Friday, May 17, 2013

Music Friday Flashback: Sonny & Cher Perform Their No. 1 Hit From 1965, ‘I Got You Babe’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you sensational songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today, we step into our Wayback Machine and set the dial for 1965, a time of hippies, bellbottoms, love beads — and Sonny & Cher singing their iconic hit, “I Got You Babe.”


In this love song about a young couple just starting out, Sonny promises Cher that when they’re together there’s “no hill or mountain we can't climb.” In the jewelry reference, he sings, “I got flowers in the spring. I got you to wear my ring.”

The husband-and-wife team blasted onto the music scene in 1965 with their hits, “I Got You Babe” and “Baby Don’t Go.” In the 1970s, they became household names, as they starred in two top-10 TV shows, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour and The Sonny & Cher Show.

“I Got You Babe” had a key role in the 1993 movie, Groundhog Day, as Bill Murray, playing an arrogant TV weatherman, finds himself reliving February 2 in a perpetual time loop. Every morning at exactly six o’clock Murray wakes to the clock-radio playing the Sonny & Cher ditty.

The couple divorced in 1975, but the breakup proved that they didn’t need one another to be successful. Cher went on to become a Grammy Award-winning solo singer and an Academy Award-winning actress. Bono eventually became a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Sadly, he passed away in a skiing accident in 1998.

In the rare video at the end of this post, Sonny & Cher are introduced as newcomers by Sammy Davis, Jr. The lyrics to “I Got You Babe” are below, but we bet you already know the words…

“I Got You Babe”
Written by Sonny Bono. Performed by Sonny & Cher

[HER:] They say we're young and we don't know
We won't find out until we grow
[HIM:] Well I don't know if all that's true
'Cause you got me, and baby I got you

[HIM:] Babe
[BOTH:] I got you babe I got you babe

[HER:] They say our love won't pay the rent
Before it's earned, our money's all been spent
[HIM:] I guess that's so, we don't have a pot
But at least I'm sure of all the things we got

[HIM:] Babe
[BOTH:] I got you babe I got you babe

[HIM:] I got flowers in the spring I got you to wear my ring
[HER:] And when I'm sad, you're a clown
And if I get scared, you're always around
[HER:] So let them say your hair's too long
'Cause I don't care, with you I can't go wrong
[HIM:] Then put your little hand in mine
There ain't no hill or mountain we can't climb

[HIM:] Babe
[BOTH:] I got you babe I got you babe

[HIM:] I got you to hold my hand
[HER:] I got you to understand
[HIM:] I got you to walk with me
[HER:] I got you to talk with me
[HIM:] I got you to kiss goodnight
[HER:] I got you to hold me tight
[HIM:] I got you, I won't let go
[HER:] I got you to love me so

[BOTH:] I got you babe
I got you babe
I got you babe
I got you babe
I got you babe

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Starlet Gina Lollobrigida's Natural Pearl Drop Earrings Shatter Record at Sotheby's Geneva, Sell for $2.37 Million

A breathtaking matched pair of natural pearl drop earrings from the collection of Italian starlet Gina Lollobrigida shattered a record at Sotheby’s Geneva on Tuesday when the gavel went down at a staggering $2.37 million — a record price for pearl earrings and more than double the pre-sale estimate. They were sold to an anonymous bidder.


The pearl earrings, which were worn often throughout Lollobrigida's career and reputed to have belonged to the collection of jewels of the House of Habsburg, measure approximately 15.6 x 12.1 x 24.9mm and 15.9 x 13.8 x 23.3mm.


The price achieved for Lollobrigida’s earrings topped the late Elizabeth Taylor’s natural pearl earrings, which were sold at a Christie’s auction in 2011 for $1.99 million.

Natural pearls are extremely rare because they form in mollusks without any human intervention. Typically, a microscopic intruder or parasite enters a mollusk, and settles inside the shell. The mollusk, being irritated by the intruder, secretes a crystalline substance called nacre to cover the irritant. This secretion process is repeated over and over, creating the iridescent visual effect seen in fine pearls.


Lollobrigida, who starred on the silver screen during the 1950s and 1960s with the likes of Frank Sinatra and Humphrey Bogart, sold her impressive collection of 23 items to raise money for stem cell research in her native Italy. In total, her collection generated $4.9 million.

“Jewels are meant to give pleasure, and for many years I had enormous pleasure wearing mine," the 85-year-old Lollobrigida noted. "It now gives me great pleasure to see that these jewels will create a legacy, which will live on after me and continue to do good.”


Another star of Tuesday’s "Magnificent Jewels and Nobel Jewels" auction was a 19th century 74.53-carat cushion-shaped fancy yellow diamond once owned by Ahmad Shah Qajar, the shah of Persia from 1909 to 1925 and the last ruler of the Qajar Dynasty. It fetched a whopping $2.95 million, establishing an auction record for a fancy yellow diamond and a record price per carat for a fancy yellow diamond ($40,061 per carat). The selling price doubled the pre-sale estimate.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

'Today' Co-Host Savannah Guthrie Reveals New Engagement Ring to National TV Audience

The 4.5 million viewers of "The Today Show" got a big surprise Monday morning when co-host Savannah Guthrie revealed for the first time her elegant four-prong diamond engagement ring. Over the weekend, she had accepted the marriage proposal of media consultant Mike Feldman while they were vacationing in the Caribbean.


Although the couple had been dating for four years, Guthrie told her NBC viewers that she was caught off guard when Feldman nervously started to deliver his proposal.


"He got on one knee and I still thought we were just talking [about getting married]," she said.

And then he handed her the box. "I didn't open it for a long time," she said, "because I was just overcome."

The 41-year-old Aussie, who replaced Ann Curry on “The Today Show” in July of 2012, was beaming ear to ear as she showed off her ring to a national audience. The classic setting holds an impressive prong-set round diamond center, accented with pavĂ© diamonds on the band.


The 44-year-old Feldman, who now calls himself “the luckiest guy in the world,” is a  consultant who counts Al Gore among his former clients.

Two high-profile stars of “The Today Show” were quick to express their excitement over the happy news by blasting photos and good wishes via Twitter and Instagram.

Co-anchor Matt Lauer tweeted "Big news from Savannah!" and included a photo of Guthrie modeling her ring.

Turning to Instagram, co-host Al Roker posted a photo of Guthrie flashing the ring, along with a caption that read: "@savannahguthrie and her engagement ring. Congrats to her and fiancĂ© Mike Feldman.”

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

73.98-Carat Padparadscha-and-Diamond Ring to Make Rare Appearance at Christie's Auction

Called “a true Rembrandt among gemstones,” natural padparadscha is one of the rarest and most valuable varieties of sapphire. Unlike its blue brethren, padparadscha boasts a salmon color reminiscent of the most delicate orange/pink sunset you’ve ever seen. Fans of this unusual and strikingly beautiful gemstone are in for a big treat on May 28, when an exceptional padparadscha-and-diamond ring hits the auction block at Christie’s Hong Kong as one of the top lots of its Magnificent Jewels sale.


The oval, modified brilliant/step-cut Sri Lankan padparadscha weighs a staggering 73.98 carats and is framed with brilliant-cut diamonds mounted in 18-karat rose gold. Pre-sale estimates put the value of the ring at $1.03 million to $1.55 million.

The poetically named padparadscha gets its name from "padma raga," which literally means "the color of the lotus flower" in Sanskrit.


Padparadschas of the size and quality of the one offered for sale at Christie’s are rarely seen in auction circles. One gemstone dealer told author and gemstone expert David Federman, "Fine padparadscha is far rarer than either fine Kashmir sapphire or Burma ruby. We’re talking about a true Rembrandt among gemstones.”

Padparadscha belongs to the corundum family of gemstones, which includes rubies and sapphires. The presence of trace elements determines the color of each gemstone. While blue sapphires are naturally colored with iron and rubies with chromium, padparadschas are colored by the presence of both. The delicate interplay of pink and orange hues make this gem one of nature's greatest marvels.

Monday, May 13, 2013

LA Angels Pitcher C.J. Wilson Proposes to Supermodel Lisalla Montenegro With Stunning Princess-Cut Diamond Ring

Los Angeles Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson is living the dream. He signed a $77.5 million five-year contract before the 2011 season, stars in a Head & Shoulders commercial, won a Grand-Am road race in March, and proposed to the stunningly beautiful Brazilian supermodel Lisalla Montenegro on Wednesday.


The 25-year-old Montenegro, who is currently the face of Maybelline cosmetics, announced the engagement and showed off her eye-popping engagement ring via her Twitter account. The diamond is an impressive princess-cut stunner complemented by a prong-set diamond band.


Montenegro wrote: “I literally can’t have imagined a more perfect proposal. So excited to marry @cjwilsonphoto !!! #Engaged !!!!

Later, she added, “I simply can’t stop smiling! Definitely one of the happiest days of my life! Thank you all for the support and love. Much love! L&C”


Montenegro was born and raised in Goias, Brazil. After winning the Miss Goias competition, the brunette was encouraged to travel to the U.S. to pursue a modeling career. Soon she was a walking the runways for top brands, such as Michael Kors, Hermes and Victoria’s Secret, and gracing the pages of leading magazines, such as Sports Illustrated, Italian GQ and Cosmo Girl.

The 32-year-old Wilson is 3-2 with a 3.88 ERA for the Los Angeles Angels after losing last night to the Chicago White Sox. When he’s not striking out opposing batters, the two-time all-star finds time for another passion — car racing. In March, Wilson became a winning team owner in Grand-Am road racing when C.J. Wilson Racing won the Circuit of the Americas race in Austin, Texas.

In a light-hearted exchange with Sports Illustrated’s Extra Mustard, Wilson listed the best and worst things about dating a supermodel. Here are the highlights…

• Having to answer questions about how you met your supermodel girlfriend from teammates who want to have a supermodel girlfriend.
• Having to keep your personal appearance on point. You don’t want to be the guy dragging the equation down. If she’s a 10, you don’t want to look like a 4.

• When [a supermodel] walks into a room, I can be completely invisible. Nobody sees me at all.
• If [a supermodel] asks for a table at a restaurant, she's going to get it. We’re always seated right away.