Friday, November 15, 2013

Music Friday: Jason Derulo, ‘GMA’ and the USO Join Forces to Make Hero Coast Guardsman's Marriage Proposal Extra Special

In honor of Veteran’s Day, the crew of “Good Morning America,” recording artist Jason Derulo and the USO joined forces to make a hero coast guardsman's surprise marriage proposal extra special.


Six million viewers of ABC’s “Good Morning America” witnessed a truly heartwarming moment when Coast Guardsman of the Year Sam  Peikert got down on bended knee and asked for the hand of his girlfriend, Jackie Fairchild, during Derulo’s in-studio performance of his new release, “Marry Me.”

Fairchild believed that her special access to the live performers was related to her boyfriend’s prestigious award and GMA's salute to service men and women on Veteran's Day. But she was only half right.


As Derulo arrived at the first chorus, which includes the emphasized, elongated phrase — "Will… you… marry… me?" — Peikert pulled out a ring box and proposed to his visibly shocked girlfriend. She covered her face with both hands before settling down and accepting the ring and the proposal. After the song, Derulo embraced the happy couple in a three-way hug.


Peikert, who is stationed in Opa Locka, Fla., had earned the USO Coast Guardsman of the Year award in October for helping to save a father and son who were swept over a 20-foot dam on the San Marcos River in Texas. The USO had arranged for Peikert and his girlfriend to get VIP treatment at "Good Morning America" as part of a new campaign called “Every Moment Counts,” which shows gratitude toward service members by creating special moments for them.


“Marry Me,” which is the second release from Derulo’s brand new studio album, Tattoos, is rapidly climbing the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It currently sits at #36, and some critics are saying Derulo has granted the world its “next top wedding tune.”

The 24-year-old Derulo said the love song was inspired by his girlfriend, American Idol winner Jordin Sparks.

We invite you to enjoy the clip of Derulo’s performance and Peikert’s proposal on GMA. The lyrics to “Marry Me” are below if you’d like to sing along.

"Marry Me"
Written by Jason Derulo, Jonas Jeberg, “Hookman” Marlin Bonds and Andy Marvel. Performed by Jason Derulo.

A hundred and five is the number that comes to my head
When I think of all the years I wanna be with you
Wake up every morning with you in my bed
That's precisely what I plan to do

And you know one of these days when I get my money right
Buy you everything and show you all the finer things in life
We'll forever be in love, so there ain't no need to rush
But one day I won't be able to ask you loud enough

I'll say, "Will you marry me?"
I swear that I will mean it
I'll say, "Will you marry me?"

Ooh whoa ooh oh
Ooh whoa ooh oh
Ooh whoa ooh oh
Oh, yeah

How many girls in the world can make me feel like this?
Baby I don't ever plan to find out
The more I look, the more I find the reasons why
You're the love of my life

You know one of these days when I get my money right
Buy you everything and show you all the finer things in life
We'll forever be in love, so there ain't no need to rush
But one day I won't be able to ask you loud enough

I'll say, "Will you marry me?"
I swear that I will mean it
I'll say, "Will you marry me?"

And if I lost everything
In my heart it means nothing
'Cause I have you,
Girl, I have you
To get right down on bended knee
Nothing else would ever be better, better
That day when...

I'll say, "Will you marry me?"
I swear that I will mean it
I'll say, "Will you marry me?"

I'll say, "Will you marry me?"
(I'll get down on one knee)
I swear that I will mean it
I'll say, "Will you marry me?"

Got me singing
Ooh whoa ooh oh
Got me singing
Ooh whoa ooh oh
Would you marry me, baby?
Ooh whoa ooh oh
Ooh whoa ooh oh
Ooh whoa ooh oh

A hundred and five is the number that comes to my head
When I think of all the years I wanna be with you
Wake up every morning with you in my bed
That's precisely what I plan to do, yeah.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

59.6-Carat ‘Pink Star’ Rocks the House at Sotheby’s Geneva, Sells for $83M and Claims the Title of ‘The Priciest Diamond Ever Auctioned’

The “Pink Star,” an astonishing 59.6-carat internally flawless pink diamond, earned the title of “The Priciest Diamond Ever Auctioned” when the hammer went down with a bid of $83 million last night at Sotheby’s Geneva. The gem, which carried a pre-sale estimate of $60 million, is believed to be the largest fancy vivid pink diamond in the world.


The auction of the Pink Star, which could be watched via a live video feed, was a five-minute frenzy of mostly on-site bidding. The opening bid was 54 million francs, which quickly jumped to 60 million and then 65 million. In the end, an unnamed suitor claimed the prize with a bid of 68 million francs. After fees and commissions, the tally came to 76.325 million francs ($83.188 million).


The Pink Star’s auction success comes on the heels of similar results for “The Orange,” which set two auction records two nights ago at Christie’s Geneva when it sold for $35.53 million. That 14.82-carat diamond set a new mark for highest price ever paid for a fancy orange diamond and the highest price per carat ($2.395 million) ever paid for any diamond.

“Off the scale” in terms of its extraordinary size and richness of color was how Sotheby’s officials described the oval-cut Pink Star during its five-city promotional tour that led up to the sale. Having attained rock-star status in the international press, the Pink Star flattened the previous record of the “Graff Pink,” a 24.78-carat fancy intense pink diamond, which was sold for $45.75 million by the same auction house in 2010.


“I have had the privilege of examining some of the greatest gemstones in the world over the past 35 years, and I can say, without hesitation, that the Pink Star diamond is of immense importance,” said David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby’s jewelry division in Europe and the Middle East.

The Pink Star was originally cut from a 132.5-carat rough diamond mined by DeBeers in Africa in 1999. Steinmetz Diamonds cut and polished the diamond into its current oval shape during a process that took two years to complete. More than 55 percent of the stone’s mass was sacrificed in an effort to attain the most perfect cut, clarity and color. It had been named “The Steinmetz Pink” until it was sold privately in 2007 for an undisclosed amount.

The Pink Star, which measures 2.69 by 2.06 cm (1.06 by 0.81 inches), boasts the Gemological Institute of America’s highest color and clarity grades for a pink diamond. It earned a Type IIa designation, which signifies a high level of chemical purity and optical transparency. The diamond is the largest in its class ever graded by the GIA, with the next largest coming in at less than half its size.


Another notable piece auctioned last night in Geneva was the “Walska Briolette Diamond” brooch, which sold for 9.68 million francs ($10.57 million). It was estimated to sell for $8 million. Designed by Van Cleef & Arpels in 1971, the brooch is highlighted by a fancy vivid yellow diamond weighing 96.62 carats. The unique briolette diamond was once in the collection of opera singer and jewelry connoisseur Ganna Walska. Subsequently, it was mounted as a brooch and exhibited at Van Cleef and Arpels retrospectives internationally.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

14.82-Carat Vivid Orange Diamond Sells for $35.5M, Crushes Records at Christie’s Geneva Auction

“The Orange,” a magnificent 14.82-carat fancy vivid orange diamond, lived up to its pre-auction hype yesterday when it sold for $35.53 million and crushed two world records at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels event in Geneva. The gem had been estimated to sell in the range of $17 million to $20 million.


The last time an orange diamond of this quality hit the auction circuit was 2011 when a 4.19-carat vivid orange diamond fetched $2.96 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong. “The Orange” bested that sale price by a factor of 12, and its price per carat of $2.395 million established a new high for any diamond of any color.


Another record could fall tomorrow at Sotheby’s Geneva when “The Pink Star” hits the auction block. The 59.60-carat flawless vivid pink diamond is estimated to fetch more than $60 million, which would be the highest price ever paid for a gemstone at auction.

“The Orange,” an almond size, VS1 clarity, pear-shape stunner, is the largest orange diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America. The diamond owes its extremely rare, natural orange color to a faint trace of nitrogen in its chemical composition.


According to, several bidders at the auction venue — the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues — competed with phone bidders for the privilege of owning the rare orange gem. The bidding started at 10 million francs (about $10.89 million) and quickly escalated to 20 million francs. The record-setting bid of 32.65 million francs was met with applause from many of the 200 gem lovers in attendance.

The winning bid was equivalent to $31.6 million, but the official final price was $35.53 million after fees and commissions.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Miss Venezuela Fumbles Bejeweled Miss Universe Crown in Front of TV Audience of One Billion

Jubilation nearly turned to humiliation for the newest Miss Universe, Gabriela Isler of Venezuela, when she fumbled — but didn’t drop — her red and white bejeweled crown in front of an international TV audience of one billion. All the drama went down in exactly 10 seconds.


As the credits rolled during the exciting culmination of the annual pageant, last year's winner, Olivia Culpo of the U.S., placed the coveted crown on Isler's head. An instant later, an unidentified show official (wearing a black dress and Cleopatra necklace) tried to lower the Miss Universe sash over the 5’10” Isler’s head. But the sash got hung up on the crown, dislodging it and sending it cascading forward.


TV viewers around the world held their collective breath as the glittery crown seemed to be doomed. Reacting quickly, Isler and Culpo trapped the falling crown against Isler’s body before any damage was done. Culpo repositioned the crown on Isler's head and the new Miss Universe laughed off the moment as if nothing scary had just happened. Of course, she started her procession with her left hand secured tightly to the crown.


If the crown had met a more violent fate, there’s no telling how many of its 1,371 decorative stones would have scattered across the Moscow stage where the dramatic events took place on Saturday night.


In the Miss Universe pageant, winners get to keep their crowns, which are designed with 416 carats of diamond simulants and synthetic rubies set in 544 grams (about 1.2 pounds) of white gold and platinum. Diamond Nexus Labs has been crafting the crown since 2009.

The 25-year-old Isler is the third Venezuelan in the past six years to have won the Miss Universe pageant. This is an extraordinary accomplishment considering the elite competition. This year, Isler bested 86 contestants from all corners of the globe.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Jesse Owens’ 1936 Olympic Gold Medal Could Fetch More Than $1 Million When It Hits the Auction Block Later This Month

One of four gold medals won by American Jesse Owens during the 1936 Olympic Games in Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany is expected to fetch $1 million or more when it hits the auction block later this month.


Owens’ performance in Berlin was one of the most significant in Olympic history because Hitler was convinced the Games would showcase what he believed was the superiority of the Aryan race. Instead, the 23-year-old black American embarrassed the German dictator by dominating his athletes with decisive wins in the 100- and 200-meter dash, the long jump and as a member of the 4x100 meter relay team.


Due to the historical significance of the medal, and because the whereabouts of Owens’ other three are unknown, this one could fetch more than $1 million, according to SCP Auctions’ president David Kohler.

"We think this is a seven-figure piece," Kohler told "We expect to see a good deal of international interest and could see some institutions bidding. This is so much bigger than a piece of sports memorabilia. It's a piece of history."

The online auction house, which specializes in sports rarities, will be accepting bids from November 20 through December 7.


The 55mm medal features Giuseppe Cassioli's famous "Trionfo" design, which was showcased on the Summer Olympic medals from 1928 through 1968. The obverse depicts Nike, the Greek Winged Goddess of Victory, holding a palm in her left hand and a winner’s crown in her right, with the Colosseum in the background. The reverse shows a jubilant crowd carrying a triumphant athlete.

Owens, who passed away in 1980, had given the gold medal to his good friend, entertainer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. The medal came to the auction house via the estate of Robinson’s wife, Elaine Plaines-Robinson.

Owens’ medal could break the record for the highest price ever paid at auction for Olympic memorabilia. In April 2013, $865,000 was the winning bid for the silver cup earned by the 1896 Olympic marathon champ. The custom of awarding gold, silver and bronze medals didn't take hold until the 1904 Olympics.

Interestingly, the last Olympic gold medal made of pure gold was awarded in 1912. Starting in 1916, the gold medals were made from gilded silver (92.5% silver, plated with six grams of gold).

Owens’ 1936 gold medal weighed 71 grams. So, at today’s valuations, the precious metal content would be worth $49 in silver and $272 in gold.