Friday, December 07, 2012

Music Friday: Kylie Minogue Asks 'Santa Baby' for 'One Little Thing, A Ring' in This Classic Holiday Tune

It's Music Friday, and once again we bring you famous songs that have jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or the title. Today's offering is "Santa Baby," a holiday-season favorite since it was introduced by the legendary Eartha Kitt in 1953.


In the song, a young lady with an affection for the finer things in life tells Santa what's on her Christmas list and why he needs to "hurry down the chimney tonight." Besides a fur coat, a light blue convertible and a yacht, she'd like the deed to a platinum mine and decorations bought at Tiffany's. At the end of the song, she says that she "forgot to mention one little thing, a ring (I don't mean on the phone)."

Covered numerous times by artists as diverse as Madonna, Taylor Swift and Miss Piggy, "Santa Baby" never seems to get old. Even Michael Bublé covered the song for his 2011 holiday album, Christmas. Some of the lyrics were changed to give a more masculine feel, such as referring to Santa as "Buddy" instead of "Baby."

One of our favorite versions of "Santa Baby" is this 2010 live performance by the Aussie songstress Kylie Minogue at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along.

"Santa Baby"

Written by Joan Javits and Philip Springer. Performed by Kylie Minogue.

Santa baby, slip a sable under the tree, for me
I've been an awful good girl, Santa baby
So hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa baby, a '54 convertible, too, light blue
Well I'll wait up for you, dear, Santa baby
So hurry down the chimney tonight, yeah

Think of all the fun I've missed
Think of all the boys I haven't kissed
Next year I could be just as good
If you check off my Christmas list

Santa baby, I want a yacht and really that's not a lot
I've been an angel all year, Santa baby
So hurry down the chimney tonight

Santa, honey, there's one more thing I really do need, the deed
To a platinum mine, Santa honey
So hurry down the chimney tonight

Come and trim my Christmas tree
With some decorations bought at Tiffany's
I really do believe in you
Let's see if you believe in me

Santa baby, forgot to mention one little thing
A ring
And I don't mean on the phone, Santa baby
So hurry down the chimney tonight

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Sapphire-and-Diamond Pacifier Worth $1.5 Million Offered to the 'Expecting' Royal Couple

On the same day that Buckingham Palace confirmed that Kate Middleton and husband Prince William were expecting their first child, the royal couple already had been offered their first baby shower gift – a $1.5 million sapphire-and-diamond pacifier in the classic Princess Diana style. The Natural Sapphire Company, the firm behind the $700,000 gem-encrusted iPad Mini cover, made the generous offer.


As a gesture of gratitude to the royal couple for "reintroducing the world to the beauty of sapphires," The Natural Sapphire Company offered this special gift to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Two years ago, Prince William famously proposed to Middleton using the sapphire engagement ring that belonged to his mother, Princess Diana.


The pacifier's design has a core of small blue sapphires surrounded by 8 carats of round brilliant-cut diamonds. The company is recommending a variation in the design that would replace the smaller sapphires with a single 69.35-carat sapphire called The Titan's Eye. A company spokesman said that the large sapphire, which has a price tag of $1.38 million, would be the most "baby proof."


The royal pacifier project is still in its formative design stages, as the artisans at the Natural Sapphire Company come up with contingencies based on whether Kate and William bring a prince or princess into the world. It's also not clear if the offer will be doubled if Middleton delivers twins. 

The company believes the sapphire-and-diamond pacifier will connect mother and baby “not only by blood, but by fashion sense as well.”

“After the engagement of Prince William to Kate Middleton helped us sell thousands of the Princess Diana-style rings, we felt we should have something to honor this wonderful occasion as well," said Evan Guttman, CIO of The Natural Sapphire Company. "That’s why we want to offer this to the royal couple as the ultimate baby shower present."

image image

The Natural Sapphire Company is famous for its over-the-top product offerings. This past fall, the company generated a media buzz by revealing gem-encrusted cases for the new iPad Mini and iPhone 5.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Famous Tiffany Diamond Gets a New Setting and Goes on a World Tour; Next Stop: Dubai

To mark the 175th anniversary of its iconic jewelry brand, Tiffany reset its famous 128.54-carat Tiffany Diamond in a spectacular diamond-and-platinum necklace and sent it on a world tour. The legendary canary yellow stone will be taking center stage at high-profile events in Dubai, Tokyo and Beijing, before returning home to the Tiffany flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City.



The Tiffany Diamond, one of the largest yellow diamonds ever discovered, is now showcased in a diamond-and-platinum necklace that is truly a work of art. The Tiffany Diamond is mounted in a openwork of "sunrays," and the necklace features 481 sparkling stones totaling 120 carats.

Famously, the Tiffany Diamond was worn by actress Audrey Hepburn in publicity stills to promote the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany's. Hepburn is one of only two women to have ever worn the Tiffany Diamond.


The Tiffany Diamond weighed 287.42 carats in the rough when it was discovered in South Africa's Kimberley mine in 1877. The rough stone was purchased the following year by Tiffany founder Charles Lewis Tiffany.


Tiffany’s chief gemologist, Dr. George Frederick Kunz, supervised the cutting of the diamond into a cushion-shape brilliant weighing 128.54 carats with an unprecedented 82 facets – 24 more facets than the traditional 58-facet brilliant cut, according to Tiffany's official website. The stone is just over an inch wide and seven-eighths of an inch from top to bottom. Cut to enhance its radiant color rather than size, the diamond sparkles as if lit by an inner flame.


The Tiffany Diamond has been set on four previous occasions. Two of those designs are credited to Tiffany designer Jean Schlumberger, who set the stone in a "Ribbon Rosette" necklace to promote Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and remounted it in a piece called "Bird on a Rock" in 1995 for a retrospective at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.

Travelers to Dubai will be able to see the Tiffany Diamond in its newest setting at the company’s Dubai Mall flagship boutique from December 13 through January 9, 2013.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Precious Cargo Recovered From 200-Year-Old Shipwreck Revealed for the First Time

Spanish officials put on display for the first time Friday a tiny sampling of the 16 tons of treasure – including more than a half million silver coins – recovered from a Spanish galleon that was sunk by the British in 1804 near the coast of Portugal. The bounty is estimated to be worth $500 million.

A block of encrusted silver coins from the shipwreck of an 1804 galleon

The precious cargo carried by the doomed Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes had been the subject of a five-year ownership dispute between the Spanish government and the U.S.-based recovery company, Odyssey Marine Exploration. The professional treasure hunters located the ship on the ocean floor and used a remote-controlled submersible to bring 574,553 silver coins, 212 gold coins and other artifacts back to the surface.

One of the 574,553 silver coins recovered

The Spanish government successfully argued in U.S. District Court that it had the rights to claim the recovered bounty, contending that it never relinquished ownership of the ship or its contents. The coins apparently were on their way to Spain after being minted in the Andes region of what are now the South American countries of Bolivia, Chile and Peru.

The court rejected Odyssey's argument that since it made the discovery, it was entitled to all or most of the treasure. The company claimed that it spent $2.6 million salvaging, transporting, storing and conserving the coins and artifacts. Under the ruling, Odyssey is unlikely to receive any compensation from the Spanish government.

Gold tobacco box

Among the items put on display by Spanish officials on Friday were 12 individual silver coins, a block of encrusted silver coins stuck together after centuries underwater, two gold tobacco boxes and a bronze pulley, according to a report by the Associated Press. The treasures recovered from the Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes will be seen at museums across Spain starting next year.

Although the value of the recovery was pegged at $500 million, Spanish officials said  the treasure is considered part of the country's cultural heritage and, therefore, can never be sold under Spanish law.

"It's invaluable," Elisa de Cabo, the Culture Ministry's deputy director of national heritage, told the Associated Press. "How would you put a price on the Mona Lisa?"

Monday, December 03, 2012

Tanzanite Celebrates 10 Years as One of December's Official Birthstones

Late in 2002, the intoxicating blue-violet gemstone, tanzanite, joined its brethren turquoise and blue zircon as the official birthstones for the month of December. The addition of tanzanite exactly 10 years ago marked the first time the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) revised its list since 1912.

The AGTA's action was in response to consumers' affection for a relatively new, rare and stunningly beautiful gemstone that was first discovered by Maasai tribesmen in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in 1967.

Tiffany & Co. was the first retailer to market the new gemstone, but had some issues with what it should be called. Its official gemological name was “blue zoisite,” but Tiffany’s marketing team argued that it sounded too much like “blue suicide.” Clearly, they had to come up with something better. Finally, they settled on “tanzanite” to honor the gem’s country of origin – Tanzania – the only place on the earth where these gems are found.

Due to its single source and limited supply, tanzanite dealers say that the gemstone is at least one thousand times rarer than a diamond.

The most prized tanzanite color is a deep, luxurious blue with purple overtones. The gem also comes in a wide range of hues, from light blues or lilacs, to deep indigos and violets. Tanzanite exhibits an unusual gemological property called pleochroism, which means it appears to be different colors when observed at different angles.

The "Queen of Kilimanjaro" is one of the world's largest faceted tanzanites at 242 carats. Set in a tiara and accented with 803 tsavorite garnets and 913 diamonds, the stunning gem is part of the private collection of Michael Scott, the first CEO of Apple Computer.