Skip to main content

Articles in October 2013

October 1st, 2013
Proving once again how creative and artistic Mother Nature can be, we introduce you to the Welo opal from Ethiopia, a newly discovered gem with internal structures so colorful and complex that some seem to display fantastical scenes from under the sea.


Discovered recently in the Welo Amhara Regional State Highland plateau about 10,000 feet above sea level, the unusual opal presents the brilliant iridescent colors of more conventional opal specimens — with a major twist. The Welo opal magically opens up a window to a brilliant underwater world where miniature fronds of seaweed seem to float amid shafts of brilliant sunlight filtering through the water’s surface.


Opal — one of the official gemstones for the month of October — is special because no two specimens are ever alike. An opal's internal structure makes it diffract light, causing the gem to shine and sparkle in an ever-changing kaleidoscope of colors that experts describe as “opalizing." In some of the finest opals, every color of the spectrum is visible.


Almost 95 percent of all fine opals come from the dry and remote outback deserts of Australia, but the discovery of the amazing Welo opal has put the exceptional, but rare, Ethiopian variety on the map.


Interestingly, anthropologists have discovered opal tools in North Africa that date back to 4,000 B.C. This suggests that North Africans — and not Australians — were the first to mine opals.
October 2nd, 2013
The Chicago Blackhawks received their 2013 championship rings in a private ceremony Sunday night and, yes, they are impressive. Bedazzled with 260 diamonds, rubies and emeralds weighing a total of 14.68 carats, the 14-karat white gold rings are a fitting testament to the team’s spirit and determination in capturing a fifth Stanley Cup.

Stanleycup13 1

Jostens collaborated with the team in designing a ring that brings together the team colors of red, white and black in a beautiful juxtaposition of white gold, diamonds, rubies and antique black enamel. Especially effective was the use of fiery rubies on the face of the ring in order to make the diamond-encrusted Blackhawks logo pop.

The ring, which weighs an impressive 93 grams, is framed by the words "Stanley Cup” and "Champions." Highlighted is the iconic Blackhawks logo fashioned in round brilliant and marquise-cut diamonds set in 14-karat white gold. The marquise diamonds cleverly mimic the look of feathers in a headdress. The Blackhawks logo sits on a ground of 29 custom-cut tapered rubies that radiate from the center in the shape of a circle.

Stanleycup13 2

The side design features seven baguette-cut rubies and two pear-shaped emeralds that form the shape of the Blackhawks’ secondary logo — two crisscrossed tomahawks. This emblem sits atop the Blackhawks' stylized "C," which is filled with 25 round yellow diamonds set in yellow gold. Each ring is personalized with the player’s name and number against an antique black enamel background.

The opposite side of the ring shows five diamond-studded Stanley Cup trophies, one for each year Chicago has won the championship — 1934, 1938, 1961, 2010 and 2013.

The engraving on the inside of each player’s ring adds to the distinctive design. Each ring is engraved with the team’s “One Goal” motto, as well as the playoff series results and the opposing teams’ logos.

The Blackhawks’ run to the Stanley Cup ended in a thrilling way. Down 2-1 in Game 6 against the Boston Bruins, the Blackhawks scored twice in the final 76 seconds of the game to win 3-2 and claim the championship.

October 3rd, 2013
Rewriting conventional wisdom on where and when humans first harvested natural pearls, French researchers have unearthed a remarkably well preserved 7,500-year-old natural pearl at an ancient gravesite in the United Arab Emirates. Until this discovery, the oldest known natural pearl was thought to be 5,000 years old and of Japanese origin.


Measuring about 2mm in diameter, the French discovery has been dubbed the Umm al Quwain pearl in honor of the town in which it was found.

Researchers Vincent Charpentier, Carl S. Phillips and Sophie Méry wrote in the journal Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy that although pearl diving was difficult and dangerous, pearls and mother-of-pearl were highly prized by Neolithic communities in the year 5,500 B.C.


Discovery News noted that natural pearls were often incorporated into the funeral ceremonies of ancient Arabian civilizations. They were either half-drilled for a man, or fully drilled for a woman. In the case of the Umm al Quwain pearl, it was placed on the upper lip of the deceased and appears to have had a ritual role. The pearl remained undisturbed and fully intact for 7,500 years.


The team’s discovery suggests that pearl oyster fishing first started in the Gulf Arabian peninsula and not in Japan.


"Gemologists and jewelers have popularized the idea that the oldest pearl in the world is the 5,000-year-old Jomon pearl from Japan,” the researchers wrote. “Discoveries made on the shores of southeastern Arabia show this to be untrue."


Natural pearls are extremely rare because they result from a set of accidental conditions controlled by nature. When a microscopic intruder or parasite enters a bivalve mollusk, the mollusk protects itself against the irritating invader by secreting layer upon layer of iridescent nacre to envelop it. Over time, this process produces a pearl.
October 4th, 2013
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great tunes with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today we put the spotlight on music legend Glen Campbell as he delivers a powerful rendition of Conway Twitty’s hit, “It’s Only Make Believe.”


In this song about unrequited love, Campbell pours out his heart in a soaring vocal performance: “My hopes, my dreams come true / My life, I'd give for you / My heart, a wedding ring / My all, my everything.” Sadly, the object of his affection is not in love with him, so for now, the prospect of them being together “is only make believe.”

Twitty's version of “It’s Only Make Believe” topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1958. The song was rumored to have been written in only seven minutes during a concert intermission. Campbell’s arrangement, which featured a rich orchestral accompaniment, hit #10 on the Billboard chart when it was released 12 years later.

One of 12 children and the son of a sharecropper, Campbell was born in Delight, Ark. A gifted guitarist, Campbell earned the reputation of being one of the best session musicians in the business, playing on records by Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard, Frank Sinatra and The Monkees.

He got his big break in 1964 when he toured with the Beach Boys, filling in for Brian Wilson after the founding band member became ill. Campbell credited his gig with the Beach Boys (and the high harmonies that were the hallmark of their distinctive sound) with expanding his vocal range by one and a half octaves.

Campbell would go on to become a successful Country and Pop recording star, host his own variety television show and earn a Golden Globe nomination. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2005. During his 50 years in show business, Campbell has released more than 70 albums and sold 45 million records.

We hope you enjoy the video of Campbell’s inspiring version of “It’s Only Make Believe.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

"It's Only Make Believe"
Written by Conway Twitty and Jack Nance. Performed by Glen Campbell.

People see us everywhere
They think you really care
But myself I can't deceive
I know it's only make believe

My one and only prayer
Is that some day you'll care
My hopes, my dreams come true
My one and only you

No one will ever know
How much I love you so
My only prayer will be
Someday you'll care for me
But it's only make believe

My hopes, my dreams come true
My life, I'd give for you
My heart, a wedding ring
My all, my everything

My heart, I can't control
You rule my very soul
My plans, my hopes, my schemes
Girl, you are my every dream
But it's only make believe

My one and only prayer
Girl, is that some day you'll care
My hopes, my dreams come true
You're my one and only you

And no one will ever know
Just how much I love you so
And my only prayer will be
That someday you'll care for me
But it's only make believe
It's make believe

October 7th, 2013
Glee star Naya Rivera was beaming with some new bling as she posed on the red carpet of Latina magazine’s Hollywood Hot List Party in Los Angeles on Thursday. On her left hand was a brand new halo-style cushion-cut diamond engagement ring that was given to her by rapper Big Sean.


A jewelry-industry expert told that she believed the center diamond weighed approximately 5 to 6 carats and that the ring was valued at somewhere between $50,000 and $125,000, depending on the quality of the diamond.

The expert, Shari Fabrikant of Robert Fabrikant Inc., also guessed that the ring was designed in platinum and featured micro-pavé diamonds on the delicate halo surrounding the center stone and on the band.


The relationship between Rivera, 26, and Big Sean, 25, seems to be on the fast track, as the newly engaged couple had been dating for only six months. They had officially confirmed their relationship back in April at the premiere of the movie 42 after having met on Twitter, according to E! News.

"Someone told me that she thought I was cute, and I thought she was fine and [so] I was like, 'Let's make this happen,'" Big Sean told Philadelphia’s Hot 107.9 radio audience in June. "The first thing that happened was she followed me on Twitter and I followed her back, and I was like, ‘What’s up?’ and she was like, ‘What’s up?'"

“We went to dinner and the rest is history,” Rivera told Access Hollywood.

In addition to being madly in love, the couple has found a way to connect professionally. Big Sean collaborated on Rivera’s debut single, “Sorry.”

The cushion cut is considered a “fancy” diamond shape and is often selected as an alternative to an oval- or princess-cut diamond. It’s essentially a “pillow” shape with softened, rounded corners.
October 8th, 2013
A perfect 118-carat D-flawless oval diamond sold for $30.6 million at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels Auction in Hong Kong yesterday, setting a new record for the highest price ever paid for a white diamond. Sotheby’s had called it “the greatest white diamond ever to appear at auction,” and the egg-sized gem certainly lived up to its pre-show hype.


Flopping at the same auction was the Premier Blue, a 7.59-carat internally flawless fancy vivid blue diamond that failed in its bid to establish a record for the highest per-carat price ever paid for any diamond.

Bigwhite3 blue

The blue diamond, which is believed to be the largest of its type ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America, could not meet its reserve and went unsold when bidding petered out at $16.1 million, according to the South China Morning Post. Sotheby’s had estimated it would sell for $19 million, or $2.5 million per carat.

The Associated Press reported that the 118-carat white diamond was sold during a six-minute exchange that came down to a battle between two telephone bidders. The winner was described as a “private collector” who wished to remain anonymous. The seller was also unidentified.


The $30.6 million selling price set a new record for a white diamond, edging out the “Winston Legacy,” a 101.73-carat D-flawless pear-shape gem that was sold at Christie’s in May for $26.7 million.


The flawless oval diamond weighed an astounding 299 carats when it was discovered in its rough form two years ago in an African mine.

The auction record for the highest price ever paid at auction for any jewel may be crushed next month when Sotheby’s hosts an ultra-rare 59.60-carat pink diamond at its Geneva sale. The gem is expected to fetch at least $60 million, which should handily displace the current record holder — a fancy intense pink diamond weighing 24.8 carats that Laurence Graff purchased in 2010 for $46 million.
October 9th, 2013
Back in June of 1912, London demolition workers were breaking down the dilapidated Wakefield House in Cheapside when they discovered a decayed wooden box beneath the brick cellar floor. Stacked within the box were trays of jewelry and gemstones, a priceless cache of 500 pieces.


The jewelry, which had been hidden and forgotten for more than 250 years, now represents the world’s largest known discovery of Elizabethan and Jacobean-period jewelry. Dubbed the Cheapside Hoard, the collection will be on display at the Museum of London from October 11 until April 27, 2014. It’s the first time all 500 items have been on exhibit in more than 100 years.


Among the items on display are rings, necklaces, jeweled scent bottles and fan holders, brooches and bracelets. Reflecting how London was a hub of international trade, there are emeralds from Colombia and Brazil; Brazilian amazonite; spinel, iolites and chrysoberyl from Sri Lanka; Indian rubies and diamonds; Persian turquoise; lapis lazuli from Afghanistan; Red Sea peridot, opals, garnets; amethysts from Bohemia and Hungary; and pearls from Bahrain.


One star of the show is a watch set into an enormous carved-out hexagonal Colombian emerald. Another standout is a gold, diamond and emerald hat pin in the shape of a salamander.


Most of the jewelry is representative of the 16th and 17th centuries, but some of the items date back 1,300 years to the Byzantium period.

According to, the demolition workers helped themselves to the jewels, wrapped them in handkerchiefs and stuffed them into their pockets, boots and caps. They knew that they could make a quick buck by selling the bounty — no questions asked — to a local man they knew as Stoney Jack.


Jack’s real name was G.F. Lawrence, an antiques dealer who was also the head of acquisitions for the brand new London Museum which, coincidentally, opened the same year the Cheapside Hoard was discovered. Lawrence purchased every Cheapside item that came into his shop, and this is why the huge collection stands intact today.


Exhibition curator Hazel Forsythe believes the Hoard was buried between 1640 and 1666. Scholars assume the huge jewelry collection was probably the stock of a jeweler or a group of jewelers who hid it for later retrieval. In the 17th century, Cheapside was known for its jewelry shops. Why the Hoard remained under the basement floor of the Wakefield House for two and a half centuries is still a mystery.
October 10th, 2013
Despite technical challenges related to platinum’s 3,215°F melting temperature, House of Borgezie designer Christopher Shellis has introduced the world’s first shoe fabricated entirely from precious platinum. Dubbed the Borgezie Platinum Cleopatra Stiletto, a pair costs $112,826 and carries an eternal 1,000-year guarantee. New York magazine fondly called Shellis’ new creation a “foot tiara.”


“Due to the extremely high temperatures required to work with platinum, it proved to be one of my greatest challenges,” Shellis told The Daily Mail. “The platinum stiletto took [more than] four years of development.”

In 2010, Shellis made headlines with his $159,550 Eternal Borgezie Diamond Stilettos — shoes designed in 18-karat yellow gold and featuring 2,200 brilliant-cut diamonds. At the time, he revealed that he had to reinvent the fundamental principal of the classic stiletto construction, using a fluted heel shape reminiscent of a lily stamen.


The same stamen-fluted heel design is seen on the Platinum Cleopatra Stiletto, but this model has the name “Borgezie” spelled out around the heel and across the front strap. An ingenious design allows the owner to replace the heel and sole within minutes without any professional assistance.


Shellis noted that each pair takes more than 100 hours to construct. “The result is not so much a shoe, but rather a fine piece of jewelry that can be miraculously, yet practically, worn as the ultimate feminine adornment,” Shellis said.

Shellis is comfortable incorporating elements of jewelry design into his fine footwear because he has more than 25 years of experience in the jewelry field, including diamond setting, gold and silversmithing and precious metal casting.


The U.K.-based House of Borgezie is also offering an 18-karat yellow gold version of the Cleopatra Stiletto at a slightly lower price than its platinum counterpart. The gold version sells for $95,730.
October 11th, 2013
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, British sensation Adele “turns her sorrow into treasured gold” in one of the most popular tunes of all time, the 2010 international mega-hit, “Rolling in the Deep.”


In this powerful song about a scorned woman seeking to turn the tables on a lover who has done her wrong, Adele promises revenge. In the end, she knows her anguish will pale in comparison to torment he's about to suffer.

She takes great pleasure in plunging him into the depths of despair, and this is where our precious metal reference comes into focus: "Turn my sorrow into treasured gold / You'll pay me back in kind and reap just what you've sown."

Not surprisingly, the song was inspired by the real-life breakup of Adele and her boyfriend. It’s been reported that Adele (born Adele Laurie Blue Adkins) co-wrote the song with Paul Epworth in a single afternoon.

“Rolling in the Deep,” which was the lead single from Adele’s breakthrough album 21, reached #1 in 11 countries including the U.S. and Canada. As of September, it had sold 7.98 million digital copies in the U.S. alone, ranking second all-time, just behind The Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” (8.40 million downloads).

“Rolling in the Deep” won three Grammy Awards in 2012 for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Short Form Music Video.

We invite you to watch the video of Adele’s live performance of “Rolling in the Deep” from a 2010 appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

“Rolling in the Deep”
Written by Adele Laurie Blue Adkins and Paul Richard Epworth. Performed by Adele.

There's a fire starting in my heart,
Reaching a fever pitch and it's bringing me out the dark.
Finally, I can see you crystal clear,
Go ahead and sell me out and I'll lay your ship bare,
See how I'll leave with every piece of you,
Don't underestimate the things that I will do.

There's a fire starting in my heart,
Reaching a fever pitch and it's bringing me out the dark.
The scars of your love remind me of us,
They keep me thinking that we almost had it all.
The scars of your love, they leave me breathless,
I can't help feeling,

We could have had it all,
(Your gonna wish you, never had met me)
Rolling in the deep,
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
You had my heart inside your hand,
(You're gonna wish you never had met me)
And you played it to the beat.
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

Baby, I have no story to be told,
But I've heard one on you and I'm gonna make your head burn,
Think of me in the depths of your despair,
Making a home down there as mine sure won't be shared,

The scars of your love remind me of us,
(You're gonna wish you never had met me)
They keep me thinking that we almost had it all.
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
The scars of your love, they leave me breathless,
(You're gonna wish you never had met me)
I can't help feeling,
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

We could have had it all,
(You're gonna wish you never had met me)
Rolling in the deep.
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
You had my heart inside your hand,
(You're gonna wish you never had met me)
And you played it to the beat.
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

Could have had it all,
Rolling in the deep,
You had my heart inside of your hands,
But you played it with a beating.

Throw your soul through every open door,
Count your blessings to find what you look for.
Turn my sorrow into treasured gold,
You'll pay me back in kind and reap just what you've sown.

(You're gonna wish you never had met me)
We could have had it all,
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
We could have had it all.
(You're gonna wish you never had met me),
It all, it all, it all.
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

We could have had it all,
(You're gonna wish you never had met me)
Rolling in the deep.
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
You had my heart inside of your hand,
(You're gonna wish you never had met me)
And you played it to the beat.
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)

Could have had it all,
(You're gonna wish you never had met me)
Rolling in the deep.
(Tears are gonna fall, rolling in the deep)
You had my heart inside of your hands,
(You're gonna wish you never had met me

But you played it,
You played it,
You played it,
You played it to the beat.

October 14th, 2013
The largest vivid orange diamond ever to appear at auction is expected to fetch between $17 million and $20 million at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva on November 12.


Aptly named “The Orange,” the 14.82-carat pear-shape gem boasts a rich, saturated color reminiscent of an orange peel or pumpkin. Its clarity rating is VS1, which means is has only very slight imperfections.


The Orange is more than twice the size of the previous orange diamond record holder, "The Pumpkin Diamond," a 5.54-carat modified cushion-cut gem that sold for $1.3 million (or $234,657 per carat) at Sotheby's in 1997. The Orange has a legitimate shot at achieving $1.35 million per carat.


Pure orange diamonds, also known as “fire diamonds,” are exceptionally rare in nature and hardly ever hit the auction circuit — especially in large sizes. The orange color is the result of the presence of nitrogen during the diamond’s creation.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) confirmed, “In the Laboratory’s experience, strongly colored diamonds in the orange hue range rarely exceed three or four carats in size when polished. [This diamond] is almost four times larger than that size range.”

The GIA also noted that diamonds become progressively more rare as the GIA color scale transitions from yellow-orange to pure orange.

"[The Orange] is great because stones of this nature, of this color, are not just looked at for their size, color, clarity and price per carat; they're looked at as works of art,” said Rahul Kadakia, Head of Jewelry, Christie's Switzerland and Americas. “This is, indeed, a great work of art in the world of gems and jewelry."


The Orange will headline the 280+ lots at Christie’s Geneva sale on November 12. Among the other notable items under the auction hammer will be pieces from the collection of style icon Helene Rochas, as well as 130 carats of Colombian emeralds from tin magnate Simon Patino.
October 15th, 2013
Former reality star Lauren Conrad took to Instagram on Sunday morning to post a snapshot of her classic engagement ring from fiancé William Tell. It was captioned, simply, “Best surprise ever.” The ring features a 3-carat round brilliant-cut diamond in a four-prong setting on a timeless, unadorned band.


On her official web site, the 27-year-old star of Laguna Beach and The Hills wrote, "I am very excited to share with you guys that William and I got engaged over the weekend. I am beyond thrilled!"


The Instagram filter makes it difficult to tell whether the band is made of yellow gold, rose gold or platinum. In any case, jewelry expert Shari Fabrikant of Robert Fabrikant Inc. told that she estimates the round center stone weighs about 3 carats. Assuming that the diamond is of VS2 clarity and has a color grade of G, the ring would be worth approximately $50,000, she said.

Lauren5 commented that the ring’s design is consistent with Conrad’s classic sense of style — a style that she parlayed into a successful career in fashion design. She is also a best-selling author.


Conrad’s new fiancé is a former band member who is now attending law school at the University of Southern California. The 33-year-old Tell previously played rhythm guitar for piano rock band Something Corporate before leaving the group to pursue a solo career. Conrad and Tell have been dating since Valentine’s Day 2012.
October 16th, 2013
Diamond crystals the size of hailstones are raining down on Jupiter and Saturn, according to the findings of a NASA scientist. Based on new atmospheric data for the giant gas planets, it is estimated that Saturn’s diamond precipitation amounts to 2.2 million pounds each year, with Jupiter producing massive quantities, as well.


Lightning storms in the upper atmosphere of Jupiter and Saturn are responsible for initiating the process that eventually yields a diamond. When lightning strikes methane the gas is turned into soot, or carbon.

"As the soot falls, the pressure on it increases,” said Kevin Baines of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “And after about 1,000 miles it turns to graphite — the sheet-like form of carbon you find in pencils."

As it falls farther — 4,000 miles or so — the pressure is so intense that the graphite toughens into diamond, strong and unreactive, according to Baines.


The biggest diamond crystals falling through the atmosphere of Jupiter and Saturn would likely be about a centimeter in diameter — "big enough to put on a ring, although, of course, they would be uncut," said Baines.

Because Jupiter and Saturn are made of gas and are hotter than the Sun at their cores, what happens next to the falling diamonds is hard to believe. As they descend another 20,000 miles into the core of the planets, they eventually melt into a sea of liquid carbon.

"Once you get down to those extreme depths, the pressure and temperature is so hellish, there's no way the diamonds could remain solid,” he said.

Baines and Mona Delitsky of California Specialty Engineering presented their findings at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Denver.

"People ask me, ‘How can you really tell? Because there's no way you can go and observe it,’” Baines said.

"It all boils down to the chemistry,” he concluded. “And we think we're pretty certain."
October 17th, 2013
Mining company Alrosa just unveiled another mammoth diamond — a 235.16-carat beauty — from its Jubilee Diamond Pipe in Russia’s Siberian republic of Yakutia. Only a month ago, competitor Lucara found a 257-carat rough diamond at its Karowe Mine in Botswana. It was the 14th rough diamond larger than 100 carats unearthed by Lucara this year.


Are the mining companies experiencing a run of good luck, or are other factors contributing to the increasing frequency with which these ultra-rare weighty gems are being plucked from the earth?


Alrosa explained that recent technological advancements made at its production facility have improved recoveries and reduced breakage of exceptionally large stones.

Typically, the ore containing the rough diamonds goes through many stages of crushing and processing before it can be sorted and classified. Although diamond is the world’s hardest material, is can be brittle. In the past, larger diamonds could be inadvertently fractured by the heavy machinery during processing.


Said Alrosa, “The integrity of [the 235-carat] diamond is a testimonial to the well-established workmanship of miners and dressers, and a high level of technological equipment.”

The Alrosa diamond is of gem quality, octahedral in shape, transparent and has a yellow hue. Its dimensions are 42 millimeters by 26 millimeters by 28 millimeters. Experts believe the gem is worth between $1.5 million and $2 million. Lucara simply described its massive find as "beautiful and clear."
October 18th, 2013
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Death Cab for Cutie’s lead vocalist Ben Gibbard offers up a tender confession about his fear of commitment in the group’s 2009 release, “A Diamond and a Tether.”


In the song, Gibbard asks the listener to take pity on him because he’s not half the man he should be. He’s been misleading his girlfriend with empty promises and countless bluffs, but acknowledges, “I know you can't hold out forever waiting on a diamond and a tether.”

Our featured song is the second track from the group’s The Open Door EP, an extraordinary compilation of six songs that was nominated for Best Alternative Music Album at the 52nd Grammy Awards in 2010 and peaked at #30 on the Billboard 200.

Death Cab for Cutie, which was formed in Washington State in 1997, has released seven studio albums and five EPs. The group’s unusual name was derived from The Beatles’ 1967 film, Magical Mystery Tour. In the film, The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band performs a song called “Death Cab for Cutie.”

See the group’s live performance of “A Diamond and a Tether” at the end of this post. The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

“A Diamond and a Tether”
Written by Ben Gibbard.  Performed by Death Cab for Cutie

Pity, take pity on me.
'Cause I'm not half the man that I should be.
Always turning to run,
from the people I should not be afraid of.

And darling, you should know
that I have fantasies about being alone.
It's like love is a lesson,
that I can't learn.
I make the same mistakes at each familiar turn.

I know you can't hold out forever
waiting on a diamond and a tether
from a boy who won't swim
but who will dip his toe in
just to keep you here with him.

I've got this habit I abhor.
When we go out I'm always watching the door.
'cause if there's someone I'm gonna see
who could outdo the things you do to me.

And I know you can't hold out forever
waiting on a diamond and a tether
from a boy who won't fly
but who will take to the skies if he thinks you are about to say goodbye.

Pity, take pity on me.
'cause I'm not half the man that I should be.
And I don't blame you,
you've had enough,
of all these empty promises and countless bluffs.

'cause I know you can't hold out forever
waiting on a diamond and a tether
from a boy who won't jump when he falls in love.
He just stands with his toes on the edge
and he waits for it to disappear again.

October 21st, 2013
South African supermodel Candice Swanepoel will have the honor of wearing the $10 million, jewel-encrusted “Royal Fantasy Bra” at this year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.


The bra-and-belt combination designed by Mouawad features 4,200 precious gems, including intricate patterns of diamonds, sapphires and rubies meticulously set in 18-karat yellow gold. The centerpiece of the bra is a stunning 52-carat pear-shaped ruby dangling from a diamond bow.


"It’s a substantial bra, but it’s not terribly heavy," the 24-year-old Swanepoel told "It was created from a mold of my body, so it’s quite comfortable... I think [wearing] it will actually give me more confidence! Who wouldn’t have a stronger walk with a $10 million bra?"

This is Swanepoel’s first time wearing the coveted bra, which is always presented as the final look at Victoria’s Secret’s runway shows. This year’s installment will be televised internationally on December 10.


Victoria’s Secret has been unveiling extraordinary fantasy bras since 1996, when supermodel Claudia Schiffer sported the “Million Dollar Bra.” Swanepoel joins a veritable Hall of Fame of internationally acclaimed models who have worn the prized lingerie.

They’ve included Alessandra Ambrosio (who sported the $2.5 million Floral Fantasy Bra last year), Tyra Banks, Gisele Bündchen, Heidi Klum, Miranda Kerr, Adriana Lima and Claudia Schiffer.


Despite its $10 million price tag, the “Royal Fantasy Bra” is not the priciest fantasy bra of all time. That designation goes to the $20 million "Red Hot Fantasy Bra," a jeweled bra-and-panty set worn by Gisele Bündchen in 2000.

Even though every Victoria's Secret fantasy bra has been for sale, not a single one has been purchased. Typically, each is dismantled, stone by stone, at the end of the season.
October 22nd, 2013
Just two weeks after confirming her secret engagement to Ukrainian heavyweight boxer Wladimir Klitschko, actress Hayden Panettiere told E! News that she took a lead role in designing her dazzling 6-carat emerald-cut diamond engagement ring. Sporting a distinctive split-shank setting and a diamond-pavé band, the ring is estimated to be worth $500,000.


"I designed it with Montblanc," she said. "They made me this amazing book where they did a bunch of sketches. I told them my idea over time, and tweaking things here and there, it came to fruition."


After a bit of prodding on the October 9 edition of LIVE With Kelly and Michael, the petite five-foot-one-inch Nashville star finally admitted that she and her hulking six-foot-six-inch boyfriend were engaged.

"There's a very large diamond ring on your ring finger,” noticed co-host Kelly Ripa. “I'm not sure if you want to announce anything. Does that signify anything? Is that a promise of something?"

“It might be,” Panettiere said coyly, with a giant snake draped over her shoulders. “I think it speaks for itself.”


The 37-year-old boxer and the 24-year-old starlet met at a charity event and starting dating in 2009. They broke up in 2011, but rekindled their romance this past spring. “It’s like the 2.0 version,” Panettiere told Glamour magazine. It’s believed the couple has been unofficially engaged since March.


Klitschko retained his WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles on October 5 by outpointing previously undefeated Alexander Povetkin.

The pair has no wedding plans yet, due to Panettiere's busy schedule. The second season of Nashville currently airs Wednesday nights on ABC.
October 23rd, 2013
Acting on the divine vision of a respected Hindu guru, Indian archaeologists began excavating the ancient Unnao fort in the village of Daundia Khera on Friday in a quest to find 1,000 tons of gold worth more than $40 billion.


Swami Shobhan Sarkar told Indian authorities that he dreamt that a huge cache of gold was buried under the fort of former King Raja Ram Bux Singh. The king was an Indian martyr who fought the British during the country’s struggle for independence in 1857 and has long been associated with local stories of hidden treasure.


The charismatic guru had written to the prime minister, Manmohan Singh, a few weeks earlier, explaining that the late king came to him in his dreams and asked him to not only find the treasure but hand it over to the government of India. The $40 billion bounty would be used to help India through these difficult economic times.


“The dead ruler's spirit has been roaming the palace and asking for the gold to be dug up. It is a hidden treasure for the country," Sarkar said.

Apparently, the guru’s credibility warranted immediate action. A 12-person team from the Archaeological Survey of India was sent to survey the area and begin the excavation of two 100-square-meter blocks.


Before the digging started, Sarkar performed prayers and marked out the points to be excavated by the archaeological team, the Press Trust of India reported. The digging, which will be conducted mostly by hand, could take 20 laborers a month to complete.

Deepak Chaudhary, a supervisor at the dig, told India Today that "drilling machines had hit something that seemed different from earth" about 20 meters under the soil. "We can establish it's the treasure only after we dig that deep,” he said.

Thousands turned up at the site as the news of the buried bonanza spread. The district administration quickly beefed up security, banned access into the fort premises and assembled barricades to control the movements of curious onlookers.

Since reporting his initial prediction, Sarkar also announced his vision of second suspected gold burial site. The swami believes there is a 2,500-ton pile of gold (worth $100 billion) beneath a temple in the same region.

The new claim has attracted vandals and illegal digging at the site, with some treasure-hunters having already dug up nine different spots in search of the gold, according to the Hindustan Times.
October 24th, 2013
Hollywood power couple Kim Kardashian and Kanye West made it official Monday when the rapper proposed to the reality star on her 33rd birthday with a 15-carat cushion-cut D-flawless diamond said to be worth upwards of $6 million.


Everything about the proposal was over the top, as the rapper gathered many of Kardashian's friends and family in San Francisco and rented out the entire AT&T Park stadium (yes, where the baseball Giants play). On the electronic scoreboard in centerfield was this simple, emphatic request flashing over and over: "Pleeease Marry Meee!!!"


A 50-piece orchestra, which was assembled on the field, played Lana Del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful” while West asked for Kardashian’s hand.

Celebrity jeweler Lorraine Schwartz, who is reportedly a close friend of the Kardashian family, designed the platinum ring. If you’re getting a feeling of déjà vu it’s for good reason. Kardashian’s previous engagement ring from pro basketball player Kris Humphries was also a Schwartz design.


A rep for Schwartz told E! Online that West was involved in the design process every step of the way. "He had a vision from the beginning. He looked at a lot of stones and he wanted only the best," said the rep. "He and Lorraine emailed back and forth, and stayed up nights discussing how he wanted it to be. He wanted the diamond to look like it was floating on air."

A Kardashian insider, who has seen the ring up close, said the design is traditional and the metal is minimized so the diamonds can take the spotlight.


Famously, Humphries was awarded Kardashian’s previous engagement ring as part of a divorce settlement and sold it earlier this month for $749,000 at a Christie’s auction. That ring featured a 16-carat center stone with an I color and VS1 clarity.

During the divorce proceedings, a Kardashian family insider told Radaonline, “Kim only gave [it] back after she got [pregnant] with Kanye’s baby and boasted, ‘Kris can have the ring back because Kanye is going to give me a flawless diamond engagement ring that makes my previous ring look like [a] Cracker Jack prize!’”

It turns out the belittled “Cracker Jack prize” is slightly larger than West’s selection, but if the new ring is, in fact, colorless and flawless, it is far more valuable than Humphries' ring.


We’re certain that the made-for-primetime San Francisco engagement extravaganza will be shown on the Kardashian’s reality show, “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”

Besides her famous 72-day marriage to Humphries in 2011, Kardashian was also married in 2000 to music producer Damon Thomas. The couple was divorced in 2003. Kardashian and West began dating in April 2012 and welcomed their first baby, North, in June of 2013.
October 25th, 2013
Emerging from the obscurity of a “torn-up” town near Auckland, New Zealand, 16-year-old Lorde — who, according to her hit, “Royals,” has never seen a diamond in the flesh — is now the hottest performer on the planet.


The chart-topping song, which has numerous jewelry, gemstone and precious metal references, has gone double-platinum and majestically sits this week at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It also hit #1 in Canada, Ireland and New Zealand.

“Royals” is a song with mixed messages. While on the surface Lorde takes an anti-glam sledge hammer to the material excesses of music celebrities, she also secretly aspires to be a star. Certainly, her catchy chorus emphasizes her homespun roots: “We’ll never be royals (royals) / It don't run in our blood / That kind of luxe just ain't for us.”

But later in the song, she admits that even though she and her friends don’t come from money, they’re driving Cadillacs in their dreams.

In the final line of the song, “Let me live that fantasy,” Lorde seems to be resigned to the fact that stardom is not in the cards for her. Little did she know that two weeks before her 17th birthday “Royals” would be edging out Katy Perry’s “Roar” and Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” for the top position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The painfully shy Lorde, who was born Ella Yelich-O'Connor, made an appearance on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” earlier this month. Although she sang beautifully and was well receive by the audience, she was awkwardly unprepared when the bubbly host went to hug and congratulate her after the performance. See the video at the end of this post…

Written by Lorde and Joel Little. Performed by Lorde.

[Verse 1]
I've never seen a diamond in the flesh
I cut my teeth on wedding rings in the movies
And I'm not proud of my address,
In a torn-up town, no postcode envy

But every song's like gold teeth, Grey Goose, trippin' in the bathroom
Blood stains, ball gowns, trashin' the hotel room,
We don't care, we're driving Cadillacs in our dreams.
But everybody's like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece.
Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash.
We don't care, we aren't caught up in your love affair.

And we'll never be royals (royals).
It don't run in our blood,
That kind of luxe just ain't for us.
We crave a different kind of buzz.
Let me be your ruler (ruler),
You can call me Queen Bee
And baby I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule.
Let me live that fantasy.

[Verse 2]
My friends and I—we've cracked the code.
We count our dollars on the train to the party.
And everyone who knows us knows that we're fine with this,
We didn't come for money.

But every song's like gold teeth, Grey Goose, trippin' in the bathroom.
Blood stains, ball gowns, trashin' the hotel room,
We don't care, we're driving Cadillacs in our dreams.
But everybody's like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece.
Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash
We don't care, we aren't caught up in your love affair

And we'll never be royals (royals).
It don't run in our blood
That kind of luxe just ain't for us.
We crave a different kind of buzz.
Let me be your ruler (ruler),
You can call me Queen Bee
And baby I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule.
Let me live that fantasy.

Ooh ooh oh
We're bigger than we ever dreamed,
And I'm in love with being queen.
Ooh ooh oh
Life is great without a care
We aren't caught up in your love affair.

And we'll never be royals (royals).
It don't run in our blood
That kind of luxe just ain't for us.
We crave a different kind of buzz
Let me be your ruler (ruler),
You can call me Queen Bee
And baby I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule.
Let me live that fantasy.

October 28th, 2013
While money may not grow on trees, gold certainly does, according Aussie researchers. A new study reveals that the roots of eucalyptus trees have the ability to draw up tiny gold particles from deep within the soil, and the gold eventually collects in the leaves and branches. 


Although it would hardly be worth the effort to harvest the trace amounts of gold from the trees, the more important finding is that the precious metal in the leaves is a certain indicator of the presence of valuable gold deposits 100 feet or more below the surface.

"If you had 500 eucalyptus trees growing over a gold deposit, they would only [yield] enough gold… to make a wedding ring,’’ said geochemist Mel Lintern, who headed up the research on behalf of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization.

"There might be tons of gold underneath and yet the amount of gold in the tree is very small.’’


Lintern contends that analyzing the gold content of trees in Australia — or anywhere else in the world — is a far more efficient, cost-effective and eco-friendly way of testing areas for potential gold exploration. Mining companies usually drill test holes to locate gold ore deposits, and a single exploratory drill hole could cost tens of thousands of dollars.


Because the gold particles are about one-fifth the diameter of a human hair, the Australian scientists had to use a synchrotron, a vast room-sized machine that uses X-rays to map the various elements present in a sample.

The same equipment also can be used to test for other elements, such as platinum, zinc and copper.

"As far as we know, this is the first time that anyone has seen gold in any biological tissue and it just happens to be a eucalyptus leaf,’’ Lintern said.

Gold is toxic to plants, which may explain why the eucalyptus trees moved much of the gold they absorbed from the ground to their leaves, said Lintern. Via this process, the trees can easily shed the gold deposits.

The results of Lintern’s research were published last week in the journal Nature Communications.
October 29th, 2013
Still looking for the ultimate Halloween costume? How about the world’s most expensive Morphsuit featuring 20,000 diamonds? The British company that makes those crazy, colorful head-to-toe spandex Morphsuits recently added a diamond-studded edition that carries a price tag of £1 million (or $1.6 million for those of us on this side of the pond).


Called “The Million Pound Morph,” the design uses a grey spandex costume as a base, which is then painstakingly covered with precious gems to create a scintillating effect. It takes 1,000 man-hours to attach the gemstones.

“All our suits are very reasonably priced, but with this one we just wanted to have fun, do something crazy, eye-catching and really good looking,” Gregor Lawson, co-founder of Morphsuits, told the Daily Mail. “This costume is the Mercedes Benz of Morphsuits.”


Like all the Morphsuits in the line of 200 designs, the diamond version will fit like a glove. The all-in-one suit is made from breathable fabric, which is easy to see through and drink through even though the face is covered.


The company, started by three Edinburgh University graduates four years ago, has skyrocketed to success. It now has more than 1.3 million followers on Facebook and does about $7.2 million in sales annually.

Co-founder Fraser Smeaton said in an interview that "Morphsuit" was selected as the name of the company because "everyone who wore [a suit] morphed into a more fun version of themselves."


A standard suit costs about $79, and accessories now include sweatbands and colorful wigs.
October 30th, 2013
R&B singer Ciara tweeted “If I’m dreaming I don’t want to wake up” after receiving a gorgeous 15-carat emerald-cut diamond engagement ring from music producer Future on her 28th birthday.


Future, whose real name is Nayvadius Wilburn, surprised the multitalented singer-songwriter-dancer-model-actress over the weekend while the couple celebrated her birthday in New York City. Ciara’s full name is Ciara Princess Harris.


Ciara’s Instagram page features a close-up view of her new ring nestled in a red rose. The large emerald-cut center diamond is flanked by two smaller emerald-cut stones in a stylish variation of the popular “Past, Present and Future” motif. Ciara’s ring adds a flourish of emerald-cut diamonds encircling the entire band. The ring is valued at more than $500,000.


The Grammy-award-winning Ciara was still on floating on air after her NYC birthday bash and surprise proposal. She took to Twitter to get her fans up to speed…


"Today Has 2 Be Like One Of The Sweetest Days Of My Life! #TheBestBirthdayEver," she wrote. "If I'm dreaming I Don't Want To Wake Up… Aaaaaahhh!!!:)"

Fans of celebrity engagements may find it an interesting coincidence that on October 21 Ciara’s friend, Kim Kardashian, also received a 15-carat engagement ring on her birthday, the reality star’s 33rd. Hers was a D-flawless cushion-cut diamond mounted on a simple platinum band.


The 29-year-old Future revealed during a radio interview in August that he knew Ciara was “the one” since he saw her for the first time at a video shoot seven years ago. "For it to come around and happen, it was just meant to be," he explained.

The two music artists have been dating for a year and, so far, no wedding date has been set.
October 31st, 2013
For the Halloween edition of our blog, we introduce you to the spooky collection of bejeweled skeletons recently revealed by art historian and relic hunter Paul Koudounaris, also known as “Indiana Bones.”


The elaborate skeletons, which were hidden for centuries in churches throughout Europe, are the subject of Koudounaris’ new book, “Heavenly Bodies: Cult Treasures and Spectacular Saints from the Catacombs.” According to the Daily Mail, Koudounaris hunted down and photographed dozens of eerie, but beautifully adorned, skeletons in the world’s most secretive religious establishments.


The Los Angeles-based Koudounaris believes the skeletons are about 2,000 years old and were removed from Roman catacombs during the 16th century on the orders of the Vatican. The relic hunter explained that the skeletons were certified by Vatican officials as early Christian martyrs and became sacred subjects known as “catacomb saints.”


The catacomb saints were preserved with a glue-like substance made from animal fat and then painstakingly decorated with a bounty of gold, silver, pearls and gemstones — a task that could take up to five years.

Once completed, the adorned skeletons were displayed in Catholic churches throughout Europe as a tangible reminder of the spiritual treasures of the afterlife.

By the 19th century, the blinged-out skeletons fell into disfavor, as they really weren’t saints at all, and posed an embarrassment to the church. They were removed from display and hidden away in lock-ups and containers, according to Koudounaris.

“One of the reasons they were so important was not for their spiritual merit, which was pretty dubious, but for their social importance,” Koudounaris told the Daily Mail. “They were thought to be miraculous and really solidified people's bond with a town. This reaffirmed the prestige of the town itself.”