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Articles in August 2019

August 1st, 2019
Magnesium-rich forsterite is an absolutely colorless mineral. In its purest state, it looks a lot like glass, but when Mother Nature does her magic and replaces some of forsterite's magnesium atoms with iron atoms, the colorless stone is transformed into the beautiful bright green gemstone known as peridot.


The triangular-cut peridot shown above weighs 100.15 carats and is one of the world's most striking examples of the August birthstone. Mined in Pakistan and exhibiting an exceptional vivid green hue and great brilliance, the gem was purchased by the Smithsonian with funds provided by the Tiffany & Co. Foundation. It has been part of the National Gem and Mineral Collection since 2011 and resides at the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals in Washington, D.C.

Peridot has been coveted for more than 3,000 years. According to the Smithsonian, ancient Egyptians fashioned beads from golden green peridot crystals mined on an island in the Red Sea. The island was known to the Greeks and Romans as Topazios and its verdant bounty (today's peridot) was known as topazion until the 18th century.

The Smithsonian noted that, for reasons that still remain unclear, the name topazion was hijacked during the 18th century and assigned to the gem we call topaz today. The yellowish-green stone was given a new name — peridot, which is derived from “faridat,” the Arabic word for gem.

Even today, topaz remains the confusing namesake of Topazios — an island off the coast of Egypt that never had a topaz mine. The ancient island of Topazios is now called Zabargad or St. John’s Island.

Most peridot originates deep in the Earth’s mantle, but scientists have also proven that August’s birthstone is truly extraterrestrial. It has been found embedded within meteorites and scattered across the surface of Mars.

Peridot can be found on five continents. The major sources are Burma, the U.S. (Arizona), Norway, Brazil, China, Australia, and Pakistan.

Peridot is one of three official birthstones for the month of August. The other two are spinel and sardonyx.

Credits: Photo by Ken Larsen, Smithsonian.
August 2nd, 2019
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you sensational songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today, we hop in our time machine to join up with a 22-year-old Paul McCartney, who is looking to spring for a diamond ring in The Beatles' 1964 smash hit, “Can’t Buy Me Love.”


The fresh-faced frontman sings, "I’ll buy you a diamond ring, my friend / If it makes you feel all right / I’ll get you anything, my friend / If it makes you feel all right / 'Cause I don’t care too much for money / Money can’t buy me love."

In a 1994 interview, McCartney revealed the "true" meaning of the song he penned with John Lennon.

"The idea behind the song," he said, "was that all these material possessions are all very well, but they won't buy me what I really want." And, clearly, what he really wanted was love.

Years later, when reflecting on his stellar career and all the perks that wealth had brought him, McCartney admitted that the song might have been called "Can Buy Me Love." Today, McCartney and fellow Brit Andrew Lloyd Webber vie for title of "The Richest Musician in the World." Both are estimated to be worth about $1.2 billion.

Interestingly, "Can’t Buy Me Love" is one of the few songs that actually begins with the chorus. The idea is credited to producer George Martin, who felt the song needed a stronger intro.

"Can’t Buy Me Love" appeared as the 11th track from The Beatles’ third studio album, A Hard Day’s Night, and immediately started its climb up the U.S. Billboard Top 100 chart. When the song hit #1 on April 4, 1964, the entire Top 5 that day was filled with Beatles’ songs, which included “Twist and Shout,” “She Loves You,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Please Please Me.” This amazing accomplishment has never been repeated. Rolling Stone editors rated "Can't Buy Me Love" at #295 on its list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time."

Despite their humble beginnings — "I may not have a lot to give / But what I've got I'll give to you" — The Beatles went on to become the best-selling band in history, with more than 800 million albums sold worldwide.

We invite you to watch McCartney and The Beatles performing “Can’t Buy Me Love.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along...

“Can’t Buy Me Love”
Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Performed by The Beatles.

Can’t buy me love, oh
Love, oh
Can’t buy me love, oh

I’ll buy you a diamond ring, my friend
If it makes you feel all right
I’ll get you anything, my friend
If it makes you feel all right

'Cause I don’t care too much for money
Money can’t buy me love

I’ll give you all I’ve got to give
If you say you love me too
I may not have a lot to give
But what I’ve got I’ll give to you

I don’t care too much for money
For money can’t buy me love

Can’t buy me love, oh
Everybody tells me so
Can’t buy me love, oh
No, no, no, no

Say you don’t need no diamond rings
And I’ll be satisfied
Tell me that you want the kind of things
That money just can’t buy

I don’t care too much for money
Money can’t buy me love

Buy me love
Everybody tells me so
Can’t buy me love, oh
No, no, no, no

Say you don’t need no diamond rings
And I’ll be satisfied
Tell me that you want the kind of things
That money just can’t buy

I don’t care too much for money
Money can’t buy me love

Can’t buy me love, oh
Love, oh
Buy me love, oh

Credit: Image by Omroepvereniging VARA [CC BY-SA 3.0 nl], via Wikimedia Commons
August 5th, 2019
Friday's episode of Ask Me Another, a popular radio show on NPR, featured a quiz segment titled "Stay Gold, Ponyboy." All the answers to the clues posed by host Ophira Eisenberg contained the word "golden."


In the end, Ryan Greenberg beat out Wynter Chatman by going six for six. Greenberg clinched the win when he gave the right answer to the clue, "According to the U.S. Apple Association, it's America's sixth-favorite apple.

Later in this post, you'll get a chance to see how you would have done if you were a contestant at the Bell House in Brooklyn, where the contestants competed.

But first, let's touch on the origin of "Stay Gold, Ponyboy." It comes from The Outsiders, a 1983 movie that follows the tragic story of rival gangs in rural Oklahoma. The all-star cast included Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Ralph Macchio, Emilio Estevez, C. Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon and Tom Cruise. The Outsiders was adapted from a 1967 novel by teenage author S.E. (Susan Eloise) Hinton, who based the story on her own experiences.

Robert Frost's poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” plays a pivotal role in the film, as Ponyboy (played by Howell) reads it to a critically injured Johnny (Macchio) while they are in hiding.

Frost’s eight-line poem, which was originally published in 1923, ends with the line, “So dawn goes down to day / Nothing gold can stay.”

“Stay gold” are Johnny’s last words before he dies. Ponyboy is confused by the the phrase, but it all comes into clear focus later in the film when he finds Johnny’s interpretation of the Frost poem: that beauty and innocence are transient and must be guarded like gold.

Now, for the "Stay Gold, Ponyboy" clues. The answers are at the end of the post. Good luck...

1. It's the name for McDonald's logo.
2. Augustus, Veruca, Violet, Mike and Charlie each find one.
3. It's an Emmy-winning sitcom from the 1980s and '90s.
4. This award given by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association recognizes achievements in film and TV.
5. It's a large payment given to an executive who's terminated after a merger or takeover.
6. In the Book of Exodus, it's the idol worshipped at the base of Mt. Sinai.
7. This restaurant chain bills itself as America's number one buffet and grill.
8. This James Bond film became a popular Nintendo 64 game.
9. In Japan, it's a cluster of four national holidays in the spring.
10. This mathematical concept may be expressed as X squared minus X minus one equals zero.
11. In Greek mythology, when Paris awarded this to Aphrodite, he indirectly started the Trojan War.
12. According to the U.S. Apple Association, it's America's sixth-favorite apple.

Answers: 1) The golden arches 2) A golden ticket 3) The Golden Girls 4) Golden Globes 5) A golden parachute 6) Golden calf 7) Golden Corral 8) Goldeneye 9) Golden Week 10) Golden ratio 11) Golden apple 12) Golden Delicious.

Ask Me Another airs on more than 400 NPR stations.

Credit: Gold image by istara [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons.
August 6th, 2019
Spinel — August's newest official birthstone — is famous for being a ruby imposter. This is because throughout most of recorded history, gem "experts" couldn't tell them apart.


In fact, some of the world’s most famous “rubies” are actually red spinels. These include the 170-carat Black Prince Ruby, which is prominently displayed on the Imperial State Crown of England; the 361-carat Timur Ruby, which was presented by the East India Company to Queen Victoria as a gift in 1851; and the 398-carat ruby look-alike that tops the Imperial Crown of Russia. Catherine the Great commissioned the crown in 1763 and never knew that her impressive "ruby" was actually… a spinel.

According to the Smithsonian, it wasn’t until 1783 that spinel was recognized as a mineral distinctly different than corundum (ruby and sapphire). Ruby is composed of aluminum oxide, while spinel is made of magnesium aluminum oxide. Both get their reddish color from impurities of chromium in their chemical structure. In nature, they are often found side by side.

The spinels, above, are from the Smithsonian's National Gem Collection. The 22.20-carat rosy pink spinel is from Sri Lanka and the 36.10-carat red spinel is from Burma.

In 2016, the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) and Jewelers of America (JA) announced that spinel would be joining peridot as an official birthstone for the month of August. The news came as a surprise to jewelry aficionados because the modern birthstone list had been amended only three times over the span of more than a century.

Established in 1912 by the American National Retail Jewelers Association (now known as JA), the modern birthstone list was updated in 1952 to add alexandrite (June), citrine (November), tourmaline (October) and zircon (December). The list was amended again in 2002 when tanzanite joined the group of December birthstones.

While August's newly designated official birthstone is widely recognized in its deep red variety, spinel is also available in a wide range of colors. Pure spinel is colorless, but impurities give rise to a spectrum of choices, from peach, pink and red to green, blue and purple.


The suite of round brilliant-cut spinels in the photo, above, has been part of the Smithsonian's National Gem Collection since 2013. The Vietnam-sourced gems range in size from 60 points to 4.60 carats. The Smithsonian noted that the leading sources of spinel are Burma, Sri Lanka and Thailand, while other significant spinel production is taking place in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Vietnam and Russia.

Spinel is a durable gem with a hardness of 8.0 on the Mohs scale. By comparison, diamond rates a 10 and ruby rates a 9.

Credit: Red spinels by D. Penland/Smithsonian. Spinel suite by Greg Polley/Smithsonian.
August 6th, 2019
Tyler Farrar knows better than most how the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry — especially in unpredictable bodies of water.


Exactly one year ago, the Sevierville, Tenn., native brought his girlfriend, Cassandra Arn, and a bunch of close friends to Panama City Beach on the Florida panhandle to enjoy some fun in the sun. What Farrar also had planned was a surprise surf-side marriage proposal.

In preparation for the big moment, Farrah and his buddies waded out into the shallow waters to practice how the future groom would deliver his "message-in-a-bottle" proposal. His good intentions were quickly wiped out when a huge wave knocked him down and jarred loose the engagement ring that he had carefully stashed in a Ziploc-style bag within the Velcro-sealed pocket of his bathing suit.

For 45 minutes, Farrar and his buddies frantically searched unsuccessfully for the ring.

“I never thought it would be found,” he told


Meanwhile, not too far down the beach, Florence, Ala., resident Sandy Osborn was sitting on a beach chair where the surf meets the sand when she noticed an unusual plastic bag tumbling right under her legs. It seemed to contain a license, a bank card — and an engagement ring. Osborn planned to call the bank to identify the cardholder, but before she could, she noticed a bunch of Farrar's friends asking beachgoers if they had seen the ring.

When Osborne produced the bag of valuables, the thrilled friends took custody of it and ran it back to Farrar.

With the ring now safely in hand, Farrar decided to ditch his elaborate water-borne proposal scheme.

He kneeled in front of Arn and asked her to marry him. She said, "Yes."

The newly engaged couple praised Osborne's honesty.

“I’m super thankful,” Farrar told “It gave me faith in humanity. There still are some decent people out here. I appreciate her honesty.”

Arn and Osborne connected right away and kept in touch during the past year. Osborne recounted how she convinced the couple to reconsider their wedding venue.

"[Cassandra] said, 'You gotta come to our wedding.' I know they live in Tennessee, I live in Alabama, and they planned on getting married in Tennessee, and I said, 'Ya'll need to come back to Panama City Beach and do it here, where it all happened.' Osborn told TV station WJHG. "So the next thing I know, I'm getting an invitation in the mail to come back for their wedding."


On Saturday, August 3, only a few yards from where the ring was lost, and with Osborne in attendance, the Farrars took their vows.

"I'm just so happy to be here and be a part of it, because it's just a once-in-a-lifetime memory. And I'm just so glad I found the ring because it could've easily been lost forever," Osborn told WJHG.

You can check out WJHG's coverage of the story here...

Credits: Screen captures via
August 8th, 2019
Scientists at the University of Leeds in the UK have developed gold sheets so thin they're technically two dimensional. In fact, this newest form of gold is just 2 atoms thick, the equivalent of 0.47 nanometers or about a million times thinner than a human finger nail.


The ultra-thin gold — which the Leeds researchers are calling "nanoseaweed" because of its greenish tint and tangled appearance under the microscope — already has the medical technology and electronics industries buzzing with excitement. It's still not clear if the material will have applications in the production of fine jewelry.

CNN reported that nano seaweed could be the foundation of artificial enzymes used in rapid medical diagnostic tests and water purification systems. Researchers noted that 2D gold provides an extremely high surface-to-volume ratio, which makes it 10 times more efficient than bulkier gold nanomaterial. The findings were first reported August 6 in the journal Advanced Science.


"This work amounts to a landmark achievement," Sunjie Ye, study author and postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Leeds' Molecular and Nanoscale Physics group, told CNN. "Not only does it open up the possibility that gold can be used more efficiently in existing technologies, it is providing a route which would allow material scientists to develop other 2D metals. This method could innovate nanomaterial manufacturing."

To get a good grasp of just how thin nanoseaweed is, check out these comparisons...

• Gold leaf — which is often employed in the areas of art, architecture and luxury dining — can be pounded down to 7 millionths of an inch. That's about 175 nanometers thick.
• Nanoseaweed, by comparison, has a thickness of just 0.47 nanometers.
• That means it would take a stack 372 sheets of nanoseaweed to match the thickness of a single sheet of gold leaf.

"Gold is a highly effective catalyst," added the study's co-author, Stephen Evans, who is also the head of the University of Leeds' Molecular and Nanoscale Research group. "Because the nanosheets are so thin, just about every gold atom plays a part in the catalysis. It means the process is highly efficient. Our data suggests that industry could get the same effect from using a smaller amount of gold, and this has economic advantages when you are talking about a precious metal."

Images courtesy of University of Leeds.
August 9th, 2019
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great tunes with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today, country music legend Conway Twitty is the victim of a one-sided love affair in his 1958 classic, “It’s Only Make Believe.”


In this song about unrequited love, Twitty pours out his heart in a soaring vocal performance. He's ready to make the ultimate commitment — symbolized in the song by a wedding ring — but the object of his affection is not in love with him.

He sings, “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.

“It’s Only Make Believe” was a huge success for Twitty as it topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1958 and was a hit in 22 countries. The song was covered by numerous artists, including Connie Francis, The Hollies, Glen Campbell, Roy Orbison, Bon Jovi and Fiona Apple, among others.

Twitty re-released the song as a duet with Loretta Lynn in 1970 and added his voice in the last verse of a cover by Ronnie McDowell in 1988.

There are a number of conflicting stories about the song's origin. Some music historians believe it was written by Twitty in only seven minutes during a concert intermission. Others have said Twitty knocked it out while sitting on a fire escape outside his sweltering hotel room in Hamilton, Ontario.

It's also rumored that when the song was first released by Twitty in 1958, Elvis Presley fans were certain the lead vocals were performed by The King of Rock 'n' Roll, singing under a pseudonym.

Speaking of names, the story behind Twitty's is noteworthy.

Born Harold Lloyd Jenkins in Friars Point, Miss., in 1933, the artist developed his singing style while serving in the United States Army. When he returned from the Far East, Jenkins went to Memphis to pursue a music career. The one thing he lacked was a memorable name. According to an account by Fred Bronson in the Billboard Book of Number One Hits, the singer was looking at a road map when he spotted Conway, Ark., and Twitty, Texas. He merged the two and got Conway Twitty.

The new name seemed to change his fortune. He soon had a string of Top-40 hits, and performed award-winning duets with Loretta Lynn. Twitty was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. He passed away in 1993, just a few months short of his 60th birthday.

We hope you enjoy the audio track of Twitty's 1976 rendition 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 Conway Twitty.

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

Credit: Photo by United Talent Inc. (management)/MCA Records [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
August 13th, 2019
The largest pink diamond ever mined in Russia is on display in New York City this month. The ultra-rare 14.83-carat fancy vivid purple-pink diamond was mined in 2017 and cut and polished into an oval shape by Alrosa, one of the world's largest producers of diamonds. When unearthed from the Ebelyakh deposit in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), the gem-quality raw stone weighed 27.85 carats, the size of a large almond, and was almost free of inclusions.


"The unique characteristics of the diamond make it an extraordinary, rare stone of high value.” said Evgeny Agureev, director of Alrosa's United Sales Organization. The mining company is conducting private viewings of the stone at its New York office through August.

Before this find, the largest pink diamond mined by Alrosa was a 3.86-carat stone found in 2012. In the last eight years, the company has only recovered three pink diamonds weighing over two carats.

“Pink diamonds... are considered to be the rarest and most precious of all, and the size and clarity of this specimen makes it one of the best to be discovered anywhere in the world in recent years,” added Yury Okoyemov, Deputy CEO of Alrosa. “I am sure that this diamond will be the most expensive in the history of Russia’s gem-cutting industry.”

Alrosa accounts for about 25 percent of global diamond production and 95 percent of all diamonds mined in Russia. It operates more than 20 diamond deposits located in Yakutia and the Arkhangelsk Region. According to the company, colored diamonds weighing more than 10 carats are recovered approximately once a year.

Rare fancy pink diamonds have consistently set records at auction. The Pink Promise, an oval-shaped, 14.93-carat fancy vivid pink diamond, was sold in 2017 by Christie’s Hong Kong for $32.5 million, or $2.2 million per carat. The Pink Legacy, an 18.96-carat fancy vivid pink diamond, sold for $50.4 million in 2018 at the Magnificent Jewels auction at Christie’s in Geneva. It was renamed The Winston Pink Legacy by its new owners at Harry Winston. The sale set a record price per carat ($2.6 million) for a pink diamond sold at auction.

Bloomberg recently reported that the closing of the Argyle Diamond Mine in Western Australia in 2020 could drive the price of pinks even higher.

Credit: Image courtesy of Alrosa.
August 14th, 2019
The Wilensky gallery in New York City has assembled a spectacular collection of natural emerald specimens — each one of museum quality and preserved in its crystal form.


“Important emerald stones and jewelry can be found in every gem collection around the world," said Stuart Wilensky, President of Wilensky. "The same cannot be said about exceptional natural emerald specimens. We estimate that there are less than 25 in the world that would qualify. Of those 25, half of them are here on exhibit.”

One of the most fascinating specimens in the exhibit was unearthed at the famous Muzo Mine in Colombia. The piece, which is borrowed from the Rice Northwest Museum, displays a rare group, or spray, of emeralds. More than 20 emeralds fan out from the matrix. It is one of the world's most significant examples of this phenomenon.


“It is a rewarding experience to be able to see so many of the great uncut emeralds, from so many mines and found over so many years, indeed centuries and millennia, in one place," said Gene Meieran, President of the Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals. "Like a gathering of Rembrandts or Van Goghs, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity."


Titled "Magnificent Emeralds: Fura’s Tears,” the exhibition will take place at Wilensky's gallery in Manhattan's Chelsea art district and will run from September 26 through December 30, 2019.


Fura's Tears is a reference to a figure in ancient Colombian mythology. Legend states that the Muzo creator God, ARE (also spelled Ar-e), formed two figures on the shore of the sacred Minero River. One was male (Tena) and the other was female (Fura). The Muzo people believed Fura and Tena were the parents of humanity and legend states that the tears of Fura became emeralds. Today, the Fura and Tena mountains, as well as a bountiful source of fine emeralds in the region, are the lasting symbols of that ancient culture.

Credits: (From top to bottom) Emerald on calcite, Coscuez Mine, Boyaca, Colombia. Rice Northwest Museum Collection; "The Yamile." Emerald on calcite from the Coscuez Mine, Boyaca, Colombia. Collection of Ms. Lyda Hill; Emerald crystal from the Muzo Mine, Colombia. Dr. Eugene Meieran Collection; Emerald on calcite from the Coscuez Mine, Boyaca, Colombia. From the Dr. Stephen Smale Collection. All images by Evan D'Arpino via
August 15th, 2019
A stunning 332-carat blue star sapphire set atop an 18-karat gold crown has been attracting huge crowds to the showroom of luxury jeweler Tiesh in Sri Lanka's ancient capital city of Kandy.


Dubbed the "Tiesh Blue Empress," the stone displays a prominent six-rayed star due to a unique optical phenomenon called "asterism." The Tiesh company, which operates showrooms both in Kandy and Colombo, Sri Lanka, claims the gem is the "largest-ever commercial blue star sapphire."

The mother stone of the Tiesh Blue Empress weighed an astonishing 201,500 carats and was unearthed in the early 1980s in the world-famous Ratnapura mining district. The carat weight of the mother stone is equivalent to 40.03 kg or 94.86 lbs. The cabochon-cut star sapphire weighs, by comparison, a mere 2.34 ounces.

“We are both humbled and elated to present the Tiesh Blue Empress not only to Sri Lanka but also to the world," said Lasantha de Fonseka, the founder and managing director of Tiesh. "Her rightful abode is neither in a safe nor in a bank vault, but rather showcased to be admired by the world. Her presence now firmly positions Kandy on Sri Lanka’s and the world’s tourism map. Needless to say the boost and visibility she will give Sri Lanka’s gem industry is inestimable.”

The Tiesh Blue Empress sits atop a crown handcrafted in 18-karat yellow gold and white gold, set with an array of other precious Sri Lankan gemstones. The showpiece is now on permanent public display at the Tiesh showroom in Kandy, under special 24-hour security. The company intends to keep the Tiesh Blue Empress on public display until an interested party makes a bid for it.

Sri Lanka is known for her abundance of gemstones within a very small geographic area and is especially famed for her blue sapphires, star sapphires and cat’s eye gems.

Fine star sapphires display a defined "asterism," a word derived from the Latin word “astrum,” for “star.” According to the Smithsonian, the asterism is actually caused by titanium trapped in the corundum while the crystal is forming. As the crystal cools, the titanium orients itself as needle-like structures in three directions. The cabochon cut’s smooth, rounded surface allows the light to reflect off the titanium, revealing a six-legged star.

Credit: Image courtesy of Tiesh.
August 16th, 2019
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fun songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, singer-songwriter Matt Palmer tries to convince the girl of his dreams to jettison her current boyfriend because he is taking her for granted in the 2010 release, "Diamond Love." The Los Angeles-based pop/R&B artist tells her she's a diamond in the rough and that he will let her shine.


The chorus goes like this: "You're one of a kind / You take a lifetime, a lifetime to find / You're a diamond in the rough / Baby you should be mine / And I'll let you shine / You're my diamond lover."

To Palmer, the term "diamond lover" represents a girlfriend who is perfect in every way.

Later in the song, he compliments the young woman by comparing her to "the perfect sapphire" and "the most beautiful ring." He also says she's like "silver and gold."

Penned by Palmer, "Diamond Love" was released as the first track from his Let Go album.

Palmer was born in Atlanta and started writing songs at the age of 14. As a teenager, the young performer released a 14-track disc, which helped him get into New York University's highly competitive Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music. In August 2008, the artist won’s Song of the Month contest.

“I grew up loving Mariah Carey, Babyface, Michael and Janet Jackson, and I’m currently really inspired by Years & Years, MNEK and Disclosure,” Palmer recently told The Huffington Post. He went on to describe his music as “very melodic and vocal-driven pop, with an R&B influence.”

Please check out Matt Palmer's audio track of "Diamond Love." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Diamond Love"
Written and performed by Matt Palmer.

How long has it been
Since he started taking you for granted
It's gotta be a sin
And nobody wins
I can't believe I let him have it
Girl you must not know, oh
How far you could go, oh
Without him riding on your coat
You should shake him off
Tell him to get lost
It's 'bout time you know

You're one of a kind
You take a lifetime, a lifetime to find
You're a diamond in the rough
Baby you should be mine
And I'll let you shine
You're my diamond lover

The best that I've seen
Straight out of my dreams
The perfect sapphire
A piece saved for me
The most beautiful ring
With me girl you can fly
Girl you must not know, oh
How far you could go, oh
Without him riding on your coat
You should shake him off
Tell him to get lost
It's 'bout time you know

You're one of a kind
You take a lifetime, a lifetime to find
You're a diamond in the rough
Baby you should be mine
And I'll let you shine
You're my diamond lover

And if you could see my love
All the things we could be my love
We could walk out across the ocean
Part the seas my love
And if you could know my love
You're like silver and gold my love
When I'm with you girl I lose all control, my love

You're one of a kind
You take a lifetime a lifetime to find
You're a diamond in the rough
Baby you should be mine
And I'll let you shine
You're my diamond lover

Credit: Screen capture via
August 19th, 2019
It's becoming clearer that Alrosa's 14.83-carat fancy vivid purple-pink diamond, which was recently named "The Spirit of the Rose," has a very good chance of setting a world record when it goes on sale some time in November.


Alrosa has yet to estimate the stone's value, but gem expert Eden Rachminov, chairman of the Fancy Color Research Foundation, thinks it could be worth a small fortune. He examined the oval-cut sparkler first-hand and estimated it will sell for more than $60 million.

"A large fancy vivid purple-pink, internally flawless, with perfect visual characteristics such as this one, enters the market literally, once in a generation," Rachminov told "The stone has the most desirable pink undertone dispersed perfectly, and looks much bigger in relation to its actual weight. As of today, it is the most important vivid purplish pink ever unearthed in Russia and it will enter the books of history as an iconic Russian gem. Its beauty overcomes the important pink diamonds sold at auction in the last decade and its retail price should exceed $60 million. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to hold this pink wonder in my hands."

If The Spirit of the Rose sells for $60 million ($4.04 million per carat), it will narrowly edge out the current price-per-carat record holder, “Blue Moon of Josephine,” which sold in November 2015 for $48.5 million, or $4.03 million per carat. With a $60 million+ price tag, the The Spirit of the Rose would also join an elite club of the most expensive gems known to man.

In 2017, Hong Kong-based jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group paid a record $71 million for the 59.6-carat Pink Star. The previous record holder was the 14.62-carat Oppenheimer Blue, which sold in 2016 for $58 million.

The Gemological Institute of America graded The Spirit of the Rose as internally flawless with excellent polish and very good symmetry. It's the largest vivid purple-pink diamond ever graded by the GIA.

“In the world of colored diamonds, pink diamonds are some of the most treasured, especially at larger sizes,” John King, GIA chief quality officer, said in a video that appears on a special website created for The Spirit of the Rose. “It’s unusual to see pink diamonds in the market over one carat today. Weighing more than 14 carats is exceptional. The color is an amazing specimen. Being also internally flawless makes it truly a unique stone.”


Sourced in 2017 at Alrosa's Ebelyakh deposit in Yakutia, Russia, the rough stone weighed 27.85 carats and remains the largest pink diamond ever mined in Russia. The smooth-surfaced alluvial stone measured 22.47 mm x 15.69 mm x 10.9 mm (photo above). Russia's previous record holder was much smaller at 3.86 carats.

The rough diamond was named "Nijinsky," after Russian ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky.

In keeping with the same these, Alrosa chose the name "The Spirit of the Rose" for the finished stone to honor the famous 1911 ballet of the same name. In French, it was called “Le Spectre de la Rose,” and its primary dancers were Tamara Karsavina and Nijinsky.

Already the world’s biggest diamond producer in terms of sheer output, Russian mining company Alrosa is looking to become a major player in a segment of the industry now dominated by Rio Tinto and Anglo American’s De Beers — gem-quality colored diamonds. Alrosa's push is coming at a time when Rio Tinto’s Argyle Mine in Western Australia — the world’s primary source for pink, red and blue diamonds — is nearly tapped out. The mine is scheduled to close in 2020.

Credits: Images courtesy of Alrosa.
August 20th, 2019
Five contemporary works by jewelry artist Anna Hu, including a show-stopping diamond necklace, will headline Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Autumn Sale in Hong Kong on October 7.


Sotheby's provided Hu with the 100.02-carat fancy intense yellow diamond that is the colorful focal point of the Dunhuang Pipa necklace. The impressive piece, which resembles a four-stringed Chinese lute, is expected to fetch $5 million to $6.25 million.

Titled the "Silk Road Music Collection," Hu's latest designs were inspired by the musical and cultural exchanges that took place on the Silk Road, an ancient trade route that connected China with the Mediterranean Sea. The route was active from the 2nd century BC until the 18th century AD.

“It is absolutely a pleasure to collaborate with Sotheby’s on this project and be given the opportunity to work with the 100.02-carat yellow diamond, which is a true gift from nature," Hu said. "I want this collection to speak to my Chinese roots, and I thought the beauty of jewels could be enhanced with a touch of the traditional, yet exotic, music that once flowed through the Silk Road.”

Here's a review of the five-piece collection:


The Dunhuang Pipa Necklace. Designed and mounted by Hu, the convertible necklace has a silhouette inspired by Dunhuang murals depicting women playing the pipa (a Chinese lute). The necklace can be transformed into a brooch and earring ensemble for the modern-day woman who appreciates intricate designs with a versatile twist. Estimate: $5 million to $6.25 million.


Cello: Jadeite, Diamond and Pink Sapphire Brooch. This cello brooch takes inspiration from Picasso’s "Violin Hanging on the Wall," which is housed in Switzerland’s Museum of Fine Arts Bern and is composed of jadeites ranging from 1.43 carats to 34.93 carats. The largest green stones are outlined with white and yellow diamonds. Estimate: $280,000 to $350,000.


Blue Magpie: Conch Pearl, Gem and Diamond Brooch. Inspired by the works of Giuseppe Castiglione, the Jesuit missionary and painter at the imperial court of China, Hu extracted the essence of Eastern arts and applied it in the design of the Blue Magpie Brooch. Rendered with 500 gems, two blue magpies perch on delicate tree branches, resulting in a colorful creation that combines Chinese aesthetics and Western aristocracy. Estimate: $190,000 to $225,000.


Ellington: Pair of Conch Pearl, Sapphire and Diamond Earrings. Combining the two loves of her life – music and jewelry — Hu visualizes an enchanting jazz melody through the creation of Ellington Earrings. Composed of blue sapphires, baguette-cut and modified-cut diamonds, each of the earrings is highlighted with a conch pearl that connotes a musical note. Estimate: $280,000 to $350,000.


Appassionata: Ruby and Diamond Ring. Hu uses five rare rubies to represent the black piano keys in this three-finger ring. The piece is outlined with white diamonds and represents a whimsical interpretation of a classical jazz riff. Estimate: $80,000 to $100,000.

Credits: Images courtesy of Sotheby's.
August 21st, 2019
One block from London's River Thames, the chic Bankside Hotel is famous for its art, innovation, sustainability — and touch-screen vending machines that dispense surprising items, such as champagne, Tom Ford sunglasses and "placeholder" engagement rings.


Supplied by ROKUS, a London-based jeweler, the gold-plated brass rings feature a cabochon-cut labradorite secured in a classic six-prong setting. The brass is soft and adjustable, so one size fits all.

Labradorite was discovered by Moravian missionaries on the Isle of Paul in Labrador, Canada, in 1770. The missionaries brought the stones back to England and France, where they were fashioned into bracelets, brooches, necklaces and pins.

Labradorite displays a flashy iridescence and comes in many color variations — from grey and brown to green and yellow. But, due to its relative softness (6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale), it is not really intended for engagement rings.

Certainly, it has a place as the center stone of a novelty engagement ring — a cheeky, spontaneous expression of a couple's commitment until they can pick out a more precious and permanent keepsake.


“We didn’t want to fill our vending machines with just run-of-the-mill items,” Douglas McHugh, general manager of Bankside, told Lonely Planet News. “We wanted to include the fun and playful, as our guests tend to be comfortable in their own skin and don’t take themselves too seriously. We’ve had a few guests who have bought the ring and we’ve even had a spontaneous proposal in our restaurant.”

The six-story, 161-room hotel caters to artsy clientele. Guests enjoy an on-site artist studio and each room is equipped with an easel and paint kit. Works of art are displayed throughout the property, which happens to be a stone's throw from the Tate Modern, Britain's national gallery of international modern art.

The hotel proprietors decided to abandon the concept of in-room minibars. Instead, each floor is equipped with a touch-screen vending machine that can deliver a multitude of handy, quality items.

In addition to champagne, sunglasses and engagement rings, the "Bankside Boutique" vending machines dispense Patrón tequila, S'well water bottles, Polaroid "Snap" cameras, reading glasses, face masks, luxury shaving kits and much more.

Credits: Images courtesy of Bankside Hotel.
August 22nd, 2019
As she wiped the dirt from a sparkling, metallic yellow stone no larger than a pencil eraser, Miranda Hollingshead was pretty sure she had just scored the find of a lifetime at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Ark.


"I think I got one!" the 27-year-old Texan screamed.

And her hunch was right.

What Hollingshead had plucked from a hill on the northeast side of the search area was a 3.72-carat yellow diamond, the largest gem found at the park since March 2017.


The 37½-acre search field is actually the eroded surface of an ancient diamond-bearing kimberlite pipe. Treasure hunters visit year round to test their luck at the only diamond site in the world that's open to the general public.

Park officials are not diamond appraisers, so they could not estimate the value of Hollingshead's gem, but history tells us that diamonds found at the park can sometimes yield a pretty penny.

In 1990, Shirley Strawn discovered a 3.03-carat diamond near the East Drain section of the park. That rough gem was transformed into a world-class, 1.09-carat round brilliant-cut sparkler, and became the first diamond from the Arkansas state park to earn a perfect grade of “Triple Zero” (Ideal cut/D color/Flawless) from the American Gem Society.

The find was so momentous that the State of Arkansas purchased the gem — now known as the “Strawn-Wagner” diamond — for $34,700 and made it the centerpiece of the park’s special exhibit. There’s even a prominent marker in the East Drain section of the park to show exactly where it was found.

Hollingshead told park officials that she originally had no intention of visiting the site on August 16. She was supposed to pick up a transmission for her car, but decided to change her plans at the last minute because her siblings were in town.

She had known about Crater of Diamonds State Park for years, but wasn't aware it was only 120 miles from her home in Bogata, Texas.

“When I realized it was only a couple hours away, I knew we had to go,” she told park officials.

The temperature reached 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 Celsius) the day Hollingshead and her family visited the park. After an hour of searching, the young mom took a break and sought out some shade. While she was cooling off, she took out her phone and starting watching Youtube videos about how to find precious gemstones.


She looked away for a moment to make sure her young son was OK and then she looked down on the ground and noticed the glistening yellow stone mixed in with some other rocks.

“Every diamond found at the park is beautiful in its own way, and this one is certainly no exception," said Park Interpreter Waymon Cox. "It’s about the size of a pencil eraser, with a light yellow color and a sparkling, metallic luster. Ms. Hollingshead said her gem’s unique shape reminded her of a rounded molar, with a small indentation in one end.”

Cox explained that a recent rainfall likely played a role in Hollingshead finding her diamond.


“Much of the ground where Ms. Hollingshead found her diamond is made of unweathered volcanic rock," he said. "When it rains, flowing runoff often leaves loose gravel — and sometimes diamonds — on the surface in these areas. Diamonds have a brilliant, adamantine luster that makes them easy to spot, and Ms. Hollingshead happened to be sitting in just the right place to see the diamond sparkle in the sun.”

Hollingshead and her son earned the privilege of naming the yellow diamond. They called it the "Caro Avenger." Her son picked the name "Caro" and she picked "Avenger" because she's a fan of superheroes.

So far this year, 319 diamonds have been registered at Crater of Diamonds State Park, weighing a total of 63.49 carats. Thirteen of those diamonds weighed more than 1 carat.

Credits: Images courtesy of Arkansas State Parks.
August 23rd, 2019
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you new tunes with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Swedish singer-songwriter Sophia Somajo navigates a toxic love affair in "Diamond Heart," her 2018 collaboration with Norwegian DJ Alan Walker.


In the song, the 34-year-old Somajo tells her boyfriend that only a diamond heart can protect her from the "sweet grief" he brings to the relationship.

She sings, "Yeah if I was bulletproof / I’d love you black and blue / If I was solid like a jewel / If I had a diamond heart / oh oh / I’d give you all my love / If I was unbreakable."

In the end, she acknowledges that her heart will never be as solid as a precious stone so she will have to let him go: "Goodbye my love / you are everything my dreams are made of / you’ll be Prince and I’m the crying dove / If I only were unbreakable."

Somajo, who is also known as Soso, delivers a powerful performance, with a range and vocal style reminiscent of Aussie superstar Sia. The official video for the song has been viewed on YouTube more than 153 million times.

"Diamond Heart" appears as the 13th track from Different World, Walker's debut studio album. The song, which is the third and final chapter of the DJ's trilogy called the "World of Walker," went to #1 in Norway and charted in Austria, Germany, Netherlands and Sweden.

The official video for "Diamond Heart" depicts fantastical landscapes in a dystopian world. The video was actually shot on location in Iceland and the United Arab Emirates.

Walker, who will turn 22 tomorrow, is best known for his 2015 breakout hit, "Faded," which earned diamond and multi-platinum certifications in more than 10 countries, including the US and the UK.

Please check out the video of Somajo's memorable performance of "Diamond Heart." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Diamond Heart"
Written by Alan Walker, Thomas Troelsen, Kristoffer Haugen, Edward Normann, Anders Freen, Gunnar Pettersen, Yann Bargain, Victor Verpillat, Fredrik Olsen and Sophia Somajo. Performed by Sophia Somajo.

Hello sweet grief
I know you will be the death of me
feel like the morning after ecstasy
I am drowning in an endless sea

Hello old friend
here’s the misery that knows no end
so I am doing everything I can
to make sure I never love again

I wish that I did not know
where all broken lovers go
I wish that my heart was made of stone

Yeah if I was bulletproof
I’d love you black and blue
If I was solid like a jewel

If I had a diamond heart
oh oh
I’d give you all my love
If I was unbreakable

If I had a diamond heart
oh oh
You could shoot me with a gun of gold
If I was unbreakable

I’d walk straight through the bullet
bendin’ like a tulip
blue-eyed and foolish
never mind the bruisesv into the fire
breakin’ through the wires
give you all I’ve got

If I had a diamond heart

I’d walk straight through the dagger
never break the pattern
diamonds don’t shatter
beautiful and battered
into the poison
cry you an ocean
give you all I’ve got

If I had a diamond heart

Goodbye, so long
I don’t know if this is right or wrong
am I giving up where I belong?
’cause every station is playing our song

Goodbye my love
you are everything my dreams are made of
you’ll be Prince and I’m the crying dove
If I only were unbreakable

I wish that I did not know
where all broken lovers go
I wish that my heart was made of stone

Yeah if I was bulletproof
I’d love you black and blue
If I was solid like a jewel

If I had a diamond heart
oh oh
I’d give you all my love
If I was unbreakable

If I had a diamond heart
oh oh
You could shoot me with a gun of gold
If I was unbreakable

I’d walk straight through the bullet
bendin’ like a tulip
blue-eyed and foolish
never mind the bruises
into the fire
breakin’ through the wires
give you all I’ve got

If I had a diamond heart
I’d walk straight through the dagger
never break the pattern
diamonds don’t shatter
beautiful and battered
into the poison
cry you an ocean
give you all I’ve got

If I had a diamond heart

Credit: Screen capture via
August 26th, 2019
Sunday marked the 80th anniversary of the release of "The Wizard of Oz," and to celebrate the occasion, Google unveiled a special animated search results page complete with dream-sequence rotating screens, clicking ruby slippers and a flying farmhouse.


Those who Googled the term "The Wizard of Oz" saw a results page that, at first glance, looked pretty standard. It including the movie title, the year/category/runtime of the production, related images and an illustration of a pair of ruby slippers.

Google had tweeted on Friday, "We're off to search the wizard, the wonderful 'Wizard of Oz.'" That phrase, combined with the flashing pink starbursts above the ruby slippers on the search results page, hinted that Google had something special up its sleeve.


By touching the ruby slippers on the search results page, users were treated to an animation that began with the slippers clicking three times and an audio clip of Dorothy (played by Judy Garland) saying, "There's no place like home." (Fans of the movie will remember that Dorothy clicked her heels three times when she wished to return to Kansas during her fanciful visit to Oz.)

Google then programmed users' screens to spin five rotations counter-clockwise as if a dream sequence was taking place. When the screen came to rest, all the text and graphics were in black and white.

In the 1939 film, the story begins in black and white and then transitions to brilliant Technicolor after Dorothy and her dog Toto are transported by a tornado to the magical Land of Oz.


Google users then noticed that the position on the results page once occupied by the sparkling ruby red slippers was replaced with a spinning grey tornado.

When they touched the tornado, the animation started again, with Dorothy's farmhouse emerging from the tornado and zooming out of frame. Garland was heard yelling, "Aunty Em!" as the screen rotated five times clockwise and returned to its normal color presentation.


Google added this search page surprise to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the still-beloved movie classic, whose lovable characters, such as the Scarecrow (Ray Bolger), the Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr) and the Tin Man (Jack Haley) won the hearts of viewers worldwide. Google did not announce how long the special search results page would remain active, but you can try it today.

Regular readers of this blog know that the iconic slippers worn by Garland in the 1939 film returned to the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., in October 2018 after an 18-month hiatus and rejuvenating facelift.

Since they were first exhibited in 1979, Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers had been a top attraction, but environmental factors, such as light and moisture, had taken their toll.


So, exactly two years ago, conservationists at the National Museum of American History launched a Kickstarter campaign to generate the funds to provide Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers with conservation treatment and a new display case. Within 30 days, the campaign exceeded its $300,000 goal with support from more than 6,000 donors.

The Ruby Slippers are now on view in a state-of-the-art display, along with a prop wand used by Billie Burke in her role as Glinda the Good Witch. The wand is on special loan to the museum through November 2019.

Despite their name, Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers are not adorned with rubies. In fact, the bugle beads that prop designers used to simulate rubies proved to be too heavy. The solution was to replace most of the bugle beads with sequins, 2,300 on each slipper. The butterfly-shaped bow on the front of each shoe features red bugle beads outlined in red glass rhinestones in silver settings.

Credits: Google's illustration of ruby slippers via Twitter; Search results screen captures via Google; The Wizard of Oz movie scene by CBS Television Network [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Ruby slippers by Richard Strauss, Smithsonian.
August 27th, 2019
The awesome beauty of gemstone inclusions is brought to life in a new multi-sensory spatial installation by designer Dan Tobin Smith, The Experience Machine and Gemfields.


Taking place at the Collins Music Hall as part of London Design Festival 2019, the VOID installation focuses on — as singer John Legend might say — the "perfect imperfections" found in Mozambican rubies and Zambian emeralds. Microscopically captured and then projected throughout the installation, the gems' tiny inclusions become abstract, galaxy-like structures frozen in time.

The rubies and emeralds featured in the installation were sourced by Gemfields, a leading purveyor of responsibly sourced gemstones.


Visitors will become part of an immersive experience, as the large-scale projections reveal the rarely seen formations hidden within gemstones. The images blur the boundaries between nature and design.


On Tuesday, September 17, gemologist and jewelry specialist Joanna Hardy and VOID designer Smith will host a master class, which will include an intimate group walk through the VOID installation. The class will cover the history of gemstones and the attributes that make them unique. Smith will discuss his passion for inclusions and explain in detail the process of filming and projecting the gems within the installation.


The installation considers the concept of containment and relative scale, employing spatial design to explore the natural borders formed within these unique mineral arrangements. By translating moving image into a contained physical form and scoring the experience with harmonized layers of the human voice by female electronic drone choir NYX, visitors are invited to enter within the portrait of a gemstone’s natural inclusion.

The installation will run from September 14 - 22, 2019. There is no entry fee and no advanced booking is required.

Credits: Images courtesy of Gemfields 2019.
August 28th, 2019
In 2016, with more than eight million fans watching, Jordan Rodgers proposed to JoJo Fletcher during the Season 12 finale of The Bachelorette. Now, three years later, Fletcher is sporting a brand new 5-carat oval diamond engagement ring after Rodgers decided to get down on one knee all over again.


Rodgers turned to Instagram on Sunday to explain his motivation behind the second proposal.

Accompanying a silly-faced Instagram selfie of him and his fiancée, Rodgers wrote, “I love @joelle_fletcher with all my heart!! I always wanted to re-propose, with no cameras, no producers, no drama… just us. Our first engagement was so real, and meant so much to us both, but as we start to actually plan our wedding for next year I wanted to do it all over again, OUR WAY!”

Fletcher1 1

On her Instagram, Fletcher posted a similar photo and wrote, "Three years ago we got engaged in a way that some, if not all, would say is crazy and totally unconventional, and they were right. It was. But it was also very real. We took a leap of faith that day and hoped/prayed things would work out how we wanted them to. Times were not always easy, but we stuck by each other and worked every day towards our relationship.”

As most fans of The Bachelorette know, the male contestants get to choose from a curated selection of five rings provided by the show. This time around, Rodgers got to design a ring that matched Fletcher's personality.

When viewed from the top, Fletcher's new ring seems to be floating above her finger, secured in a six-prong setting on a delicate 14-karat yellow gold band. However, a hidden halo of white diamonds is revealed when the ring is viewed from the side.

"The show brought us together and set us up for a truly amazing proposal the first time around," Fletcher wrote to Rodgers in a continuation of her original Instagram post, "but this time was all YOU. And that means everything and more to me. I can't wait to marry you!"

The couple has a busy year ahead as they plan a wedding and produce new episodes of their CNBC series called Cash Pad. The show follows Rodgers and Fletcher as they transform ordinary properties into lucrative vacation rentals.

Credits: Images via Instagram/joelle_fletcher; Instagram/JRodgers11.
August 29th, 2019
The 7,777-diamond "Lotus Temple Ring" recently earned a Guinness World Record for the most diamonds set in a single ring, overtaking the 6,690-diamond "Lotus Ring," which had earned the same honor in July of 2018.


Valued at $4.9 million, the amazing bauble was designed by Mumbai-based Lakshikaa Jewels and inspired by the famous Lotus Temple in Delhi. The lotus flower is a sacred symbol in several of India’s religions, imbuing the design with a sense of unity. A team of 12 crafters and one jeweler/designer worked 18 months to complete the project.

The Lotus Temple Ring features brilliant-cut, natural diamonds set in 18-karat white and rose gold.

“I couldn’t think of a more appropriate way to celebrate human ingenuity and spirituality than this temple,” said Lakshikaa Jewels founder Naveen “Prince” Bhandari, who headed up the ambitious, multimillion-dollar endeavor.

“India has a long and rich history of jewelry-making,” Bhandari added. “Our Maharajas and Maharanis would hire the best artists of their time to create jewelry worthy of their stature. Since then, Indians have inherited a fondness for jewelry and an eye for craftsmanship, which is unparalleled in the world.”


A little more than a year ago, the “Lotus Ring” was in the news for smashing the same Guinness World Record for the most diamonds set in a single ring. By employing a design featuring 48 individual diamond-encrusted “petals,” Indian jewelers Vishal and Khushbu Agarwal were able to set 6,690 diamonds into an 18-karat rose gold structure.

Their intricately detailed ring took more than six months to craft and was valued at $4.1 million.


The Lotus Ring had dethroned Savio Jewellery’s “Peacock Ring,” which established its own record in 2015, with 3,827 ideal-cut diamonds set in 18-karat gold. That ring had an estimated value of $2.7 million.

Credits: The Lotus Temple Ring and Lotus Ring images courtesy of Guinness World Records. Peacock Ring by Savio Jewellery.
August 30th, 2019
Welcome to a Music Friday when we bring you classic hits with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, we present Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons singing the original 1965 version of “Bye, Bye, Baby,” a tune that includes a very important line about a wedding ring.


In this song, Valli tells his love interest that she's the one girl in town that he would want to marry — except for the fact that he's not "free." In the last verse, we learn that he's already married. Yikes.

The last verse goes like this: “Should have told her that I can’t linger. There’s a wedding ring on my finger. She’s got me but I’m not free. Bye bye baby, baby goodbye / Bye baby, baby bye bye.”

Written by Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio, the keyboardist for The Four Seasons, “Bye, Bye, Baby” topped out at #12 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1965. Ten years later, the Bay City Rollers released their version, which charted in 11 countries, Including a #1 spot in the UK. It was Britain's top-selling single of 1975.

Trivia: "Bye, Bye, Baby" is played twice during the 2003 film Love Actually — once by Daniel (Liam Neeson) at his wife's funeral, and again by the DJ (Junior Simpson) at the wedding reception of Juliet (Keira Knightley) and Peter (Chiwetel Ejiofor).

Born Francesco Stephen Castelluccio in Newark, N.J., Valli became the frontman for The Four Seasons in 1960. Amazingly, Valli is still touring at the age of 85. He will be appearing in Hawaii, Minnesota and Illinois in September.

With an estimated 100 million records sold, The Four Seasons is one of the best-selling musical acts of all time. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

We hope you enjoy the audio clip of Valli and The Four Seasons performing “Bye, Bye, Baby.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

“Bye, Bye, Baby (Baby Goodbye)”
Written by Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio. Performed by Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.

If you hate me after what I say
Can’t put it off any longer
I just gotta tell you anyway

Bye bye baby, baby goodbye
Bye baby, baby bye bye
Bye bye baby, don’t make me cry
Bye baby, baby bye bye

You’re the one girl in town I’d marry
Girl, I’d marry you now if I were free
I wish it could be

I could love you but why begin it
Cause there ain’t any future in it
She’s got me and I’m not free so


Yes I never will know you better
Wish I knew you before I met her
Gee, how good it would be for me

Should have told her that I can’t linger
There’s a wedding ring on my finger
She’s got me and I’m not free so


Credit: Photo by East Ham Bull [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.