Friday, November 09, 2012

Music Friday: Desmond Buys a 20-Carat Ring in The Beatles' Classic 'Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da'

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you awesome songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today we shine the spotlight on The Beatles of 1968, as they perform one of the great sing-alongs of all time: "Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da."

Fans of The Beatles' White Album will fondly remember the line about Desmond taking a trolley to the jewelry store to buy a 20-carat golden ring (ring!). When he takes it back to Molly waiting at the door, she begins to sing (sing!).

What many fans may not know about the song is the origin of its catchy refrain. According to author Bob Spitz, whose book The Beatles was released in 2005, McCartney borrowed the expression "ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, bra" from Jimmy Scott-Emuakpor, a Nigerian-born conga player whom he met at the Bag O' Nails club in Soho, London. The word "bra" is a slang term for "brother."

Scott later tried to claim a writer's credit for the use of his phrase in the song. While McCartney argued that the phrase was "just an expression," Scott countered that "ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, bra" was a phrase used exclusively by the Scott-Emuakpor family. The case was eventually dropped when McCartney agreed to pay Scott's legal expenses for an unrelated case.

We hope you enjoy the video. The lyrics are below, and we know you will be singing along.

“Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da”

Written by Paul McCartney. Performed by The Beatles.

Desmond has a barrow in the market place
Molly is the singer in a band
Desmond says to Molly, "Girl I like your face"
And Molly says this as she takes him by the hand

Ob-la-di, ob-la-da life goes on bra
La la how the life goes on
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da life goes on bra
La la how the life goes on

Desmond takes a trolley to the jewelry store
Buys a twenty carat golden ring
Takes it back to Molly waiting at the door
And as he gives it to her she begins to sing

Ob-la-di, ob-la-da life goes on bra
La la how the life goes on
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da life goes on bra
La la how the life goes on

In a couple of years they have built a home, sweet home
With a couple of kids running in the yard
Of Desmond and Molly Jones

Happy ever after in the market place
Desmond lets the children lend a hand
Molly stays at home and does her pretty face
And in the evening she still sings it with the band

Yeah, ob-la-di, ob-la-da life goes on bra
La la how the life goes on
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da life goes on bra
La la how the life goes on

In a couple of years they have built a home, sweet home
With a couple of kids running in the yard
Of Desmond and Molly Jones, hey

Happy ever after in the market place
Molly lets the children lend a hand
Desmond stays at home and does his pretty face
And in the evening she's a singer with the band

Yeah, ob-la-di, ob-la-da life goes on bra
La la how the life goes on
Yeah, ob-la-di, ob-la-da life goes on bra
La la how the life goes on

And if you want some fun, take ob-la-di-bla-da

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Sale of Fancy Pink and Yellow Diamonds from Lauder Estate to Benefit Breast Cancer Research

Two spectacular colored diamonds – one pink and one yellow – from the collections of Estée and Evelyn Lauder will be auctioned at Sotheby's New York during its Magnificent Jewels sale on December 5th to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Evelyn established the Foundation in 1993 and co-created the Pink Ribbon, the now-familiar breast cancer awareness symbol.

Keeping with the pink theme, this flawless 6.54-carat fancy intense pink diamond is the centerpiece of a ring expected to fetch between $4 million to $5 million at auction. The ring had been designed for Evelyn Lauder by Oscar Heyman & Brothers.

A heart-shaped fancy intense yellow diamond weighing a startling 47.14 carats and set as a pendant necklace by Van Cleef & Arpels is expected to sell for $1.5 million to $2 million. This piece was owned by Estée Lauder.

Interestingly, the 47-carat yellow diamond featured in the necklace was originally worn as a ring by the Duchess of Windsor, who had purchased it from Harry Winston in 1951. When the Duchess of Windsor's collection was auctioned by Sotheby's in Geneva in 1987, her notable yellow diamond ring was missing from the sale. It was later learned that the duchess had sold it to Estée Lauder through the duchess' lawyer in the mid-1970s. Sotheby's recently dubbed the special diamond “The Windsor Heart."

Highlights of the Lauder collection, which includes more than 35 pieces worth an estimated $13 million, will be on public display in Geneva, Los Angeles, London and New York in the weeks leading up to the auction.

Estée Lauder, who passed away in 2004, was the founder of the Estée Lauder fragrance and cosmetics company. Her daughter-in-law, Evelyn, an executive at the company for five decades, died from ovarian cancer in 2011.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Let's Take a Light-Hearted Look Back at a Pivotal Point of the Presidential Campaign When Lapel Jewelry Took Center Stage

With the U.S. Presidential election finally decided – congratulations to Barack Obama – we thought it would be good fun to return to a pivotal point of the hard-fought campaign when lapel jewelry took center stage.

The first presidential debate in early October between President Obama and former Governor Mitt Romney clearly turned the tide of the campaign, as Romney earned a 5-point bump in national polls. Romney was confident and aggressive, while the President seemed passive and disinterested.

While the two politicians traded barbs on the big stage at the University of Denver and in front of a national television audience of 60 million, you may have also noticed that the lights shone brightly on the American flag lapel pins that both combatants proudly wore. Although the pins were similar in design, they were also very different.

As the debate wore on, the chatter on Twitter diverted from policy positions and body language to the relative size of both flags and a curious "blob" on Romney's pin.

Arianna Huffington, editor of the Huffington Post, tweeted, "Romney's American flag lapel pin is bigger than Obama's."

"Romney's got a bigger flag pin. Game over," tweeted Reuter's Anthony De Rosa.

"Romney's flag pin is 47% bigger than Obama's," tweeted another viewer. 

In addition to the size difference, many viewers also noticed a small "blob" in the center of Romney's flag pin. Some thought it was in the shape of a heart. Others thought it might be a star.

The mystery was solved by an Associated Press writer, who tweeted, "Romney's lapel pin has the Secret Service logo - a star - on it. The Secret Service agents who protect him gave it to him. #Election2012."

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

From Decoder Rings to Diamond Rings: Cracker Jack Brand Celebrates 100 Years of 'A Prize in Every Box'

Over the past 100 years, excited kids of all ages have dug their hands into boxes of Cracker Jack and pulled out more than 23 billion prizes, which included miniature books, decoder rings, temporary tattoos and baseball cards. To celebrate the 100th year of offering "a prize in every box," Cracker Jack's parent, PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division, is partnering with Walgreens to offer the ultimate Cracker Jack prize – a diamond ring valued at $1,000.

Unlike Willy Wonka’s golden ticket, the Cracker Jack prize, sadly, has no factory tour or the potential of meeting a team of Oompa Loompas.

Beginning November 1 and running through January 31, 2013, 30 lucky Cracker Jack fans will find winning tokens for the "Diamond Giveaway Prize of a Lifetime" in specially marked 2 7/8 oz. bags of Cracker Jack Original Caramel Coated Popcorn & Peanuts and Cracker Jack Butter Toffee snacks at participating Walgreens stores. Tokens may be redeemed at Cracker Jack Diamonds.

"With this promotion, we're celebrating 100 years of Cracker Jack prizes by taking the in-package prize experience to a whole new level," said Alanna Cotton, senior director of business development for Growth Ventures, Frito-Lay North America.

The snack itself dates back to 1893 and was named Cracker Jack in 1896. But the iconic Cracker Jack "a prize in every box" program was first introduced in 1912 as a way to bring fun and excitement to the Cracker Jack snacking experience.

Cracker Jack first worked its way into pop-culture consciousness more than 100 years ago, thanks in part to Jack Norworth’s 1908 song “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” with its famous line, “Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack."

Cracker Jack is expecting to sell 2.06 million bags over the promotion period, during which 30 people will claim their diamond rings (or opt for a $750 cash prize instead). The odds of finding the diamond ring token are 1 in 68,836.

Monday, November 05, 2012

Miami Heat Rings In New Season With Some Serious Bling

Featuring 219 diamonds and weighing more than a quarter-pound each, the championship rings of the Miami Heat basketball team are a sight to behold. Manufactured by Jostens and driven from the company's production facility in Montreal to Miami under tight security, the trove of super-size rings were presented to superstars Lebron James (size 13.5), Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and their teammates during a special ceremony that preceded the Heat's home opener against the Boston Celtics last week.

The rings are designed in 14-karat white and yellow gold and weigh an extraordinary 115 grams (.254 lbs). Of the 219 diamonds, 173 are round and 46 are princess cut.

The top of each ring features a large faceted black onyx inlaid with a 14-karat yellow gold NBA Championship Trophy and a 14-karat white gold Miami Heat logo set atop the trophy. A half-carat diamond in the shape of a basketball completes the trophy symbol and 31 round brilliant-cut diamonds emblazon the Heat logo. The embossed white-gold words "World" and "Champions" at the top and bottom of the face emerge from a black ground.

One side of the ring shows two championship trophies symbolizing the Heat's 2006 and 2012 world titles. They are set with 43 round brilliant-cut diamonds. The word "Family" is embossed under the trophies, and the Heat and NBA logos are cast to the right of the trophies.

Each player has his name customized on the other side. Under the name is the "All In" team championship trophy formed from two custom-cut onyx stones. "All In" was the team's rally cry throughout the playoffs. On the base of the trophy are 16 bars in yellow gold that represent each win during the playoffs. Encircling the trophy are the jersey numbers of the 15 players who formed the championship team.

The inscription on the inside of the band says, "Forged in the fire between a hammer and an anvil," and it includes the date 6-21-12, the day they won their second championship.

Miami Heat fans shared in the celebration, as souvenir stands at the arena were selling replicas of the champion rings. The $5,500 Ultimate Fan Ring, designed in 14-karat gold, featured many of the components of the real thing, including some diamonds. A 10-karat gold version was available for $3,900.