Friday, April 01, 2016

Music Friday: Jason Derulo Dreams of Proposing 'With the Perfect Diamond Ring' in 2010's 'What If'

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fabulous songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. On this first day of April, we shine the spotlight on the month's official birthstone with a song about diamonds — specifically "the perfect diamond ring" in Jason Derulo's "What If."


Derulo explained to the BBC that his 2010 song is about meeting someone for the first time and then imagining at that moment how both of their lives may have been profoundly altered.

"So I'm telling this girl y'know, what if in two years, three years from now we'll be married with children and living in a log cabin?" he said.

He sings, "Yeah, picture me on one knee / With the perfect diamond ring / We just met, but if you said yes / We'd have our wedding on the beach."


The official video, which was inspired by the 2004 movie The Butterfly Effect, begins with Derulo and his girlfriend moving in together. He pulls a diamond engagement ring from the nightstand, but hides it in his pocket when she comes into the room. She leaves to retrieve the last box from the moving truck, but while she is walking across the street, a distracted driver nearly hits her.

Derulo hears the skidding car and sprints to save his girlfriend, but as he reaches her, the video freezes and then time beings to go in reverse. We learn how Derulo and his girlfriend got to this moment through reverse-motion flashbacks, as if their lives are being rewound.

The video, which has been viewed nearly 30 million times, contains a surprise ending that we won't spoil here. The "butterfly effect," by the way, is a scientific theory that a single occurrence, no matter how small, can change the course of the universe forever.

"What If" is the fourth single from Derulo's self-titled debut album. It was first released in the UK and peaked at #12. The single was subsequently released in the U.S., where it made its debut at #76 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Born Jason Joel Desrouleaux in Miramar, Fla., the 26-year-old singer-songwriter-dancer-choreographer, has sold more than 50 million singles since launching his solo career in 2009. He changed his last name to Derulo because the French spelling was hard to pronounce.

Please check out the official video of "What If." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"What If"
Written by Jonathan Rotem and Jason Desrouleaux. Performed by Jason Derulo.

What if?
What if I'm the one for you?
And you're the one for me?
What if?

If you are the one
Then us meeting here is fate
Future with a dog named Red
Buy a house with a fireplace

This is the first I've seen your face
But there's a chance we are soul mates
I know this might sound crazy
'Cause you don't know my name

But we can't, we can't tell the future, no
But that's just the beauty of the world we know
So I'ma say du, du, du-du, du-du, du-du, baby, what if?
We all can say du, du, du-du, du-du, du-du, baby, what if?

What if? What if? What if?
What if? What if? What if?

Yeah, picture me on one knee
With the perfect diamond ring
We just met, but if you said yes
We'd have our wedding on the beach

It could happen, raise three kids
And we grow old oh, so happily
I know this might sound crazy
'Cause I don't know your name

But we can't, we can't tell the future, no
But that's just the beauty of the world we know
So I'ma say du, du, du-du, du-du, du-du, baby, what if?
We all can say du, du, du-du, du-du, du-du, baby, what if?

Don't know what tomorrow brings
But I'm still hoping that you are the one for me
Oh, and what if I had you and what if you had me
And, baby, what's the reason we can't fall in love?

What if? What if? What if?
What if? What if?

But we can't, we can't tell the future, no
But that's just the beauty of the world we know
So I'ma say du, du, du-du, du-du, du-du, baby, what if?
We all can say du, du, du-du, du-du, du-du, baby, what if?

But we can't, we can't tell the future, no
But that's just the beauty of the world we know
So I'ma say du, du, du-du, du-du, du-du, baby, what if?
We all can say du, du, du-du, du-du, du-du, baby, what if?

Credits: YouTube screen captures.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

World's Largest Known Diamond Deposit Was Formed When an Asteroid Slammed Into the Earth a Long Time Ago

The world's largest known diamond deposit — containing trillions of carats — lies at the bottom of the Popigai Crater in a remote part of northern Siberia.


Scientists believe the crater was formed 35 million years ago when an asteroid 3 to 5 miles across slammed into the Earth with such velocity that it ripped a 63-mile-wide gash in the landscape. The impact produced an energy burst equivalent to millions of nuclear weapons and generated temperatures hotter than the surface of the sun, according to


Under this intense heat and pressure, the limestones, marbles, dolomites and other carbon-bearing rocks in the impact zone were instantly melted and transformed into diamond.


Before you book your next trip to Siberia to prospect for what is estimated to be trillions of carats of diamonds, take note that just about all of them are of industrial quality. Most are tiny yellow-brown crystals, although some can be up to a half-inch in size.

None are suitable for jewelry, unless your significant other has an unusual affection for blemished, off-color diamonds. Popigai diamonds are valued at about $12 per carat, according to Popular Mechanics, and are strewn over such a wide and remote area that they offer little commercial value. Today, nearly all of the diamonds used in the U.S. for industrial purposes, such as coating saw blades and drill tips, are synthetic and lab-produced in vast quantities.

Interestingly, the Russian government had known about the huge trove of diamonds buried under the surface of the crater since the 1970s, but kept it a secret until a 2012. The Popigai Crater has been designated by UNESCO as a Geopark, a site of special geological heritage.

Credits: Asteroid illustration via NASA; Popigai Crater image via NASA, public domain; Google Maps.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Sanitation Workers Defy All Odds by Finding $400K Bridal Set Buried in 8 Tons of Rotting Garbage

Sanitation workers in Bridgeton, Mo., defied impossible odds when they miraculously pulled a $400,000 diamond bridal set from an 8-ton pile of rotting garbage. The search took only 22 minutes.


How the 12.5-carat pear-shaped diamond ring and matching wedding band got into the trash makes an interesting story...

Carla and Bernie Squitieri of Clarkson Valley, Mo., had just finished their evening meal and were cleaning up around the kitchen when they got a surprise visit from their granddaughter.

Earlier, Carla had taken off her rings and wrapped them in a paper towel while she was drying the dishes, but when the doorbell rang, she got distracted and temporarily lost track of her very precious keepsakes.


At 7 a.m. the next morning, Bernie noticed the wadded-up paper towels on the counter, scooped them up and tossed them in the trash. Then he grabbed the trash bag and ran out to meet up the sanitation truck, which was heading down his street.

"Don't forget this one," he shouted as he handed the bag to the sanitation worker.

A few hours later, panic started to set in when Carla realized her rings were gone.

"I'm crying, I'm feeling hopeless, I knew something had happened," Carla told TODAY.

The couple put two and two together and realized the rings were probably on their way to the landfill.


They called Meridian Waste Services in Bridgeton and learned that their trash — along with the trash of 900 other customers — was on its way to a radioactive landfill. Had the rings ended up there, they wouldn't be accessible and the chances of a recovery would be zero.


However, a sympathetic operations manager, Joe Evans, agreed to divert the truck to a transfer station in O’Fallon, where the Squitieris and three sanitation company managers — all dressed in Hazmat suits — would make an attempt to find the rings.

Bernie said the sanitation workers warned him that the chances of finding the rings in the 30-foot wide by 100-foot long by 20-foot high pile of garbage were "slim to none."

But, in just 22 minutes, Evans had crushed the odds.

"When I first noticed it, I was like, 'Oh my god I can't believe I found it,'" Evans told TODAY. "I yelled 'Hey, I found it!' Her eyes got real big, with tears of joy and relief. Ten times out of 10, we don't find something like that. It was the best feeling in the world to find that ring and give it back."

"My wife was in shock," Bernie told ABC News. "It was a miracle."

Without considering how gunky they were, Carla quickly returned the rings to the ring finger of her left hand.

"I put [the rings] on dirty. I didn't care," she told TODAY.

While the rings were insured, losing them would have been devastating for the couple that has been married for 26 years.


Said Carla, "I planned on handing [them] down to my one and only daughter — never mind the monetary value, it's the sentimental value."

Images: Bernie Squitieri; Screen captures via St. Louis.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Tanzania's Williamson Mine Yields Another Exceptional 'Bubblegum' Pink Diamond; Petra Sells 32-Carat Gem for $15M

Petra Diamonds announced that it sold an exceptional 32.33-carat "bubblegum" pink rough diamond for a remarkable $15 million, or $463,965 per carat. The stone was sourced in Tanzania at Petra's legendary Williamson Mine, which has been producing gem-quality "bubblegum" pink diamonds for the past 76 years.


The diamond was purchased by Golden Yellow Diamonds on behalf of Israeli diamond manufacturer M. A. Anavi Diamond Group, a company specializing in colored diamonds.

As part of the deal, Petra also retained an interest in the diamond once it is polished, so when the faceted gem is sold, Petra will earn 10% of the "value uplift" of that sale, as well.


Petra's most recent find outperformed another notable pink diamond that we wrote about in November 2015. That rough diamond, also from Petra's Williamson Mine and also purchased by Golden Yellow Diamonds on behalf of M. A. Anavi Diamond Group, weighed 23.16 carats and sold for $10.1 million, or $433,938 per carat. At the time, we reported that it was Petra's most significant recovery from the mine to date. Clearly, the 32.33-carat diamond replaces the November discovery as its best find yet.

Vivid pink diamonds of exceptional size and quality are a favorite of gem connoisseurs. In early November, billionaire Joseph Lau purchased a cushion-shaped 16.08-carat pink diamond for $28.5 million ($1.7 million per carat), setting an auction record for any vivid pink diamond.


Although the Williamson Mine has been operational for more than three-quarters of a century and has already generated 20 million carats of diamonds, geologists believe the mine still has the capacity to deliver an additional 40 million carats. The mine’s average depth is only 30 to 35 meters, and theoretically it could continue to yield diamonds as deep as 350 meters.

Pink diamonds owe their bubblegum color to the effects of intense pressure and heat while they were still deep within the earth. These factors caused distortions in the diamond’s crystal lattice that influence the way the diamond absorbs green light, thus reflecting a pink hue.

The Williamson Mine is currently co-owned by Petra Diamonds and the government of Tanzania, which holds a 25% stake.

Credits: Petra Diamonds; Google Maps.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Most Important Ruby to Appear at a U.S. Auction in 25+ Years Could Fetch $15M

The last time a ruby this magnificent was offered for sale by a New York auction house, President George H.W. Bush was Time magazine's Man of the Year, Macauley Culkin was starring in Home Alone and M.C. Hammer was wearing parachute pants. Yes, we have to go back to 1990 to match the grandeur of the ruby that will headline Christie's Magnificent Jewels sale on April 20.


The 15.99-carat "Jubilee Ruby" is a true rarity in its exceptional size, color and quality. The oval-shaped Burmese ruby, which is framed by white diamonds in a platinum and 18-karat yellow gold mounting by Verdura, is predicted to sell in the range of $12 million to $15 million.

Back in October 1990, Christie's sold a 16.20-carat Burmese ruby. For the next 25-plus years, no gems of that size and quality would come up for sale. That's why Christie's is so excited to represent the "Jubilee Ruby."

“Top quality Burmese rubies of over 15 carats are an absolute rarity in the world of colored gemstones, and the record price of $18.3 million achieved for the 15.04-carat 'Crimson Red Ruby' at Christie’s Hong Kong in December 2015 exemplified the voracious appetite of collectors for these gems," commented Rahul Kadakia, Christie's International Head of Jewelry.

In a Christie's promotional video, the narrator states, "To say the 'Jubilee Ruby' is worthy of a king would be no exaggeration. Until the middle of the 19th century, only the Sovereign of Burma or an individual deemed worthy by him would have been allowed the privilege of possessing such a magnificent gemstone."

The ruby's intense, saturated red color — often referred to as pigeon's blood red — is often associated with the gems mined in Burma's legendary Mogok Valley. Christie's explained that the land near the mine is rich in chromium, an element that gives the gems a natural fluorescence. This fluorescence makes the stone “come alive” and appear internally illuminated.

While emeralds, sapphires and diamonds regularly appear on the market in extraordinarily large sizes, Burmese rubies greater than 15 carats in weight are uncommonly rare. Notes the Christie's video, "To find an almost circular cut unheated gem weighing more than 15 carats with near perfect crystallization is the dream of every gemstone connoisseur."


Other top lots at Christie's April 20 sale include a 10.07-carat fancy intense purple-pink diamond ring and a perfect D color, flawless round brilliant-cut diamond weighing 40.43 carats. The purple-pink diamond ring could sell for as much as $12 million, while the flawless diamond is expected to sell in the range of $7 million to $10 million.

All the items featured at the upcoming Magnificent Jewels auction will be on public view April 15 through April 19, at Christie’s Rockefeller Center galleries.

Credits: Images courtesy of Christie's.