Friday, January 31, 2014

Music Friday: ‘Some People Want Diamond Rings’ in Alicia Keys’ 2004 Hit ‘If I Ain’t Got You’

Welcome to Music Friday when we regularly bring you fabulous songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, we welcome R&B artist Alicia Keys singing her 2004 Grammy-award-winning hit, “If I Ain’t Got You.”


The soulful song from Keys’ chart-topping album, The Diary of Alicia Keys, asks the listener to put into perspective what is really important in life. Surely one can dream of fortune, fame, eternal youth and diamond rings. “But everything means nothing,” Keys sings, “if I ain't got you.”

Keys revealed in a magazine interview that the song was inspired by the tragic passing in 2001 of Aaliyah, an up-and-coming singer, who died in a plane crash in the Bahamas at the age of 22. “It just made everything crystal clear to me,” Keys said.

“If I Ain’t Got You” earned two Grammy nominations is 2005 — one for Song of the Year and the other for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, with Keys winning the latter.

The song peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 list and was #1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs list for six weeks.


Here’s some little known Alicia Keys trivia: The soulful singer appeared on the Cosby Show when she was just four years old, playing the part of one of Rudy Huxtable’s sleepover guests in the 1985 episode titled “Slumber Party.”

Keys has sold more than 65 million records worldwide and was named one of the 100 Greatest Artists of All time by VH1 in 2010.

We invite you to enjoy the video of Key’s live performance of “If I Ain’t Got You.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

“If I Ain’t Got You”
Written and performed by Alicia Keys.

Some people live for the fortune
Some people live just for the fame
Some people live for the power, yeah
Some people live just to play the game
Some people think that the physical things
Define what's within
And I've been there before
But that life's a bore
So full of the superficial

Some people want it all
But I don't want nothing at all
If it ain't you baby
If I ain't got you baby
Some people want diamond rings
Some just want everything
But everything means nothing
If I ain't got you, yeah

Some people search for a fountain
That promises forever young
Some people need three dozen roses
And that's the only way to prove you love them
Hand me the world on a silver platter
And what good would it be
With no one to share
With no one who truly cares for me

Some people want it all
But I don't want nothing at all
If it ain't you baby
If I ain't got you baby
Some people want diamond rings
Some just want everything
But everything means nothing
If I ain't got you, you, you
Some people want it all
But I don't want nothing at all
If it ain't you baby
If I ain't got you baby
Some people want diamond rings
Some just want everything
But everything means nothing
If I ain't got you, yeah

If I ain't got you with me baby
So nothing in this whole wide world don't mean a thing
If I ain't got you with me baby

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Secret Revealed: Famous Hope Diamond Was Once Specially Cut to Reveal a Golden Sunburst Emerging From Its Center

The deep blue Hope Diamond, arguably the most famous and mystifying diamond in the world, was once specially cut in the 1600s to appear as if a dazzling golden sunburst was emerging from its center.


It was a fitting tribute to King Louis XIV of France, who reigned for 72 years and was known as the “Sun King.” The monarch apparently ordered the diamond to be recut with a series of special facets on the back that produced a translucent area. When the diamond was set against a yellow gold background, the vibrant color shone through, giving the appearance of a sunburst.


A recently rediscovered 17th century lead replica of the Hope Diamond (then known as the “French Blue”) helped unravel the mystery for François Farges, a professor of mineralogy at the National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris, and Jeffrey Post, the Smithsonian museum's curator of minerals. The mineral scientists used computer modeling of the lead replica to simulate what the actual jewel looked like during the reign of Louis XIV, according to


The Hope Diamond, left, placed next to the lead cast of the French Blue.

Technically, the French Blue was cut with shallow angles and an entirely flat culet on its back, according to Compared to the rest of the stone, the material right in front of the culet at the gem's center would have appeared relatively clear and colorless, like a glass window.

A 1691 inventory of the French Crown Jewels confirmed that the French Blue had been set into gold and mounted on a stick. The mineral scientists believe that if the gem were placed in front of a gold sheet, golden sunrays would have appeared at its center.


Fargas rediscovered the lead replica of the French Blue in 2009 in France’s National d'Histoire Naturelle mineral collections. This was the first time contemporary gem experts could get their hands on the exact measurements of the actual French Blue.

"They didn't even know they had it,” Post told “It was in their collection, but filed under lead specimens."

The French Blue was stolen during the French Revolution in 1792 and went missing for 20 years. It finally reappeared in Britain in 1812 in its present shape and weight.

After being acquired in the 1830s by a rich London banker named Thomas Hope, the 45.52-carat blue diamond would become known as the Hope Diamond. Mined in India and brought to France in 1668, the gem currently resides at the Smithsonian National History Museum in Washington, D.C., where it continues to be a top attraction.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Beyoncé Rocks the Grammys With Seven Statement Cocktail Rings, Waterfall Earrings and Her Own 18-Carat Engagement Stunner

White-hot diva Beyoncé rocked the Grammy Awards Sunday night wearing seven statement cocktail rings, waterfall diamond earrings and her own flawless 18-carat (with a “c”) emerald-cut diamond engagement ring. The value of her scintillating jewelry ensemble totaled more than $15 million.


Lorraine Schwartz, who designed Beyoncé’s $5 million engagement ring in 2008, provided the songstress with an impressive assortment of bling for the award show's red carpet. Beyoncé wore six rings on her right hand — three stacked on her right ring finger and one each on her index finger, middle finger and pinky.  All the rings featured large diamonds, except for the pinky ring, which was highlighted by a large, rectangular ruby.


On the index finger of her left hand was an unusual inline three-stone diamond ring that overlapped two knuckles. The waterfall diamond earrings boasted a total weight of 50 carats.


Beyoncé famously sang, “If you liked it then you should've put a ring on it” in 2008’s “Single Ladies,” but on Sunday she opened the Grammy Awards show with a rousing performance of her new song, “Drunk in Love,” during which hubby Jay Z joined her on stage for the final chorus.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Dr. Dre and Luxury Jeweler Team Up to Deliver $25K Gold-and-Diamond Beats Headphones to Every Super Bowl Player

Hip-hop mogul Dr. Dre and luxury jeweler Graff Diamonds joined forces to deliver special-edition gold-and-diamond Beats Pro headphones to every player on the Super Bowl-bound Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks.


Excited football players began receiving their gifts on Sunday, with the Broncos getting the white gold version and the Seahawks getting the yellow gold version. In the box, an inscribed panel read, “We’ve been with you from training camp through the season to this golden moment. You’ve earned it. Time to make history.”

Valued at $25,000 apiece, the headphones are blinged-out versions of the top-of-the-line Beats Pro headphones that retail for $449 and are favored by professional musicians and sound aficionados.


Players seemed to love the gift, as they tweeted their thanks and posted photos on their social media accounts. "The headphones we just got hooked up with worth more than my car," tweeted Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin Jr.


The handcrafted headphones feature a raised-gold symbol of the New York skyline, with the words “New York” above and the Super Bowl Roman numerals “XLVIII” and “2014” below. On each side of the Roman numerals is an accent diamond. The “b” Beats logo is also rendered in precious metal on a grey-black background. A gold panel above the New York insignia is centered with the word “pro.”

With 53 men on each team’s roster, some quick math reveals that Beats and Graff invested more than $2.6 million for this generous gesture and strategic product placement. These high-profile athletes will be seen wearing their blingy new headgear during the super-hyped days leading up to the big event at the New Jersey Meadowlands, just across the Hudson River from New York City.

The impressive headphones will be part of a pre-Super Bowl event at the Graff flagship store in New York City on Friday, January 31. They also can be seen at the Beats store in Manhattan’s SoHo district throughout Super Bowl weekend.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Boyfriend Enlists New London Police Chief to Pull Off an ‘Arresting’ Marriage Proposal

Back in the picturesque town of New London, N.H., for a class reunion, Colby-Sawyer College graduates Matt Van Vliet and girlfriend Samantha Labo had a run-in with the law that quickly morphed into an “arresting” marriage proposal.


With an important assist from Acting Police Chief Edward Anderson, Van Vliet hatched a very clever — and somewhat cruel — plan to propose to his girlfriend of four years. In a very strange way, the proposal is forever linked to the moment the two first set eyes on each other.


You see, Labo and Van Vliet had met in the New London jail back in 2010 after they were arrested with 100 other students for underage drinking at freshman party. The arresting officer was none other than Chief Anderson. (The couple was eventually cleared of charges after passing Breathalyzer tests.)

“[Van Vliet] said he would really enjoy it if I could be a part of it because he felt that I was part of the reason they got together,” Anderson told CBS. “Because of the whole story behind it is why I felt it would be good to be involved with that.”


Anderson reported to work on his day off to take part in the charade. He gladly took on the role of a tough-talking, hard-nosed officer who would not only pull the couple over as they drove to a reunion party, but also sternly reprimand Labo when she asked the officer what her boyfriend did wrong.


With the police cruiser’s dashboard cam recording every moment, Anderson announced that there was a warrant out for Van Vliet’s arrest and he ordered the couple to step out of the car.

Labo could be heard sobbing as she watched Anderson handcuff Van Vliet and pat him down. At that point, Anderson is seen finding a ring box in Van Vliet’s pocket and questioning what it is. As this point, fantasy turns to reality.


The boyfriend, now officially out of custody and with a diamond engagement ring in hand, can be seen on the dash cam walking over to his distressed girlfriend, getting down on one knee and delivering his proposal.


Sobs of fear turned instantly into sobs of joy. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, a pack of friends merged onto the scene to celebrate the happy moment.


“I had no idea what was going on,” Labo told WBZ-TV. “I went from being absolutely terrified to being the most happiest I’ve ever been.”

The proposal actually occurred on September 20, 2013, but Labo first got a copy of the dashboard cam video on January 18. As soon as she posted it on YouTube, it became an instant sensation. Within a few days, both local and national news outlets were seeking interviews with the couple.

“We kind of met in jail sort of, so I thought it would be cool to include the cops again,” Van Vliet told WBZ-TV. “My mom said surprises were the best way to do it, so I guess I went kind of overboard, but it worked out pretty well.” The couple has set a wedding date of August 22, 2015.

Check out WMUR-TV’s coverage of the story, which includes highlights from the police cruiser’s dashboard video…