Friday, February 23, 2018

Music Friday: Teen Star Billie Eilish Can't Stop Thinking of His Diamond Mind and Those 'Ocean Eyes'

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fresh, new songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, prepare to be blown away by 16-year-old Billie Eilish and her debut single "Ocean Eyes."

In the song, Apple Music's UPNEXT Artist of the Month is suffering through a devastating breakup. She still loves her ex-boyfriend and is longing for his brilliant "diamond mind" and his dreamy "ocean eyes."

She sings, "I've been walking through / A world gone blind / Can't stop thinking of your diamond mind / Careful creature made friends with time / He left her lonely with a diamond mind / And those ocean eyes."

Co-written by her brother, Finneas Baird O'Connell, "Ocean Eyes" was originally recorded for a dance class in 2015, when Eilish was only 14 years old. The original intention was to have her dance teacher choreograph a routine to the music.

"We put it on SoundCloud with a free download link next to it so my dance teacher could access it," Eilish told Teen Vogue. "We had no intentions for it, really. But basically overnight a ton of people started hearing it and sharing it."

The song soon went viral with 35 million streams on Spotify alone.

"Ocean Eyes" was featured as the lead single from Eilish's debut EP, Don't Smile at Me, which was released in August of 2017. One month later, she made her national TV debut on The Late Late Show with James Corden, and Apple Music named Eilish the UPNEXT artist of the month in October 2017.

Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O'Connell was born in Los Angeles in 2001 to a family of actors and musicians. She began writing songs at age 11, following the footsteps of her older brother, who was already performing original songs with his band.

Please check out Eilish's official music video of "Ocean Eyes." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Ocean Eyes"
Written by Arron Carl Davey and Finneas Baird O'Connell. Performed by Billie Eilish.

I've been watching you
For some time
Can't stop staring at those oceans eyes
Burning cities and napalm skies
Fifteen flares inside those ocean eyes
Your ocean eyes

No fair
You really know how to make me cry
When you gimme those ocean eyes
I'm scared
I've never fallen from quite this high
Falling into your ocean eyes
Those ocean eyes

I've been walking through
A world gone blind
Can't stop thinking of your diamond mind
Careful creature made friends with time
He left her lonely with a diamond mind
And those ocean eyes

No fair
You really know how to make me cry
When you gimme those ocean eyes
I'm scared
I've never fallen from quite this high
Falling into your ocean eyes
Those ocean eyes

No fair
You really know how to make me cry
When you gimme those ocean eyes
I'm scared
I've never fallen from quite this high
Falling into your ocean eyes
Those ocean eyes

Credit: Screen capture via YouTube.com.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Neighbors Pool Their Plumbing Skills to Rescue Engagement Ring That Was Flushed Down Toilet

Resourceful neighbors in the community of Alamo, Calif., pooled their limited plumbing skills to reunite a future bride with the $10,000 diamond engagement ring she had accidentally flushed down the toilet. 

Only 48 hours earlier, the world was filled with nothing but despair for Haleigh Morrissey and her fiancé Dean Booras.

Morrissey had been in her bathroom applying suntan lotion when she grew concerned that the ring might get stained. She asked Booras to remove it from her finger and rinse it off.

He cleaned the ring and placed it on a tissue, neatly folding the ends together to create a little ring package. And he left it there on the bathroom sink.

Later in the day, Morrissey returned to tidy up the bathroom and instinctively scooped up the folded tissue and flushed it down the toilet.

“I got to the bathroom and then I was like here’s some trash… throw it in the toilet,” Morrissey told a reporter from Fox affiliate KTVU.

Morrissey was devastated when she realized what she'd done.

"I thought there is no chance in the world that we were ever going to see it again," Booras told the local ABC affiliate.

The panicked couple recruited a bunch of neighbors from this close-knit community 28 miles east of San Francisco. Together, they pooled their marginal plumbing experience to noodle out the best way to find a flushed engagement ring.

After watching a bunch of YouTube videos, neighbor Brett Gunari rented a plumber's snake equipped with a camera. When that method failed to turn up the ring, fellow neighbor and building inspector Ken Gunari recommended that they flood the system and try to snag the ring further down the sewer line.

His method: "Turn on the bathtub, flush the toilet, dump the two five-gallon buckets of water into the toilet all at once," he said.

About 200 feet from the house, the neighbors had unearthed the sewer line and rigged it with a screen to catch the ring.

Within a few minutes of the water rush, the neighbors at the site of the trap could be heard yelling, "Oh man, look at that."

The plan worked. The ring emerged from the screen a bit mucky, but not damaged.

We're guessing that Morrissey and Booras — who have their wedding planned for this May — will be adding a bunch of well-deserving neighbors to their guest list.

Credits: Screen captures via abc7news.com.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Olympic Athletes Are Linked to Diamonds in a Series of Ads Airing During the Winter Games

Olympic athletes are visually and emotionally linked to diamonds in a trio of compelling ads now airing during the coverage of the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Conceived by the Diamond Producer's Association's 'Real is a Diamond' platform in partnership with The NBCU Content Studio, “The Making of a Gem” commercials tell the story of young athletes on the rise. In their own words, athletes representing the sports of snowboarding, women’s ice hockey and pairs figure skating speak of their journeys to achieve greatness.

Each of their narratives include words and phrases commonly associated with diamonds. In fact, one can easily imagine the story being told from the diamond's point of view.

Here's an example from the snowboarding script...

"I can do this. I can handle intense pressure. I can stand up against unimaginable heat. That makes me strong. Gives me an edge. And even when I'm rough, unpolished, with all my imperfections, I'm still flawless. That's what makes me unique. What about you?"

And the hockey script...

"We were made this way. We were made strong. Commitment helped us dig deeper. Focus sharpened our edge. And even when we were vulnerable... we never stopped being invincible. They tried to crush us. But our bond is unbreakable."

And the figure skating script...

"I've spent most of my life in the dark, unseen by the world. The longer I waited, the more intense the pressure became. Until, like a force of nature, I finally broke free. And where before I was hidden, today I have the support of the world who never lets me forget that with love, might and a little polish... I shine."

“The breadth of common themes was surprisingly rich and made for seamless and layered storytelling,” said Deborah Marquardt, Chief Marketing Officer for the Diamond Producer’s Association.

Stylist Tanya Dukes chose the featured jewelry, explaining, “In each film, we styled the athletes in realistic, current diamond jewelry that they’d actually wear, including some of their own pieces. The jewelry was an authentic part of their personal style.”

The snowboarding ad, for instance, shows the male athlete wearing a princess-cut stud earring and a spider-shaped diamond pendant. The hockey-themed ad shows twin diamond stud earrings on the female athlete and a diamond wedding band on her male coach. In the pairs figure skating ad, the female athlete is wearing twin diamond stud earrings and a diamond engagement ring. Her partner (presumably her husband) is wearing a wedding band.

Of the three ads, the women's hockey version is getting the highest engagement (7.9), according to ad tracking service Ispot.tv. The snowboarding ad is second with a 7.7 and the figure skating ad is third at 7.0.

“The Making of a Gem” series is being distributed through NBCUniversal’s portfolio-wide platform across social media, video programming and the company’s strategic partnerships with Apple News and Vox Media. Videos and supplemental content will also run on Real is a Diamond-owned and -operated channels, as well as in cinema.

Each of the videos is below...

Snowboarding

Women's Hockey

Pairs Figure Skating

Credits: Screen captures via YouTube.com/Real is a Diamond.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Music Friday: 'We Were Golden' Are the First Words to Kelsea Ballerini's Country Hit, 'Legends'

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great, new songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, we shine the spotlight on country singer Kelsea Ballerini and her current hit, "Legends," a song that uses a gilded phrase to illustrate an epic romance.

In the song's first line, she sings, "We were golden, we were fire, we were magic / Yeah, and they all knew our names all over town / We had it made in the middle of the madness / We were neon in a grey crowd."

The 24-year-old newlywed said "Legends" was originally a breakup song, but now she views it as a love song. She penned it when a previous relationship was on the rocks. Ironically, the song hit the airwaves two years later while she was planning her wedding to Australian country singer Morgan Evans. The couple tied the knot in December.

"I wrote it when I was going through a breakup, so that was the heart and the perspective that it came from," the Grammy-nominated "Best New Artist" for 2017 told The Boot. "But as I've lived with it, it's kind of changed meanings. It's a chameleon song for me. It's still a story about heartbreak, but now I'm in a very good place in my life and I sing it as a love song."

Released in June of 2017, "Legends" is the lead single from Ballerini's second studio album, Unapologetically. The song ascended to #11 this week on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. It also hit #3 on Billboard's Canada Country chart.

Ballerini was raised in Knoxville, Tenn., and wrote her first song at the age of 12. She went to college in Nashville, but left school after two years to pursue a music career. At the age of 19, she signed a record deal with Black River Entertainment. She released her debut single "Love Me Like You Mean It" in 2014 and was named one of CMT's Next Women of Country that same year.

Ballerina's career got a big boost when superstar Taylor Swift tweeted about how much she enjoyed Ballerini's self-titled EP.

"To have someone that you've looked up to for a long time admire your stuff and admire what you do is just a really big deal," she told TasteofCountry.com.

Please check out the video of Ballerini's acoustic version of "Legends," which she performed for Radio Disney. The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Legends"
Written by Kelsea Ballerini, Forest Glen Whitehead and Hillary Lee Lindsey. Performed by Kelsea Ballerini.

We were golden, we were fire, we were magic
Yeah, and they all knew our names all over town
We had it made in the middle of the madness
We were neon in a grey crowd
Yeah, we wrote our own story
Full of blood sweat and heartbeats
We didn’t do it for the fame or the glory
And but we went down in history

Yeah, we were legends
Loving you, baby, it was heaven
What everyone wondered, we’d never question
Close our eyes and took on the world together
Do you remember?
We were crazy
Tragic and epic and so amazing
I’ll always wear the crown that you gave me
We will always stay lost in forever
And they’ll remember
We were legends

Like we were written down in permanent marker
Not even the brightest sun could ever fade
Come whichever hell or high water
It was always me and you either way
Hey, we wrote our own story
Full of blood sweat and heartbeats
We didn’t do it for the fame or the glory
We just did it for you and me

And that’s why we were legends
Loving you, baby, it was heaven
What everyone wondered, we’d never question
Close our eyes and took on the world together
Do you remember?
We were crazy
Tragic and epic and so amazing
I’ll always wear the crown that you gave me
We will always stay lost in forever
And they’ll remember
We were legends

We were legends
Loving you, baby, it was heaven
What everyone wondered, we’d never question
Close our eyes and took on the world together
Do you remember, baby?
We were crazy
Tragic and epic and so amazing
I'll always wear the crown that you gave me
We will always stay lost in forever
And they’ll remember
We were legends
We were, yeah, we were legends
Yeah, we wrote our own story

Credit: Screen capture via YouTube.com.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Hand Set With 89 Pink Diamonds, 'The Jewelled Phoenix' Is a Coin Like No Other

"The Jewelled Phoenix," a remarkable three-dimensional gold coin hand set with 89 ultra-rare pink diamonds, was unveiled last week by mining company Rio Tinto and The Perth Mint at the 47th World Money Fair in Berlin. The delicately sculpted two-tone coin carries a price tag of $147,835 and will have a limited mintage of eight pieces.

“Inspired by ancient Chinese legend, the fine detail and artistry of The Jewelled Phoenix has taken our craftsmanship to the next level,” said Perth Mint chief executive officer Richard Hayes.

Embellished with plumage rendered in pink and purplish-pink diamonds, the 18-karat rose gold phoenix appears to be landing on the fabled paulownia tree, which has three of its flowers hand set with pink diamonds. Each coin will showcase 1.22 carats of colored diamonds sourced from Rio Tinto’s Argyle Diamond Mine in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Each coin measures 60.6mm (2.39 inches) in diameter and contains more than 10 troy ounces of 99.99 fineness yellow gold and .45 troy ounces of 18-karat rose gold. The extraordinary three-dimensional rendering of the phoenix brings the thickness of the coin to 12.8mm (0.5 inches).

The phoenix is a mystical bird associated with ancient Greek and Asian cultures. The mystical Chinese phoenix is a symbol of happiness and prosperity.

The paulownia tree also has a special place in Chinese culture. An old custom was to plant a paulownia tree (also known as the "princess or empress tree") when a girl was born. The fast-growing tree matured quickly, so when the girl was ready to marry, the tree was cut down and carved into wooden articles for her dowry.

Legend also states that the phoenix will land only on the empress tree — and only when a good ruler is in power. The mintage of eight coins is also significant, because the number eight is considered extremely lucky in Chinese culture.

Credits: Images courtesy of The Perth Mint and Rio Tinto. Screen capture via YouTube/Perth Mint.