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Articles in November 2016

November 1st, 2016
Topaz and citrine share the spotlight as the official birthstones for the month of November. And perhaps nowhere in the world can you see bigger and more magnificent examples of these gem varieties than at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas.


You thought we were going to say "the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.," but here's the catch.

The Smithsonian has loaned 29 of its biggest faceted gems to the Perot Museum for a limited showing that runs through January 17, 2017. Among the specimens headlining the “Giant Gems of the Smithsonian” exhibition is the famous 22,892-carat American Golden topaz, a 19,747-carat smoky citrine and a football-shaped 7,033-carat irradiated blue topaz.


The American Golden Topaz is the third-largest faceted gemstone in the world. Sourced in Minas Gerais, Brazil, and tipping the scales at a whopping 10.1 pounds, the American Golden Topaz was cut by Leon Agee over a period of two years in the late 1980s from a 26-pound stream-rounded cobble owned by Drs. Marie L. and Edgar F. Borgatta.

In the top photo, the faceted gem sits in the foreground while two other natural topaz crystals are nearly the size of the seated young girl. They weigh 70 pounds and 111 pounds, respectively, but are not part of the Perot exhibit.


Sourced in Bahia, Brazil, the modified marquise-shaped smoky citrine was faceted in 1987 by Michael Gray and acquired by the Smithsonian in 2013. At 8.7 pounds, it's the largest smoky citrine in the National Gem Collection.


It's a common jewelry industry practice to irradiate pale-colored topaz, which becomes a brilliant blue after the process. The football-shaped gem you see here likely started out as colorless or pale yellow-brown, according to the Smithsonian. Discovered in Ouro Preto, Brazil, the 3.1-pound gem was gifted to the Smithsonian in 1981.


“Giant Gems of the Smithsonian” is making its temporary residence at the Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals Hall, which is one of the Perot Museum's most popular exhibits.

Credit: Photos of American Golden Topaz with child, smoky citrine and blue topaz courtesy of Smithsonian. Display photo of American Golden Topaz by Observer31 at English Wikipedia [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons. Perot Museum by Joe Mabel [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
November 2nd, 2016
Tonight, PBS will broadcast the first of an epic three-part NOVA series called "Treasures of the Earth: Gems, Metals, and Power." The 60-minute shows will take us on a stunning journey deep within the earth to discover the incredible forces of nature that forge gemstones, precious metals and other valuable resources.


"Our earth is a master chef," says geologist Lung Chan in the first episode. "She knows how to cook."

In the first hour, subtitled "Gems," NOVA literally crisscrosses the globe to get an insider's view of the gem trade— from the workshop of an iconic luxury jeweler in New York City to a sapphire mine of Sri Lanka, from North Carolina's emerald fields to the jade-laden Forbidden City of China.

Not only does NOVA cover the beauty, value and intrigue behind these exquisite treasures, but also delves into the amazing role these gemstones play in helping geologists unravel the mysteries of plate tectonics. NOVA will also explore the riches that may have originated in space.


"Treasures of the Earth: Gems, Metals, and Power" will air on November 2, 9 and 16. The second episode will cover precious metals and the third episode with tackle the subject of power as it relates to the control of natural resources.

In "Metals," NOVA will look at the astounding properties that have made them the pillars of human civilization. From the enduring luster of gold, to the conductivity of copper and the strength of steel, metals have reshaped societies and defined eras, according to NOVA.

In the third segment, "Power," the viewer will learn the energy secrets locked in the molecules of natural resources, such as coal, oil and natural gas. NOVA will also look at climate change and the hunt for cleaner forms of energy.

Credits: Images via
November 3rd, 2016
Laurence Graff, the billionaire jeweler whose name is attached to some of the most famous diamonds in the world, has introduced the Graff Venus, the world's largest D-flawless heart-shaped diamond.


About the size of a walnut and weighing 118.78-carats, the Graff Venus was painstakingly extracted from a 357-carat rough diamond that was sourced last year at the Letšeng Mine in Lesotho.

Heart-shaped diamonds are generally a high-risk proposition for cutters because the unusual shape is prone to cracking during the cleaving and polishing process. Graff's risk was multiplied many times due to the enormous size and value of the stone.


The process took 18 months, during which Graff and his team analyzed every excruciating detail of the rough stone. They even had to develop special tools to cut the stone.


The computer-generated illustration shows how the heart-shaped diamond (dark blue outline) was segmented from the rest of the original rough. Twenty-two additional diamonds were culled from the same piece.

The London-based chairman of Graff Diamonds — whose diamond collection includes the 24.78-carat Graff Pink, 102.79-carat Graff Constellation and the 31.06-carat Wittelsbach-Graff — couldn't be more proud of his latest creation, calling it "absolute perfection."

"The stone itself is beyond words," he said. "It is the most beautiful heart-shape diamond I have ever seen.”

The Gemological Institute of America agreed by awarding its highest grades to the Graff Venus. The stone was rated D-color, flawless, Type IIa with excellent polish and symmetry. Type IIa diamonds are almost or entirely devoid of impurities.

The Graff marketing team believes the diamond will eventually be incorporated into a pendant, brooch or tiara.

According to the Robb Report, Graff has had a role in cutting and polishing more than half of the 20 most exceptional diamonds discovered during the past century.


The Letšeng mine, which sits at an altitude of 10,000 feet in the tiny kingdom of Lesotho near the southern tip of Africa, has a long history of producing top-quality diamonds in huge sizes. The 357-carat rough diamond from which the Graff Venus was extracted had netted $19.3 million for Gem Diamonds in September of 2015. At the time, it was sold to a unnamed buyer.

Credits: Graff Venus images courtesy of Graff Diamonds. Rough diamond courtesy of Gem Diamonds.

November 7th, 2016
With the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series for the first time in 108 years, die-hard fans Christopher Lenard and girlfriend Lindsay Fuhs did something that no other couple has ever done before — get engaged in front of the iconic ivy-covered wall at Wrigley Field while holding the World Series trophy.


It happened on Friday as five million elated Cubs fans from all over the city celebrated the end of "The Curse," the longest World Series drought in Major League Baseball history.

The young couple was invited to take part in the World Series Trophy photo op thanks to Fuhs' connections with the team. Her dad, Rick, is a scoreboard operating and groundskeeper, who has worked for the franchise for 38 years.

The couple also has close ties to Wrigley Field. This is where the couple first dated, and Fuhs worked as an usher at Wrigley for two years when she was in high school.

The Commissioner’s Trophy was brought to Wrigley Field so team employees and loved ones could enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pose with the once-elusive trophy.

In a video posted to YouTube, we can see the happy couple as they stand in front of the ivy in centerfield. Fuhs is wearing a broad smile, Cubs cap and Cubs National League Champions t-shirt while carefully holding the trophy. Her boyfriend — decked out in a Cubs jersey and Cubs cap — is standing proudly at her side.

Nobody is aware that he has a surprise hidden in the front-left pocket of his jeans.

After the official photos are taken, Fuhs calls for one more shot and aims her gaze at a second photographer. Lenard calls for one more shot, as well, but it's for a different reason.


At that moment, Lenard pulls the ring box from his pocket, gets down on one knee and proposes to his startled girlfriend.

"Oh, my God," Fuhs gasps.

"Will you marry me?" asks Lenard.

"Yes!" exclaims Fuhs.


To free up her left hand, which is locked onto the precious trophy, a member of the Cubs promotion team steps in to assist. Fuhs turns her attention to her fiancé and new diamond engagement ring.


The couple kisses, embraces and basks in the glory of a Cubs World Series win and the prospects of an exciting life together.


Fuhs documented her monumental day with more than 100 photos on Facebook. The couple's story has gone viral, with stories on,,, Chicago Sun Times, Yahoo Sports and 63,000 views on

The "W" on the nail of her ring finger resembles the famous "Win" flag, which Cubs fans fly as a symbol of their dedication to the team.


In explaining his motivation for popping the question at Wrigley Field, Lenard wrote on, "The Cubs won for the first time in 108 years and I decided to do something literally no one has ever done before."

It doesn't get much better than that.

Check out the video below...

Credits: Screen captures via; Photos via Facebook/Lindsay.Fuhs.
November 8th, 2016
Nick Cannon, the host of America's Got Talent and Wild 'N Out, explores modern love — and diamonds — in the newly released "docu-short" titled Why Real Is Rare.


Tapped by the Diamond Producers Association (DPA) to study relationships and help unlock the magic and mystery behind finding "the real thing," Cannon looks into the lives of six couples to reveal new truths about human connection and commitment in the modern age.


"We share stories about the standout moments... that shaped their relationships, the challenges they've faced, and their unique take on why their commitment is the real deal," said Cannon. "Everyone loves in a different way, but they were all searching for something more genuine, and they found it in each other."

The "docu-short," which runs 3:18, can be seen on the "Real Is a Diamond" YouTube channel as well as the DPA website.


It's part of a new integrated campaign, which marks are dramatic departure from traditional diamond marketing. The campaign invites consumers to take a fresh look at diamonds as an ideal symbol of authentic, meaningful connection and commitment. "Real is Rare. Real is a Diamond" is the diamond industry's first category campaign in almost a decade.

"This campaign explores the delta between being connected and having a connection," said Deborah Marquardt, Chief Marketing Officer of the DPA. "It's common today to have hundreds, if not thousands, of connections. People are 'connected' online 24/7 but the ability to find someone special and have a genuine emotional, physical and spiritual connection with them feels more rare than ever before. The moments when couples realize 'this is it' are as precious and individual as a diamond itself."

Check out the "docu-short" below...

Credits: Screen captures via; Photo source: Diamond Producers Association.
November 9th, 2016
Richard Wise's Secrets of the Gem Trade: The Connoisseur’s Guide to Precious Gemstones became a bestseller when it was first published in 2003. Over the past 13 years, the author has seen so many new twists and turns in the marketplace that he was inspired to make his authoritative book even better. The newly released second edition includes 11 new chapters, five new introductory essays and 161 additional images.


By revealing how the world's best gemologists evaluate precious gems, Wise aims to give the reader the power to differentiate between a "good stone" and a "truly fabulous museum-quality gem."

Gem enthusiasts will see new chapters about jadeite, demantoid garnet, natural nacreous pearls, conch pearls, Golconda (Type IIa) diamonds, sunstone, peridot, moonstone, cobalt blue spinel, red/pink spinel and violet diamonds.

The publisher noted that the two new chapters on pearls address a huge resurgence in natural pearls. The inscrutable jade is discussed in clear terms that both Asian and Western readers will understand.

And in his new introduction, Wise tells the story of the Blue Whites, the crème de la crème of colorless diamonds.


The 404-page visual delight includes exclusive images from two major museum collections and an array of the latest auction head turners. The images are individually spot varnished for color depth and accuracy.

The book is divided into two parts. The first examines the term "preciousness," as Wise leads the reader to a better understand of the criteria that define a gemstone. The second part contains a series of essays that delve deeply into the unique qualities and characteristics of what the author describes as 35 of "the most beautiful and the most important gemstones available today." These include diamond, pearl, tourmaline, sapphire, chalcedony, spinel, ruby and garnet.

Secrets of the Gem Trade has a cover price of $99.95 and is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and most other major book retailers.

Credits: Images by Brunswick House Press.
November 10th, 2016
Described as "impossibly rare" and "a complete fluke of nature," the 2.83-carat "Argyle Violet" diamond will go on public display next month as part of the “Diamonds: Rare Brilliance” exhibition at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.


New York-based L.J. West Diamonds placed the winning bid for the headliner of Rio Tinto's “Chroma Collection," a select grouping of 63 rare pink, red and violet diamonds from its Argyle mine in Western Australia. Each year, the mining company cherry-picks the best of the best to be offered at its annual tender.

Although the winning bid was not disclosed, experts estimated that the oval-cut Argyle Violet would fetch between $1 million and $2 million per carat, yielding a final price of $2.8 million to $5.6 million.


The principals of L.J. West were excited to share the amazing diamond with the public.

“I am glad to have it shown,” company president Larry West told “It’s so rare. Nobody’s ever seen stones like this, and I think it’s important for them to be out there in the public domain. It makes it more real for people. It’s not just a story.”

The Rio Tinto-owned Argyle mine generates more than 90% of the world’s pink diamonds, and on rare occasion will yield a violet stone. In the past 32 years, Argyle has produced only 12 carats of polished violet diamonds for its annual tender. In fact, before the discovery of the Argyle Violet, the mine had delivered just one other 1-carat-plus violet-colored diamond — and that was in 2008.

When Rio Tinto first revealed the unusual diamond back in May, company representatives could barely contain their excitement.

“Impossibly rare and limited by nature," said Rio Tinto’s general manager of sales Patrick Coppens, "the Argyle Violet will be highly sought after for its beauty, size and provenance.”

"A complete fluke of nature,” is how Josephine Archer from Argyle Pink Diamonds described the Argyle Violet to Yahoo7 News.

The Argyle Violet is the largest violet diamond ever recovered from the Argyle mine in Western Australia. Argyle’s master polisher Richard How Kim Kam worked for more than 80 hours cutting the 9.17-carat oddly-shaped rough diamond into its perfectly symmetrical final form. More than 69% of the diamond’s weight was lost during the cutting process.

The Argyle Violet was assessed a color grade of “Fancy Deep Greyish Bluish Violet” by the Gemological Institute of America. Violet diamonds owe their unique color to the presence of hydrogen atoms in the chemical composition of the stone.

The “Diamonds: Rare Brilliance” exhibition is schedule to run through March 2017. After that, the gem will be sold — not via the high-profile auction channels — but through L.J. West's retail partners.

Credits: Images courtesy of Rio Tinto.
November 11th, 2016
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you awesome songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, New York City dance-pop band Cobra Starship gives a nod to the Beatles in its 2009 release, "Living in the Sky With Diamonds."


In this disco-influenced song about a high-living lady obsessed with the club scene, Cobra Starship's lead vocalist Gabe Saporta describes a night of non-stop dancing.

He sings, "She's dancing with the stars / Living in the sky with diamonds / She's dancing with the stars / And oh, how the lights are shining."

"Living in the Sky With Diamonds" pays homage to the Beatles' 1967 hit "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." Written by John Lennon, the psychedelic song was inspired by the nursery school drawing of his first son, Julian, who was four years old at the time. The young Lennon reportedly titled the drawing "Lucy—in the sky with diamonds." After the song's release, many Beatles fans believed the title of the song actually stood for LSD, a potent hallucinogenic drug. Lennon and other members of the Beatles consistently denied the connection.

The references to famous tunes of yesteryear don't end there. Cobra Starship's song also borrows the hook — "And oh, oh here she comes" — from Hall & Oates' 1982 hit "Maneater."

Cobra Starship's "Living in the Sky With Diamonds" was the third single released from Hot Mess, the band's third studio album. Hot Mess made its debut in August of 2009 at #4 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

USA Today's Edna Gundersen called the album "deliciously fun and kitschy" while MTV's James Montgomery said Hot Mess was Cobra Starship's "most brilliant album."

Founded by Saporta in New York City in 2006, Cobra Starship was known for its goofy, fun, sarcastic music. During its 10-year run, the band produced four albums and two Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 singles. Band members included Saporta, Ryland Blackinton (guitar, backing vocals and synthesizer), Alex Suarez (bass and backing vocals), Nate Navarro (drums) and Victoria Asher (keytar and backing vocals).

The group officially announced its disbandment in November of 2015.

Please check out the official video of "Living in the Sky With Diamonds." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Living in the Sky With Diamonds"
Written by S. Allen, Mike Caren, Ollie Goldstein, Darryl Hall, Philip Lawrence, Bruno Mars, John Oates and Gabe Saporta. Performed by Cobra Starship.

Her heart is racing,
And the room is heating up.
And her eyes are glazing,
But she still can't get enough.

The beat is pumping, now she's blowing up (blowing up)
The last thing on her mind is growing up (growing up)
She'll kiss the sky before she's giving up (giving up)
And oh, oh here she comes.

She's dancing with the stars,
Living in the sky with diamonds.
She's dancing with the stars,
And oh, how the lights are shining.
She has the key in her hand,
Reflection in the mirror's her best friend
She's dancing with the stars, the stars,
Keep dancing.

You can't change her,
Cause you know you think it's hot.
And that girl loves danger,
But she don't know when to stop.

The beat is pumping, now she's blowing up (blowing up)
The last thing on her mind is growing up (growing up)
She'll kiss the sky before she's giving up (giving up)
And oh, oh here she comes.

She's dancing with the stars,
Living in the sky with diamonds.
She's dancing with the stars,
And oh, how the lights are shining.
She has the key in her hand,
Reflection in the mirror's her best friend
She's dancing with the stars, the stars,
Keep dancing.

Gonna get you somehow,
You're the talk of the town.
Losing control now,
And I hope you come back down.
And I hope you come down.

She's dancing with the stars,
Living in the sky with diamonds.
She's dancing with the stars,
And oh, how the lights are shining.
She has the key in her hand,
Reflection in the mirrors her only friend
She's dancing with the stars, the stars,
Keep dancing.

She's dancing with the stars,
Living in the sky with diamonds.
She's dancing with the stars,
And oh, how the lights are shining.
She has the key in her hand,
Reflection in the mirrors her best friend
She's dancing with the stars, the stars,
Keep dancing.

Credit: Image via
November 14th, 2016
Israeli high-tech company Sarine Technologies unveiled a revolutionary device that automatically grades the color and clarity of polished diamonds.


The Ramat Gan-based company believes the new system will fundamentally change the grading and sorting process, bringing objective, measurable standards to a process that has been susceptible to human error and the subjectivity of appraisers.

"Once again, Sarine introduces groundbreaking technological innovation into the global diamond industry," said Sarine CEO Uzi Levami in a statement. "Technological standardization translates into greater credibility for the industry and increased trust for the diamond consumer."


Sarine claims that the new Sarine Clarity™ product will offer definitive, science-based clarity grading and accurate mapping of inclusions and flaws. The system can accurate analyze diamonds from 2 points to 10 carats in size.

Sarine Color™ delivers automated optic analysis of diamond color and precision grading based on global standards. The initial release of the color system can handle diamonds starting at 20 points in size. The company noted that future releases will accommodate a broader range of stone sizes, starting at 2 points.

Sarine Clarity™ and Sarine Color™ are the results of the company's $10 million annual R&D expenditures. Both products are being testing in India and are expected to be ready for commercial release in the middle of 2017.

The clarity and color components build on an existing Sarine technology, DiaMension™, which analyzes and grades a diamond's cut. Together, the three products solve the daunting challenge of quantifying the 4Cs of diamond grading — clarity, color, cut and carat weight.

One critic of Sarine's new offerings told the Associated Press that humans are superior to machines when it comes to grading a diamond because of all the tiny details that need to be analyzed.

"You need the brain of a person to identify what is more, what is better to see, what do you prefer to see," said Roland Lorie, chief executive of the International Gemological Institute. "I think it will take a long, long time for a machine to be able to replace a human being."

Credits: Images courtesy of Sarine Technologies.
November 16th, 2016
North America's largest known uncut, gem-quality diamond — The Foxfire — begins a three-month engagement this Thursday at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. The diamond weighs more than 187 carats and will be presented alongside the renowned Hope Diamond in the Harry Winston Gallery.


The Foxfire was unearthed in August 2015 at Rio Tinto's Diavik Diamond Mine in the Barren Lands of Canada’s Northwest Territories, about 130 miles from the Arctic Circle.

Extraordinarily large, gem-quality diamonds are an extreme rarity in Canada's Northwest Territories. In fact, the sorting machines that process the ore at the Diavik Diamond Mine had been calibrated to capture rough diamonds of 6 carats and smaller. Everything larger was supposed to be pulverized. Just by chance, Foxfire's uncommonly flattened shape allowed it to pass safely through the filters.


Since production began in 2003, Diavik has produced more than 100 million carats of diamonds.

The Foxfire is named after the aboriginal description of the resplendent Northern Lights that brighten the Arctic sky like a brush of undulating fox tails.

Deepak Sheth of New York-based Amadena Investments LLC/Excellent Facets Inc. acquired the diamond at auction in June of 2016. According to the Smithsonian, Sheth has elected to keep the rough diamond intact, preserving the diamond’s dazzling physical characteristics and its unique story.

“The Foxfire is truly exceptional, one of the great treasures of the Earth,” said Jeffrey Post, curator of the National Gem and Mineral Collection. “We are delighted that our visitors will have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view North America’s largest gem-quality diamond in its natural form.”

The Foxfire will be on display from November 17 through February 16, 2017. Admission is free.

Credits: Foxfire diamond photo courtesy of Amadena Investments LLC; Mining photo courtesy of Rio Tinto.
November 17th, 2016
"The Sky Blue Diamond" — the highly touted headliner of Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale — fetched $17.1 million in Geneva yesterday. The hammer price was in the lower range of the pre-sale estimate of $15 million to $25 million.


At $2.13 million per carat, the performance of the square-cut, 8.01-carat Sky Blue Diamond was lukewarm compared to other high-profile blue diamonds that have captivated gem lovers over the past year.


“The Blue Moon of Josephine,” for example, established a new record for the highest price paid per carat for any gemstone when the hammer went down at Sotheby’s Geneva exactly 12 months ago. The internally flawless, 12.03-carat, cushion-shaped, fancy vivid blue diamond sold for $48.5 million, or $4.03 million per carat.

In May of this year, “The Oppenheimer Blue” became the most expensive gem ever auctioned when it sold for $57.5 million at Christie’s Geneva. The fancy vivid blue, step-cut, rectangular-shaped diamond weighed 14.62 carats and earned a clarity rating of VVS1. Its price per carat was $3.96 million.

Sotheby's had high hopes for The Sky Blue Diamond due to its mesmerizing Fancy Vivid Blue color. Had it sold at the top of the estimated range, it would have yielded $3.12 million per carat and earned a place among the finest fancy vivid blue diamonds of all time.

David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewelry Division, offered this pre-sale description of the stone: “The Sky Blue Diamond is of a wonderfully clear celestial blue, presented in an extremely elegant square emerald cut – in my view, the most flattering of all the cuts for a colored diamond. This important gem will, I am sure, captivate all collectors of exceptional gemstones.”


The Sky Blue Diamond, which has a clarity rating of VVS1 and a purity rating of Type IIb, is set in a ring by Cartier. The geometric design is accented with brilliant-cut and baguette diamonds.

Its Fancy Vivid Blue designation by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) is the highest possible color grading — a distinction awarded to fewer than 1% of all blue diamonds submitted to the GIA.

Credits: Images courtesy of Sotheby's.
November 18th, 2016
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fabulous songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, 18-year-old Darby Walker — a self-styled hippy songstress — delivers an emotional, throwback interpretation of The Rolling Stones' classic hit, "Ruby Tuesday." The song is celebrating its 50th anniversary.


Walker, who is a Season 11 contestant on The Voice and a member of Team Miley, sang "Ruby Tuesday" in front of a live studio audience on Monday night and cemented her position among the top 11 finalists.

While this song written by Keith Richards and Brian Jones is about a lost love and not about a gemstone, we still rate it as our favorite "ruby" song of all time. (The official writing credit went to Richards and Mick Jagger.)

The famous reprise goes like this... "Goodbye Ruby Tuesday / Who could hang a name on you? / When you change with every new day / Still I'm gonna miss you."


Walker, who moved with her family from Atlanta to Los Angeles eight years ago so she could pursue a singing career, looks like she stepped out of 1960s time capsule. The hippy vibe permeates her "Ruby Tuesday" performance.

Interestingly, The Rolling Stones recorded "Ruby Tuesday" exactly 50 years ago, in 1966. It was released in January of 1967 and immediately ascended to #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Rolling Stone magazine ranked the song #310 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Ironically, the song was originally intended as the B side of “Let’s Spend The Night Together,” another Stones hit, but radio deejays at the time were uncomfortable with the adult theme of the A side, and chose to play the flip.

The Rolling Stones are credited with more than 250 million album sales. They are members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and were ranked fourth on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time.”

Please check out Walker's performance from Monday night's episode of The Voice. The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Ruby Tuesday"
Written by Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. Performed by Darby Walker.

She would never say where she came from
Yesterday don't matter if it's gone
While the sun is bright
Or in the darkest night
No one knows, she comes and goes

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I'm gonna miss you

Don't question why she needs to be so free
She'll tell you it's the only way to be
She just can't be chained
To a life where nothing's gained
And nothing's lost, at such a cost

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I'm gonna miss you

"There's no time to lose," I heard her say
Catch your dreams before they slip away
Dying all the time
Lose your dreams and you will lose your mind
Ain't life unkind?

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I'm gonna miss you

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday
Who could hang a name on you?
When you change with every new day
Still I'm gonna miss you

Credit: Screen captures via
November 21st, 2016
Last Monday, Long Island resident Colleen Dyckman woke up with a sickening feeling in her stomach that caused her heart to race. She couldn't find her diamond engagement and wedding rings and realized that she had accidentally tossed them into the kitchen trash bin while tidying up after the family's dinner the night before.


The Dyckman's trash had just been picked up that morning and was en route to the Babylon Town dump where it would be incinerated.

Colleen and her husband, Ken, chased down the sanitation truck and told the driver that he likely had the valuable bridal jewelry in his load. The driver called his crew leader, Edward Wiggins, who ordered that he take the truck immediately to a special area at the Town of Babylon's Recycling Center.


At the Recycling Center, six tons of smelly trash was dumped into an open area, where the Dyckmans proceeded to comb through a field of trash bags and rotting garbage in an attempt to rescue the rings.


Also assisting in the search were eight Recycling Center employees, including Jeremy Aretakis.

“She was visibly upset," Aretakis told CBS News. "She was ripping through garbage, disgusting stuff."

For the next four hours, the Dyckmans and the Babylon crew worked relentlessly.

“She didn’t stop, so none of us stopped,” Aretakis said.

When Ken Dyckman finally discovered the trash bag his wife threw away the night before, all the searchers were terribly disappointed when no rings emerged.


But town employee Kim Weathers had a hunch and insisted on double-checking the bag.

Sandwiched between slimy meat scraps and soggy cereal were Coleen Dyckman's rings, which were given to her by Ken nearly 20 years ago. They were worth about $5,000, but carried a priceless sentimental value.

“I was saying to myself, ‘I hope I find these rings,’ so I’m happy I found them, I really am,” Weathers told CBS News.


Colleen Dyckman was ecstatic. She wept tears of joy and hugged Weathers.

“It was beautiful. It was like out of a movie,” added Aretakis. “One of the coolest things I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Wiggins noted that although his team often gets requests from residents who want to search the trash because they believe they've thrown away something valuable, very rarely will something as small as a ring be recovered.

"We're really glad we were able to help her and get her rings back," Wiggins told ABC News. "To be honest, in the 41 years I've been here, we've only been able to successfully recover lost items three times."

To show their appreciation, the Dyckmans returned the next day at lunchtime with pizza and homemade brownies for the crew.

"I couldn't be more thankful to them," Dyckman said. "They never ever stopped looking."

Credits: Screen captures via Edition.
November 22nd, 2016
Imperfect diamonds could hold the key to the future of long-term, high-density data storage, according to a team of physicists from The City College of New York. Researchers claim that a diamond half as long as a grain of rice and thinner than a sheet of paper can hold 100 times more information than a DVD. In the future, a single diamond might have the storage capacity of one million DVDs.


The team's findings were published recently in the journal Science Advances.

Highly coveted fancy yellow diamonds owe their color to the faint presence of nitrogen atoms in the diamond’s carbon structure. Interestingly, the same chemical imperfections that cause the diamond to be yellow, provide atomic-sized voids for the storage of data. Scientists call these imperfections "nitrogen vacancy centers."

"We are the first group to demonstrate the possibility of using diamond as a platform for the superdense memory storage," lead author Siddharth Dhomkar, a physicist at The City College of New York, told Live Science.

What's more, diamonds hold an advantage over traditional storage media because they are three dimensional and not susceptible to wear and tear. Data stored in a diamond could truly last forever.

“A DVD is like a 2-D puzzle, and this diamond technique is like a 3-D model,” research participant and graduate student Jacob Henshaw told The New York Times. "Unlike the DVD, which has only one surface, a diamond can store data in multiple layers, like a whole stack of DVDs."

Researchers were able to use lasers to encode data into a diamond's imperfections. They added electrons by shining a green laser and deleted electrons by shining a red laser. The computer reads the presence or absence of electrons much like a traditional computer reads 0s and 1s.


To illustrate the concept, researchers encoded images of Nobel Prize-winning physicists Albert Einstein and Erwin Schrödinger on a diamond by adding and removing electrons with green and red lasers.

If this breakthrough technology takes off, diamonds coveted for data storage will be very different from the ones seen in jewelers' showcases. For data purposes, the more flaws, the better.

“The bigger the diamond, the more defects, the more places to put information,” Henshaw told The Times.

Credits: Yellow diamond by MJT Symbolic (Own work) CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Laser-encoded diamond by Carlos A. Meriles and Siddharth Dhomkar.
November 23rd, 2016
A grade-school suitor named Tommy and his sweetheart, Millie, became social media stars this week when the video recounting their playground proposal — and remarkable engagement ring — went viral.


While the idea of a little boy proposing to his crush is adorable, Tommy's choice of ring is what made him an Internet star. You see, instead of surprising Millie with a candy Ring Pop or Haribo Jelly Ring, young Tommy proposed with a very real engagement ring he stole from his mom.

Millie's dad recounts the story in a 54-second Facebook video that has been viewed 24 million times, and counting.

The video opens with the dad announcing that Millie has been proposed to at school.

"Who proposed to you, Millie?" he coyly asks, as a woman (presumably Millie's mom) laughs uncontrollably in the background.


At this point we see Millie for the the first time. The teeny blonde, who looks like she might be in first grade, reveals in a cute British accent that her suitor is classmate Tommy.

"So, Tommy's proposed to Millie and she keeps telling us she's got a ring in her bag," the dad continues.

Millie's dad explains that he and his wife were expecting to see a candy ring. In the UK, kids like to exchange Haribo rings, which are ring-shaped gummy candies.

The dad then asks Millie to get the ring that Tommy used for his proposal. A few seconds later, Millie hands it to her dad and we see that it's not a candy ring at all.


It's, in fact, a very impressive three-stone engagement ring set in platinum or white gold.

The dad shows the ring to the camera and reports that Tommy has stolen his mother's engagement ring. The woman out of view can't stop laughing.


"Three enormous diamonds... and [he] proposed to Millie," says the dad.

The video concludes with the dad inviting Tommy to introduce himself to the Facebook viewers.

"Go on then, Tommy," says Millie's dad.


"Bye, bye," says Tommy as he peeks into the frame with a quick wave and a wry smile.

The video that was posted to TheLADbible Facebook page on Wednesday has already been viewed more than 24 million times. It has been shared 247,000 times on Facebook and the story has been picked up by high-profile websites, such as The Daily Mail and Mashable.

Please check out the video at this link.
November 28th, 2016
Scientists in the far eastern Amur River region of Russia are building a facility that can extract gold from ordinary coal. The announcement brings to mind the alchemists of ancient times, who sought to turn lead into gold.


While the alchemists never found a way to transform base metals into precious metals, Russian scientists are reporting that after 15 years of research they finally have a commercially viable method for pulling trace amounts of gold from coal.


Scientists capture minute particles of gold during the burning process. To secure the precious metal, smoke generated during combustion passes through a 100-fold purifying filter. The contaminants are washed out with water and the gold is captured by the filter.

For every ton of coal burned, one-half gram of gold can be recovered. At today's gold price, the gold extracted from one ton of coal would be worth about $19. As the process is perfected, the researchers believe they can get 1 gram of gold from a ton of coal.


The proof-of-concept experiments will continue this coming year as the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Far East branch will be adding the purifying system to one of the Amur region’s boiler houses. If the tests are successful, the team hopes to receive a grant to develop and implement an industrial-grade device, according to

"We plan to use municipal boiler houses to implement our filtering system because they burn about eight to 10 thousand tons in a season, and that’s potentially 10 kilos of gold,” Oleg Ageev, CEO of Complex Innovative Technologies of the Amur Scientific Center, said in a press statement.

The Amur installation, which is near the Chinese border, will get into full gear once the temperatures warm up in the remote far eastern region of Russia. Because the filtering system uses water and part of the process takes place outdoors, it only works when the temperature is above freezing.

Coal is one of the most important sources of energy in Russia. The country produced 323 million tons of coal in 2009 and is estimated to have the second-largest coal reserves in the world at 173 billion tons. The U.S. has the largest coal reserves at 263 billion tons.

Credits: Coal mining photo by Peabody Energy, Inc. (Provided by Peabody Energy) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons. Gold bars by istara [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons. Map by
November 29th, 2016
For more than 60 years, Californian Joel Hauser passionately pursued nature's "mineral marvels" — ornamental specimens of exceptional size and beauty.

The Gemological Institute of America Museum in Carlsbad, Calif., recently acquired a cache of Hauser's finest agates, geodes, minerals and petrified wood through a generous donation by the Hauser family.


Many of the 63 standouts from the Joel and Barbara Hauser Mineral Collection represent pieces from places with restricted access or that are no longer producing, according to the GIA.


GIA noted that on one of Hauser's California expeditions, he discovered agate geodes in Riverside County’s Little Chuckwalla Mountains. Today, the area is known as the Hauser Geode Beds.

Hauser, who passed away in 1993, was a skilled lapidary and innovator. Not only did he master the art of contour polishing, but he also designed and modified saws and grinding equipment that could handle the cutting and polishing of almost any specimen, including large pieces of petrified wood.


“His freeform, undulating polishing style adds interest and texture while removing blemishes, without having to grind away more material than necessary," said Terri Ottaway, GIA’s museum curator. "Joel’s expertise, guided by an artistic eye and perspective, revealed the lovely patterns, markings and colors in the minerals."


Nearly 50 of Hauser's most celebrated pieces are now on display at the GIA Museum. They will serve as as prime learning tools for students and visitors to GIA about mineral formation and lapidary artistry.

Credits: Azurite (Bisbee, AZ); Variscite (Utah); Laguna Iris Agate (Mexico); Petrified pinecone and wood (Argentina and Utah). All photos by Orasa Weldon; ©GIA.
November 30th, 2016
A metal-detector enthusiast in Cambridgeshire, England, has unearthed a spectacular 3,000-year-old torc made from 1.6 pounds of twisted and burnished 20-karat gold. Measuring nearly 50 inches around, the beautifully preserved golden torc is the largest ever found in the UK.


Historically, a torc was worn as a neck-ring with the opening in the front, but the massive Bronze Age specimen pulled from a site 60 miles north of London was likely worn a different way, according to the British Museum's Bronze Age curator, Neil Wilkin.


Wilkin said the torc displayed "unprecedented" craftsmanship and may have been worn around the waist by a pregnant woman during a fertility ritual. Others believe it was worn as a sash, over thick winter clothing or by a prized goat or sheep in the course of a sacrifice.

The golden torc was found by an anonymous treasure hunter walking with his metal detector over a freshly plowed field.

The extraordinary torc was revealed at London's British Museum on the day the Portable Antiquities Scheme and Treasure (PAS) delivered its annual report about the number of finds made by the public. PAS, which is managed by the museum, cataloged 82,272 discoveries made in the UK during 2015. Of that number, more than 1,000 were considered "treasure" because they were gold, silver or prehistoric metalwork. Since 1997, the number of artifacts recorded by the PAS has grown to more than 1.2 million.

The UK's Treasure Act 1996 states that finders have a legal obligation to report all potential treasure to the local coroner in the district where the find was made. The Act allows a national or local museum to acquire the treasure for the public's benefit and pay a reward, which is usually shared equally between the finder and landowner. The value of the golden torc has yet to be determined.

The area in which the torc was discovered is famous for being a hotbed of archaeological finds from the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age. Cambridgeshire is one of the earliest-known Neolithic permanent settlements in the United Kingdom. The Neolithic period began in 10,200 BC and ended between 4,500 BC and 2,000 BC.

While the 3,000-year-old torc has a priceless historical value, its metal content alone is worth $25,585 at today's gold price.

Credits: Images courtesy of the British Museum.