Anschar Diamonds Blog

Anschar Diamonds Blog

Articles in August 2014

August 1st, 2014
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great new songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today, we feature “Burning Gold,” the second single off of Christina Perri’s latest album, Head or Heart.

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In this song about pursuing one’s dreams and looking for a ticket to a higher place, Perri “sets fire” to the remnants of her past until what remains is “burning gold.”

The song, which she co-wrote with Kid Harpoon, was inspired by Perri’s decision as a 20-year-old to move from her home in Philly to pursue a musical career in Los Angeles.

In an interview with Radio.com, Perri said, "A lot of times our dreams aren't where we grew up. We have to go find them… I would not stop until my life was burning gold, which I think it is now."

Perri revealed to Billboard magazine that “Burning Gold” almost didn’t happen. She was at “gnarly point” in her career when she wasn’t enjoying music anymore. Perry was finishing up a tour of the U.K. when her manager insisted that she meet with songwriter Harpoon. Reluctantly, she agreed, and the collaboration — which took place at four in the morning — netted “Burning Gold.” She said the song was “birthed” in 20 minutes and represents a “whole new sound” for her.

If “Burning Gold” sounds familiar it could be because the 27-year-old songstress performed the song live this past Monday on NBC’s TODAY Show, which was seen by four million viewers. A clip of that performance is included at the end of this post. The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“Burning Gold”
Written by Christina Perri and Thomas Hull (Kid Harpoon). Performed by Christina Perri.

Looking for an exit in this world of fear
I can see the path that leads away,
Momma never left and Daddy needs me here,
I wish the wind would carry a change.

I'm setting fire to where I gotta go,
Let's start a fire everywhere that we go,
We started fires,
We started fires 'til our lives were burning gold,
'Til our lives were burning gold.

I've had enough,
I'm standing up,
I need, I need a change.
I've had enough,
I'm chasing life,
I need, I need a change.

I'm setting fire to where I gotta go,
Let's start a fire everywhere that we go,
We started fires,
We started fires 'til our lives were burning gold,
'Til our lives were burning gold.

Looking for my ticket to a higher place
I can see my chance begin to fade,
One step forward into back again,
I wish the wind would carry a change.

I've had enough,
I'm standing up,
I need, I need to change.
I've had enough,
I'm chasing life,
I need, I need to change.

I'm setting fire to where I gotta go,
Let's start a fire everywhere that we go,
We started fires,
We started fires 'til our lives were burning gold,
'Til our lives were burning gold.

Looking back I see, I had flame in me,
I'm the wind that's carrying the change.

I've had enough,
I'm chasing life,
I need, I need to change.

I'm setting fire to where I gotta go,
Let's start a fire everywhere that we go,
We started fires,
We started fires 'til our lives were burning gold,
'Til our lives were burning gold.

I'm setting fire to where I gotta go,
Let's start a fire everywhere that we go,
We started fires,
We started fires 'til our lives were burning gold,
'Til our lives were burning gold.

August 4th, 2014
Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger clearly forgot to consult the Hallmark list of traditional and modern anniversary gifts when he surprised his wife of one year, Avril Lavigne, with a 17-carat emerald-cut diamond set in platinum.

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While Hallmark recommends a first anniversary gift of paper (traditional) or a clock (modern), Kroeger decided on a diamond ring that was even larger than the dazzling 10-carat pear-shaped engagement ring he presented to the “Complicated” singer in 2012.

This past Thursday, Lavigne revealed the ring on Twitter with a captioned photo of her and Kroeger. On Lavigne’s left hand is a diamond that covers much of her petite ring finger. In the tweet, she breathlessly wrote, “I still can’t believe my 1 year anniversary gift. 17 carat emerald cut. Wow. I love my hubby.” Lavigne has 16.3 million followers on Twitter.

The ring’s value could range from several hundred thousand dollars to several million dollars, depending on the color, cut and clarity of the diamond.

The Twitter post was later taken down, presumable because the pop-punk singer was caught out of character when she gushed over her new jewelry.

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In August of 2012, Kroeger proposed to Lavigne with a vintage-style platinum engagement ring featuring a 10-carat pear-shaped center stone accented on each side with specially cut half-moon-shaped diamonds totaling an additional 4 carats. The ring’s estimated cost was $350,000. The couple married in the South of France in July 2013.

The 29-year-old diva said that her relationship with Kroeger, 39, started as a simple song-writing collaboration, but quickly turned into something much bigger.

The couple had been dating for only a month when Kroeger popped the question at a recording studio. According Lavigne, she had been making a scrapbook filled with cute stickers and Polaroid photos recounting her time in the studio. On one special day, she walked into the facility and caught Kroeger adding a photo to the book.

“He had taken a photo of himself holding a ring box,” said Lavigne. “He put the Polaroid in my scrapbook along with a sticker that said, ‘Will you marry me.’ It was really romantic.”

We can’t wait to see how Kroeger tops himself for the couple’s second anniversary.

Photo top: Twitter/Avril Lavigne
August 5th, 2014
Spaniard Sergio Garcia’s errant tee shot on the third hole of Sunday’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational was nearly the most costly golf shot ever as it knocked a solitaire diamond right out of the setting of a spectator’s engagement ring — and out of sight.

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Clever commentators on CBS were quickly calling the incident a “diamond in the rough,” which is literally where the lost gemstone ended up.

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Garcia, who had been leading the tournament at the time, arrived on the spot to find a woman in a grey top showing the CBS cameras the empty four-prong setting of her engagement ring.

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Seemingly shaken by the mishap, Garcia signed a golf ball and handed it to the surprisingly cheerful woman. He also apologized to her and asked tournament officials to get the woman’s contact information so he could make good on her loss.

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After a few minutes of searching through the gnarly rough at the Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, a young patron finally spotted the diamond and returned it to its owner.

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When asked by golfchannel.com how he felt about the incident, Garcia said, “Obviously, it didn’t feel very good. You never like to hit anybody, but if you hit someone and make her lose her diamond, it feels even worse.”

Garcia also revealed that he was prepared to buy the woman a new diamond if the original couldn’t be found. “I don’t know how [my fiancée] Kathy would have felt about that, but other than that, it was okay,” he said.

Garcia, who currently stands at #3 in the Official World Golf Ranking, had tied the course record with a 61 on Friday and mounted a six-shot lead. But, after plunking the spectator, Garcia’s fortunes turned south. He went on to bogey the third hole and eventually placed second in the tournament to a surging Rory McIlroy, who won by two strokes.

Check out the two-minute video of Garcia’s notorious tee shot and its crazy aftermath. It’s been viewed more than 223,000 times on YouTube.

Images: YouTube screen captures

August 6th, 2014
Back in February, we introduced you to the “Ring Cam,” an engagement ring box that could candidly capture in HD video the emotional and life-changing moment when she says, “Yes.”

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At the time, the product was essentially a prototype, and the inventors — four grads from Hope College in Holland, Mich. — were working hard to transform a neat idea for their senior engineering project into a viable business venture.

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Now, a little more than five months later, the Ring Cam team has gotten its big break with a featured segment on Good Morning America. The reporter said the Ring Cam was “giving viral proposal videos a whole new perspective.”

Other high-profile media outlets, such as the Huffington Post, InStyle magazine and the Detroit Free Press, followed suit with a flood of positive coverage.

The Ring Cam team also was encouraged by a second-round audition callback for the popular TV show, Shark Tank, where wealthy investors help entrepreneurs make it big — for a price.

The Ring Cam provides couples with a video record of one of the most momentous events of their lives — a precious snippet that can be shared with family and friends and generations to come.

By simply pushing a button on the ring box, the romantic suitor can record up to 20 minutes of video in 720p high-definition format. The auto-focus, wide-angle lens is mounted near the ring, so the priceless reaction shots are seen from the ring’s point of view.

The ring boxes may be rented for $100 or purchased for $200. They have a USB connector that allows for video captures to be easily transferred to a computer for editing.

The inventors believe that jewelry stores will be a perfect place to rent or buy a Ring Cam. For now, the team is distributing its product through its website, www.getringcam.com.

In describing the original concept for the product, founding team member Sam Tzou told the Holland Sentinel, “We’ve had a lot of friends get engaged... In listening to their stories, [we learned] how excited they were and all the things they did getting ready to propose. We thought, ‘How awesome would it be to capture that moment on video?’”

The Ring Cam was conceived as a Hope College senior project and then migrated to the school’s 10-week summer incubator program, where it was refined. The early development was financed with a $5,000 infusion from Start Garden, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based program that “seeds” would-be entrepreneurs’ innovative ideas.

Now, it looks like the Ring Cam is ready to take off.
August 7th, 2014
The prolific Letšeng mine in the tiny African Kingdom of Lesotho just yielded another massive rough diamond — a 198-carat shimmering stunner the size of a large strawberry. Experts expect it to sell for as much as $15 million.

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Officials for Gem Diamonds Limited, which owns a 70 percent stake in the mine, described the stone as an “exceptional white, high-quality diamond [that] displays no florescence.” It has a Type IIa rating, which means it is chemically pure and has an exceptional optical transparency.

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"The recovery of this large, high-quality white diamond continues to support the Letšeng mine's reputation as the most important source of exceptional quality, large diamonds," Gem Diamonds CEO Clifford Elphick said in a statement.

In fact, five of the 20 largest gem-quality white diamonds ever recorded were unearthed at the Letšeng mine — a mine in the kingdom's northern Maluti mountains that consistently yields the highest per-carat value of any kimberlite diamond mine in the world.

In 2001, Gem Diamonds pulled a 553-carat rough white diamond from Letšeng, and a just over a year ago the company extracted a gem-quality rough white diamond weighing in at 164 carats. That stone was eventually sold for $9 million.

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London-based mining analyst Martin Potts told National Jeweler that he expects the recently discovered 198-carat stone to fetch between $12 million and $15 million.

Gem Diamonds has owned a controlling stake in Letšeng since 2006. The Kingdom of Lesotho owns 30 percent. The diamond mine is one of the highest in the world, sitting at an altitude of 10,000 feet.

Diamond photo via Gem Diamonds; Mine photo via et-global.com/uncredited
August 8th, 2014
When 17-time Grammy winner Eric Clapton was asked by VH1 in 1999 to name his favorite song from his own catalog, he surprisingly picked “Golden Ring,” the ninth track on his 1978 Backless album.

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He said the simple song was his all-time favorite because “it's obscure, people don't know it and it's about marriage.”

It was later revealed that Clapton wrote the song to chronicle his complicated love triangle with model Pattie Boyd and the Beatles’ George Harrison. Harrison and Clapton became close friends in the late 1960s, but despite their friendship, Clapton fell in love with Boyd, who Harrison had married in 1966.

In 1970, Clapton reportedly proclaimed his love for Boyd with his hit song, "Layla." When Boyd rebuffed his advances, Clapton went into a self-imposed musical exile that would last more than three years.

Boyd and Harrison eventually separated in 1974 and divorced in 1977. Clapton now had his chance to rekindle the relationship.

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Clapton penned “Golden Ring” in the emotional transition year between Boyd’s official divorce from Harrison and his own marriage to Boyd in 1979. It was also the year Harrison tied the knot with author Olivia Trinidad Arias.

Clapton explained in his 2007 autobiography, "[Golden Ring] was written about the situation between me, [Pattie] and George. It referred in part to her response to the news that George was getting married again. She took it quite hard, and I, in my arrogance, found that hard to understand. So I wrote this song about the peculiarity of our triangle, which finishes with the words, ‘If I gave to you a golden ring / Would I make you happy, would I make you sing?'"

Clapton, who is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (once as a solo artist, and separately as a member of the Yardbirds and Cream), is considered one of the most influential guitarists of all time, ranking second on Rolling Stone magazine’s all-time list.

We hope you enjoy the video of Clapton’s rendition of “Golden Ring.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

Photo of Eric Clapton/Wikimedia Commons/Chris Hakkens; photo of Clapton and Pattie Boyd (uncredited).

“Golden Ring”
Written and performed by Eric Clapton.

He gave to you a golden ring;
It made you happy, it made you sing.
And I played for you on my guitar;
It didn't last long, we didn't go far.

And though the times have changed,
We're rearranged.
Will the ties that bind remain the same?

You came around after a while;
Everyone said that I made you smile.
It all went well, and suddenly then
You heard that he would marry again.

And though the times have changed,
We're rearranged.
Will the ties that bind remain the same?

Well I know that I have been here before;
I've trod on your wings, I've opened the door.
If I gave to you a golden ring
Would I make you happy, would I make you sing?

And though the times have changed,
We're rearranged.
Will the ties that bind remain the same?

And though the times have changed,
We're rearranged.
Will the ties that bind remain the same?

August 12th, 2014
Eager treasure hunters are hot on the trail of a 1.14-carat modified cushion diamond valued at $20,000 that was recently launched into space via helium balloon from a field in Derbyshire, UK. When the balloon hit a critical altitude, it burst, sending the bauble parachuting back to earth. The lucky person who finds the precious gem will get to keep it.

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The UK Aviation Authority (CAA) and online retailer 77 Diamonds teamed to launch the gem into space. According to the retailer, the diamond was fitted with a tracking device and rose to an altitude of 100,000 feet until atmospheric pressure at the edge of space burst the balloon after an amazing 60-mile, 150-minute journey.

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The diamond was then released toward earth, safely nestled inside a red foil box attached to a bright orange parachute. The anticipated landing area was estimated to encompass more than 60 miles around Lincolnshire, but the diamond is reportedly within a five-mile radius of Lea near Gainsborough, about 150 miles north of London.

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Jewelry retailer 77 Diamonds created the unique PR stunt to raise awareness of its "interactive universe," Diamonds in the Sky. This technology allows users to fill a virtual night sky with thousands of stars, each one unique and named after someone or something special.

The firm has been tweeting clues using #diamondinthesky for gem seekers who wish to join in the search. More than 6,500 people have joined the conversation and more than 8,400 are following it. Kate Dixon, a spokesperson for 77 Diamonds, tweeted today that "as it stands, the diamond is still up for grabs.”

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Modified cushion brilliants like the one used for this stunt are a popular variation on the cushion brilliant shape. This cut boasts an extra row of facets just below the girdle, resembling a flower shape and a “sparkling water” or “crushed ice” appearance. This alluring cut caught the eye of Hollywood A-Listers Kim Kardashian and Jessica Biel, who both chose it for their engagement rings.

Photos: Courtesy 77 Diamonds/Stian Alexander
August 13th, 2014
The young Florida couple that made national headlines last month when their $6,000 engagement ring was accidentally donated to Goodwill was back in the news on Friday when a local jeweler came to the rescue with a replacement ring.

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Early last month, Corey Todd's marriage proposal plans earned national attention — including a segment on the TODAY show — because the engagement ring he had hidden in the pocket of an old pair of dress pants cluttering a guest room closet was accidentally donated to charity.

Todd had hidden the ring for nearly a month and was planning a July 7 proposal. But, on July 2, girlfriend Jacelyn Penton gave the dress pants and other old clothes to Goodwill.

A day later, Todd noticed the missing clothes and realized the ring was gone with them. “I was at a loss for words,” Todd told the News Herald. “My stomach dropped.”

The couple made an attempt to recover the ring from Goodwill, but it couldn't be located and no one turned it in.

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The story of Corey and Jacelyn tugged the heartstrings of people from all over the country. TODAY show hosts Willie Geist and Tamron Hall went to bat for the couple by dedicating a large part of their July 8 opening segment to the couple's plight. Todd had saved up for three years to buy the engagement ring.

Said Hall, "Let's try to help him out. Someone's got the pants. We're rooting for you, Corey."

“I feel for [him],” said Geist. “That’s painful.”

Despite the media attention, the ring was never found and Todd was forced to postpone his proposal to Penton, the love of his life since the first day he met her in middle school 20 years earlier.

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This past week, the couple's sadness turned to gladness when Panama City's Maharaja's gifted the couple with a brand new engagement ring.

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On Friday, Todd and a news crew from a local NBC-TV affiliate surprised Penton at her workplace, HealthSouth Emerald Coast Rehabilitation Hospital. The nervous suitor finally got to propose — with the cameras rolling. "The hard part is getting down on one knee, and not passing out," Todd told WJHG.

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During the heart-wrenching previous month, Penton admitted she was saddened by the real possibility that she may never experience the moment of an actual proposal. "I always knew we wanted to marry each other," she said. "It just really hurt me that I probably [would] never feel that way. And I did, today!"

The couple is planning a September 2015 wedding.
August 14th, 2014
Fancy red diamonds are so rare that over the 30-year history of the iconic Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender only 13 have come to market. The 2014 edition of the tender will feature a record four such diamonds, including the spectacular Argyle Cardinal™, a 1.21-carat radiant-cut fancy red.

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STARS OF THE SHOW: Four fancy red diamonds, including the 1.21-carat Argyle Cardinal (second from left). Photo supplied by Rio Tinto.

Rio Tinto, which owns the Argyle Mine in Western Australia, recently showcased the four red diamonds — along with 51 top-quality pink and purplish-red diamonds — to a select group of 150 customers and the press. The annual tender represents the pinnacle of the mining company’s production.

The Sydney event marked the beginning of a two-month promotional tour that will offer tender viewings in New York, Hong Kong and Perth. Bidding on the stones will close on October 8.

Red and pink diamonds demand a high price — typically 50 times greater than similar white diamonds, according to Rio Tinto. The four red diamonds in the tender are expected to fetch from $1 million to $2 million per carat. Just last year, the 1.56-carat Argyle Phoenix™ sold for more than $2 million to a Singapore-based jeweler.

“Decades ago, no one would have believed that Australia held the secret of diamonds, let alone virtually the world’s entire source of rare pink and red diamonds,” said Rio Tinto’s managing director Jean-Marc Lieberherr. The company boasts that Argyle produces more than 90 percent of the world’s pink diamonds.

It is believed that red diamonds get their rich color from a molecular structure distortion that occurs as the jewel forms in the earth’s crust. By contrast, other colored diamonds get their color from trace elements, such as boron (yielding a blue diamond) or nitrogen (yielding yellow), in their chemical composition.
August 15th, 2014
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fabulous songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, we present the soulful Anita Baker singing her biggest hit and 1989’s top R&B song, "Giving You the Best That I Got."

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In this entrancing love song co-written by Baker, Randy Holland and Skip Scarborough, the eight-time Grammy Award winner makes a solemn vow: “I bet everything on my wedding ring / I'm giving you the best that I got.”

Released in September 1988, the song was both a commercial and critical success, as it resonated with R&B fans as well as a broad crossover audience. The song peaked at #1 on the Billboard R&B chart, #1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and at an impressive #3 on the broad-based Billboard Hot 100 chart.

"Giving You the Best That I Got," which appears on Baker’s 3x platinum album of the same name, yielded five Grammy nominations and three Grammy Awards — two in the exact same category in back-to-back years (We’ll explain).

In 1989, she won Grammys for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, Best R&B Song, and earned nominations that year for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. In 1990, she won another Grammy for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. Because the single was released in September 1988 (just before the cutoff for 1989 Grammy eligibility) and the album was released in October 1988 (just after the 1989 award cutoff), Baker was able to take home the Vocal Performance Grammy twice for the same song.

Born in Toledo, Ohio, and abandoned at the age of two, Baker was raised by a foster family in Detroit until she was 12. Sadly, both her foster parents died and Baker went through her adolescence in the custody of her foster sister.

In 1974, at the age of 16, Baker began singing at Detroit nightclubs. Soon after, she was discovered by bandleader David Washington, who helped launch her stellar career. By the age of 17, she was touring professionally with the funk band, Chapter 8.

We know you will enjoy the official video of Anita Baker’s “Giving You the Best That I Got.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

“Giving You the Best That I Got”
Written by Anita Baker, Randy Holland and Skip Scarborough

Ain't there something I can give you
In exchange for everything you give to me
Read my mind and make me feel just fine
When I think my peace of mind is out of reach

The scales are sometimes unbalanced
And you bear the weight of all that has to be
I hope you see that you can lean on me
And together we can calm a stormy sea

We love so strong and so unselfishly
And I tell you now that I made a vow
I'm giving you the best that I got, baby
Yes, I tell you now, that I made a vow
I'm giving you the best that I got, honey

Everybody's got opinions
'Bout the way they think our story's gonna end
Some folks feel it's just a superficial thrill
Everybody's gonna have to think again

We love so strong and so unselfishly
They don't bother me so I'm gonna keep on
Giving you the best that I got, baby
They don't bother me, said I'm gonna keep on
Giving you the best that I got, listen baby

Somebody understands me
Somebody gave his heart to me
I stumbled my whole life long
Always on my own, now I'm home

My weary mind is rested
And I feel as if my home is in your arms
Fears are all gone, I like the sound of your song
And I think I wanna sing it forever

We love so strong and so unselfishly
And I made a vow so I tell you now
I'm giving you the best that I got, listen baby
I bet everything on my wedding ring
I'm giving you the best that I got
Givin' it to you baby

Giving you the best that I got
Giving you the best that I got
Giving you the best that I got

August 18th, 2014
Imagine being able to power your electronic devices with the energy harnessed from your eyes blinking, the blood flowing through your veins, or the electric pulses coursing down your spine.

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Well, Israeli industrial design student Naomi Kizhner has developed a line of fashionable, yet invasive, jewelry called “Energy Addicts” that transforms the body into a renewable energy source.

Fabricated in karat gold and 3D-printed biopolymer, the jewelry designs are intended to be worn on three different parts of the body.

The least invasive of the three is called the Blinker, which sits on the bridge of the nose and across the eyelids. The device transforms the energy generated with every blink of the eye into electricity.

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Not for the faint-hearted, the Blood Bridge requires two needles to be placed into a vein in the lower arm. The jewelry redirects blood flow past a wheel within the casing. As the wheel turns, the device converts the kinetic energy into electricity.

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Another seemingly painful device is called the E-pulse Conductor. Inserted into the upper spine, the jewelry collects the electric pulses generated by the wearer’s neurological system.

So far, the Energy Addicts jewelry is not commercially viable. Kizhner designed the products for a senior project at Hadassah College in Jerusalem. Her project addresses what she believes is an impending worldwide energy crisis.

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"I wanted to explore the post-humanistic approach that sees the human body as a resource," she told Dezeen.com. "It interested me to imagine what would the world be like once it has experienced a steep decline in energy resources and how we will feed our energy addiction."

Kizhner believes her concepts are not far fetched. "Technologically, we are not too far away from these ideas becoming a reality," she said. "But practically speaking, will we be willing to sacrifice our bodies in order to produce more energy? My intention is to provoke a discussion."

(Photos: Naomi Kizhner/Shahar Tamir)
August 19th, 2014
An extraordinarily rare internally flawless purple-pink diamond could set a record when it hits the auction block at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Autumn Sale on October 7.

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The auction house tagged the 8.41-carat pear-shaped diamond with a pre-sale estimate between $12.8 million and $15.4 million, or approximately $1.83 million per carat.

A Sotheby's official claimed the fancy vivid purple-pink diamond displays the most beautiful and concentrated shades of pink that he has ever seen. The Gemological Institute of America supported that assessment by bestowing the stone with its highest color rating.

"Together with its exceptional clarity, it is not surprising that it would command the highest per-carat pre-sale estimate for any pink diamond to date," said Quek Chin Yeow, the chairman of Sotheby’s international jewelry business in Asia. He added that the sale's top lot is arguably “the most desirable pink diamond to appear at auction in recent years.”

The 8.41-carat purple-pink sparkler was expertly cut in New York City from a De Beers-mined rough diamond weighing 19.54 carats. It is not unusual for a world-class diamond such as this one to lose half of its weight or more during the cutting process.

The Sotheby’s October headliner is expected to come within striking distance of the highest price ever paid per carat for a fancy vivid pink diamond. That record is held by a 5-carat stone that sold at Christie’s Hong Kong in January 2009 for $10.8 million ($2.16 million per carat).

The record for the highest price ever paid for any jewel at auction is held by the 24.67-carat Graff Pink, which sold in 2010 for $46.2 million ($1.86 million per carat).

The 8.41-carat purple-pink diamond will be touring Singapore, Taipei, New York, London, Geneva and Hong Kong prior to what promises to be an exciting auction on October 7.

(Photo: Sotheby's)
August 20th, 2014
A leather headpiece mounted with 4,000 lab-grown Swarovski spinel stones has the ability to change color in response to brain activity, delivering a high-tech and grown-up version of one of the memorable fads of all time — the mood ring.

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Children of the 1970s like to reminisce about their mood rings, the inexpensive baubles featuring a “gem” that changed color in response to the body’s temperature. The inventors cleverly bonded what was essentially a thin liquid crystal thermometer to the back of a clear quartz stone, enabling the surprising color-change effect to be seen through the faux gem.

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Now, nearly 40 years later, Lauren Bowker of the London-based fashion house The Unseen has created a gem-emblazoned head covering that absorbs the energy loss from the head. The stones start as black spinel, but have the ability to change from black to orange to red to green to blue to purple based on the part of the brain in use. The headpiece actually covers the wearer’s forehead, temples, ear tops and back of the neck.

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“When worn, the headpiece becomes a reflection of the inner human thought,” Bowker told Cnet.com.

The Swarovski black spinel stones are coated in Bowker’s signature color-changing ink, which is sensitive to temperature changes. The stones serve as heat conductors.

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Bowker claims that excitement, nervousness and fear all produce different colors. Shifting emotions result in a brilliant, colorful display.

The designer explained to Dezeen.com that mornings generally produce orange color patterns at the front of the brain, while evening patterns tend to be bluer and in the back right of the brain.

Attendees of London Fashion Week in September will be able to get a first-hand look at Bowker’s gem headpiece at The Unseen’s emporium in Somerset House.

(Headpiece photos: The Unseen)
August 21st, 2014
For the past six weeks, Dr. Kristen Rice has been on a mission to find the rightful owner of a diamond engagement ring she and her husband, Kevin, found in the short-term parking lot of Tulsa International Airport.

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Featuring a sizable round center diamond, pavé setting, delicate heart-motif gallery, one bent prong, a slightly flattened side and a custom engraving, the white metal ring has been splashed all over Facebook and Craigslist, and on Tuesday was the subject of a news report by NBC’s Tulsa television affiliate, KJRH.

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Despite the huge amount of traditional and social media exposure (Rice’s Facebook post about the ring has been shared 641 times, and the TV station’s post was shared 51 times), nobody has come forward to claim the keepsake.

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Rice used a strip of grey duct tape to conceal a custom engraving on the inside of the band. Whoever claims the ring must correctly identify what it says.

Since July 4, the Tulsa-based dermatologist has been scouring the Internet for claims of a lost ring, placed an ad on Craigslist, posted photos of the ring on Facebook, regularly contacted the Tulsa airport’s lost and found, and scored an interview with the NBC affiliate.

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Rice has received an outpouring of praise and encouragement from the Facebook users following her story.

“Bless her for trying to locate the owner!” commented Linda Tiffany Cardwell. “I lost a sapphire-and-diamond ring in the ladies’ room at the San Antonio airport 20 years ago... great sentimental value. My heart is still broken over the loss. Wish the person who found it had the same character as this lady!”

Added Facebook user Jo Lynn: “Even rings that aren't expensive can be treasures to someone. Kudos to the finder for being a superb human being.”

“The person who found this ring is the kind of person who walks with God,” wrote Damiris Kennedy.

“It's surprising to me so many people are shocked at me trying to find the rightful owner,” she told KJRH. “It's just the right thing to do. I wouldn't have done it any other way.”

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Rice, who graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, is impressed by the power of social media. She reported that several people contacted her saying “don’t give up” and that “25 years ago this happened to me; it took six months or a year, but I finally found the owner through the classifieds.”

“Now with social media it can take 24 to 48 hours,” she said.

Rice hopes there will be a sweet, romantic outcome, although she speculated on circumstances behind the ring ending up slightly flattened in an airport parking lot.

“Maybe she threw it out the window. Maybe she didn't want the ring anymore,” she told KJRH. “I hope that's not the case. Hopefully it's [a couple] who truly lost their ring and they are looking for it, because if they are to find it, it might be a symbol of renewed love.”
August 22nd, 2014
Welcome to Music Friday when we often unearth wonderful, but sadly forgotten, treasures with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, we present the immortal Nat King Cole singing “The Ruby and the Pearl,” the theme song to the 1952 film, Thunder in the East.

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In this ballad written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, Cole uses gemstones and precious metals to describe his love and devotion. He sings, “Can love be as warm as the ruby? / Can love be as pure as the pearl? / Just look in the heart of my love for you. / You'll find the ruby and the pearl.”

In a later verse, he sings, “My love will endure as the diamond / And shine with the shimmer of gold. / It glows like a bright star above for you / A thing of beauty to behold.”

Released on Capitol Records only one year after his iconic hit, “Unforgettable,” “The Ruby and the Pearl” peaked at #23 on the U.S. Billboard chart. One online movie reviewer noted that Cole’s beautiful performance of “The Ruby and the Pearl” was the best thing to come out of Thunder in the East, which he called a routine action film.

In 1954, “The Ruby and the Pearl” was included in a 10-inch LP Nat King Cole compilation album called Eight Top Pops.

Born in 1919 to a Baptist minister and a church organist, Nathanian Adam Coles learned to play the piano at the age of four. He first came to prominence as a jazz pianist, but is most famous for his silky smooth baritone voice. In 1956, he hosted The Nat King Cole Show on NBC, the first variety program to be hosted by an African American.

During his abbreviated career (he died of lung cancer in 1965 at the age of 45), Cole released 29 albums and scored 79 Top 40 singles.

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In 1990, he was posthumously awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2000 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 1994, his likeness adorned an official U.S. postage stamp.

We invite you to hear Cole’s beautifully articulated performance of “The Ruby and the Pearl.” The video is below and the lyrics are included if you’d like to sing along.

“The Ruby and the Pearl”
Music written by Jay Livingston. Lyrics written by Ray Evans. Performed by Nat King Cole.

Can love be as warm as the ruby?
Can love be as pure as the pearl?
Just look in the heart of my love for you.
You'll find the ruby and the pearl.

My love will endure as the diamond;
And shine with the shimmer of gold.
It glows like a bright star above for you,
A thing of beauty to behold.

Come close and cling to my kiss;
Come close and share the passion of this.

Yes, love is as warm as the ruby
And love is as pure as the pearl.
Just look in the heart of my love for you.
You'll find the ruby and the pearl.

Come close and cling to my kiss;
Come close and share the passion of this.

Yes, love is as warm as the ruby
And love is as pure as the pearl.
Just look in the heart of my love for you.
You'll find the ruby and the pearl.

Top image: WikiCommons

August 25th, 2014
It was only a matter a time before a romantic young man figured out a clever way to incorporate the wildly popular ALS Ice Bucket Challenge into a heart-warming marriage proposal.

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Last Tuesday, Shelby Muha, a teacher from Manhattan, Kan., believed she was simply shooting a video of an Ice Bucket Challenge with boyfriend, Justin Davidson.

Muha introduces herself and nominates three friends to take the challenge. Then she tenses up as she expects Davidson — also a teacher — to dump the freezing water on her head.

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But, when it doesn’t happen, she spins around to see him on bended knee with an engagement ring in hand. The startled girlfriends says, “What?” And then she giggles as Davidson asks for her hand in marriage.

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She accepts his proposal, but fumbles the ring. As she scoops it off the sidewalk, Davidson blasts her with the bucket of ice water.

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The fun-loving Muha takes it all in stride and maintains a smile through her part of the challenge. It was now Davidson’s turn. He steps forward and nominates a few friends. Then, Muha seals the deal by dumping a cooler of ice water on her new fiancé.

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The drenched couple embraces, concluding what we believe to be the world's first-ever ALS Ice Bucket Challenge marriage proposal.

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Muha told MailOnline that she had no clue the proposal was coming. “Justin is a really quiet guy, and he's not into big, showy things at all,” she said. “He's not a limelight lover, and so even being on video freaks him out.”

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge works like this. A person who has already taken the challenge gets to nominate three of his or her own friends or family members to accept the next challenge. Those who have been newly nominated have 24 hours to film themselves dumping ice water on their heads or they must send a $100 donation to support the non-profit ALS Association. If they successfully complete the mission, they send $10 to the charity. The drenching must be recorded and posted to social media.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has become a national phenomenon. Celebrities, such as Derek Jeter and Lady Gaga, as well as dignitaries, such as former President George W. Bush, have all accepted and succumbed to the Ice Bucket Challenge.

The challenge has been enormously successful in generating awareness and funds for the foundation that aims to find a cure to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The neurodegenerative disease affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.

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More than 3.3 million people have used the hashtag “#icebucketchallenge,” with the number spiking to more than 600,000 last Tuesday, according to the social media analytic web site Topsy.com.

The ALS Foundation reports having received $13 million in donations between July 29 and August 17. That compares to $1.7 in donations during the same period a year ago.

Check out the video of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge marriage proposal. It has been seen by more than 100,000 YouTube viewers.

Images: YouTube screen captures

August 26th, 2014
The latest entry into the burgeoning wearable tech market is a stylish bracelet that doubles as a back-up battery for your smartphone. Called the QBracelet, the unisex bangle can add a 60% power boost when you need it most. Wearable tech is expected to grow into a $10 billion industry by 2016.

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Invented by New York-based Q Designs, the QBracelet is cleverly designed to unhinge in the middle, revealing an integrated Lightning adaptor on the iPhone version or a Micro USB on the Android/Windows phone version.

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A brilliant combination of form and function, the $99 bracelet conceals a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and is available in three wrist sizes and five finishes, including polished silver tone, matte silver tone, polished gold tone, brushed black and matte black.

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When unhinged and plugged into the phone, the bracelet serves as a useful smartphone handle or charging stand. Surprisingly, it weighs less than two ounces.

From music streaming and social media posting to HD video editing and FaceTiming with friends, smartphone users are pushing the boundaries of what their phones can do — and the amount of power they consume.

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The makers of the QBracelet understand that consumers’ most important consideration when choosing a smartphone is the battery life, a factor that trumped both “brand name” and “ease of use” in a recent survey by technology research company IDC. So, instead of having to carry around cables or a battery booster in a separate bag, the consumer can simply wear the battery backup on his or her wrist.

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Once plugged in, the QBracelet can deliver a 60% charge in about 60 minutes, according to Q Designs. The bracelet itself can be fully charged in 90 minutes and the charge will hold for 30 days in standby mode. The battery level and charging state are shown using four LEDs, which are hidden above the connector in the bracelet.

QBracelets are scheduled to ship in December with a retail price of $99. Those who pre-order via the company's website at qdesigns.co will earn a 20% discount.

Images: Q Designs
August 27th, 2014
Back in February, we reported on luxury jeweler Cora International’s $25.6 million purchase of an “exceptional” acorn-sized 29.6-carat vivid blue rough diamond. Now, six months later, the company’s expert cutters have completed the transformation of that rough diamond into a 12-carat internally flawless cushion-cut masterpiece named “Blue Moon.”

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(The name might be a subtle reference to how often these extraordinary diamonds come along, as in “once in a blue moon.”)

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Photo: Cora International/Tino Hammid

The diamond, which the Gemological Institute of America rated "fancy vivid blue" and "internally flawless," is so special and so rare that it will headline a 16-week exhibition, starting September 13, at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. This is the first — and possibly the last — time the diamond will be on public display.

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Among the amazing characteristics of the gem is its unusual color. “You can’t describe that blue,” Cora CEO Suzette Gomes told bloomberg.com. “You just drown in it.”

Forbes contributor Anthony DeMarco, who got a chance to see the Blue Moon up close, described the color as aqua blue, with the facets appearing as if they are “wavelets on the water.” He was struck by the transparency of the stone. “You can see clear through the diamond,” he wrote.

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Unearthed in January by Petra Diamonds Ltd. at its legendary Cullinan mine in South Africa, the 29.6-carat rough was heralded at the time as “one of the most important blue diamonds ever recovered” by Petra chief executive Johan Dippenaar.

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When Cora purchased the stone, it was assumed that more than half of its weight would be sacrificed during the cutting process. In fact, nearly 60% of the stone's weight was lost. Although Cora has not put a price on the stone, other diamonds of this pedigree have sold for about $1.8 million per carat.

Blue diamonds get their color from trace amounts of boron impurities in their chemical makeup.

Cora reveals how its cutters transformed a 29.6-carat rough diamond into the 12-carat internally flawless Blue Moon in the video at this link.

Video captures via CoraInternational.com
August 28th, 2014
With six personalized bottles purchased from Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” online shop, Scotsman Donnie McGilvray spelled out a sweet marriage proposal for his girlfriend, Eloise. The romantic young man lined up the bottles shoulder to shoulder across the top shelf of his immaculate refrigerator. They read: “Beautiful” “Eloise” “Will” “You” “Marry” “Me.”

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On the middle shelf he placed a bouquet of roses and a Coke glass containing the engagement ring (Who needs a ring box?).

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McGilvray posted a photo of his presentation along with this explanation of how the surprise marriage proposal went down on Coca-Cola's Facebook page: “I asked my girlfriend, Eloise, to put the milk away in the fridge and this is what she saw. The ‘ice’ was in the glass. Thanks Coca-Cola for all the help… she said yes!!!”

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McGilvray’s post was a viral sensation. His creativity earned him more than one million “Likes” in the first 48 hours and sparked worldwide media coverage. The post currently has more than 53,000 “Shares.”

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It also quickly caught the attention of Coca-Cola’s social media specialists, who customized two additional “Share a Coke” bottles — with the names Eloise and Donnie — and posted a congratulatory message featuring two bottles that are clearly in love.

Coca-Cola told BuzzFeed: “All of us at Coca-Cola would like to extend our huge congratulations to Donnie and Eloise on their engagement. We were thrilled to see that Donnie used our personalized iconic glass bottles in such a special and romantic way. That is exactly what Share a Coke is all about: Creating moments of happiness with the people closest to you. We hope they share a very happy life together and will be sending them some special congratulatory bottles to celebrate.”

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McGilvray, who is a native of Tain in the Highland area of Scotland, used Coca-Cola’s label customization tool to pick the proposal phrase from 1,000-plus popular names and words in the Coke database. Check it out at this link…

The cost for each 200ml bottle was about $3.30, so the total expenditure for the six-bottle message was a scant $19.80 (plus tax). Shipping was free on orders of six or more bottles.

Sadly for romantics on this side of the pond, the customized Coke bottles are currently available only in the U.K. The U.S. audience has to settle for the “virtual” version of the program, where users can customize two-dimensional Coke bottles for their friends and loved ones, and then “share” them on Facebook or Twitter. See link here…

Soft drink lovers around the world currently consume more than 1.8 billion servings of Coca-Cola brand beverages each day. The Coca-Cola Facebook page has been “Liked” by more than 87 million fans.
August 29th, 2014
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you super songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, we feature Mick Jagger and The Rolling Stones performing their 1965 release, “Play With Fire.”

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A song that takes a critical look at the lifestyle of Jagger’s high-society girlfriend, “Play With Fire” starts off with the line, “Well, you've got your diamonds and you've got your pretty clothes / And the chauffeur drives your car / You let everybody know / But don't play with me, 'cause you're playing with fire.”

Although the song is credited to Nanker Phelge, the pseudonym used when the whole band collaborated on a track, SongFacts.com reports that lead singer Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards were the only band members awake when the song was recorded very late one night at RCA Studios in January of 1965.

It was reported that record producer Phil Spector stepped in on bass guitar, his assistant Jack Nitzsche played harpsichord and a night janitor helped out with backup vocals. (Who knew?)

In a 1995 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Jagger said the song still sounds “amazing.”

“I mean, it's a very in-your-face kind of sound and very clearly done,” Jagger said. “You can hear all the vocal stuff on it. And I'm playing the tambourines, the vocal line. You know, it's very pretty."

Buried on the B-side of their single, “The Last Time,” “Play With Fire” met with only marginal commercial success. It topped out at #96 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

The Stones seemed to have a fondness for the song, however, as it was performed in concert during the tours of 1965 and 1966, and then revived more than 20 years later when the band toured in 1989 and 1990.

The Rolling Stones, which celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2012, are credited with more than 250 million album sales. They are members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and were ranked fourth on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time.”

We hope you enjoy the video of The Rolling Stones performing “Play With Fire.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

“Play With Fire”
Written by Nanker Phelge (The Rolling Stones). Performed by The Rolling Stones.

Well, you've got your diamonds and you've got your pretty clothes
And the chauffeur drives your car
You let everybody know
But don't play with me, 'cause you're playing with fire

Your mother she's an heiress, owns a block in Saint John's Wood
And your father'd be there with her
If he only could
But don't play with me, 'cause you're playing with fire

Your old man took her diamonds and tiaras by the score
Now she gets her kicks in Stepney
Not in Knightsbridge anymore
So don't play with me, 'cause you're playing with fire

Now you've got some diamonds and you will have some others
But you'd better watch your step, girl
Or start living with your mother
So don't play with me, 'cause you're playing with fire
So don't play with me, 'cause you're playing with fire