Friday, November 16, 2012

Music Friday: Rihanna's Wildly Popular 'We Found Love' Spotlights 'Yellow Diamonds in the Light'

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you exciting songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. We hope you have your dancing shoes on because today's tune is Rihanna's 2011 blockbuster hit, "We Found Love." The opening line of the song has the 24-year-old Barbadian sensation singing, "Yellow diamonds in the light, and we're standing side by side."

The single, from her sixth studio album Talk That Talk, has sold 6.9 million copies to date, making it one of best-selling singles of all time. The official "We Found Love" video has been viewed on YouTube an astonishing 220 million times.

Overall, Rihanna has sold more than 25 million albums and 60 million digital singles worldwide since the beginning of her career in 2005. Barely in her mid-20s, Robyn Rihanna Fenty, already ranks third among female performers with 11 #1 singles. Only Madonna (12) and Mariah Carey (18) have more.

In the video below, Rihanna and her troop perform "We Found Love" live at the 2012 Grammy Nominations Concert in London. Here are the lyrics if you'd like to sing along...

"We Found Love"

Lyrics by Calvin Harris. Performed by Rihanna (featuring Calvin Harris).

Yellow diamonds in the light
And we're standing side by side
As your shadow crosses mine
What it takes to come alive

It's the way I'm feeling I just can't deny
But I've gotta let it go

We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place

Shine a light through an open door
Love and life I will divide
Turn away cause I need you more
Feel the heartbeat in my mind

It's the way I'm feeling I just can't deny

But I've gotta let it go

We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place

We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Geneva Rocks! 2 Nights, 2 Diamonds, 2 Auction Houses and 2 World Records Broken

On Tuesday night, Christie's Geneva rocked the auction world when the fabled 76.02-carat internally flawless Archduke Joseph Diamond fetched $21.48 million – a per-carat world record for a colorless diamond. On the next night, rival Sotheby's Geneva set its own world record when an unnamed 10.48-carat flawless deep-blue diamond sold for $10.86 million, the highest per-carat price ever paid for a blue diamond.

A product of the legendary Golconda mine in India, the cushion-cut Archduke Joseph Diamond shares its lineage with some of the largest and most spectacular diamonds ever discovered, including the 105.6-carat Koh-i-Noor, the 45.52-carat Hope, and the 140.64-carat Regent.

The stone, which is roughly the size of a large strawberry, was named for Archduke Joseph August of Austria (1872-1962), who passed the gem on to his son, Archduke Joseph Francis (1895-1957) in the early 1930s. The most recent owner was luxury jeweler Black, Starr & Frost.

The selling price exceeded pre-auction estimates by more than $6 million. "It is a world record for a Golconda diamond and a world record price per carat for a colorless diamond," Francois Curiel, director of the international jewelry department at Christie's, told reporters. The buyer wished to remain anonymous.

"My understanding is that this stone is going to a museum and it will probably be the centerpiece," said Black, Starr & Frost chairman Alfredo Molina.

At Sotheby's Geneva on Wednesday night, an exceptionally rare deep blue briolette diamond took center stage. Originally expected to fetch up to $4.5 million, the actual selling price of $10.86 million more than doubled the pre-auction estimates.

Reuters reported that London luxury jeweler Laurence Graff bought the drop-shaped stone after a lengthy and heated bidding war. About the size of an almond, the diamond weighs 10.48 carats and is the product of the famous Cullinan mine in South Africa.

"It is certainly a world record price per carat for a deep blue diamond," David Bennett, head of Sotheby's international jewelry department, told reporters after the sale. "It is an extraordinary stone, a very, very mystical deep blue."

Diamond experts speculated that the 10-carat briolette would be recut into a 7-carat vivid blue.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Exhibition of Edwardian Jewelry Recovered From the Ill-Fated Titanic Starts a Three-City Tour

When the British luxury liner, Titanic, struck an iceberg on its maiden voyage and sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on April 15, 1912, many of those who died were among the wealthiest people of their era. The new exhibition, "Jewels of Titanic," also proves that they didn't hesitate to travel with their very best jewelry.

The exhibition shares the story of the jewelry’s discovery, underwater recovery, mysterious lineage and the influence these artifacts have in today’s pop culture. It also reveals how first-class passengers would often enlist the help of the ship's purser, who would secure their valuables, including fine jewelry.

Amazingly, during a 1987 recovery mission, a purser's bag was found amidst the Titanic wreckage at a depth of 2 1/2 miles. The Gladstone bag contained a cache of precious contents, including a handmade platinum, 18-karat gold and diamond filigree ring; a gold ribbon brooch with diamonds; and a set of men's gold cufflinks and studs embellished with green enamel.

“The majority of the best-of-the-best, high-end pieces came from the Gladstone bag,” Alexandra Klingelhofer, vp of collections for RMS Titanic, Inc., told Forbes. “They’re beautiful, explicit, Edwardian pieces.”

“We thought it would be a fitting end to the 100-year anniversary of the Titanic and that the jewelry would be highlighted in a different way as a mini-exhibit,” she said.

"Jewels of Titanic" makes it debut this Friday at Atlanta's Premier Exhibition Center. The jewelry collection will share its time among the three permanent Titanic exhibition spaces that are owned and operated by RMS Titanic, Inc., a subsidiary of Premier Exhibitions, Inc. The schedule is below:

Atlanta: Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, Premier Exhibition Center, Atlantic Station

Nov. 16 – Jan. 6, 2013

Orlando: Titanic The Experience, International Drive

Jan. 11, 2013 – March 12, 2013

Las Vegas: Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, Luxor Hotel and Casino

Mar. 22, 2013 – May 31, 2013

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Archaeologists Discover 2,400-Year-Old Artifacts From a Lost Civilization of Master Jewelers

Archaeologists digging in northern Bulgaria have unearthed a 2,400-year-old Thracian tomb teeming with meticulously crafted gold jewelry and artifacts. The treasure was discovered last week near the village of Sveshtari, 250 miles northeast of Sofia, according to the Associated Press.

(AP Photo/ImpactPressGroup)

(AFP Photo / Dimitar Dilkoff)

The Thracians were a loose collection of clans and tribal confederacies dating back to the 5th century BC. Interestingly, they were expert metallurgists and jewelers, capable of producing intricately detailed and visually stunning pieces that rival or surpass the standards of their modern-day counterparts.

(AP Photo/ImpactPressGroup)

Considered a "lost civilization," the Thracians once flourished in a territory that now straddles Bulgaria, northwestern Turkey, Greece and southern Romania, according to By the 7th century A.D., they were assimilated by the invading Slavs and nearly forgotten – if not for the jewelry they left behind.

(AFP Photo / Dimitar Dilkoff)

The most recent finding in Sveshtari revealed a cache of golden artifacts, which included a gold tiara with reliefs of lions and fantasy animals, as well as four bracelets and a ring, reported team leader Diana Gergova.

Other examples of impressive Thracian workmanship are displayed at the Thracian Museum in Varna, Bulgaria. Thracian noblemen were buried with their jewelry and riches for their journey into the afterlife. Archeologists have exhumed skeletons adorned with gems, necklaces, bracelets, brooches and rings.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Chanel Provides a Treasure Trove of Diamonds and Pearls for Knightley's 'Anna Karenina'

Fans of opulent jewelry will love Keira Knightley in the title role of Anna Karenina, which officially opens this Friday. Knightley told that she used her Chanel connections to secure a treasure trove of period jewelry for her film, which takes place in Russia in the late 19th century.

The actress had been the focus of a number of high-profile campaigns for the fashion house, so when she learned that her character in the latest adaptation of the classic Leo Tolstoy novel would be showered in beautiful baubles, she instantly called on her Chanel friends for assistance.

Stills from the movie confirm that Chanel came through in a big way. A single brooch provided for the movie, for instance, was worth more than $2.5 million.

"All of the jewels that I'm wearing in the film are real, so [there were] a lot of diamonds and pearls and a couple of rubies in there, as well," Knightley told "I didn't get to take any of them home with me, unfortunately; they had to all go back to Chanel, but it was very nice getting dressed in the morning."

Knightley wears a number of opulent items of jewelry, including a multi-strand pearl necklace and bracelet that beautifully complements an extravagant plum ballgown.

In another scene, the 27-year-old's neckline is embellished by a sparking diamond necklace arranged in three tiers at the front and joining together at the back, with a large diamond flower motif at the side.

An outdoor shot shows Knightley donning stunning diamond drop earrings, comprised of a cascade of small diamonds ending in a large pear-shaped bauble. The earrings are set against a grey fur collar and black embroidered hat.

Knightley told the Daily Mail that the gems helped to define her character. "They represent that cut-glass perfection Anna displays that's too perfect," she explained. "A big part of the book focuses on Anna's vanity, and as it all crumbles around her, the vanity increases."

Tolstoy's Anna Karenina is the tragedy of a married aristocrat and her affair with the affluent Count Vronsky. The 864-page masterwork was published in 1877 and has been called "the greatest novel ever written."

Previews of the movie, Anna Karenina, have generated mixed reviews, but most critics agree that the film will earn a boatload of Oscar nominations, including a Best Actress nod for Knightley in the title role.