miss, but one lucky customer is cashing in on a major find. 

Sotheby?s will auction off a sparkly cocktail ring a woman bought at a car boot sale in 1980s England next month with a starting bid of £250,000 (roughly $325,000). She had thought for decades that it was costume jewelry and wore it without a care in the world, revealed the owner, who declined to be named publicly, the auction house said this week.

The woman had purchased the piece for £10 at a garage sale at West Middlesex University Hospital in Isleworth in west London, according to Sotheby?s. She decided in recent months to have the ring appraised after a jeweler said the stone could be real. 

Sotheby?s Jewelry in London confirmed the stone?s authenticity ? a 19th century 26.27-carat, cushion-shaped white diamond. The auction house added that the stone has a color grade of I and an impressive clarity grade of VVS2. The ring could go for as much as £350,000 (about $450,000).

?We confirmed that it was indeed a diamond. We got it tested with the Gemological Institute of America … and that then dictated the price,? said Sotheby?s Jessica Wyndham, who heads the auction house?s jewelry department.

In the interview in the video above, Wyndham added that it was understandable the owner did not know the ring held a real diamond. 

?It was in an antique style mount, so it was quite heavy,? she said. ?It is mounted in silver around the top and when silver becomes tarnished it becomes quite black. And that mixed with the cut of the stone probably would have meant that it didn?t sparkle very much, and if it was all dirty, you just wouldn?t think that was real.?

The ring will hit auction on June 7.

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October 17, 2017

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Suspected Drunk Driver Crashes Car Into Sheriff’s New Anti-DUI Vehicle

He got the message, but apparently only once it was too late.

Police in northwest Florida say they charged a man with Driving Under the Influence after he crashed his car into a sheriff?s office vehicle that was being used to warn motorists against drink driving.

Citrus County Sheriff?s Office said Paul Wilkins, 63, struck the cones at a traffic control point in Crystal River at 10 p.m. Saturday night.

He then slammed his car into a patrol car, pushing it 30 feet into another cruiser which was emblazoned with the slogan ?a cop or a cab, you decide? ? the rear of which was made to look like a taxi.

?The irony!? the office wrote on Facebook.

Florida Highway Patrol officers arrested Wilkins. Deputies later transported him in the same anti-DUI vehicle to Citrus County Detention Facility.

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October 16, 2017

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Trump Reportedly Asked Intel Chiefs To Publicly Deny Russia Ties

Another account of President Donald Trump attempting to push back on the investigation of his campaign?s ties to the Russian government emerged Monday evening, as The Washington Post reported that the president asked two top intelligence officials to deny any evidence of collusion. 

According to the report, Trump asked Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers to publicly deny that there is any evidence of connections between Trump?s team and Russia. Those requests reportedly came in late March, after then-FBI Director James Comey confirmed that his bureau was looking into the Trump campaign?s ties to Russia.

Coats and Rogers reportedly rejected the requests.

The Post also said that White House officials sought to influence Comey directly:

In addition to the requests to Coats and Rogers, senior White House officials sounded out top intelligence officials about the possibility of intervening directly with Comey to encourage the FBI to drop its probe of Michael Flynn, Trump?s former national security adviser, according to people familiar with the matter. The officials said the White House appeared uncertain about its power to influence the FBI.

?Can we ask him to shut down the investigation? Are you able to assist in this matter?? one official said of the line of questioning from the White House.

?The White House does not confirm or deny unsubstantiated claims based on illegal leaks from anonymous individuals,? a White House spokesperson said in a statement emailed to HuffPost in response to the Post article. ?The president will continue to focus on his agenda that he was elected to pursue by the American people.?

Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said the report raised ?troubling? possibilities:

The Post?s article is the latest in a series of revelations indicating that Trump and his associates have sought to intervene in the FBI?s Russia probe. 

The cascade of news began May 9, when Trump fired Comey, at first citing his conduct during the investigation of Hillary Clinton?s private email server. Trump later said he considered the Russia investigation while weighing Comey?s future at the Justice Department. 

One week later, multiple news outlets reported that Trump had asked Comey during a private meeting on Feb. 14 to stop the investigation of Flynn, whom Trump had fired the day before.

?I hope you can let this go,? the president said to Comey, according to notes Comey reportedly wrote soon after the meeting.

That revelation sparked concern on both sides of the aisle, and some Democrats raised the possibility that the president?s request could constitute obstruction of justice.  

On Thursday, the Justice Department announced it was appointing former FBI Director Robert Mueller to serve as special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation. Trump attacked the appointment on Twitter, calling the investigation ?the single greatest witch hunt? in U.S. political history. 

And on Friday, the The New York Times reported that Trump had described Comey as a ?nut job? to Russian officials visiting the White House earlier this month, telling them that firing the FBI director eased ?great pressure? on the Russia investigation.

The same day, The Washington Post reported that the FBI is also investigating a current White House official in connection with the Russia probe, in addition to several former campaign officials.

Amid all this, Trump and the White House have denied any wrongdoing and have argued the investigation is detrimental to the country.

?I believe it hurts our country terribly because it shows we?re a divided, mixed-up, not-unified country,? Trump said Thursday. ?And we have very important things to be doing right now, whether it?s trade deals, whether it?s military, whether it?s stopping nuclear ? all of the things that we discussed today. And I think this shows a very divided country.?

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October 10, 2017

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Nicki Minaj Has Been Donating Money To An Indian Village For Years

Earlier this month, a generous-feeling Nicki Minaj took to Twitter to say that she wanted to help some hardworking students pay off their tuition bills.

Minaj ended up not only making good on her promise, but also later announcing that she had decided to create an ?official charity? to help other deserving college students pay off their loans. 

Perhaps hoping to keep the momentum going, the hip-hop superstar revealed another bit of her charitable side over the weekend. In two Instagram posts, Minaj said that she?s been giving money to Pastor Lydia Sloley for years to help pay for a computer center, a reading program, a tailoring institute and two water wells in a small village in India.

?I?m so proud of our sisters in India,? she wrote alongside one image. ?God is so good. Their desire was to have water wells & places where they can worship, places where they can learn technology, computers, reading, etc. We?re just getting started. These women are us and we are them!?

In a video accompanying one of the two posts, a man can be heard thanking Pastor Sloley for the funding she provided (with Minaj?s help) to build the water well. The pastor has created partnerships with two churches in India, hoping she ?empowers women to start their own businesses,? according to her website.

?This is the kind of thing that makes me feel the most proud,? wrote Minaj.

She then added, ?We complain about the most ridiculous little things when some [people] don?t even have clean water. Blessings to India. Our work is far from done.?

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October 6, 2017

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Neil Gorsuch Shows His Hand On Money In Politics As Court Turns Down Big Case

WASHINGTON ? Newly minted Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch showed his hand Monday on where he will likely stand on cases that would increase the amount of power held by large political donors.

As the Supreme Court declined to hear a major campaign finance case that could have led to the lifting of campaign contribution limits to political parties, Gorsuch joined Justice Clarence Thomas in an unwritten dissent. That means Gorsuch and Thomas wanted the court to hear the case, and likely wanted to vote to overturn yet another limit on big money in politics.

The case, Republican Party of Louisiana v. Federal Election Commission, challenged contribution limits placed on state-level political parties by the 2002 McCain-Feingold reform law. These are the limits on ?soft money,? unlimited contributions to the parties for supposedly non-electoral activities, imposed in the wake of scandals related to both how the money was raised and how it was spent.

Gorsuch?s decision to join Thomas, a noted opponent of campaign finance restriction with a written record opposed to all campaign contribution limits and some disclosure rules, suggests that he, too, will be an outspoken critic of restrictions on money in politics.

During his confirmation hearings, Gorsuch refused to answer questions about his views on this subject ? as he did with nearly every other topic presented to him.

Rick Hasen, election law professor at the University of California, Irvine, wrote of Gorsuch?s dissenting vote: ?He was not shy at all ? not only about being willing to wade into this very controversial area, but about announcing publicly his vote to hear the case (something he did not need to do). It could well be that he will be as conservative as Justice Thomas is in these cases.?

The conservative Supreme Court majority that came into being after Justice Sandra Day O?Connor retired from the bench has struck down numerous campaign money limitations. It struck down a key pillar of the McCain-Feingold law in its 2010 Citizens United decision by allowing independent spending by corporations and unions. In the 2014 McCutcheon case, the conservative majority killed limits on the aggregate amount a single donor can give in a two-year election cycle.

In McCutcheon, Chief Justice John Roberts hinted that he might want to reconsider the court?s ruling upholding the McCain-Feingold soft money restrictions. Roberts wrote that the ?gratitude? members of a party may feel toward donors to their particular political party ?stems from the basic nature of the party system.? Roberts then cast doubt that these contributions could be viewed as an opportunity for ?quid pro quo corruption,? the only justification the conservative majority allows for restrictions on campaign money.

This was the third time conservative lawyer Jim Bopp has brought a challenge to the McCain-Feingold ?soft money? ban to the Supreme Court. In his first attempt, the court declined to take the case, although three justices dissented. The parties involved in the second challenge dropped their case before the court could decide whether to take it up.

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October 3, 2017

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Beyoncé’s Push Party Was A ‘Twinning’ Celebration

Before the twins comes the party. 

Beyoncé celebrated her baby shower ? dubbed the ?Carter Push Party? ? Saturday with family and friends, including mom Tina Knowles and pals Kelly Rowland, Serena Williams and La La Anthony at a Beverly Hills property.

The house was decked out with colorful decorations, pink tents beside a pool, and gold letter balloons. 

On Sunday, Queen Bey herself shared photos from the party on Instagram. Her Henna-tattooed belly was on full display as she posed for a portrait and smiled with her husband, Jay Z. 

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

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Her fabulous mom also shared some snaps from inside the bash. 

This woman gets more beautiful every time i see her!! Hotttness personified!!! @lala ????

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Fun fun fun?? Angie, Serena, lala, Vanessa Kelly, Lorraine??

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Last one

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The ?Lemonade? singer announced she?s expecting twins back in February. Since then, the world has been wondering whether she?s having boys or girls.

Beyoncé, who is already mom to 5-year-old Blue Ivy, has said that motherhood changed her. 

?My daughter introduced me to myself,? she told Oprah Winfrey. ?And I have my best friend … You know, my mother and I are so close, and I always prayed that I would have that type of relationship with my daughter.?

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September 30, 2017

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5 Tips On Learning To Carry Your Grief

You don?t think you?ll live past it and you don?t really. The person you were is gone, but the half of you that is still alive wakes up one day and takes over again. ? Barbara Kingsolver

Yesterday I saw someone who looked like my late-husband, who died eleven years ago. I immediately experienced the deep and intense heartache of missing him, and wishing that he was still here, wondering what life would be like had he not died. The same thing happens when something, or someone, reminds me of my son who died nine years ago. No matter how much time has passed, the anguish is still there. I have come to accept that this sorrow will always be a part of my life. It has taken me years to learn how to carry the pain and find a way to live life again.

Whether the loss of your loved one is recent, or many years ago, the pain of learning to live without them can be crippling and it can seem impossible to find a way forward. It is confusing and painful to watch others continue unaffected in their daily lives when your life is shattered. How do you begin to put the pieces of your life back together so that you can find a way to function again? How do you learn to live with the pain? Is it possible to ever feel joy again?

How Do I Carry This Pain?

1. Acknowledge that your life will be different

Death leaves a void in your life that is permanent. Your loved one is no longer here. Nothing you do can change this fact. No matter how much you long for life to be the way it was when your loved one was here, there is no turning back the hands of time. You are stuck here in the present moment without them. This is the brutal and undeniable truth that death and grief bring into your life. Acknowledging that your life will never be the same will help you begin to see a way to put the pieces that are remaining of your life back together again.

2. Let yourself feel all of your emotions

You should be prepared that you will experience a vast array of emotions: anger, fear, irritability, resentment, and hopelessness, being just a few. The actual scope of emotions you may experience is almost endless. If these emotions are not acknowledged and eventually worked through, they will pull you down into the quicksand of grief, each one like a weight attached to your ankle.

Grief demands that our emotions and heartache be adequately attended to, honored, and healed before we are allowed to move forward.

3. Strengthen your grief muscles

Just as we can strengthen our physical muscles, we can work on a regular basis on strengthening our grief muscles. Most of the time we are not even aware we are developing these muscles. Every day that you spend without your loved one, conditions you to learn how to eventually be able to move forward while carrying your grief. No matter how much time passes you will always have moments where the grief is too heavy again, and overwhelms your grief muscles. But if you keep plodding ahead through the pain, the muscles will recover enough to allow you to move out of the deep anguish you are feeling. One step at a time. Do not stop.

4. As time goes on do you best to limit the amount of time you spend during the day focused on your grief

This is a really hard one. It is hard to believe that we have any control over the amount of time we spend mired in our grief. I can look back now and see that I lost years of my life because I didn?t believe that I had any control over my thoughts and feelings. Basically, I allowed my thoughts and feelings to control me.

In the novel, The Girl from the Train, by Irma Joubert, I read an idea that had great appeal to me. The book described the use of a mourning blanket after a loved one?s death. You set aside a specific amount of time during the day and wrap yourself up in the blanket, imagining that your lost loved one is there with you and that you are grieving the loss together. After the blanket is put away, the griever gets on with the business of daily living.

Using an item like a mourning blanket is a physical reminder that you have control over the amount of time you allow yourself to actively grieve throughout the day. It doesn?t mean that you forget or pretend that your pain isn?t real. It means that you also recognize that you must learn how to live and function with the pain.

5. Hang onto the love you shared

Many times our default memories about our lost loved one are the painful ones surrounding the loss. You can change that default picture by making a concerted effort to remember the love you shared. And then, remember that this love can never be lost. This love will always be yours.

Let love help you learn to carry your pain. Healing grief and learning to live without your loved one is the hardest thing you will ever do, but love and loss can learn to walk side by side. By honoring your pain and the love you shared, you can find a way to live again.

You can find my book, The Other Side of Complicated Grief, here.

You can find my Facebook grief support page, here.

Find out more about the sculpture ?Cairn? by Celeste Roberge, pictured above.

This post is part of Common Grief, a Healthy Living editorial initiative. Grief is an inevitable part of life, but that doesn?t make navigating it any easier. The deep sorrow that accompanies the death of a loved one, the end of a marriage or even moving far away from home, is real. But while grief is universal, we all grieve differently. So we started Common Grief to help learn from each other. Let?s talk about living with loss. If you have a story you?d like to share, email us at strongertogether@huffingtonpost.com.

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September 20, 2017

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MAD Magazine: Time Stole Its Cover From Us!

MAD magazine is seeing red over Time?s new cover, which shows the onion domes of Moscow looming over the White House of President Donald Trump

Time also released an animated version of the cover online: 

But MAD featured a similar image in December, although not as a cover: 

The magazine?s editors wrote:

?Once More, With Stealing Dept.In 1952, Time Magazine called MAD ?a short lived, satirical pulp.? Now they?re stealing our material! Honestly, we?re flattered, but we would have appreciated a credit ? something like, ?Idea stolen from MAD, which in 1952 we called a short lived satirical pulp!??

Brobel Design created The Time cover, and its primary artist, Ed Gabel, told Inverse that he hadn?t seen the MAD image. 

?I love MAD. I think MAD is a fun read,? Gabel told the website. 

MAD is part of DC Comics, which is owned by Time Warner… which also owns Time Inc., publisher of Time magazine.

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August 21, 2017

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Celebrity Men Are Staking Claim On Who Wore The ‘RompHim’ First

The ?RompHim,? a Kickstarter project that?s designing rompers specifically for men, has taken the internet by storm this week. 

Many a tweet and hot take have debated the necessity of a male romper, whether men should even wear them (newsflash: you can wear whatever you want), and whether or not the article of clothing needs to be renamed. 

Others have gotten into the whole ?who wore it first? debate. While some have pointed to Cam Newton?s recent Coachella outfit, the internet has decided that Sean Connery was the first (and the greatest) to rock this polarizing article of clothing: 

It looks like the OriginalRompHim Instagram account, the people behind the Kickstarter campaign, agree: 

Newton did recently rock a romper, though it had a slightly bigger inseam than Connery?s look: 

But as Andy Cohen pointed out on Tuesday?s episode of ?Watch What Happens Live,? he was wearing rompers before they were popular. 

?Here?s what I want to know,? Cohen said. ?Why do you need a Kickstarter for an item of clothing, especially when I kickstarted the RompHim two years ago?? 

It appears the RompHim will soon have a little competition, as Reebok recently announced that it?s introducing the ?ReeRomp? in just a few days. 

According to the product description, this is an $89 athletic version of the RompHim. It was ?built for bros? and ?will keep you cool in more ways than one.? Sounds … great? 

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August 7, 2017

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These 5 Presidents Had The Shortest Tenures In U.S. History

President Donald Trump has served as the commander-in-chief of the United States for just about four months now. He has more than 1,300 days left in his current term and after that would very likely run for another.

With a 40 percent approval rating, Trump is historically unpopular. And as news about the multiple investigations into his presidential campaign?s ties to Russia continues to breakmedia outlets and lawmakers have launched into rampant speculation about whether he will make it through the rest of his term.

While the Russian investigations could theoretically bring Trump down, he has defied all political odds to survive and, until recently, has enjoyed broad support among his base. No matter what happens, though, he won?t have the shortest or most ineffective presidency in history. Several U.S. presidents barely had time to gild the White House before their successor stepped in.

31 Days ? William Henry Harrison

Harrison, elected to the presidency in 1840, was the oldest president to enter the White House at the time, at the ripe age of 68. A common refrain says he caught a cold while delivering his Inaugural Address that later developed into pneumonia. However, recent reports speculate he may have been infected with deadly bacteria that lead to a septic shock.

He died on the 32nd day of his presidency.

199 Days ? James Garfield

James Garfield was the 20th president of the United States, elected in 1881 following nine terms in the House of Representatives. He was shot during the first year of his presidency by Charles Guiteau, an ?embittered attorney,? according to the White House.

Two bullets struck him; one grazed his arm and another lodged itself into his abdomen. As The New York Times notes, the lack of advanced medical equipment saw ?at least a dozen medical experts [probing] the president?s wound, often with unsterilized metal instruments or bare hands.? They couldn?t find the bullet, which doctors later declared created ?a nonlethal wound,? and a series of poor medical decisions saw the president dead several weeks later.

His death is listed as an assassination.

492 Days ? Zachary Taylor 

Taylor, America?s 12th president, fell ill after participating in a July 4 celebration at the Washington Monument. He died five days later.

Wild theories that he had been poisoned with arsenic were discounted in 1991 after a Kentucky medical examiner determined he died of ?one of a myriad of natural diseases.? It?s more likely he died of cholera or a similar bacterial infection.

881 Days ? Warren G. Harding

Warren G. Harding was just over halfway through his presidential term when he suddenly died of a heart attack at the age of 58 in San Francisco.

895 Days ? Gerald Ford

Gerald Ford became president after Richard Nixon resigned in 1974, in the middle of his second term. Ford finished out the term and, despite his decision to pardon his predecessor, garnered moderate popularity. In his obituary, the Times called his term an era of ?pivotal days of national introspection, involving America?s first definitive failure in a war and the first resignation of a president.?

He ran for election two years later, defeating former California Governor Ronald Reagan to win the Republican nomination. He ultimately lost to Democrat Jimmy Carter.

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August 2, 2017

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