Monday, October 16, 2017

World's Largest Fancy Intense Pink Diamond Hits the Auction Block in Geneva Next Month

All eyes will be on the "Raj Pink," the world's largest known fancy intense pink diamond, when it hits the auction block at Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale in Geneva on November 15. The exceptional 37.30-carat, cushion-modified, brilliant-cut gem is estimated to fetch between $20 million and $30 million — but could yield much more.

The current record holder for a fancy intense pink diamond is the 24.78-carat “Graff Pink,” which sold for more than $46.1 million at Sotheby’s Geneva in November of 2010. The rectangular-cut Graff Pink, which carries a clarity grade of VVS2, netted $1.86 million per carat.

The Raj Pink has a slightly lower clarity grade of VS1, but weighs 12.52 carats more than the Graff Pink. Sotheby's high estimate for the Raj Pink sets the per-carat price at $804,000, or less than half of what the Graff Pink earned per carat.

Auction watchers believe that the Raj Pink has the potential to crush the pre-sale estimates. The owner of the Raj Pink has chosen to remain anonymous.

“The discovery of any pink diamond is exceptional," noted David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewelry Division, "but the Raj Pink's remarkable size and intensity of color places it in the rarefied company of the most important pink diamonds known.”

Discovered in 2015, the rough diamond that yielded the Raj Pink was studied for more than a year. It was then entrusted to a master cutter, who crafted it into an exceptional cushion-modified, brilliant-cut polished diamond.

The Gemological Institute of America characterized the Raj Pink as an “astonishing stone” and described its hue as “a very bright and ravishing fancy intense pink color.” The GIA also noted that it is rare for a diamond of such considerable weight to display such a "strong, unmodified pink color."

Of all diamonds submitted to the GIA each year, less than 0.02% are predominantly pink.

The Raj Pink will be on tour — along with other highlighted lots — during the weeks leading up to the November 15 auction. The exhibition will make stops in London (Oct. 13-17), Singapore (Oct. 20-21), Hong Kong (Oct. 23-24), Taiwan (Oct. 26-27), New York (Nov. 3-4) and Geneva (Nov. 11-15).

Credit: Image courtesy of Sotheby's.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Music Friday: Styx Frontman Dennis DeYoung Seeks a Pot of Gold in the 1977 Power Ballad 'Come Sail Away'

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you classic songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Styx lead singer Dennis DeYoung searches for a pot of gold in the classic 1977 hit, "Come Sail Away."

An inspirational song about following one's dreams no matter how challenging the journey may be, "Come Sail Away" starts as a sweet ballad and then transitions into a powerful rock and roll anthem.

DeYoung sings, "We live happily forever so the story goes / But somehow we missed out on that pot of gold / But we'll try best that we can to carry on."

The lead singer revealed years later that he wrote the song to provide some inspiration to "carry on" during a down time in his life. Styx had achieved commercial success with 1973's "Lady," but then fell flat with its next two albums, Equinox (1975) and Crystal Ball (1976). He was hoping that "Come Sail Away" and the Grand Illusion album would turn their luck around. Up until that point, the band was an opening act, never the headliner.

Powered by the tremendous success of "Come Sail Away," Grand Illusion became the band's breakthrough album. It sold more than three million copies and set the stage for a run of four consecutive multi-platinum albums and 16 top-40 singles in the US. "Come Sail Away" charted at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and, 40 years later, is still one of the band's signature songs.

Formed in Chicago in 1972, Styx borrows its name from a mythological river that forms the boundary between Earth and the underworld. DeYoung revealed that after debating hundreds of options, the band members agreed on "Styx," because it was the only name no one in the group hated.

Styx continues to "carry on" with an active tour schedule that will see the band appearing over the next few months in Mississippi, Alabama, Indiana, Michigan and Ontario.

Please check out the video of Styx performing "Come Sail Away." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Come Sail Away"
Written by Dennis DeYoung. Performed by Styx.

I'm sailing away set an open course for the virgin sea
I've got to be free free to face the life that's ahead of me
On board I'm the captain so climb aboard
We'll search for tomorrow on every shore
And I'll try oh Lord I'll try to carry on

I look to the sea reflections in the waves spark my memory
Some happy some sad
I think of childhood friends and the dreams we had
We live happily forever so the story goes
But somehow we missed out on that pot of gold
But we'll try best that we can to carry on

A gathering of angels appeared above my head
They sang to me this song of hope and this is what they said
They said come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me

I thought that they were angels but to my surprise
They climbed aboard their starship and headed for the skies
Singing, come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me
Come sail away come sail away
Come sail away with me

Credit: Image by Ralph Arvesen [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Gem-Filled Pods Make These Reusable Water Bottles Truly Unique

The practice of using gemstones to vitalize water dates back to ancient Greece. The energy emitted from opals, garnets, emeralds, amethysts, quartz or even diamond slivers can boost water's alkalinity and oxygenation, and some believe the gems have the ability to infuse H2O with their own unique properties and characteristics. 

Because of the impractical nature of dropping loose stones into a water glass or other container, Germany-based VitaJuwel devised an elegantly designed water bottle that contains a removable glass pod filled with an assortment of gemstones.

According to the company, "the gems inside VitaJuwel vials transfer their energy to the water that surrounds the vial improving the water’s vitalization level."

Interestingly, the gem-filled glass pods are completely sealed and the gems never come in contact with the water. The benefits come from the subtle radiation of the gems, according to the company's website. The effect is similar to that of sun rays, magnetic rays or microwaves — radiation waves that can pass through glass. The company points to scientific evidence that the pods do, in fact, add alkalinity and oxygenation to the water in which they are submerged.

Each of the 18 interchangeable pods contains a unique combinations of gems, and each has a name that gives a clue to its potential health benefit.

For instance, "Wellness" contains a mix of amethyst, rose quartz and clear quartz. VitaJuwel claims that this blend aims to stimulate and soothe the mind and emotions, foster tranquility and support healthy and radiant skin.

"Fitness," which contains red jasper, magnesite and clear quartz, is said to promote physical endurance, detoxify and distribute energy throughout the body.

"Sunny Morning" has a bright mix of orange calcite and clear quartz. This blend promises to alleviate chronic fatigue and supports healthy hair, skin and nails, according the company.

Even if you're skeptical about the feel-good effects of gemstone-infused water, there is no denying that the gem-adorned VitaJuwel water bottles offer a beautiful and unique way to stay hydrated.

They are sold and distributed in the U.S. by Gem-Water.com and range in price from $78 to $340. Other products in the line include glass decanters, droplets and wands.

Credits: Images via gem-water.com.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

888-Carat 'Star of Jolie' Is the Largest Gem-Quality Star Sapphire in the World

Carrying an asking price of $5 million, the recently revealed "Star of Jolie" weighs 888.88 carats and is said to be the largest gem-quality star sapphire in the world.

The pear-shaped, double-cabochon black star sapphire, which is named for actress and humanitarian Angelina Jolie, made its debut last week when jewelry designer Robert Procop unveiled it at a press event in Costa Mesa, Calif.

The sapphire hangs as a pendant from an 18-karat rose gold necklace punctuated by 70 additional black star sapphires weighing a total of 104.42 carats.

The 888.88-carat Star of Jolie was cut from a 1,113-carat rough gem that had been discovered in Queensland, Australia, in 1937. The rough sapphire had been owned by Beverly Hills-based gem dealer James Kazanjian and eventually sold to Procop by James' son, Michael, in 2011.

The unique optical phenomenon responsible for the shimmering rays of a star sapphire is called asterism. The word is derived from the Latin word "astrum," for “star.”

According to the Smithsonian, the asterism is actually caused by titanium trapped in the corundum while the crystal is forming. As the crystal cools, the titanium orients itself as needle-like structures in three directions. The cabochon cut's smooth, rounded surface allows the light to reflect off the titanium, revealing a six-legged star.

All the proceeds from the sale of the Star of Jolie will be dedicated to EPCC: Education Partnership for Children of Conflict, the non-profit organization Jolie founded in 2006 to build schools for children in conflict-affected regions of the world. The school she established in war-torn Afghanistan in 2013 educates 200 to 300 girls each year.

The Star of Jolie will be on temporary display at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., starting in December.

Credits: Jewelry images courtesy of Robert Procop. Angelina Jolie image by Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Music Friday: 'Love Is More Than What It Seems' So Tremolo's Justin Dillon Wears a 'Promise Ring'

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you awesome songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Tremolo frontman Justin Dillon sings about a treasured piece of jewelry in the group's 2005 release, "Promise Ring."

Dillon believes that beyond being a symbol of the bond between him and his girlfriend, the promise ring will protect them from "the bitter tide."

He sings, "Long ago, I drew a line into the sand / Jumped across and held your hand / Band of gold protect us from the bitter tide / That comes to wash away our words with time / Hello you, Hello me / Hello hello, can't you see / Love is more than what it seems / So I wear your promise ring."

Described by one reviewer as being "ethereal and catchy," "Promise Ring" is the fifth track from the San Francisco-based band's first full-length album, Love Is The Greatest Revenge. The album is a collection of songs written and recorded by the band during 2003 and 2004.

Trivia: An early demo version of "Promise Ring" was used in the 2003 Mandy Moore flick, How to Deal.

When the album came out in August of 2005, Tremolo announced that 50% of their profits would be dedicated to the "Love>Revenge Fund." Interestingly, the fund allowed fans to determine which organizations would benefit. At the time, the fund's website described Tremolo's debut album as “an auto-biographical social commentating post-deconstructionist protest record” that asks “what if love was the greatest revenge” and “music could change the world?”

In an interview with last.fm, Dillon described Tremolo’s music as “one hand holding onto the roots of the grass and one hand reaching to the stars in the sky."

"I’m looking for this 'otherliness,' this transcendence. That’s the reason I think music is here," he said. "I want to be part of touching something that is greater than the sum of its parts."

In 2011, Dillon founded the award-winning website Slavery Footprint in conjunction with the U.S. State Department. The site, which asks the question, “How Many Slaves Work For You?” allows consumers to visualize how their consumption habits are connected to modern-day slavery.

Please check out the audio track of "Promise Ring." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Promise Ring"
Written by Justin Dillon. Performed by Tremolo.

Long ago, I drew a line into the sand
Jumped across and held your hand
Band of gold protect us from the bitter tide
That comes to wash away our words with time

Hello you, Hello me
Hello hello, can't you see
Love is more than what it seems
So I wear your promise ring

Promises made under the rite of spring
Heavy under summer's sting
Say you know,
I'd run to where the spaceships land
A million miles between my mouth and hand

Hello you, Hello me
Hello hello, can't you see
Love is more than what it seems
So I wear your promise ring

Love labors through the night
It bleeds and never fights
And like a seed it lives because it dies

So don't forget, just like cash
I walk the line
Like a soldier guarding what is mine

Hello you, Hello me
Hello hello, can't you see
Love is more than what it seems
So I wear your promise ring

Credit: Promotional image via myspace.com/tremolomusic.