Friday, March 04, 2016

Music Friday: 'Under This Pressure, We Are Diamonds Taking Shape,' Sings Coldplay's Chris Martin in 'Adventure of a Lifetime'

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great new tunes with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, the British rock band Coldplay compares the forging of a new relationship to the formation of diamonds deep within the Earth in a song called "Adventure of a Lifetime." It's about finding love and feeling alive again.


Coldplay frontman Chris Martin sings, "Turn your magic on / To me she'd say / Everything you want's a dream away / Under this pressure, under this weight / We are diamonds."

"Adventure of a Lifetime" is the lead single from Coldplay's A Head Full of Dreams album, which was released in November of 2015. The album signals a change of tone for Martin, whose previous work was downbeat and broody — reflecting his breakup with actress Gwyneth Paltrow.


Writing for pop music website Idolator, Bianca Gracie and Robbie Daw called the colorful and energetic "Adventure of a Lifetime" the "best Coldplay single in seven years" and described the song as "incredibly vibrant in an almost childlike, blissful way that gives such an energetic rush."

The song was co-written by Martin and band members Guy Berryman, Will Champion and Johnny Buckland. In an interview with SiriusXM radio, Martin explained that the song was inspired by a classic Guns N' Roses' rock riff.

"I'd been begging Jonny, our guitarist, for years to make a riff that I like as much as 'Sweet Child O' Mine' by Guns N' Roses," said Martin. "Then he showed me that one, and I was like, 'That's it.' So those elements all came together, and we just wanted to kind of embrace our love of joyful music and sort of let it free."

"Adventure of a Lifetime" peaked at #1 on the U.S. Billboard Alternative Songs chart and #13 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. It was also an international hit, charting in 22 countries. The album earned the #2 position on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart and a nomination for British Album of the Year.

With more than 80 million records sold worldwide, Coldplay ranks as one of the world’s best-selling music groups. In December 2009, Rolling Stone readers voted the group the fourth-best band of the 2000s. The group has earned five MTV Video Music Awards, seven Grammy Awards and 31 Grammy nominations.

We know you will enjoy the video of Cold Play's live performance of "Adventure of a Lifetime." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Adventure of a Lifetime"
Written by Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion and Chris Martin. Performed by Coldplay.

Turn your magic on
Umi she'd say
Everything you want's a dream away
And we are legends every day
That's what she told me

Turn your magic on,
To me she'd say
Everything you want's a dream away
Under this pressure, under this weight
We are diamonds

Now I feel my heart beating
I feel my heart underneath my skin
And I feel my heart beating
Oh, you make me feel
Like I'm alive again
Alive again
Oh, you make me feel
Like I'm alive again

Said I can't go on,
Not in this way
I'm a dream that died by light of day
Gonna hold up half the sky and say
Only I own me

And I feel my heart beating
I feel my heart underneath my skin
Oh, I can feel my heart beating
'Cause you make me feel
Like I'm alive again
Alive again
Oh, you make me feel
Like I'm alive again

Turn your magic on,
Umi she'd say
Everything you want's a dream away
Under this pressure under this weight
We are diamonds taking shape
We are diamonds taking shape

If we've only got this life
This adventure, oh, then I
And if we've only got this life
You get me through

And if we've only got this life
In this adventure, oh, then I
Want to share it with you
With you
With you
Yeah I do

Images: Screen captures via YouTube.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Lucapa's 404-Carat Gem-Quality Stunner Sells for $16 Million

When Lucapa unveiled an immense 404-carat diamond to the world last month, the company's chairman guessed that the pride of the Lulo Diamond Project in Angola would sell for about $14 million. On Monday, chief executive Stephen Wetherall proudly announced that the mining company's prized gem netted $16 million, or $39,580 per carat. The buyer was not revealed.


In February, Lucapa chairman Miles Kennedy had told ABC Australia that experts at his company were having trouble calculating the gem's value due to its unusual size.

“We’re not used to valuing 400-carat diamonds, but if we look at other diamonds slightly less weight than this, you’re looking in the order of [$14 million].”

The chemically pure, Type IIa gem weighs 2.8 ounces, measures 2.7 inches across and boasts a D color.

"The sale of a single diamond for $16 million underlines the huge potential of the Lulo diamond field to regularly produce gems which are both large and of world-class quality, said Wetherall.

Kennedy had noted that, over the past six months, the Lulo diamond fields in Angola have yielded more than 110 diamonds greater than 10.8 carats in weight. Four tipped the scales at more than 100 carats.

The nearly $40,000 per carat achieved by the mammoth gem was a record for any white diamond recovered from Lulo. It's also the largest diamond ever found in Angola (the previous record holder weighed 217.4 carats) and the largest ever recovered by an Australian-based mining company.

The Lulo Diamond Project is a relatively new endeavor among partners Lucapa, Endiama (the national mining company of Angola) and private Angolan partner Rosas & Pétalas. Mining operations commenced in 2015.

The alluvial diamond mining operations are located on an extremely remote parcel of pristine ground more than 430 miles from the coast.

"We look to the future with tremendous excitement at Lulo as we continue mining these exceptional alluvial diamond areas, growing our alluvial mining capability and advancing the kimberlite exploration program to locate the primary source or sources of these gems," noted Wetherall.

Image: Lucapa Diamond Company.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Hubble Space Telescope Adds Evidence to Existence of a 'Diamond Planet'

Using the Wide Field Camera on board the Hubble Space Telescope, a group of UK researches were able to add evidence to the theory that super-Earth 55 Cancri e — which revolves around a star 40 light years away — is, indeed, a "diamond planet."


Back in 2012, Yale astrophysicists estimated that the carbon-based super-planet was about two times the size of Earth, eight times more dense and had a surface temperature of 3,900 degrees Fahrenheit.


The presence of carbon, combined with high density and extreme heat create the perfect conditions for creating diamonds. They speculated that one-third of the planet could be composed of pure diamond.

Taking a stab at the potential value of a diamond planet, a Forbes columnist did the math and came up with a value of $26.9 nonillion. That's $26.9 followed by 30 zeros. Sadly, the prospects of claiming that fortune are unlikely because of the intense heat, poisonous atmosphere and inconvenient distance of 230 trillion miles.

Located in the northern constellation of Cancer, the diamond planet's host star is clearly visible with the naked eye.


The Hubble Space Telescope, which was launched into low Earth orbit back in 1990, continues to unveil chemical curiosities throughout the universe. In the case of 55 Cancri e, the Wide Field Camera was able to detect the presence of hydrogen cyanide among the hydrogen and helium gases swirling around the planet. Hydrogen cyanide is an indicator that carbon compounds may also make up part of its atmosphere.

The findings were announced by an international team, led by scientists from University College London (UCL) in the UK. A complete report will be published in the Astrophysical Journal.

“This is a very exciting result because it’s the first time that we have been able to find the spectral fingerprints that show the gases present in the atmosphere of a super-Earth,” explained Angelos Tsiaras, a PhD student at UCL, who developed the analysis technique along with his colleagues Ingo Waldmann and Marco Rocchetto.

55 Cancri e is considered an unusual super-Earth because it orbits very close to its parent star. A year on 55 Cancri e lasts for only 18 hours.

“If the presence of hydrogen cyanide and other molecules is confirmed in a few years time by the next generation of infrared telescopes, it would support the theory that this planet is indeed carbon rich and a very exotic place,” UCL's Jonathan Tennyson told “Although hydrogen cyanide, or prussic acid, is highly poisonous, so it is perhaps not a planet I would like to live on!”

Images courtesy of ESA/Hubble, M. Kornmesser; Haven Giguere, Yale.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Platinum Jewelry Illuminates the Red Carpet at Sunday Night's 88th Academy Awards

Well before Spotlight won for Best Picture and Leonardo DiCaprio scooped up his first-ever Best Actor award for The Revenant, a bevy of Hollywood beauties — all donning stunning platinum baubles — illuminated the Red Carpet at the 88th Academy Awards. The jewelry mirrored the star-studded festivities — exciting, dramatic and frequently over-the-top.

Here are some of the highlights from Sunday night...

• Cate Blanchett, a Best Actress nominee for Carol, wore platinum by Tiffany & Co. Her ensemble included drop earrings with marquise and round diamonds ($125,000), a starfish cuff with round diamonds and a ring with a 2.30-carat round center diamond surrounded by a swirl of round diamonds ($110,000).

• Charlize Theron turned heads in a show-stopping 48.8-carat Secret Cluster Diamond Necklace by Harry Winston. The long platinum necklace was complemented by diamond cluster earrings (15.49 carats), cushion-cut diamond ring with micropavé (8.78 carats), micropavé diamond band and Queen ring with diamonds (7.44 carats). The platinum grouping was valued at $3.7 million.

• Reese Witherspoon wore an impressive suite of platinum jewelry by Tiffany & Co., which included a pair of earrings, three platinum bracelets and one platinum ring. The $1 million grouping included a ring featuring an emerald-cut 7.49-carat tsavorite with diamond accents.

• Jennifer Garner was decked out in a platinum ensemble by Neil Lane. She wore four platinum-and-diamond bracelets (150-carats, priced at $2.5 million), swirl drop earrings with diamonds and emeralds (10 carats), emerald-cut diamond ring (10 carats) and two additional platinum-and-diamond rings.

• Presenter Priyanka Chopra wore a beautiful pair of diamond drops set in platinum by Lorraine Schwartz. The earrings boasted a total weight of 50 carats and were valued at $3.2 million. She also wore three platinum rings with the following total weights and values: 22 carats ($3.4 million), 10 carats ($850,000) and 8 carats ($300,000).

• Lady Gaga, who performed the Oscar-nominated song “Til It Happens to You,” wore more than $8 million worth of platinum jewelry, including emerald-cut diamond drop earrings from designer Schwartz.

Celebrities photos courtesy of Platinum Guild International. Photo credits: Getty Images.

Cate Blanchett jewelry. Photo credit: Tiffany & Co.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Say Hello to 'Aquaprase,' the Newly Discovered Bluish-Green Variety of Chalcedony

The Gemological Institute of America has just identified a new variety of chalcedony, a fascinating discovery that incorporates the colors of the sky, the sea and the earth. Dubbed "Aquaprase" by gem explorer Yianni Melas, the translucent bluish-green specimens have been compared to the Aegean Sea when viewed from an airplane.


Although the rough material is available in "clean" varieties that are either vibrant blue-green or baby blue "with clouds," Melas prefers the material with matrix, which is part of the surrounding rock. Melas told jewelry trade magazine JCK that the matrix looks more natural and gives the finished piece more character.


“We took one gem crystal and instead of trying to match it after we cut it, we sliced in half so both sides are a mirror image," he told JCK. "The matrix on one side matches the matrix on the other. It’s very, very good for earring sets. The matching matrix actually adds to the beauty... People know immediately this material is natural because each piece is unique. Every piece is unusual.”


The Greece native came up with the name "Aquaprase" by combining the word "aqua" (for the blue sea) with "phrase" (meaning green in Greek).

The GIA reported that the bluish-green chalcedony gets its unique color from traces of chromium and nickel within the chemical makeup of the quartz stone. Previously identified varieties of chalcedony occurred in yellowish-green and greenish-blue colors.


Melas first encountered "Aquaprase" in Africa about two years ago, in a location known for opal production (he did not disclose the country). He told JCK that he spied this new gem while visiting a friend's hut. The specimen was displayed on a shelf and was in poor condition.

“I couldn’t explain why I thought it was different,” he told JCK. “It is like a third eye. I have seen thousands of stones and you get that feeling. When I picked up the stone, I had the chills, a funny feeling. That feeling is something you have to follow.”

He dug and trench and was able to find more examples of this type of gem, but he wasn't sure what it was, exactly.

Some associates guessed it was chrysocolla; others said is was blue-green opal. Most thought it was chrysoprase.

Seeking to get a final, conclusive word on what he held, Melas sent a sample to the GIA.

“I heard nothing for three months,” he told JCK. “Then I got a phone call that said we found something incredible. It’s not a chrysoprase. It is not a chrysocolla. It’s a chalcedony that has never been discovered.”

Melas' reaction? “That is when I started jumping up and down,” he said.

Credit: Photos by Yianni Melas via Instagram/gemexplorer