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Articles in September 2022

September 1st, 2022
Sapphire is widely associated with delightful blue hues. But did you know that this gem variety of the mineral corundum and official birthstone for the month of September is also available in nearly every color of the rainbow?


In its pure state, the corundum is colorless, but when trace elements are naturally introduced to the chemical composition, the results are magical and vibrant. Trace elements, such as iron, titanium, chromium, copper and magnesium, give naturally colorless corundum a tint of blue, yellow, purple, orange or green, respectively, according to the American Gem Society.

Corundum gems that are NOT red or blue are called fancy-colored sapphires. Blue corundum can take the simple designation of sapphire, while red corundum is classified as ruby.

The most rare of all the fancy-color sapphires is the "padparadscha," which presents a heavenly orange-pink hue reminiscent of a lotus blossom.

The fancy colored sapphires pictured above range in size from 10.3 to 92.6 carats. The green and large yellow sapphires are from Myanmar (formerly Burma) and the others were mined in Sri Lanka. All of these gems are part of the National Gem Collection at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC.

Corundum has a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale, compared to a diamond, which has a hardness of 10.

In additional to being the official September birthstone, sapphire is also the preferred gem for couples celebrating their 5th or 45th wedding anniversaries.

Historically, the finest and most vibrant gem-quality sapphires have come from Sri Lanka, Myanmar and the Kashmir region of India. Significant sapphire deposits are also found in Australia, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Cameroon, China (Shandong), Colombia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Laos, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Thailand, United States (Montana) and Vietnam.

Credit: Image by Chip Clark / Smithsonian and digitally enhanced by SquareMoose.
September 2nd, 2022
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you super songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today we present British alternative rock band Coldplay performing “The Goldrush,” a nifty little 2009 tune teeming with references to gold mining, precious metals and a ring.


Reminiscent of the famously spontaneous Beatles studio sessions, “The Goldrush” spotlights drummer Will Champion taking over lead vocals as his bandmates can be heard chatting in the background before joining in the song. Champion sings, “I went digging for gold / I went down by the valley / Over by the mountain / Where the prospector had been told.”

Later in the song, we learn that the young treasure hunter has a girlfriend back home who's hoping to get engaged.

He sings, "There's a tiny little crackle on the telephone line / Saying what's the use of metal if the metal don't shine? / She said, 'Bring me back a ring 'cause I really want one' / Now I've been digging so long that I've never seen the sun."

“The Goldrush” had been written by the bandmates for Coldplay’s fourth studio album, Viva la Vida, but didn’t make the cut because is was so unlike the other songs in the album.

Then the band’s frontman, Chris Martin, floated the idea that “The Goldrush” could be offered exclusively to concert ticket holders. In this way, their most devoted fans would be the only ones to know the song. That idea never came to fruition.

Instead, “The Goldrush” ended up on the B-side of the Grammy-nominated “Life in Technicolor ii” single, which was released in 2009.

Formed by Martin in 1996 under the name Pectoralz, the band changed its name to Coldplay in 1998. Since its inception, the band has sold more than 100 million records worldwide and has earned numerous awards, including seven Grammys from 36 nominations. In 2022, the group's touring gross surpassed $1 billion from the sale of 12 million tickets at 456 shows.

Trivia: Did you know that Coldplay donates 10% of its profits to charity. The group currently endorses more than 30 organizations.

Please check out the audio clip of Coldplay performing “The Goldrush.” The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along…

"The Goldrush"
Written by Chris Martin, Will Champion, Jonny Buckland and Guy Berryman. Performed by Coldplay.

I went digging for gold
I went down by the valley
Over by the mountain
Where the prospector had been told.

I'm marching through the cold
I'm marching through the cold.

I went digging for gold
I went down with my brother
A bucket and a shovel
With a book about the color of coal.

I'm marching through the cold
I'm marching through the cold.

There's a tiny little crackle on the telephone line
Saying what's the use of metal if the metal don't shine?
She said, "Bring me back a ring 'cause I really want one"
Now I've been digging so long that I've never seen the sun.

I went digging for gold
I went down to the valley
Over by the mountain
Where the prospector had been told.

I'm marching through the cold
I'm marching through the cold.

There's a tiny little crackle on the telephone line
Saying what's the use of metal if the metal don't shine?
She said, "Bring me back a ring 'cause I really want one"
Now I've been digging so long that I've never seen the sun.
I've been digging so long that I've never seen the sun
I've been digging so long that I've never seen the sun.

Credit: Photo by Raph_PH, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
September 6th, 2022
Sotheby's recently unveiled the 11.15-carat Williamson Pink Star, the second-largest internally flawless, fancy vivid pink diamond ever to appear at auction. The bubblegum pink, cushion-cut gem is expected to fetch upwards of $21 million when it headlines a single-lot auction scheduled for October 5 in Hong Kong.


The Williamson Pink Star has the potential to set a new record for the highest price-per-carat ever paid for a fancy vivid pink diamond.

The finished stone was cut from a 32-carat rough diamond unearthed at the famous Williamson Mine in Tanzania. This is the same mine that produced the 23.6-carat "Williamson" pink diamond, which centers a Cartier-designed, flower-motif brooch worn at high-profile events by Queen Elizabeth II. The gem had been given to the Queen as a wedding gift in 1947 by Canadian geologist Dr. John Thorburn Williamson, who owned the mine.


In fact, the name "Williamson Pink Star" is a nod to both the Williamson mine and the CTF Pink Star, a 59.60-carat record-breaking diamond sold at Sotheby’s in April 2017. The $71.2 million earned by the stone remains the highest price ever paid for any gem at auction.

Interestingly, Diacore is credited with cutting both the Williamson Pink Star and the CTF Pink Star.

The Gemological Institute of America classified the Williamson Pink Star as one of the rarest of all gemstones.

Noted the GIA, "Attaining a Fancy Vivid color grade with pink diamonds in this size requires a very strong inherent body color in the rough crystal. It is unusual for pink diamonds to occur with a strong depth of color or saturation in any size… In addition to its exceptional color, the clarity is Internally Flawless – a special combination. Examples such as this are some of the rarest gems ever discovered.”

Unlike yellow or blue diamonds that owe their color to the presence of nitrogen or boron in their chemical makeup, pink diamonds owe their color to the effects of intense pressure and heat while they were still deep within the Earth. These factors caused distortions in the diamond’s crystal lattice that influence the way the gem absorbs green light, thus reflecting a pink hue.


The Williamson Pink Star is currently on a world tour that began in London and includes stops in Dubai, Singapore, Taipei, Taichung and Hong Kong, where it will be offered for sale in a unique, single-lot auction.

Credits: Images courtesy of Sothebys.
September 7th, 2022
Golden treasure unearthed during the kitchen renovation of an 18th-century townhouse is likely to yield a $290,000 payday for a UK couple in Ellerby, a village in North Yorkshire, about 50 miles north of Manchester.


After ripping up the kitchen floor boards and breaking through a concrete slab, the couple encountered what they thought were old electrical connections. What they actually pulled out of the ground was an earthenware vessel about the size of a soda can filled to the brim with 264 gold coins. The container had rested undisturbed for nearly 300 years.

The well worn coins were dated from 1610 to 1727 and covered the reigns of James I through that of King George I. The gold coins carried face values between £50 and £100, but when they hit the auction block at Spink and Son in London on October 7 they will likely sell for more than a quarter million dollars.


"It is a wonderful and truly unexpected discovery from so unassuming a find location," auctioneer Gregory Edmund said in the press release sent to CNN. "This find of over 260 coins is also one of the largest on archaeological record from Britain, and certainly for the 18th century period."

Spink and Son's research revealed that the "Ellerby Area Hoard," was likely accumulated by Joseph and Sarah Fernley-Maisters, who were married in 1694 and occupied the house until their deaths in 1725 and 1745, respectively. The couple was part of an influential family that traded in iron ore, timber and coal. Several family members served in the Parliament in the early 1700s.

Edmund added that the strategy of hiding gold under their kitchen floor likely reflected the couple's distrust of the newly formed Bank of England (1694) and the newfangled paper "banknote."

The auction house explained that the Fernley-Maisters family line dwindled soon after Sarah died at the age of 80, which is presumably why the coins were never retrieved.

According to, the most unusual coins in the "Ellerby Area Hoard" include a 1720 George I guinea that reflects an embarrassing minting error. The coin has two "tails" sides. Another oddity is a 1675 Charles II guinea which misspells the King's Latin name as “CRAOLVS” instead of “CAROLVS.”

Credits: Photos courtesy of Spink and Son, London.
September 8th, 2022
In the spirit of the ancient alchemists who spent countless hours attempting to transmute cheap metals into gold, scientists from Germany’s HZDR research lab recently turned ordinary plastic into diamonds. For real.


In the experiment, researchers blasted a thin sheet of plastic — the kind used to make plastic bottles — with powerful lasers, briefly heating the material to 6,000 degrees Celsius. The extreme heat, pressure and resulting shock wave compressed the plastic into tiny "nanodiamonds."

For a brief moment in the lab, scientists simulated the conditions in the interior of icy giant planets, such as Neptune and Uranus, where temperatures reach several thousand degrees Celsius and the pressure is millions of times greater than in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Ice giants not only contain carbon and hydrogen but also vast amounts of oxygen. When searching for suitable film material, the researchers hit on an everyday substance: PET, the resin out of which ordinary plastic bottles are made.

“The effect of the oxygen was to accelerate the splitting of the carbon and hydrogen and thus encourage the formation of nanodiamonds,” said Dominik Kraus, an author of the study, which was published in the journal Science Advances. “It meant the carbon atoms could combine more easily and form diamonds.”

The results of the experiment support the assumption that it literally rains diamonds inside the ice giants. The researchers noted that the findings are probably not just relevant to Uranus and Neptune, but to innumerable other planets in our galaxy, as well. While such ice giants used to be thought of as rarities, it now seems clear that they are probably the most common form of planet outside the solar system, they wrote.

The laser experiment also points to new methods for creating tiny diamonds to be used for industrial abrasives and polishing agents, quantum sensors and other applications.

“So far, diamonds of this kind have mainly been produced by detonating explosives,” Kraus explained. “With the help of laser flashes, they could be manufactured much more cleanly in the future.”

The team conducted its experiments at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in California, the location of the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), a powerful, accelerator-based X-ray laser.

Credit: Image courtesy of HZDR / Blaurock.
September 9th, 2022
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you sensational songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, we’re going to do our best to keep the summer alive with a fun song from Bon Jovi’s 2007 chart-topping Lost Highway album.


It’s called “Summertime” and includes this line… “I keep a postcard in the back of my mind / White sand, sunshine / And you shining like a brand new diamond.”

In the song, Jon Bon Jovi describes how his girlfriend reminds him of summertime. He reminisces about warm breezes, lazy days, beach blankets, a bottle of wine and his girlfriend sparkling like a precious stone.

“Like a first slow dance and a first long kiss,” he concludes, “there ain’t nothing, baby, better than this.”

Written by frontman Jon Bon Jovi, lead guitarist Richie Sambora and producer John Shanks, “Summertime” blended the best elements of rock and country music to create an upbeat, sing-along experience that had Bon Jovi fans dancing in the aisles. The song was featured on the Bon Jovi setlist from 2007 through 2011.

"Summertime" appeared as the second track from Lost Highway, Bon Jovi's 10th studio album. The group’s calculated maneuver into the country genre paid off big time as the album charted in 23 countries and made its debut at #1 on the US Billboard 200 Albums chart. It was the group’s first album to debut at #1 and was so well received that it went on to be nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album at the 2008 Grammy Awards.

John Francis Bongiovi, Jr., was born in Perth Amboy, NJ, in 1962. A blood relative of Frank Sinatra, the young Bon Jovi spent much of his youth skipping school to pursue musical activities. By the time he was 16, he was already playing in New Jersey clubs. A year later, while sweeping floors at his cousin Tony Bongiovi’s recording studio, Bon Jovi got the opportunity to sing on a Star Wars Christmas album. His first official credit was on a 1980 release called “R2-D2 We Wish You A Merry Christmas.”

By 1983, Bon Jovi had formed the group that bears his name. Over the past 39-plus years, the group has sold more than 120 million records and performed more than 2,700 concerts in 50 countries. Bon Jovi and Sambora were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009.

We hope you enjoy the video of Bon Jovi’s live performance of “Summertime.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

Written by Richie Sambora, John Shanks and Jon Bon Jovi. Performed by Bon Jovi.

Feels something like summertime
Top down and nothin’ but time
Radio’s on and your by my side
Feels something like summertime

These days life goes like this
Wake up, check that off of some list
Gotta be a little something more than this
The bottom of my coffee cup

I keep a postcard in the back of my mind
White sand, sunshine
And you shining like a brand new diamond
It’s keeping me for giving up
Thinking like I had enough

You make me feel something like summertime
Top down ain’t nothing but time
Radio’s on and you’re by my side
Feels something like summertime

Like a first slow dance and a first long kiss
There ain’t nothing, baby, better then this
It’s like a beach blanket and a bottle of wine
It feels something like summertime

I was a warm breeze with a cool tan
Life mapped out on the back of my hand
When I was laughing I was making plans

But I didn’t laugh when I found you
There's a heaven baby your the proof

You make me feel something like summertime
Top down ain’t nothing but time
Radio’s on and you’re by my side
Feels something like summertime

Like a first slow dance and a first long kiss
There ain’t nothing, baby, better than this
It’s like a beach blanket and a bottle of wine
It feels something like summertime

Feel something like summertime
Top down ain’t nothing but time
Radio’s on for me and my valentine

It’s like that first slow dance and that first long kiss
There ain’t nothing baby better then this
It’s like a beach blanket and a bottle of wine (Yeah)

Feels something like summertime
Top down ain’t nothing but time
Radio’s on and you’re by my side,
Feels something like summertime
Just like summertime
But it feels alright

Credit: Photo by Matthew Fox, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
September 12th, 2022
Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 96, was famous for her dazzling collection of regal jewels. Britain's longest-reigning monarch possessed 98 brooches, 46 necklaces, 37 bracelets, 34 pairs of earrings, 15 rings, 14 watches and five pendants. But her favorite piece, without a doubt, was a deeply sentimental, three-strand pearl necklace — a gift from her beloved grandfather, King George V, who died in 1936.


For the past 70 years, the pearl necklace along with a complementary pair of diamond-accented pearl stud earrings had been the most recognizable part of Elizabeth's "official uniform," which often included a brightly colored two-piece suit, decorative hat and the classic Launer black leather Traviata handbag.

The future monarch was only nine years old when she received the three-strand, perfectly matched pearl necklace from her grandfather during his Silver Jubilee in 1935, one year before his death. The pearls represented one of Elizabeth's first pieces of "real" jewelry and remained a powerful reminder of the special bond they shared.

Elizabeth loved the three-strand pearl necklace so much that she arranged for an identical one to be made, and then in 1953, a third three-stand pearl necklace joined her collection. It was a gift from the Emir of Qatar and the only difference among the three was that this version sported a diamond clasp.

It was rumored that, over the years, she rotated the pearl necklaces freely so she wouldn't risk wearing out the prized original.

Her favorite pearl earrings were a wedding present from her beloved grandmother, Queen Mary, in 1947.

Since Elizabeth's death, the internet has been abuzz with theories on what will happen to her priceless jewels. Would they be distributed among her four children, eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren? Or would Elizabeth's eldest son, King Charles III, inherit all the treasure?

Since royal wills are sealed, there is no way to know right now how this will pan out, but a close follower of the Royal Family and its baubles believes she has the answer.

Lauren Kiehna of The Court Jeweller blog told Page Six Style that Elizabeth likely followed in the footsteps of her grandmother, Queen Mary (1867-1953), and her mother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (1900-2002), and bequeathed all of her jewelry directly to the new monarch, King Charles III.

“There are both historical and taxation-related benefits to this method of inheritance,” she explained.

If the jewelry was gifted to other individuals, she said, the items would be subject to a hefty inheritance tax.

Credit: Image by UK Government, OGL 3, via Wikimedia Commons.
September 13th, 2022
There are few things more "Awww" inspiring than witnessing the exact moment when couples young and old commit their lives to each other. And nearly every proposal we see in person or posted to social media includes that awkward scene where one partner gets down on bended knee and fumbles with a ring box while the other catches a first glimpse of a new bauble and hopefully answers "Yes" to the question "Will you marry me?"


The vast majority of proposals today are of the bended-knee variety, but did you ever wonder where and when that tradition originated?

Our expression of chivalry can trace its roots to the Middle Ages, when knights humbly bowed before noblewoman because kneeling was an act of respect, admiration and loyalty.

And for hundreds of years, the act of genuflection — bending a knee to the ground— has been tied to the church, where it is seen as a gesture of honor or worship.

In modern times, getting down on one knee symbolizes a humble willingness to commit one's life to another. It's a physical demonstration of propping up one's significant other into a superior position and offering oneself, both heart and soul, without reservations. It is the partner's choice whether or not to accept the proposal.

In The Knot’s 2019 Jewelry and Engagement Study, 84% of proposers reported that they went down on bended knee before proposing to their significant other.

The survey also revealed the prevalence of other enduring traditions. Nearly 90% asked their partner to marry them with a ring in hand, 87% said the words “will you marry me,” and 71% sought their partner’s parents' permission before proposing.

The website also cleverly pointed out that "a practical reason behind a bent-knee proposal is that it puts the engagement ring in an elevated position between the couple, letting the light hit it clearly without being blocked by both individuals."

Credit: Image by
September 14th, 2022
Lonsdaleite, a mysterious hexagonal form of diamond that's even harder than the common cubic variety, is likely the result of a catastrophic collision between a dwarf planet and a large asteroid 4.5 billion years ago, according to a new study.


An international team of researchers confirmed the existence of the cosmic gem in slices of ureilite meteorites, a rare type of space rock that is believed to be material from the mantle of dwarf planets. The team studied 18 ureilite samples that had been sourced in northwest Africa and southern Australia.


“We have discovered the largest lonsdaleite crystals known to date that are up to a micron in size – much, much thinner than a human hair,” noted RMIT Professor Dougal McCulloch, who was one of the senior researchers involved in the study.

So far, the exact hardness of lonsdaleite has been difficult to confirm because the minute sample sizes do not allow for a scratch test. Lonsdaleite is believed to be 58% harder than an Earth-sourced diamond, which is saying a lot because conventional diamonds register a perfect 10 on the Mohs hardness scale. Might the scale need to be amended in the future to include a 10+ or an 11?

McCulloch and his team from RMIT University, Monash University, Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Australian Synchrotron and Plymouth University used advanced electron microscopy techniques to study the slices of ureilite and create snapshots of how lonsdaleite and regular diamonds formed in those samples virtually side by side. The study was led by geologist Professor Andy Tomkins, an ARC Future Fellow at Monash University’s School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment.

“There’s strong evidence that there’s a newly discovered formation process for the lonsdaleite and regular diamond, which is like a supercritical chemical vapor deposition process that has taken place in these space rocks, probably in the dwarf planet shortly after a catastrophic collision,” McCulloch said.

“Chemical vapor deposition is one of the ways that people make diamonds in the lab, essentially by growing them in a specialized chamber,” he said.

The scientists believe that the lonsdaleite was somewhat replaced by diamonds as its environment cooled and pressure decreased.

In a related study from April of 2021, scientists at Washington State University’s Institute for Shock Physics blasted a dime-sized graphite disk at a wall at 15,000 mph (24,100 km/h) to emulate the high-energy impact that can turn carbon-based material into super-strong hexagonal diamonds.

The researchers learned that as soon as the disk crashed into a barrier, it was rapidly transformed into a hexagonal diamond. Immediately after impact — but before the material was obliterated — the researchers produced a small sound wave and used lasers to measure its movement through the hexagonal diamond. As a rule, sound moves fastest through stiffer materials, such as cubic diamonds. In this latest experiment, sound moved even faster through the lab-created hexagonal diamonds.

Based on that result, the scientist surmised that the hexagonal diamonds were stiffer than cubic diamonds. Stiffness is defined as a material’s ability to resist deformation under a force or pressure.

If these findings are backed up and lonsdaleite diamonds can be turned out commercially, these super-hard materials will likely find their way quickly into mining and industrial applications, such as drill bits and other cutting devices.

“Nature has thus provided us with a process to try and replicate in industry," said Tomkins.

The results of the most recent study were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Credit: Professor Andy Tomkins (left) from Monash University with RMIT University PhD scholar Alan Salek and a ureilite meteor sample. Image courtesy of RMIT University. Urelite photo by Wilde-Kutsch, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
September 15th, 2022
Fura Gems just unveiled "Estrela de Fura," a rough 101-carat, gem-quality ruby that's being described as a "once in a century" discovery. The company's chief executive believes the rough gem, which was unearthed in Mozambique, could eventually yield a faceted stone weighing 50 carats or more.


If that's true and the quality of the stone is on par with the 25.59-carat, cushion-cut “Sunrise Ruby” that sold at auction in 2015 for $30.4 million, Estrela de Fura (Portuguese for "Star of Fura") may be worth $50 million or more in its final polished form.

Estrela de Fura will be looking to unseat the Sunrise Ruby, which currently holds two auction records: The largest sum ever paid for a ruby and the highest price-per-carat ever paid for a ruby ($1.19 million).


The international press got its first look at the pigeon-blood-red Estrela de Fura during yesterday's press conference at the lavish 68-story Almas Tower in Dubai.

Dev Shetty, Fura Gems' chief executive, told how he received a call from the company's master sorter, Balbir, on July 24. He had unlocked a storage box and spotted something large, red and shiny. The sorter told Shetty, who was in Bangkok at the time, "I think we found something amazing."

Dr. A. Peretti, CEO of GRS GemResearch Swisslab, confirmed the sorter's hunch.

"This ruby shows characteristics normally encountered only in the classical Mogok mines of Burma," he told "It possesses a fluorescence and vivid red color, and even excels in its excellent clarity. Estrela de Fura provides the potential to achieve the new world record of being the finest gem-quality ruby ever found with a size of over 50 carats once it goes through the final cutting process."

For the next 45 days, Fura Gems, which is billing Estrela de Fura as "the world's largest gem-quality ruby ever mined," will be setting up appointments for potential buyers to view and assess the stone at the Dubai Diamond Exchange. Shetty told that the potential buyer could represent a cutting house, jewelry brand, collector or even a museum. A private auction is set to take place in October.

The UAE-based Fura Gems currently mines rubies in Mozambique, emeralds in Colombia and sapphires in both Australia and Madagascar.

Credits: Estrela de Fura image courtesy of Fura Gems. Screen shot closeup via / Furagems.
September 16th, 2022
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you outstanding songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, British rocker Billy Idol performs “Sweet Sixteen,” a song inspired by the tragic love story of Edward Leedskalnin and the girl who left him at the altar.


Idol takes on the role of Leedskalnin as he sings, “I’ll do anything / For my sweet sixteen / And I’ll do anything / For little run away child / Gave my heart an engagement ring / She took ev’rything / Ev’rything I gave her / Oh sweet sixteen.”

Leedskalnin, a 26-year-old Latvian, was engaged to Agnes Scuffs in 1923. One day before their scheduled wedding, Scuffs, who was 10 years his junior, broke off the engagement.

Devastated by their parting, Leedskalnin emigrated to the US, where he bought a piece of land in south Florida and for the next 25 years single-handedly sculpted 1,100 short tons of coral rock into a fanciful castle complex. He dedicated “Rock Gate Park” to Scuffs, who he called his “Sweet Sixteen,” but could never win her back.

Idol visited Rock Gate Park, which had been renamed Coral Castle, in the early 1980s and was so intrigued by Leedskalnin’s story that he decided to write a song about it. Framed photos of Idol’s visit are featured in the Coral Castle gift shop in Homestead, FL.


Idol references the incredible coral sculptures Leedskalnin built in her honor. Even to this day, a mystery surrounds how the amateur sculptor — who was 5 feet tall, weighed 100 pounds and managed only a 4th grade education — was able to carve the huge boulders and move them without any outside help. The attraction is on the National Register of Historic Places.

“Sweet Sixteen” was the fourth track on Idol’s Whiplash Smile album, which sold more than one million copies and peaked at #6 on the US Billboard 200 in 1986. The single reached #20 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and the official video has been viewed on YouTube more than 23 million times.

Idol was a key member of the MTV-fueled “Second British Invasion” of the United States back in the early 1980s. Among his most popular songs from that era are “Dancing with Myself,” “White Wedding,” “Rebel Yell” and “Eyes Without a Face.” The 66-year-old rocker is still actively touring.

Check out the official video for “Sweet Sixteen.” During the first 10 seconds of the video one can see a photo of Leedskalnin standing inside his complex under the title, “Love Turned to Stone.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“Sweet Sixteen”
Written and performed by Billy Idol.

I’ll do anything
For my sweet sixteen,
And I’ll do anything
For little runaway child

Gave my heart an engagement ring.
She took ev’rything.
Ev’rything I gave her,
Oh sweet sixteen.

Built a moon
For a rocking chair.
I never guessed it would
Rock her far from here
Oh, oh, oh, oh.

Someone’s built a candy castle
For my sweet sixteen.
Someone’s built a candy brain
And filled it in.

Well I’ll do anything
For my sweet sixteen
Oh I’ll do anything
For little runaway child

Well, memories will burn you.
Memories grow older as people can
They just get colder
Like sweet sixteen

Oh, I see it’s clear
Baby, that you are
All through here
Oh, oh, oh, oh.

Someone’s built a candy castle
For my sweet sixteen,
Someone’s built a candy house
To house her in.
Someone’s built a candy castle
For my sweet sixteen.
Someone’s built a candy brain
And filled it in.

And I do anything
For my sweet sixteen
Oh, I do anything
For little runaway girl.

Yeah, sad and lonely and blue.
Yeah, gettin’ over you.
How, how do you think it feels
Yeah to get up in the morning, get over you.
Up in the morning, get over you.
Wipe away the tears, get over you,
get over, get over…

My sweet sixteen
Oh runaway child
Oh sweet sixteen
Little runaway girl.

Gave my heart an engagement ring
She left everything
Everything I gave her
Sweet sixteen
Built a moon
For a rocking chair,
Never guessed it would
Rock her far from here
Oh, oh, oh

Someone’s built a candy castle
For my sweet sixteen.
Someone’s built a candy house
To house her in.
Someone’s built a candy castle
For my sweet sixteen
Someone’s built a candy house
To house her in.

And I’ll do anything
For my sweet sixteen
Oh, I’ll do anything
For little runaway child.

Do anything
For my sweet sixteen
I’ll do anything
For little runaway girl
Little runaway girl
Oh sweet sixteen
Oh sweet sixteen

Credits: Billy Idol photo by DoD News, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Coral Castle photo by Barry haynes, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
September 19th, 2022
Living just 30 miles from Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, AR, has its perks — especially if you're an amateur treasure hunter.


Over the past four years, Scott Kreykes of Dierks, AR, has registered more than 80 diamonds at the park, including his 50th of 2022. Even though it was only a 4-pointer, the pearl-shaped gem he found earlier this month was certified as the 35,000th diamond unearthed by visitors since the state park opened in 1972.

For this achievement, Kreykes was rewarded with a free two-night stay at an Arkansas State Park, recognition from Murfreesboro officials and a special display for his diamond and registration card.

Earlier this month, Kreykes had spent a day at the park sifting soil from the East Drain area of the 37½-acre search field, which is actually the exposed eroded surface of an ancient diamond-bearing kimberlite pipe. Amateur miners get to keep what they find at the only diamond site in the world that’s open to the general public.

What's more, visitors are allowed to take home one five-gallon bucket of sifted gravel to inspect later and, on this day, that's exactly what Kreykes decided to do.

"Some visitors like to resift their gravel at home or wait for it to dry to look for the metallic shine of a diamond,” explained Park Interpreter Tayler Markham.

While searching through his gravel at home, Kreykes spotted a sparkly, pearl-shaped stone and excitedly called his wife over to show her. He knew the park was preparing to celebrate the 35,000th diamond milestone and was hopeful that he would register the winning gem.

As he left his home to return to the park on the morning of September 6, he slipped his sparkler into a glass vial and told his wife, “This could be the 35,000th diamond!”

Kreykes carried his gem to the park’s Diamond Discovery Center, where staff registered it as a 4-point white diamond.

Kreykes told park officials that he had goosebumps upon learning that his find was the milestone diamond.

Many people who find diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park choose to name their gems. Kreykes chose "Leo" in honor of his grandson.


So far in 2022, 510 diamonds have been registered at Crater of Diamonds State Park. That's an average of about two per day.

“It’s amazing to work at a place with so much history,” Park Superintendent Caleb Howell said. “Every diamond found here has a story to go along with it, but milestones like this remind us of just how many discoveries park visitors have made over the past 50 years.”

Interestingly, the park reached its 10,000th diamond milestone in 1986 and its 30,000th in 2012.

Over the past 50 years, Crater of Diamonds State Park has hosted more than 4.5 million visitors and registered more than 1,000 diamonds topping 1 carat in weight.

The largest diamond ever discovered in the United States was unearthed in 1924 during an early mining operation at the Murfreesboro site. Named the Uncle Sam, this white diamond with a pink cast weighed 40.23 carats. It was later cut into a 12.42-carat emerald shape. The Uncle Sam is now part of the Smithsonian’s mineral and gem collection and can be seen at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. A marker at the park tells the story of Uncle Sam and points to the exact spot the gem was found.

Credits: Images courtesy of Arkansas State Parks.
September 20th, 2022
Perched on the west bank of the Nile river, just 55km south of Luxor, the 2,000-year-old Temple of Esna continues to dazzle visitors with a hall of 24 pillars beautifully adorned with lotus-leaf capitals, each one unique in design. The walls are covered with reliefs of Ptolemaic and Roman Emperors dressed in Pharaoh costumes and the roof is decorated with astronomical representations, including the Dog Star, Orion's Belt and Alpha Draconis.


Just behind the majestic edifice, which is also known as the Temple of Khnum, a team of researchers from Egypt's Supreme Council for Archaeology recently unearthed a cache of hundreds of silver, gold, bronze and copper coins minted throughout 600-plus years of the Islamic era, starting in 610 A.D. and ending in 1258 A.D.


During the year-long excavation, the researchers cataloged 286 gold and silver coins dating back to the eras of 19 kings and sultans. They also found "foreign" currency linked to the era of King Levon II of Armenia (1150 - 1219 A.D.), along with bronze and copper coins from the Ottoman era, which dates back to the end of the 13th century A.D.


The ancient Egyptians minted dirhams and half dirhams, and interestingly, the dirham is the monetary unit still used in Morocco and the United Arab Emirates.


Molds and weights related to the minting process were also discovered hidden behind the temple, according to a translated statement published on the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities' Facebook page.

The researchers are continuing to unravel the Temple of Esna's mysteries, including why the valuable hoard of coins was abandoned. With digging still in progress, Dr. Mustafa Waziri, secretary general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, expects there is more treasure still waiting to be found.

Credits: Detailed look at the Temple of Esna's columns by Panegyrics of Granovetter, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Temple photo by Roland Unger, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Coin photos courtesy of Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.
September 21st, 2022
Three bejeweled treasures — The Imperial State Crown, the Sovereign's Sceptre and the Sovereign's Orb — played prominent roles during the State Funeral for Queen Elizabeth II on Monday.


Rarely seen in public, these items from the British royal family's crown jewels rode atop the Queen's coffin during the long procession from Westminster Abbey to St. George's chapel at Windsor Castle.

The royal family took extra precautions to make certain that the three priceless pieces were "expertly fastened" to the coffin to prevent them from falling and becoming damaged as they had been in the past, according to


Back in 1845, the prized crown, which reportedly weighs more than 5 pounds, slipped off a cushion held by Lord John Campbell, the Duke of Argyll, as he carried it to Queen Victoria amid the State Opening of Parliament, according to Express UK.

Queen Victoria recorded the incident in her dairy, writing that the crown was "all crushed and squashed like a pudding that had sat down." She also took a swipe at the Duke of Argyll, stating that the crown "was too heavy" for him to carry.

Ninety-one years later in 1936, the same crown was at the center of another mishap when the diamond-encrusted orb and cross at the top of the headpiece snapped off and landed in the street as the coffin of King George V was being moved from King's Cross station, according to an account in The Guardian.

The Imperial State Crown is encrusted with more than 3,000 gemstones, including the Second Great Star of Africa (Cullinan II), a 317-carat diamond that was the second-largest cut from the 3,106-carat Cullinan Diamond.


Discovered in 1905, the rough stone weighed a staggering 621 grams (1.37 pounds) and measured 98mm (3.85 inches) long, 57mm wide and 67mm tall. Thomas Cullinan, then chairman of the Premier Mine in South Africa, sold the diamond to the Transvaal provincial government, which, in turn, presented the stone to Britain’s King Edward VII as a birthday gift in 1907.

In February 1908, Joseph Asscher & Co. was assigned the task of cutting the Cullinan Diamond into nine major finished stones, each of which was given the name Cullinan and a Roman numeral.


The largest of the Cullinan gems, the Great Star of Africa (Cullinan I), weighs 530.4 carats and is set atop the Sovereign's Sceptre, which was originally created for Charles II and has been used at every coronation since 1661.


Also dating back to 1661 is the Sovereign's Orb, a hollow gold sphere rimmed with more than 600 precious stones, including 30 rubies and 12 diamonds. The orb symbolizes the Earth and conveys the message that the British monarch's power is derived from God.

Credits: Screen captures via Imperial crown image by Cyril Davenport (1848 – 1941), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. Cullinan diamonds by Unknown authorUnknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. Sovereign's Sceptre with Cross by Cyril Davenport (1848 – 1941), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.
September 22nd, 2022
Exactly 50 years ago, four men exploring an abandoned mine near the top of Plumbago Mountain in Newry, ME, "just happened upon" one of the richest pockets of gem-quality tourmaline the world had ever seen.


The pocket started as a small void no larger than the width of a man's shoulders. But as George Hartman, Dean McCrillis, Dale Sweatt and contract miner Frank Perham explored further, the rich vein of tourmaline crystals — some larger than a water glass — seemed to continue indefinitely into larger and larger pockets, eventually yielding more than a ton of gem-quality tourmaline from 1972 to 1974.

The discovery sent shockwaves through Maine, and around the mineral world. Never had such a large quantity of world-class tourmaline been found in a single locality in North America. The find is credited with reawakened gem mining in the state of Maine.

To celebrate "The Big Find," the Maine Mineral & Gem Museum (MMGM) in Bethel, ME, curated a collection of 12 fabulous, faceted gems from the historic tourmaline find and paired each one with a jewelry designer. The designers were tasked with creating a masterwork incorporating their unique stone.

The gems range in size from 9.78 carats to 49.30 carats and include a variety of interesting shapes, textures and colors, including pink, red, green, bicolor and "watermelon" tourmaline.

The pieces will be showcased at "The Big Reveal," a '70s-themed runway extravaganza at the Grand Summit Hotel in Newry on October 8.

The collection will also make its way to the 2023 Tucson Gem & Mineral Show, where it will go on exhibit prior to being sold at auction. All the proceeds from the auction will benefit the MMGM.

The gemstones were donated to the Museum for fundraising and have an estimated value of $300,000. The goal is to raise over $1 million from the finished pieces.


A selection committee, composed of five members from the arts and jewelry community, chose the final 12 artists from a group of 33 submissions. The 12 artists are Paula Crevoshay (Albuquerque, NM), Patty Dunning (Portland, ME), Matt Fischer (Colorado Springs, CO), Gerardo Gonzalez (New York, NY), Derek Katzenbach (Farmington, ME), Andy Lucas (Klamath Falls, OR), Steve Manchini (Salem, MA), Nick Noyes (Charlottesville, VA), Naomi Sarna (New York, NY), Erik Stewart (Tucson, AZ), Matt and Lauren Tuggle (CO), and Stephen and Tamberlaine Zeh (Temple, ME).

Throughout 2022, the MMGM has hosted special programs and guest lectures as part of The Big Find celebration.

Nestled in the picture-postcard town of Bethel, MMGM is a world-class museum and education facility featuring 40,000 gems and minerals, 6,000 meteorites, a library of 10,000 volumes and nearly two dozen interactive exhibits to present Maine minerals and gems in the context of local mining history and Maine’s geology. MMGM opened its doors to the public for the first time in December of 2019.

The 15,000-square-foot museum is home to the single oldest igneous rock in the solar system and a moon rock five times larger than any returned to earth by an Apollo mission. It also features exotic specimens from Mars and fragments of asteroids embedded with extraterrestrial gemstones.

Check out MMGM's website for more information about The Big Reveal.

Credits: Gem photo courtesy of MMGM/Scott Vlaun. Artists photos courtesy of courtesy MMGM/ the artists.
September 23rd, 2022
Welcome to Music Friday, when we spotlight songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Sir Elton John trades his simple country lifestyle for the glamor of the big city in "Honky Cat," one of his classic songs from 1972.


John portrays a young man who has been blinded by the city lights and has no intention of getting back to the woods. Meanwhile, his friends are calling him a fool.

They tell him, "Living in the city ain’t where it’s at / It’s like trying to find gold in a silver mine / It’s like trying to drink whiskey from a bottle of wine."

Interestingly, the words that John sings do not reflect his own point of view. John didn't grow up in the country. He was raised near London and loved the city life. Instead, the song likely reflects the experiences of lyricist and long-time creative partner, Bernie Taupin, who was born on a farm in Lincolnshire and preferred that environment.

“Honky Cat” is the first track on John’s fifth studio album, Honky Château, which reached #1 on Billboard 200 albums chart and was ranked one of the 500 Best Albums of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine. The single reached the Top 10 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 list. The album’s title refers to the location where it was recorded in early 1972, specifically Château d’Hérouville in Hérouville, France.

Born Reginald Kenneth Dwight in 1947, John got hooked on rock and roll when his mother brought home records by Elvis Presley and Bill Haley & His Comets in 1956. He learned to play piano and formed his first band, Bluesology, at the age of 15.

In 1967, John met Taupin by chance when both men responded to an advertisement seeking songwriters. At first, they wrote songs for other artists, but then decided go out on their own.

In a career that has spanned six decades, John has sold more than 300 million records. He and Taupin released 31 albums and are credited with more than 50 Top-40 hits. John was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1998.

His single in honor of Princess Diana, “Candle in the Wind 1997,” sold 33 million copies worldwide and, at that time, ranked as the best-selling single in the history of the UK and US singles charts.

Please check out the video of John performing "Honky Cat" live at the Hammersmith Odeon in London on the day before Christmas in 1974. The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along…

“Honky Cat”
Written by Bernie Taupin. Performed by Elton John.

When I look back boy I must have been green
Bopping in the country, fishing in a stream
Looking for an answer trying to find a sign
Until I saw your city lights honey I was blind

They said get back honky cat
Better get back to the woods
Well I quit those days and my redneck ways
And oh the change is gonna do me good

You better get back honky cat
Living in the city ain’t where it’s at
It’s like trying to find gold in a silver mine
It’s like trying to drink whiskey from a bottle of wine

Well I read some books and I read some magazines
About those high class ladies down in New Orleans
And all the folks back home well, said I was a fool
They said oh, believe in the Lord is the golden rule

They said get back honky cat
Better get back to the woods
Well I quit those days and my redneck ways
And oh the change is gonna do me good

They said get back honky cat
Better get back to the woods
Well I quit those days and my redneck ways
And oh the change is gonna do me good

They said stay at home boy, you gotta tend the farm
Living in the city son, is going to break your heart
But how can you stop, when your heart says no
How can you stay when your feet say go

You better get back honky cat
Better get back to the woods
Well I quit those days and my redneck ways
And oh the change is gonna do me good

You better get back honky cat
Living in the city ain’t where it’s at
It’s like trying to find gold in a silver mine
It’s like trying to drink whiskey from a bottle of wine

Get back honky cat, get back honky cat, get back, oh
Get back honky cat, get back honky cat, get back, oh
Get back honky cat, get back honky cat, get back, oh

Credit: Image by Ernst Vikne, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
September 27th, 2022
Arctic Canadian Diamond Company just announced the recovery of a yellow octahedron diamond weighing an impressive 71.26 carats. The rough gem is believed to be the largest fancy vivid yellow diamond ever discovered in Canada.


The stone was unearthed last month at the Ekati Diamond Mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories, about 200 km south of the Arctic Circle. More specifically, it can be traced to Ekati's famous Misery Pipe, which has been the source of many of the world's finest precious yellow diamonds.

“This historic fancy vivid yellow gemstone continues to showcase Canada as a major player on the world stage for diamond mining,” said Rory Moore, President and CEO of Arctic Canadian. “Canadian diamonds are some of the most sought-after globally because of responsible mining practices and environmental stewardship.”


Ultimately, a buyer will determine the shape of the finished stone, hoping to maximize its size while bringing out its optimum brilliance. It’s not unusual for half the diamond’s weight to be sacrificed during the arduous cutting and polishing process. Even if 60% of the stone's weight is lost during the transformation, the finished diamond could weigh close to 30 carats.

Ekati is Canada’s first diamond mine and has supplied premium rough diamond assortments to the global market for more than 24 years. The mine is located about 300 km northwest of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. Ekati, which derives its name from the Tlicho word meaning "fat lake," is Canada’s first surface and underground diamond mine.

The Ekati diamond mine officially began production in October 1998, following extensive exploration and development work dating back to 1981, according to the mining company.

Back in October of 2018, a 552-carat yellow diamond was unearthed at the Diavik mine, also near Yellowknife. While that rough stone far outweighed the one just unveiled by Arctic Canadian Diamond Company, the 204-carat primary diamond cut from the "552" carried the lower color grade of fancy intense yellow.

Credits: Images courtesy of Arctic Canadian Diamond Company.
September 28th, 2022
With the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, much has been written about the British Crown Jewels and the massive diamonds at the center of the Sovereign’s Sceptre and the Imperial State Crown.


Both diamonds were expertly cut from the 3,106-carat Cullinan — the world’s largest rough diamond — by Joseph Asscher of the Amsterdam-based Asscher Company. What most people don't know is that the expert cutter was paid for his work in "chippings" and that some of those fragments still live more than 100 years later in the bridal sets of Asscher's descendants.

King Edward VII, Queen Elizabeth's great-grandfather, chose the Asschers for the high-profile job because they had successfully cut the previously largest known diamond, the 995.2-carat Excelsior, five years earlier.

After an extensive period of studying the stone, which had been discovered in 1905 at the Premier Mine No. 2 near Pretoria, South Africa, Asscher started the cutting process by creating an incision in the diamond of approximately 6.5mm deep.


It has been reported that Asscher broke his tool when he initially struck the stone. A week later, after developing stronger tools, Asscher successfully cleaved the the Cullinan into two principal parts, weighing 1,977 carats and 1,040 carats.

Asscher performed the failed first attempt in front of an audience of notables, but his second successful attempt was accomplished with nobody in the room, except for a Notary Public. Legend has it that Asscher struck the diamond so hard on the second try that he fainted after it split.

Over the following months, these diamonds were further polished and cut to create nine principal stones, 96 smaller diamonds and a quantity of polished “ends.”

The largest of the Cullinan gems, the Great Star of Africa (Cullinan I), weighed 530.4 carats and was set atop the Sovereign’s Sceptre. The 317-carat Second Great Star of Africa (Cullinan II) was set in the Imperial State Crown.

It took Asscher and his team more than two years to complete their work. Asscher agreed to be paid in “chippings,” the diamond remnants that split off the main stones during the cleaving and cutting processes.

Now, more than a century later and in light of Queen Elizabeth II's passing, members of the Asscher family have come forward with stories about how these "chippings" from the Cullinan diamond are part of their own family heirlooms.

Israeli journalist Shakked Auerbach, who is a descendant of the Asscher family, recounted in a blog item published on the Israeli National Library website that diamonds belonging to her family were originally part of the 3,106-carat Cullinan.

She confirmed that Joseph Asscher, her great-great-great-grandfather, was paid in "chips." His fine work was also acknowledged in 1909 when he received a knighthood from the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

“The Asschers decided that the diamonds would be passed from generation to generation when men would give them on an engagement ring to women that would join the family,” Auerbach wrote.

Auerbach also shared the story of how the fist-sized Cullinan was secretly transported from England to the The Netherlands for cutting.

She wrote that the stone was loaded into the belly of a British battleship in a protective box. But it turned out that this London-to-Amsterdam transport was just a ruse.

It actually traveled in the pocket of Avraham Asher, who sailed from London to Amsterdam on an ordinary ship without carrying luggage. The only thing he brought on the voyage was the "large coat to protect him from the cold and disguise his precious cargo," she wrote.

Auerbach also noted how some of the Cullinan "chips" were hidden from the Nazis by Holocaust survivors, including her grandmother. Those chips have been since passed down through generations of the Asscher family.

"This is how my family was connected to the royal family," she wrote. "And who knows how the journey of the diamond will continue from here?"

Credits: Joseph Asscher photo by Unknown authorUnknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. Cullinan rough stone by Unknown authorUnknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.
September 29th, 2022
A super lucky, 18.18-carat, pear-shaped, fancy vivid pink diamond is expected to fetch between $25 million and $35 million when it hits the auction block at Christie's Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva on November 8.


Dubbed "The Fortune Pink," the bubblegum-colored stone is being billed as the largest pear-shaped, fancy vivid pink diamond offered for sale at auction.

The auspicious "1-8" combination in the carat weight promises to bring prosperity to the winning bidder because that number literally translates to "get rich for sure" in Chinese.

The extreme rarity of an 18-carat pink diamond of this quality is amplified by the fact that fewer than 10% of pink diamonds weigh more than 1/5 of a carat, according to the Gemological Institute of America. What’s more, only 4% of pink diamonds possess a color saturated enough to qualify as “fancy vivid.” Pink diamonds fall under the rare Type IIa category of diamonds, which make up less than 2% of all gem diamonds.

“The Pink Star” still holds the record for the highest price paid at auction for a pink diamond. That 59.6-carat, flawless, fancy vivid pink diamond fetched $71.2 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in 2017. It was purchased by Hong Kong luxury jeweler Chow Tai Fook and renamed “CTF Pink Star.” Not only did it set a record in the pink category, but also shattered the world record for the highest price ever paid for any gem at auction.

The largest fancy vivid pink diamond ever sold at Christie’s was the 18.96-carat "Winston Pink Legacy," which achieved $50.37 million and set a world record price-per-carat for a pink diamond at auction ($2.65 million). The $35 million high estimate for The Fortune Pink would put it at about $1.92 million per carat.

Pink diamonds have become increasingly rare since the 2020 closure of Australia's Argyle Mine, which had been the source of 90% of the world's pink diamonds.

The Fortune Pink will be revealed to the public at Christie’s New York during the week of October 3. After that, the stone will be making appearances at Christie's locations in Shanghai, Taiwan and Singapore.

On November 2, The Fortune Pink will arrive in Geneva for Christie’s Luxury Week at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues. It will go on public display before headlining the Christie's auction on November 8.

Credit: Image courtesy of Christie's.
September 30th, 2022
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you sensational songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today, Jason Derulo dreams about proposing with "the perfect diamond ring" in his 2010 tune, "What If."


Derulo explained to the BBC that the song is about meeting someone for the first time and then imagining — at that moment — how both lives may have been profoundly altered.

“So I’m telling this girl y’know, what if in two years, three years from now we’ll be married with children and living in a log cabin?” he told the BBC.

In the key verse, he sings, “Yeah, picture me on one knee / With the perfect diamond ring / We just met, but if you said yes / We’d have our wedding on the beach.”

The official video, which was inspired by the 2004 movie The Butterfly Effect, opens with Derulo and his girlfriend setting up a new apartment. She's out of the room when he pulls a red ring box from the nightstand and opens it to admire what seems to be a platinum and diamond engagement ring. When she enters the room, he quickly hides it in his pocket.

She insists on retrieving the last item from the moving truck, and when she leaves the room he opens the box again, stares at the ring and whispers to himself, "What if? What if I'm the one for you?"

The scene switches to the girlfriend pulling a small box from the truck and closing the cargo door. As she crosses the street to return to the apartment, she is nearly hit by a distracted driver.

Derulo hears the screeching tires and shattered glass and sprints to save his girlfriend, but as he reaches her, the video freezes, and then time moves in reverse. We learn how Derulo and his girlfriend got to this moment through flashbacks, as if their lives are being rewound.

The video, which has been viewed nearly 39 million times, contains a surprise ending that we won’t spoil here. The “butterfly effect,” by the way, is a scientific theory that a single occurrence, no matter how small, can change the course of the universe forever.

“What If” is the fourth single from Derulo’s self-titled debut album. It was first released in the UK and peaked at #12. The single was subsequently released in the U.S., where it reached #26 on the Billboard US Mainstream Top 40 chart.

Born Jason Joel Desrouleaux in Miramar, Fla., the 33-year-old singer-songwriter-dancer-choreographer, has sold more than 50 million singles since launching his solo career in 2009. He changed his last name to Derulo because the French spelling was hard to pronounce.

Please check out the official video of “What If.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“What If”
Written by Jonathan Rotem and Jason Desrouleaux. Performed by Jason Derulo.

What if?
What if I’m the one for you?
And you’re the one for me?
What if?

If you are the one
Then us meeting here is fate
Future with a dog named Red
Buy a house with a fireplace

This is the first I’ve seen your face
But there’s a chance we are soul mates
I know this might sound crazy
‘Cause you don’t know my name

But we can’t, we can’t tell the future, no
But that’s just the beauty of the world we know
So I’ma say du, du, du-du, du-du, du-du, baby, what if?
We all can say du, du, du-du, du-du, du-du, baby, what if?

What if? What if? What if?
What if? What if? What if?

Yeah, picture me on one knee
With the perfect diamond ring
We just met, but if you said yes
We’d have our wedding on the beach

It could happen, raise three kids
And we grow old oh, so happily
I know this might sound crazy
‘Cause I don’t know your name

But we can’t, we can’t tell the future, no
But that’s just the beauty of the world we know
So I’ma say du, du, du-du, du-du, du-du, baby, what if?
We all can say du, du, du-du, du-du, du-du, baby, what if?

Don’t know what tomorrow brings
But I’m still hoping that you are the one for me
Oh, and what if I had you and what if you had me
And, baby, what’s the reason we can’t fall in love?

What if? What if? What if?
What if? What if?

But we can’t, we can’t tell the future, no
But that’s just the beauty of the world we know
So I’ma say du, du, du-du, du-du, du-du, baby, what if?
We all can say du, du, du-du, du-du, du-du, baby, what if?

But we can’t, we can’t tell the future, no
But that’s just the beauty of the world we know
So I’ma say du, du, du-du, du-du, du-du, baby, what if?
We all can say du, du, du-du, du-du, du-du, baby, what if?

Credit: Photo by MTV International, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons