Friday, June 14, 2013

Music Friday: Eric Clapton Performs ‘Diamonds Made From Rain’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you awesome songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today we feature one of the finest rock guitarists the world has ever known. It’s Eric Clapton performing “Diamonds Made From Rain,” with backing vocals provided by Sheryl Crow.


Using both diamond and pearl metaphors, Clapton sings about emotional redemption and his path to personal enlightenment in this bluesy track from his self-titled 2010 studio album.

Clapton sings, “Like diamonds made of rain, you can find joy inside the pain.”

Later he adds, “Everything that I've endured, for the wisdom of a pearl, I wouldn't change a thing. You can make diamonds from the rain.”

Interestingly, Clapton invited his former love interest, Crow, to collaborate on “Diamonds Made From Rain.” The pair apparently had a brief relationship in the late 1990s and it is rumored that her song, “My Favorite Mistake,” is about him.

A recipient of 17 Grammy Awards and the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as a solo artist, with the Yardbirds and with Cream), Clapton is ranked second on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.”

The 68-year-old Clapton has sold more than 129 million albums during his 50 years as a performing artist.

We invite you to enjoy the video at the end of this post. The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

“Diamonds Made From Rain”
Written by Doyle Bramhall II, Nikka Costa, Justin Stanley. Performed by Eric Clapton, with Sheryl Crow.

The moment's come and gone
Every memory leaves a trace
All that I've come to know
In the lines upon my face

Every storm that I have turned
Each forgiveness I have earned
Every shame that's taught me grace
From you I have learned

No love is lost
No love is lost

That everything is shown to me
I let it wash over me
Like diamonds made of rain
You can find joy inside the pain

Everything that I've endured
For the wisdom of a pearl
I wouldn't change a thing
You can make diamonds from the rain

Every mile of this road
Every chord that's struck my soul
You are the melody
That will soothe me 'til I'm old

If the promises are kept
I'll waive all of my regrets
I can say I've overcome
With you, my heart is open

No love was lost
No love was lost

That everything is shown to me
I let it wash over me
Like diamonds made of rain
You can find joy inside the pain

Everything that I've endured
For the wisdom of a pearl
I wouldn't change a thing
You can make diamonds from the rain

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Black Diamonds in New Anti-Aging Serum Diffuse the Light to Give Skin an Airbrushed Look

Finely ground black diamonds are the key ingredients in London-based BeautyLab’s new anti-aging serum that diffuses the light to give skin an airbrushed, youthful look.


Confirming the science behind the Black Diamond Energizing Serum, cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Sam Bunting told The Today Show that black diamonds create an optical blur when they settle into wrinkles and pores. “The diamonds diffuse the light and create a soft-focus effect, which potentially hides fine lines and wrinkles,” she said. “But that’s a cosmetic effect; it's not a permanent thing.”

BeautyLab’s managing director Roger Aoun explained that the black diamonds absorb visible light and convert invisible UV light into blue light, which is scattered across the surface of the skin. The result is the soft diffusion of light that gives the user an airbrushed look.


Gemstones in beauty products are "a bit of a Hollywood secret," said Rachel Scaperotta, a beautician at the Beverly Wilshire hotel spa. "It's a pretty instant effect," she told Today. "That's why celebs like it."

In addition to black diamonds, the serum contains sapphires, hexapeptide, copper peptide and sea algae. The peptides stimulate the creation of collagen, resulting in plumper, smoother and more radiant-looking skin.

The serum is priced at $120 for a 30ml bottle. The companion lotion is $140. The brand new product is already a hit in the U.K., where it was launched a few weeks ago. The pre-launch waiting list topped 4,000.

In clinical trials, 1,000 women using the black diamond serum reported a 65% reduction in fine lines and wrinkles in just 28 days.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Survey: Nearly 7 in 10 Brides Influence the Engagement Ring Buying Decision

When it comes to selecting the perfect engagement ring, most guys are no longer on their own. A new survey by reveals that nearly 70% of brides have input in the buying decision.


Faced with the question, “Who really selected your ring?” 30.1% of brides claimed it was a “joint decision,” 12.2% said it was “my sole decision,” and 26.6% said it was the “partner’s decision with some of my involvement.” Only 31% said it was her “partner’s sole decision.”


When asked about the specific features of a ring, brides selected style over size.

More than 86% of brides said the “overall design” was one of the most important features of a ring. This answer topped all others, including price (62.7%), color of the diamond (58.5%), sentimental nature of the ring (58.3%) and size of the diamond (47.7%).


The question, “How did you select your ring?” revealed a “disconnect” between the sexes.

Brides rated the “setting” (55.7%) above the “type of stone” (22.6), while their partners believed the opposite — the “type of stone” (50%) was of greater importance than the “setting” (20%).


Round and princess-cut diamonds were, by far, the most popular choices of engagement ring center stones. Nearly half (46.8%) are flaunting their "round" diamonds, while 31.5% are enjoying their "princess" cuts. Further down on the list were "cushion" (5.5%), "emerald" (3.6%) and "marquise" (3.6%).


The survey also revealed that chivalry is still alive. Exactly 80% reported that their partners paid for their engagement rings.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Rarely Viewed Millennium Sapphire May Finally See the Light of Day; Investor Group Looking to Sell Football-Sized Carved Gem for $180M

The football-sized Millennium Sapphire, a gem carved with the likenesses of famous historical figures, is available for sale if the right buyer can come up with $180 million and promise that the 61,500-carat marvel will be housed where the public can view it on a regular basis, according to The National.


Designed by Italian artist Alessio Boschi, the Millennium Sapphire was conceived as a tribute to human genius and includes 134 subjects, including the faces of Beethoven, Michelangelo, Shakespeare, Albert Einstein and Martin Luther King. It also features representations of the Pyramids of Giza, the Great Wall of China and Gutenberg’s printing press.


A consortium of investors led by Daniel McKinney owns the Millennium Sapphire. Over the past 15 years, the impressive carved sapphire has been on public display only twice — in 2002 during the Academy Awards and two years later for the maiden voyage of the Sapphire Princess cruise liner. Otherwise, it has been tucked away in a safe in an undisclosed U.S. location.

Recently, the consortium agreed that amazing work needed to be enjoyed by the public. The owners opted against putting it up for auction, because they couldn’t control who the buyer would be.

“We’ve got offers in the past from various millionaires and billionaires from China and other places to buy it for themselves,” McKinney told The National, “but they would probably put it in their mausoleum and it would be lost to the world.”

“It would be great if it could be displayed in a museum as that’s why it was created,” said Scott Chapman, an associate of McKinney. “The consortium wants to be able to display it and show it.”


The 28 cm (11 inch) Millennium Sapphire was unearthed in Madagascar in 1995. It weighed about 90,000 carats in its rough state and lost about a third of its mass during the carving process, which took two years and was completed in 2000.

Before the carvers set to work, they practiced by producing each of the 134 design elements on pieces of lapis lazuli.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Baltimore Ravens Receive Their Supersized Super Bowl Rings; Each Weighs 380 Grams and Features 243 Diamonds

Set with 243 diamonds and tipping the scales at a hefty 380 grams (more than three-quarters of a pound), the Baltimore Ravens’ Super Bowl XLVII rings are over-the-top in every way. Members of the 2012 team, which beat the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 to capture the franchise's second championship, received their impressive bling on Friday night during a private ceremony at the team’s training complex. The 2012 ring is far bigger and more ornate than the one designed for the team in 2000.


Wearing the 2012 ring on his left hand and the 2000 edition on his right, recently retired all-star linebacker Ray Lewis told the Associated Press: "There's no better way to go out. I can hold this the rest of my life and know I went out as champ."


While acknowledging the symbolism behind the ring, Super Bowl MVP quarterback Joe Flacco tried to wrap his head around the practical side of showing it off. "It's kind of un-wearable," he joked.


Designed by Jostens with the help of team owner Steve Bisciotti, Flacco and Lewis, the 10-karat white gold ring has yellow gold accents and a diamond total weight of 3.75 carats. The face of the oval ring looks like a diamond-encrusted stadium adorned with the symbols of both the Ravens and the National Football League.

The Baltimore Ravens’ logo is outlined with 40 round brilliant-cut diamonds, and the stylized “B” stands out in contrasting yellow gold as it sits atop a custom-cut purple amethyst stone. The beak of the raven is designed in white gold and the eye is colored in red enamel.

Since this is the team’s second championship, two Vince Lombardi Trophies adorn the face of the ring. The trophies are topped with .75-carat marquise-cut diamonds that mimic the shape of a football. The words "Word Champions" surround the left and right border.


On the left side of the ring is the player’s name in white gold against a ground of black enamel. Below the name is the Ravens’ shield, along with the team slogan, “Play Like a Raven.” Below the shield is the player’s number. On Flacco's ring, it says "MVP."

The right side of the ring features the year 2012 in yellow gold, accented with 39 round diamonds. Below the year is the official Super Bowl XLVII logo.

Engraved inside the ring is the team’s mantra, “The team. The team. The team,” as well as the scores of the four playoff games that the Ravens won to earn their championship. The logo of the opponent is next to each score.