Friday, August 23, 2019

Music Friday: Sophia Somajo Wishes for a Bulletproof, Unbreakable 'Diamond Heart'

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you new tunes with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Swedish singer-songwriter Sophia Somajo navigates a toxic love affair in "Diamond Heart," her 2018 collaboration with Norwegian DJ Alan Walker.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If I had a diamond heart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If I had a diamond heart

Credit: Screen capture via YouTube.com.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Vending Machine at London's Bankside Hotel Dispenses Engagement Rings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Credits: Images courtesy of Bankside Hotel.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Alrosa's 14.83-Carat Pink Diamond — 'The Spirit of the Rose' — Could Be a Record Setter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Credits: Images courtesy of Alrosa.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Music Friday: Matt Palmer Promises to Let You Shine in 2010's 'Diamond Love'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Diamond Love"
Written and performed by Matt Palmer.

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

2X
You're one of a kind
You take a lifetime, a lifetime to find
You're a diamond in the rough
Baby you should be mine
And I'll let you shine
You're my diamond lover

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

3X
You're one of a kind
You take a lifetime, a lifetime to find
You're a diamond in the rough
Baby you should be mine
And I'll let you shine
You're my diamond lover

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

3X
You're one of a kind
You take a lifetime a lifetime to find
You're a diamond in the rough
Baby you should be mine
And I'll let you shine
You're my diamond lover

Credit: Screen capture via YouTube.com.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Wilensky Gallery Curates Spectacular Collection of Natural Emerald Specimens

The Wilensky gallery in New York City has assembled a spectacular collection of natural emerald specimens — each one of museum quality and preserved in its crystal form.

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

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

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

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

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

Credits: (From top to bottom) Emerald on calcite, Coscuez Mine, Boyaca, Colombia. Rice Northwest Museum Collection; "The Yamile." Emerald on calcite from the Coscuez Mine, Boyaca, Colombia. Collection of Ms. Lyda Hill; Emerald crystal from the Muzo Mine, Colombia. Dr. Eugene Meieran Collection; Emerald on calcite from the Coscuez Mine, Boyaca, Colombia. From the Dr. Stephen Smale Collection. All images by Evan D'Arpino via PRWeb.com.