Friday, November 16, 2018

Music Friday: Vince Gill Proposes With a Pretty Diamond Ring in 'Like My Daddy Did'

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you romantic songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, 21-time Grammy winner Vince Gill buys a pretty diamond ring and proposes to the girl of his dreams in his 2016 release, "Like My Daddy Did."

He sings, "I found a little girl and I fell in love / She shines brighter than the stars above / I bought her a pretty diamond ring / Asked her, if she would marry me."

His girlfriend, however, is skeptical about making a lifelong commitment. Her hesitance stems from a fear that Gill might "treat her like her daddy did." We learn that her dad left the family when she was just a little kid.

"He took off runnin', I never saw his face again," she says.

Gill consoles her: "There's nothing you could tell me that would change a thing / I still want you to wear my ring."

Ironically, Gill promises, "I'll treat you like my daddy did." Gill's dad was loving and kind. When Gill was a kid, his dad took him fishing and never missed any of his ballgames.

"There ain't no scars on this heart of mine," he sings.

In the end, Gill's girlfriend accepts the diamond ring and they get married.

In a promotional video about the song he penned, Gill said, "I love the yin and yang of the story, how he's undaunted by her past. It's sweet."

"Like My Daddy Did" appeared as the fourth track of Down to My Last Bad Habit, Gill's 14th studio album. Over the course of his 40-year career, the singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has sold more than 26 million albums and placed more than 40 singles on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. He's won 21 Grammy awards from 44 nominations and earned the 2,478th star of the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2012.

Born in Norman, Okla., in 1957, Gill was inspired to pursue a music career by his dad, who was not only a lawyer and an administrative law judge, but also played part-time in a country music band. At the age of 10, Gill was already an accomplished guitarist. His love for instruments led him to learn how to play the mandolin, banjo and fiddle.

After graduating high school, he moved to Louisville to join the band Bluegrass Alliance. In the 1970s, he earned widespread fame as the frontman for the country rock band Pure Prairie League. Gill became a solo artist in 1983 and married "The Queen of Christian Pop" Amy Grant in 2000. More recently, he joined the Eagles on tour, singing lead vocals.

Please check out the video of Gill performing the acoustic version of "Like My Daddy Did." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Like My Daddy Did"
Written and performed by Vince Gill.

I found a little girl and I fell in love
She shines brighter than the stars above
I bought her a pretty diamond ring
Asked her, if she would marry me

She said, will you treat me like my daddy did
Left me and momma, I was just a kid
He took off runnin', I never saw his face again
So, when it comes to love, I ain't the trustin' kind
There's a whole lotta scars on this heart of mine
I'm crazy about ya, I'm not sure I can

I took that pretty girl by the hand
I looked her in her eyes and said I understand
There's nothing you could tell me that would change a thing
I still want you to wear my ring

I'll treat you just like my daddy did
He took me fishin' when I was a kid
When I played ball, he never missed a game
When it comes to love, I'm the trusting kind
There ain't no scars on this heart of mine
I'm crazy about ya, I'm pretty sure I can

Tomorrow morning is our wedding day
And all your fears are gonna fade away
Together we're gonna build a bridge
No, I won't treat ya like your daddy did
We'll have the kind of love that's the trusting kind
I'll give you ever piece of this heart of mine
We were meant to be, I'm pretty sure we can

I found a little girl and I fell in love
She shines brighter than the stars above

Credits: Screen capture via YouTube.com.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Miners Seek Coveted 'AO' Status for Colombian Emeralds, Claim They're Geographically Unique

Colombian miners are seeking to gain coveted "AO" status for their emeralds, widely considered to be the finest in the world. "AO" is shorthand for "appellation of origin," which is a designation given to products that possess unique characteristics associated with their geographic location.

One of the most notable products with "AO" status is Parma ham from Italy. For ham to be marked with the Parma name, it must be produced in the Italian province of Parma using pigs exclusively from that area. Other famous "AO" products include Tequila from Mexico, Bordeaux wine from France and Gruyere cheese from Switzerland.

Colombia's national emerald producers’ association, Aprecol, is planning to submit its "AO" application to Colombia’s patent and registration office by the end of this year, according to the Financial Times. Once approved by that office, the application will be forwarded to the UN’s World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, for further consideration. A final decision could come as early as March 2019.

The association will argue that Colombia's emeralds are distinctively different than emeralds mined in other parts of the world. Not only do they possess a rare combination of intense color and crystalline transparency, but they also have a unique chemical fingerprint, according to gemologists. With the use of X-ray spectroscopy, they can pinpoint whether a stone was sourced at Colombia's Muzo, Coscuez or Chivor mine.

“We want customers to know that when they buy a Colombian emerald, they are getting the genuine thing, that it was exported from Colombia legally and that it was mined ethically and responsibly,” Aprecol president Edwin Molina told the Financial Times.

The Colombian-sourced Gachala Emerald, above, weighs 858 carats and was gifted to the Smithsonian by Harry Winston in 1969. The extraordinary gem was mined in Gachala in 1967.

Credit: Image by Chip Clark/Smithsonian.

Monday, November 12, 2018

All-Diamond Ring Crafted From a Single Rough Gem May Fetch $250,000 at Benefit Auction

An all-diamond ring custom crafted from a single rough gem is expected to fetch up to $250,000 when Sotheby's offers it for sale December 5 at the third (RED) Auction in Miami. Proceeds from the sale will support HIV/AIDS programs in Africa.

Conceived by Sir Jony Ive, Apple’s Chief Design Officer, and renowned industrial designer Marc Newson, The (Red) Diamond Ring will contain no metal elements. The lab-grown rough diamond will be carved into a ring shape by master cutters in Antwerp using laser beam and water jet technology. It will come to life by removing material rather than adding it.

“It is not a precious stone in a metal setting mounted on a metal band,” Ive told robbreport.com. “It is truly a diamond ring.”

In the end, the ring will feature between 2,000 and 3,000 individual facets, some as small as several hundred micrometers (1,000 micrometers equals 1 millimeter). According to Sotheby's, the ring's interior will be cylindrically cut for the desired smoothness using a micrometer-thick water jet.

The ring in the photo, above, is conceptual. The actual piece will be custom-made for the winning bidder in any ring size up to 5. Sotheby's set the pre-sale estimate at $150,000 to $250,000.

Shawish Geneva was the first company to form a ring from a single diamond. Shawish unveiled the innovative ring to the public during the 2012 Baseworld Watch and Jewelry Show. That ring was laser-cut from a 150-carat rough diamond. While the Shawish ring was certainly groundbreaking, the Ive-Newson design is said to be more wearable.

The company responsible for creating the lab-grown rough diamond for this project is San Francisco-based Diamond Foundry. The rough is expected to be larger than 45 carats.

The (Red) Diamond Ring will be auctioned by Sotheby’s during Art Basel Miami. Previous (RED) Auctions have generated $68 million for AIDS research.

Credit: Image courtesy of Sotheby's.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Music Friday: Tommy and Janey Visit a Jeweler in 'Don't Love Make a Diamond Shine'

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fun songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, country music artist Tracy Byrd tells the story of Tommy and Janey's life-changing trip to a jewelry store in 1997's "Don't Love Make a Diamond Shine."

In the very first verse, we are introduced to a young couple looking for the perfect engagement ring. They're holding hands and staring into the bridal case when a particular ring catches Tommy's eye.

Byrd sings, "Mister bring it closer, mister can we hold it / I think it's gonna fit just fine / As he slipped it on her hand, Janey kissed her man / Don't love make a diamond shine."

Byrd goes on to explain that any diamond — no matter what size — looks like a million bucks "sittin' on the hand of a girl in love." He also takes a shot at a rich couple whose perfect 15-carat diamond is "duller than dirt" because their relationship is on the rocks.

Written by Mike Dekle and Craig Wiseman, "Don't Love Make a Diamond Shine" was released as the third single from Byrd's fourth album, Big Love. The song reached #17 on the U.S. Billboard Country Songs chart and #13 on the Canada Country Tracks chart. Big Love became Byrd's third gold-selling album.

Born in Vidor, Texas, Byrd explored his musical talents with a local band called Rimfire while attending Southwest Texas State. A friend encouraged Byrd to sing a cover of Hank Williams' "Your Cheatin' Heart" at a mall recording studio and the result was so impressive that the studio's owner entered Byrd into a local talent contest. The artist caught the attention of MCA Records, which offered him a recording contract in 1992.

The 51-year-old has charted more than 30 singles, including 11 Top Ten hits. He's produced 10 studio albums and two greatest-hits albums.

Please check out the audio clip of Byrd performing "Don't Love Make A Diamond Shine." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Don't Love Make A Diamond Shine"
Written by Craig Wiseman and Mike Dekle. Performed by Tracy Byrd.

Tommy and Janey barely eighteen
Holding hands at the jewelry store
Eyes open wide staring inside
At the ring that they wanted for her

Mister bring it closer, mister can we hold it
I think it's gonna fit just fine
As he slipped it on her hand, Janey kissed her man
Don't love make a diamond shine.

Don't love make a diamond shine
It don't matter if it costs a dime
Dang thing looks like a million bucks
Sittin' on the hand of a girl in love.

A perfect fifteen carat is duller than dirt
If the heart don't wear it
With three little words it'll knock you blind
Don't love make a diamond shine.

There's a rich lady with a new Mercedes
Livin' up in a high rise
She's got a big ol' rock on her left hand
That looks cheaper than a Cracker Jack prize.

'Cause her man don't know that it ain't the dough
No all he needs to spend is time
And that big marquis'd be a laser beam
Don't love make a diamond shine.

Don't love make a diamond shine
It don't matter if it costs a dime
Dang thing looks like a million bucks
Sittin' on the hand of a girl in love.

A perfect fifteen carat is duller than dirt
If the heart don't wear it
With three little words it'll knock you blind
Don't love make a diamond shine.

Don't love make a diamond shine
It don't matter if it costs a dime
Dang thing looks like a million bucks
Sittin' on the hand of a girl in love.

A perfect fifteen carat is duller than dirt
If the heart don't wear it
With three little words it'll knock you blind
Don't love make a diamond shine.

Don't love make a diamond shine...

Credit: Screen capture via YouTube.com.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

King Tut's Breastplate Features a Scarab Carved From Rare Libyan Desert Glass

When British archaeologist and Egyptologist Howard Carter entered the intact tomb of King Tutankhamun in 1922, he encountered thousands of luxury objects intended to accompany the boy king into the afterworld.

Among the items decorated with gold, silver and precious gemstones was a breastplate depicting the god Ra as a winged scarab carrying the sun and moon into the sky. The scarab was carved from a pale greenish-yellow stone that Carter originally identified as chalcedony, a translucent variety of quartz.

A decade later, British geographer Patrick Clayton found samples of a similar glass-like material while exploring the Libyan Desert along the border of modern Egypt and Libya and classified it as Libyan Desert Glass (LDG).

In a recent article published at Forbes.com, geologist David Bressan explains that LDG forms when quartz-rich desert sand is exposed to a heat burst of 3,600°F and then rapidly cools. Modern researchers noted that LDG has a different crystal structure than common quartz and contains traces of rare minerals and unusual elements, suggesting they could have been part of a vaporized meteorite.

The LDG sample shown here weighs 22 grams (0.78 ounces) and measures 55 mm (2.17 inches) wide.

The lack of an impact crater near the areas where LDG has been found lends credence to the theory that a comet may have exploded before touching down in the desert — generating enough heat to melt the sands. Scientists have compared LDG to trinitite, which is created when sand is exposed to the thermal radiation of a nuclear explosion.

Because of the unusual factors needed to create Libyan Desert Glass, it is truly among the rarest minerals on Earth. LDG is found only in Libya's desolate Great Sand Sea north of the Gilf Kebir Plateau. Whether King Tut's handlers in 1323 BCE were aware of this rarity remains a mystery.

Credit: Tutankhamun breastplate by Jon Bodsworth [Copyrighted free use], via Wikimedia Commons. LDG image by H. Raab (User:Vesta) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.0 at], from Wikimedia Commons.