Friday, May 10, 2013

Music Friday: Little Richard Buys a Diamond Ring in the 1958 Classic, 'Good Golly Miss Molly'

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you sensational songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today's song takes us back to the early days of rock and roll — a time of car hops, drive-in movies and Little Richard dominating the airwaves with his smash hit, "Good Golly Miss Molly."


In the 1958 song, Little Richard sings about the free-spirited Molly, who loves to dance from the early morning to the early night. When she's rockin' and a rollin', she can't hear her mama call. Little Richard's got big plans for Molly, including a marriage proposal. And this is where the jewelry reference comes in: "Goin' to the corner, gonna buy a diamond ring. When she hugs me her kissin' make me ting-a-ling-a-ling."

"Good Golly Miss Molly" is considered a rock and roll standard and was ranked #94 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It's been covered by hundreds of artists, including Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jerry Lee Lewis and Bruce Springsteen.

As a rock and roll pioneer, Little Richard embodied the spirit and energy of the new genre more than any other performer. Born Richard Wayne Penniman, the 80-year-old Little Richard became a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

Enjoy the video montage at the end of this post. The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along.

"Good Golly Miss Molly"
Written by John Marascalco and Robert "Bumps" Blackwell. Performed by Little Richard.

Good golly Miss Molly, sure like to ball,
Good golly Miss Molly, sure like to ball,
A-when you're rockin' and a rollin', can't hear your mama call.

From the early, early mornin' to the early, early night,
When I caught Miss Molly rockin' at the House of Blue Lights,
Good golly Miss Molly, sure like to ball,
A-when you're rockin' and a rollin', can't hear your mama call.

Mama, papa told me 'Son, you better watch your step',
If'n your Papa's Mama had to watch my Papa's step ,
Good golly Miss Molly, sure like to ball,
A-when you're rockin' and a rollin', can't hear your mama call.

Good golly Miss Molly, sure like to ball,
Good golly Miss Molly, sure like to ball,
A-when you're rockin' and a rollin', can't hear your mama call.

Goin' to the corner, gonna buy a diamond ring.
When she hugs me her kissin' make me ting-a-ling-a-ling
Good golly Miss Molly, sure like to ball,
A-when you're rockin' and a rollin', can't hear your mama call.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

'Perfect' 75-Carat Briolette Diamond Could Fetch $12.5 Million at Christie's Auction

The world’s largest flawless briolette diamond will hit the auction block at Christie’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels sale on May 28. Estimated to fetch between $8.5 million and $12.5 million, the fabulous 75.36-carat, D-color wonder is part of a pendant necklace that includes a marquise-cut purplish-pink diamond suspended above the briolette. Stations of smaller briolettes adorn the 18-karat white and rose gold neckchain, which is adjustable.


The briolette diamond is so perfect that it earned the top quality grade of Type IIa from the Gemological Institute of America. The grade reflects its flawless clarity, excellent polish, chemical purity and exceptional transparency. Other famous Type IIa diamonds include the 530.2-carat Cullinan and the 105.6-carat Koh-i-noor.


Legendary diamond cutter William Goldberg started with a 160.5-carat rough diamond and lost more than half the stone’s weight as he shaped it into the world’s largest and most perfect briolette — an symmetrical shape that resembles a water drop.


Christie’s jewelry specialist Chiang Shiu-Fung told the press that the headliner of the May 28 auction is exceptionally rare. Over the past six years, he has seen only one similar item at a Christie’s auction and that briolette was “only 30-something carats.”

Comprising more than 290 lots, the May 28 Christie’s auction is expected to generate more than $74 million in sales.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Video Game Designer Assists With Angry Birds Marriage Proposal, Plants Big Surprise on Level 3

In the exasperating competition for her fiancĂ©’s attention, Aussie Melissa Swift admitted she was no match for Angry Birds, the wildly popular video game where players use a slingshot to launch wingless birds at pigs.


No matter how much she protested, Swift couldn’t get her 30-year-old boyfriend, Ben Levi, to stop playing the game.

"We'd be watching TV and he'd be playing Angry Birds," the 24-year-old Swift told The Huffington Post. "We'd be out to dinner with friends like civilized people and you've got Angry Birds going on under the table."

The situation looked bleak, as Swift became an “angry bird” herself, defined in the Urban Dictionary as an annoyed girlfriend whose boyfriend is addicted to the Angry Birds game.

The bane of her existence resurfaced last month, when Levi asked his girlfriend to try out the new Angry Birds Friends game on his tablet during a lunch date at a local restaurant. Reluctantly, Swift agreed and started launching birds.

What Swift didn’t know was that her clever boyfriend had contacted Rovio Entertainment, the creator of Angry Birds, and asked if the company’s creative team could prepare a custom level with a special message for his fiancĂ©e. To his surprise and delight, the Finland-based company agreed to his request.

Over the next few months, Rovio representatives worked with Levi to create a unique and unforgettable marriage proposal.


When Swift reached Level 3, she was left nearly speechless when the screen showed the headline, “MARRY ME MEL.”

"I think I would have been less surprised had I seen a flying pig," Swift told The Huffington Post. "I remember looking at it and not really comprehending what it meant. He was down on one knee and it just all fell into place and I just started crying… It was just unbelievable."


The whole scene was captured by hidden cameras set up by the video game company, which produced the video at the end of this post.

Swift has a new appreciation for Angry Birds, telling The Huffington Post, "It took Angry Birds to finally get him to propose. I love them. Nothing else would motivate him, but Angry Birds did it, so I'm forever grateful."

Is this couple destined to have an Angry Birds-themed wedding? We wouldn’t bet against it.

See the video of the Angry Birds proposal below…

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Search Continues for $1M Cache of Gold, Jewelry and Gemstones Hidden in the Mountains North of Santa Fe, NM

Eccentric multi-millionaire Forrest Fenn has sparked a mini gold rush in the mountains north of Santa Fe, NM, as amateur and professional treasure hunters follow his clues to find a buried treasure chest that contains gold nuggets, gold coins, rubies, diamonds, sapphires, historical jewelry and a micro-sized copy of his biography.


Motivated by a cancer diagnosis that gave Fenn only a few years to live, the former art dealer and gallery owner decided to make this treasure hunt his legacy. The 82-year-old hoped that the treasure said to be worth $1 million would inspire people, particularly children, to get away from their texting devices and look for adventure outdoors.


Fenn’s self-published 2011 memoir, The Thrill of the Chase, recounts his rags-to-riches story and includes a 24-line poem (seen below) that contains nine vital clues — that when cobbled together — will lead to the trove.


Fenn, whose cancer diagnosis was 20 years ago, is reveling in the buzz generated by his story. He’s been featured in the national media, sparking a rush of treasure-hunting hopefuls heading to the mountains north of Santa Fe. He reported having received 13,000 emails from treasure hunters, as well as 18 marriage proposals.

Could this all be a publicity stunt to sell a lot of books? According to novelist Doug Preston, Fenn’s treasure is the real deal. "I've seen the treasure. I've handled it. He has had it for almost as long as I've known him. It's real. And I can tell you that it is no longer in his vault," Preston told The Huffington Post.

Recently, Fenn offered two new clues to be added to the ones revealed in the poem:

Clue #10: The treasure is hidden higher than 5,000 feet above sea level.
Clue #11: No need to dig up the old outhouses, the treasure is not associated with any structure.

Fenn’s Treasure Poem

As I have gone alone in there
And with my treasures bold,
I can keep my secret where,
And hint of riches new and old.

Begin it where warm waters halt
And take it in the canyon down,
Not far, but too far to walk.
Put in below the home of Brown.

From there it's no place for the meek,
The end is ever drawing nigh;
There'll be no paddle up your creek,
Just heavy loads and water high.

If you've been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace.

So why is it that I must go
And leave my trove for all to seek?
The answers I already know,
I've done it tired and now I'm weak.

So hear me all and listen good,
Your effort will be worth the cold.
If you are brave and in the wood
I give you title to the gold.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Ultra-Rare 1913 Liberty Head Nickel Fetches $3.17M at Auction; Illegally Struck Coin is One of Five Known to Exist

An ultra-rare 100-year-old U.S. nickel that was illegally produced by a Mint employee and once declared a fake fetched $3.17 million at auction recently, more than $600,000 above the pre-auction estimate. The coin — a 1913 Liberty Head nickel — pulled top dollar because it claims a wild history filled with drama, intrigue, criminal activity, tragedy and an unlikely happy ending.


Coin collectors know that 1913 was the year the popular Buffalo Head nickel was introduced, taking over for the Liberty Head that was in circulation from 1883 until 1912. So where did the 1913 Liberty Head come from? The short answer is that it was created without the blessing of the U.S. government.


Legend has it that Samuel W. Brown, a Philadelphia Mint employee, surreptitiously and illegally struck the Liberty versions by altering the die of the 1912 version to achieve the 1913 date. Only five are known to exist, making it one of the rarest coins in the world.

The illegally cast nickels were exposed to the public for the first time in 1920, when Brown offered them for sale at a numismatic convention. Because the statute of limitations had run out, Brown was able to sell the illicit coins. The five coins remained a set until 1942, when a North Carolina collector — George O. Walton — bought a single 1913 Liberty Head nickel for $3,750, according to the Associated Press.

Walton had the coin in his possession when he was killed in a car crash in 1962. The valuable coin was among 400 that dotted the crash site. Walton’s sister, Melva Givens, inherited the coin, but got bad news when an appraiser told her the coin was a fake because it looked as if the date had been altered.

Presumed worthless, the coin ended up in a box at the back of Givens’ closet for the next 40 years. Upon his mother’s death, Ryan Givens brought the coin to the 2003 American Numismatic Association World's Fair of Money, where the other four 1913 Liberty Head coins were on exhibit.

There he learned that the coin wasn’t a fake at all. It was clear that all the 1913 Liberty Head coins had the same imperfection under the date. A team of rare coin experts concluded it was the long-missing fifth coin.

Even though Givens and his three siblings are now enjoying a multi-million-dollar payday, Givens has mixed emotions about parting with the coin.

"I guess I still feel kind of sad about it and I'll probably feel that way for a while," Givens told "It's been in the family for so long."

Givens’ sister, Cheryl Myers, said, “The money is definitely nice. We started with a nickel yesterday morning and now we have $2.7 million." The auction house earned more than $400,000 in sales commission.