Friday, January 08, 2016

Music Friday Tribute: We Will Always Remember Natalie Cole's Everlasting Love

Welcome to a special edition of Music Friday, when we bring you memorable songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today we bend the rules a bit to pay tribute to the incomparable Natalie Cole, who passed away last week at the age of 65.


Anybody who has attended a wedding over the past 40 years has surely danced to one of Cole's romantic hits, starting with 1975's "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)," and continuing with "Inseparable" and "Unforgettable."

Wedding DJs love "This Will Be" because the song is ideal for the wedding entrance, cake cutting or bridal party introductions. The song was famously used during the final credits of The Parent Trap (1998), and is prominently featured in the current series of eHarmony commercials.

This is what Cole had to say about her everlasting love: "You brought a lot of a sunshine in to my life / You filled me with happiness I never knew / You gave me more joy then I ever dreamed of / And no one, no one can take the place of you."

Written by Chuck Jackson and Marvin Yancy, "This Will Be" was Cole's debut single and one of her biggest hits, earning her a Grammy Award for the Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. The song also helped secure her Grammy Award for Best New Artist. "This Will Be" reached #6 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 list and #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Soul Singles list. Later, the song's three-word title would be appended with "(An Everlasting Love)."

Cole, the daughter of famous crooner Nat King Cole, was born in Los Angeles in 1950. At the age of 6, Natalie sang on her father's Christmas album and later began performing at age 11. Cole was only 15 years old when her dad passed away in 1965 at the age of 45.

In 1991, Cole recorded a duet of "Unforgettable" with her dad by mixing her track with the original he recorded in 1951. The result was so successful that it won three Grammy Awards, including Song of the Year.

We invite you to check out Cole's spectacular live performance of "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)." We know you'll be tempted to dance, or at least sign into your eHarmony account. The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)"
Written by Chuck Jackson and Marvin Yancy. Performed by Natalie Cole.


This will be an everlasting love
This will be the one I've waited for
This will be the first time anyone has loved me.

I'm so glad you found me in time
And I'm so glad that you rectified my mind
This will be an everlasting love for me

Loving you is some kind of wonderful
Because you showed me just how much you care
You've given me the thrill of a lifetime
And made me believe you've got more thrills to spare, oh!

This will be an everlasting love
Oh, yes it will now!

You brought a lot of a sunshine in to my life
You filled me with happiness I never knew
You gave me more joy then I ever dreamed of
And no one, no one can take the place of you

This will be,
you and me,
yes sir-ee
Hugging and squeezing, and kissing and pleasing,
Together forever throughever whatever.
Yeah yeah yeah you and me

So long as I'm living true love I'll be giving
To you I'll be serving cause you're so deserving
Hey, you're so deserving, you're so deserving
yeah yeah yeah Whoooaaah
Love [x18]
From now on [repeat till fade]

Credit: YouTube screen capture.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Bakers From Paris to Brooklyn Start the Year With Blinged-Out Delicacies

Bakers from Paris to Brooklyn are kicking off the new year with blinged-out delicacies designed to delight and excite jewelry lovers.


In Paris, the husband and wife team of Julie and Nicolas Lelut baked diamonds into the almond cream filling of a huge batch of holiday galettes, a buttery flaky pastry.

Eight hundred galettes were distributed equally between their two stores — with one diamond hidden in a pastry at each location. Visitors to the Délices de Belleville bakery in Paris earned a 1-in-400 chance of winning a .20-carat white diamond, while visitors to their L’Amandine location in Custines had an equal chance of winning a .20-carat blue diamond. Both diamonds were valued at 600 euros (approximately $650), according to

The bakers held the one-day treasure hunt promotion yesterday to coincide with The Epiphany, a Christian festival held on January 6 in honor of the coming of the three kings to the infant Jesus Christ.

To prevent the lucky winners from accidentally swallowing their diamonds, the bakers used oversized replicas that could be exchanged for the real diamonds, which were certified as authentic by a local jeweler.

The promotion was the brainchild of Julie, who believed that offering diamonds was the perfect way to attract female customers to the couple's new Paris location.


Exactly 3,623 miles away in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Bjorn DelaCruz, the founder of the recently-opened Filipino restaurant called the Manila Social Club, is promoting a luxurious $100 “Golden Doughnut,” which is filled with ube (a purple yam jam), covered in icing made with Cristal champagne and dusted with edible 24-karat gold flakes.

“I take pride in this, and to me it’s a piece of art,” he told

If you buy a dozen for a mere $1,000, the restaurant will deliver the gilded treats anywhere in the New York Tri-State area. DelaCruz said that the golden donut was conceived during the holiday season, and was popular enough to make them a regular offering. The special donuts must be ordered 24 hours in advance.

Regular readers of our blog may remember a story from April of 2015 about a Canadian shop that promoted the $100 "Donutopia," a deluxe treat decadently decorated with 24-karat edible gold and faceted sugar “diamonds.” The blinged-out “Donutopia” donut came with a Certificate of Authenticity.

Credits: Les Delices de Belleville/Facebook;

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Claim That Largest Blue Star Sapphire Could Be Worth $175M Reminds Us of a Cautionary Tale From 1987

The internet is buzzing about the discovery of the world's largest blue star sapphire — a palm-sized gemstone that its owner claims to be worth at least $100 million and could sell for up to $175 million at auction. We're not so sure, as we will explain later.


Mined in the Sri Lankan city of Ratnapura and weighing 1,404.49 carats, the sapphire displays a mottled medium blue color and a distinctive six-point asterism at its center.

"When the stone was brought to me I suspected that it might be the world's largest blue star sapphire," the anonymous gem dealer told the BBC. "So I took a risk and bought it."

He named the sapphire the The Star of Adam to honor the Muslim belief that Adam arrived in Sri Lanka after being sent away from the Garden of Eden.

But while the BBC, CNN and other leading news outlets are reporting the gem's value at $100 million or more, we're wondering how the anonymous owner came up with the valuation. If the gem eventually sells for that amount, it will be more than double what was spent on the current record holder — a 12.03-carat fancy blue diamond called “The Blue Moon of Josephine.” That stone sold for $48.5 million at Sotheby’s Geneva in November of 2015.


The Star of Adam weighs 1,404.49 carats and eclipsed the former blue star sapphire record holder by only 9.49 carats. The other stone, which was also of Sri Lankan origin and presents what we believe is a richer blue color, was the subject of a Bloomberg report back in December of 2012. At the time, it carried a price tag of $2.85 million — a far cry from The Star of Adam's purported value.

Another star sapphire was the center of controversy back in the 1980s. Students of gemology have heard the tale of the Roy Whetstine Star Sapphire that weighed 1,905 carats and was billed as the largest star sapphire in the world. The Texas gem broker purchased it at the Tucson Gem Shows in 1986 for a mere $10 because the seller believed it was a lavender agate. The gem was later confirmed to be a star sapphire and was appraised for $2.28 million.

According to, Whetstine and his gemstone became overnight celebrities. Their story was featured in People magazine, The New York Times, and on The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers.

When Whetstine returned to Tucson a year later to sell what he named "The Life and Pride of America," there weren't any takers. Some critics at the show muttered that the "muddy grey" stone was hardly worthy of being a paperweight.

After inspecting Whetstine's sapphire, John Sampson White, the curator of the National Gem and Mineral Collection at the Smithsonian Institution, told The New York Times that although the stone was technically a sapphire, it had an unattractive color and was hardly of gem quality. He called the gem an "insignificant stone" and estimated the value at only a few hundred dollars.

The bottom line is that the value of The Star of Adam will be based on what a buyer is willing to pay. Stay tuned to this space as we monitor what is certain to be an interesting saga.

Credit: Twitter/BBC Earth; YouTube.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

As the World Mourns the Loss of Olympian Howard Davis Jr., We Recount the Wild Ride of His 1976 Gold Medal

Olympic boxing champion Howard Davis Jr., who won the gold medal and was named the most outstanding fighter in the Montreal Games, died of cancer last Wednesday. He was 59.


Famous for his stellar amateur boxing career, which featured wins over future world champs Tommy Hearns and Aaron Pryor, Davis compiled an astounding 125-5 record. But the highlight of his career was winning the gold in the lightweight division at the 1976 Summer Games. He dedicated the medal to his beloved mother, Catherine, who passed away just three days before the opening ceremonies.


"It was devastating," Davis told the New York Post in August. "But I remembered her pointing her finger in my face and telling me, `You'd better win the gold medal.' I wasn't going to be denied. There was no way I was going to lose."


Davis' hard-earned gold medal had been in his possession for only five years when a skittish burglar — with an eye for jewelry and gold — set in motion a bizarre series of events.

According to Olympic historian David Wallechinsky, the medal along with jewelry valued at $15,000 were stolen from Davis' Dix Hills, N.Y., home on Long Island in 1981. The robber apparently panicked while fleeing on the Long Island Expressway and tossed the medal from his car. Fortunately, the medal ended up on the grassy median and not on the pavement.

Ten years later, the Olympic treasure — which features a design by Florentine artist Giuseppe Cassioli and is clad in six grams of pure gold — was found on the side of the busy eight-lane roadway during a beautification project by a highway landscaper name Jake Fiesel.

Failing to understand the significance of his new possession, Fiesel used the 60mm wide Olympic medal as a paperweight for four years. In 1995, a visitor to Fiesel's home pointed out that what he had was an authentic Olympic medal. The engraving at the bottom of the medal revealed that it was awarded for boxing.

Fiesel was able to connect the dots and arranged to reunite the Long Island boxer with this hard-fought medal — the one dedicated to his mother's memory — 14 years after it was taken from his home. It's been a part of Davis' prized possessions ever since.

The soft-spoken boxer, who never drank alcohol or smoked cigarettes, was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in February of 2014. In an interview with, Davis vowed to beat it.

"When the doctors told me — I’m not going to lie to you — I started crying," Davis said. "But then the fighter in me came out and I said to my wife, 'I’m going to fight this and I’m going to beat it.'”

Sadly, his battle ended last week, but the memory of his Olympic triumphs and his gold medal will continue to live on. A public memorial service will be held in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday.

Medal photo by Cliff via Wikimedia Commons. Howard Davis photos via Facebook/HowardDavis.

Monday, January 04, 2016

NY Woman Finds Wedding Band in the Pocket of Jeans She Ordered Online

Staten Island, N.Y., resident Jean Vlahopouliotis says she's on a mission to locate the rightful owner of a man's wedding band found in the pocket of a pair of jeans she ordered online from


On Tuesday of last week, Vlahopouliotis' husband was trying on his late-arriving Christmas gift — a brand new pair of "7 For All Mankind" jeans, size 38 — when he he felt something unusual in one of the front pockets.

“He reached into the left front pocket and pulled out this man’s wedding band,” Vlahopouliotis told CBS New York.


At first, Vlahopouliotis thought her husband, Chris, was joking and that the ring was actually his own wedding band that he misplaced two years ago.

"[I thought] he had found it randomly in the house somewhere and that he was just was teasing me,” Vlahopouliotis said.

But a quick inspection of the ring confirmed that it wasn't her husband's ring at all.


The classic comfort-fit white gold band with a domed profile and milgrain edge was manufactured by Benchmark and contained an important clue — a wedding date inscribed on the inside of the band.

A supervisor for Neiman Marcus was able to tell Vlahopouliotis that her husband's jeans had been shipped from a store in Tyson’s Galleria Mall in McLean, Va., and that the pants were never returned or shipped anywhere else.

Vlahopouliotis guessed that the mystery ring might belong to a store employee or could have slipped off the finger of someone who had previously tried on the pants in-store, before they shipped out.

She also surmised how the ring may have slipped off a finger and gotten into the pocket.

"The pockets are kind of tight," she told "If the ring was the slightest bit loose that could definitely be a possibility."

Vlahopouliotis and her husband can empathize with the gentleman who lost his ring.

“I had lost my engagement ring in my house. It rolled underneath my stove and it’s been gone ever since. And my husband lost his wedding band as well, and we haven’t found either band,” she told CBS New York. “So I know how important it is to get it back to the owner.”


Because she's fairly certain the ring came from the Virginia area, she has shared her story with the Facebook pages of news stations near McLean. If the owner can confirm the ring's inscription, she will return it right away.

“I’m on a wild goose chase and I won’t stop until it’s done,” she told a CBS affiliate in Virginia. “This is my mission.”

Vlahopouliotis continues to have confidence that the power of social media will reunite the ring with its owner. If successful, she promised to take her husband to Atlantic City and, yes, he will be wearing his lucky jeans.

“I’m just hoping we find the person,” she told ABC News. “It’s such a long shot, but crazier things have happened.”

Credits: Jean Vlahopouliotis; Screen captures via, Facebook/cbs6wtvr.