Friday, October 10, 2014

Music Friday: Train Sings of a ‘River Made of Silver’ in the New Release, ‘Angel in Blue Jeans’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today we bring you Train's frontman Pat Monahan singing about falling head over heals for an “angel in blue jeans” in the lead single from the group's new album, Bulletproof Picasso.


Sadly, the girl leaves Monahan broken-hearted, spawning these memorable lyrics: “Like a river made of silver / Everyone came running to the scene / I was shot down in cold blood / By an angel in blue jeans.”

Written by Monahan and the Norwegian songwriting team of Espen Lind and Amund Bjørklund, “Angel in Blue Jeans” has a hard-driving, anthem-like quality that’s reminiscent of the soundtrack of 1966 Spaghetti Western, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.


Playing up the Western theme, Monahan and his band picked Machete’s tough-guy character actor Danny Trejo to star in the “Angel in Blue Jeans” music video, which takes place in a dusty outpost in the Mojave Desert. In a neat role swap, Trejo plays the hero while Monahan and his bandmates play the villains.

In the end, Trejo — not Monahan — gets to be reunited with his “angel in blue jeans,” played by Hannah Simone.

Monahan told Entertainment Tonight (ET) that he enjoyed being the bad guy. He also poked fun at Trejo, who, during the filming, had trouble lip-syncing the song on which Monahan performs the actual lead vocals. Apparently, Trejo had to listen to the track about 50 times before he could lip-sync the words properly.

“I drove everybody crazy with it, but thank God everybody likes the song,” Trejo told ET.

“I think [the retakes] cost us another $2 million,” Monahan joked.

“Angel in Blue Jeans” hit the airwaves in June 2014 as the lead single from Train’s seventh album, Bulletproof Picasso, which was released on September 16, 2014. The song peaked at #8 on Billboard’s U.S. Adult Top 40 list and charted in seven countries.

The Grammy-award-winning band, which is celebrating its 20th year together, has sold more than 10 million albums and 30 million tracks worldwide.

We invite you to take your pick of two music videos below. The first is the official version of "Angel In Blue Jeans" starring Trejo. The second is Train’s performance of the song on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!

The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

"Angel in Blue Jeans"
Written by Pat Monahan, Amund Bjørklund, and Espen Lind. Performed by Train.

And though I never got her name
Or time to find out anything
I loved her just the same
And though I rode a different road
And sang a different song
I'll love her till my last breath’s gone
Like a river made of silver
Everyone came running to the scene
I was shot down in cold blood
By an angel in blue jeans

Whoa oh oh oh oh oh

Late that night she got away
I chased her to the turnpike
Then lost her where the music never plays
And though I rolled upon the stones and fell into the water
I'll love her till my judgment day
Like a sunrise made of white lies
Everything was nothing as it seems
I was shot down in cold blood
By an angel in blue jeans

Whoa oh oh oh oh oh
Whoa oh oh oh oh oh

I hear voices calling all around
I keep falling down
I think my heart could pound right out of me
I see a million different ways
To never leave this maze alive

I woke up in somebody's arms
Strange and so familiar
Where nothing could go wrong
Barely alive or nearly dead
Somehow awake in my own bed
And there you are
Like a highway headed my way
Life is but a dream
I was shot down by your love
My angel in blue jeans

Whoa oh oh oh oh oh
Whoa oh oh oh oh oh
Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah
Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Flawless 8.41-Carat Vivid Purple-Pink Diamond Sets Auction Record at Sotheby’s, Sells for $17.8M

A fancy vivid purple-pink diamond displaying the most beautiful and intense shades of pink that the auction world has ever seen surpassed all expectations at Sotheby’s Hong Kong on Tuesday, as it pulled down a record price of $17.8 million.


It earned the highest price ever paid at auction for a vivid pink diamond and outperformed the previous record holder by more than $7 million.


At least seven buyers competed for the internally flawless 8.41-carat pear-shaped stone, which had a pre-sale estimate between $12.8 million and $15.4 million, or approximately $1.83 million per carat.

“It was tremendous,” said Quek Chin Yeow, the chairman of Sotheby’s international jewelry business in Asia. “When they started bidding, they were quite enthusiastic, and we had at least six, seven bidders on the pink. And that was quite a big thrill.”


In the months leading up to the sale, Yeow had described the featured gem as “the most desirable pink diamond to appear at auction in recent years.”

When the hammer went down, the selling price of $17.8 million was more than 15% above the high estimate and translated to $2.11 million per carat, just missing the per-carat record of $2.15 million achieved by “The Vivid Pink Diamond,” a 5-carat stone sold by Christie’s Hong Kong in 2009 for $10.7 million.

The 8.41-carat record-breaker — about the size of a thumbnail — was cut in New York City from a De Beers-mined rough diamond weighing 19.54 carats.

The record for the highest price ever paid for any jewel at auction is held by the 24.67-carat Graff Pink, which sold in 2010 for $46.2 million ($1.86 million per carat).

A 14.82-carat fancy vivid orange diamond that was sold by Christie's last year for $35.5 million, or $2.4 million per carat, holds the record for the highest price per carat achieved by any gem at auction.


Somewhat overshadowed by Sotheby’s pink diamond headliner was a beautiful blue 17.16-carat Kashmir sapphire that also set a per-carat record when it fetched $4.06 million, or $236,404 per carat. The step-cut gemstone broke the per-carat mark for blue sapphires set this past April by a 28.18-carat Kashmir sapphire and diamond ring. That sapphire had sold for $180,731 per carat.

(Photos: Sotheby’s)

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Romantic and Picture-Perfect Hot Air Balloon Marriage Proposal Morphs Into Harrowing Ocean Rescue

Sunday’s golden sunset viewed from a hot air balloon high above Southern California served as the picturesque backdrop for Eric Barretto’s romantic marriage proposal to his girlfriend, Ashley King.


But just after Barretto got down on one knee to pop the question and King happily accepted a beautiful diamond ring, the winds changed direction, forcing the hot air balloon dangerously westward toward the Pacific Ocean.


Adding to an increasingly terrifying situation was the fact that the hot air balloon was spinning and the pilot was having a hard time keeping it aloft. At 6:30 p.m., residents of the beach community of Cardiff, about 24 miles north of San Diego, reported that a hot air balloon was drifting dangerously low over their coastal homes.


Amateur videos show the hot air balloon losing altitude about 300 yards off the coast, dipping its basket into the surf, and then popping up again.


"We were just over water the whole time and we just couldn't get back toward the land area," Barretto told local ABC-TV affiliate 10News.

Recognizing the real possibility of an emergency water landing, six lifeguards and dozens of paddle boarders headed toward the balloon to lend assistance.

"I was scared,” King told 10News. “I was just yelling for help.”


With the hot air balloon hovering just above the surf, one video captured the moment Barretto launched himself out of the water-logged basket and into the ocean.

Eventually, Barretto, his fiancée and the balloon's pilot were all able to swim to a rescue boat and be taken to safety. No one was injured.


The paddle-boarders worked together to grab the balloon’s messenger line and tow it to shore.


When asked by 10News if she’d ever go on another hot air balloon ride, King said, "No, I don't plan on it."

Despite the near tragedy, the young couple came away from their experience with new-found celebrity status and a tall tale their grandkids one day might find very hard to swallow.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Jumbotron Marriage Proposal — With a Giant Assist From One Direction’s Harry Styles — Makes This Girl’s Dreams Come True

One Direction’s handsome heartthrob Harry Styles quite literally stopped the show in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome last Wednesday night to assist a young man with a very memorable marriage proposal.


"I have a friend in the audience now," the 20-year-old Styles told his fans in the packed arena. "He's called Bradley. There he is. Bradley, would you like to bring your girlfriend up this way?"


At that moment the crowd buzzed with anticipation as the Jumbotron focused in on 28-year-old Bradley Chisenhall and his girlfriend, Christine Kozlowski, a avid One Direction fan who was celebrating her 26th birthday.


Forgoing Styles’ invitation to bring his girlfriend on stage, Chisenhall pivoted right where he was standing, dropped to one knee and pulled a diamond ring out of his pocket. His astonished girlfriend, a former Miss Mississippi, accepted Chisenhall’s proposal and jumped into his arms.

“She said yes!” Styles reported from the stage as thousands of admiring fans screamed with delight, half wishing they were in Kozlowski’s shoes.

Thousands of smartphones captured the moment from every angle, and within seconds, the Twittersphere blew up with the news and pics of the “1D proposal.”

"If you'd waited, I was gonna get you up on stage," Styles told the couple. "I was very nervous today. I didn't want to mess it up."


Not only did the couple enjoy an epic marriage proposal, but the One Direction singer asked to meet with Chisenhall and Kozlowski after the show on the band’s tour bus to congratulate them and wish them luck.


Kozlowski, who won the title of Miss Mississippi in 2008 and now works as a pageant coach, singer and actress, was still pinching herself the day after the event. On Twitter, she posted, “Just woke up. That was real. #1DProposal #luckiestgirlever #blessed #myprincecharming.”


On Instagram, she posted a photo of her new engagement ring with the caption, “My first ring selfie! Still in much disbelief and shock but so incredibly grateful for what is happening in my life.”

Chisenhall, a singer and songwriter whose stage name is Bradley Mitchell, worked very hard to make his fiancée’s dreams come true. On September 25, he created a new Twitter account (so his girlfriend would be less likely to see the correspondence) and sent a message to all five band members requesting assistance with his proposal.


“Help me propose to my girlfriend tomorrow night at the show,” he wrote.

He also sought the help of One Direction fans, asking them to tweet their support to #1Dproposal. At least 1,200 fans did just that.

But, Chisenhall revealed on Facebook that when he reached out to Styles’ mom, the pieces started to come together. “[Styles] contacted me soon after to plan it out," he wrote.


The considerate and kind-hearted Styles also helped the couple get home safely after learning about some problems they were having with their car. On Facebook, Chisenhall wrote, “We had some car troubles and Harry made sure we made it home OK. Awesome dude."

The One Direction proposal story caught the attention of Good Morning America, E! News and Inside Edition, and the 40-second YouTube video documenting the event has gone viral, with more than 440,000 views. Check it out here…

Jumbotron screen captures via YouTube.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Exceptional Jewelry Collection of Greek Connoisseur Dimitri Mavrommatis Expected to Yield $20M at Sotheby’s in November

Two breathtaking jewels — an 8.62-carat “Graff Ruby” and a 27.54-carat Kashmir sapphire — will headline Sotheby’s landmark single-owner sale of treasures from the collection of Greek financier and eminent connoisseur Dimitri Mavrommatis.


The magnificent collection of 16 items, which also includes white and colored diamonds, Colombian emeralds and unique pieces by celebrated jeweler, JAR, is expected to yield $20 million at the auction house’s Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale in Geneva on November 12.

“This outstanding collection… is a testament to Dimitri Mavrommatis’ discerning eye and impeccable taste,” noted David Bennett, Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewelry Division for Europe and the Middle East. “[This sale] presents a rare opportunity to acquire gems and jewels of exceptional quality."

Nearly half of the anticipated $20 million in sales could come from the “Graff Ruby” ring, whose exquisite cushion-cut center stone exhibits the highly coveted and rare red hue known at “pigeon’s blood.” The Swiss Gemmological Institute (SSEF) noted that the stone displays “outstanding purity” and “superb brilliance.” The ring carries an estimate of $6.8 million to $9 million.


Also getting top billing is a sapphire-and-diamond ring highlighted by a very special sapphire. Extraordinarily rare due to its 20-plus-carat size and saturated velvety blue color, the 27.54-carat sapphire is certified to be of Kashmir origin. The ring is expected to fetch $3 million to $6 million.


A pair of JAR earrings by the famously reclusive and inventive Paris-based designer Joel Arthur Rosenthal also will be on the auction block. The circular earrings feature thin ribbons of white diamonds over a ground of pink pavé-set sapphires. One earring is punctuated in the center by a large white diamond and the other by a equal size ruby. The pair is expected to yield $400,000 to $700,000.

According to, Mavrommatis is well known for his extensive collection of postwar and modern art. In June 2011, he paid approximately $28 million for one of Pablo Picasso's famous paintings of his lover, Dora Maar.

Photos: Sotheby's