Friday, April 08, 2016

Music Friday: Last-Minute Fling Doesn't Mean a Thing 'Cause Carole King Gets the Ring in 'Oh No Not My Baby'

Welcome to Music Friday when we often bring your classic songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, the incomparable Carole King gets the ring in her classic 1964 hit, "Oh No Not My Baby."


In this song about a young woman faced with allegations of a cheating boyfriend, King's trust in him is unwavering. She sings, "When my friends told me you had someone new / I didn't believe a single word was true."

Later in the song, King rationalizes that even if her boyfriend was unfaithful, the dalliance was probably just a flash in the pan. Once again, she sings, "Well, you might have had a last minute fling / But I am sure it didn't mean a thing / 'Cause yesterday you gave me your ring."

Co-written by King and then-husband Gerry Goffin, "Oh No Not My Baby" was originally recorded in 1964 by Maxine Brown and subsequently covered by some of the biggest names in the music business, including Aretha Franklin, Cher, Rod Stewart, Linda Ronstadt, the Shirelles, Manfred Mann, Dusty Springfield, Debby Boone, Julie Budd, Eydie Gormé and The 1970s made-for-TV band The Partridge Family. Fans of American Idol might remember Jacob Lusk's rendition of the song in 2011.

Although Carole King has composed most of her songs for other performers, many fans agree that nobody does Carole King like Carole King. That's why we chose to feature King's rendition of "Oh No Not My Baby," which appeared on her 1980 album Pearls: Songs of Goffin and King as well as her 2001 album Love Makes the World.

Born Carol Joan Klein to a New York City firefighter dad and teacher mom, King started playing the piano at the age of 4. While attending high school she dated Neil Sedaka and changed her name to Carole King. She and her buddy Paul Simon made extra money by making demo records for $25 per session. While attending Queens College, she met Goffin, who became her song-writing partner. They were married one year later, in 1959, when King was only 17 years old. The marriage lasted nine years.


In the early 1970s, King launched a successful solo career catapulted by the immense success of Tapestry, a breakthrough album that topped the U.S. album charts for 15 weeks in 1971 and remained on the charts for more than six years.

King is credited with writing or co-writing 118 songs that have appeared on the Billboard Hot 100. King was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and into the Songwriters' Hall of Fame in 1987. King announced her retirement from songwriting and performing in 2012, but then walked back that statement in 2013, clarifying that she was just "taking a break." She is now 74 years old.

Check out the audio track of King's awesome rendition of "Oh No Not My Baby." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along.

"Oh No Not My Baby"
Written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin. Performed by Carole King.

When my friends told me you had someone new
I didn't believe a single word was true
I showed them all I had a faith in you
I just kept on saying

Oh, no, not my baby
Oh, no, not my sweet baby
You're not like those other guys
Who lead you on and tell you lies

My mama told me when rumors spread
There's truth somewhere and I should use my head
But I didn't listen to what she said
I kept right on saying

Oh, no, not my baby
Oh, no, not my sweet baby
You're not like those other boys
Who play with hearts like they were toys

Well, you might have had a last minute fling
But I am sure it didn't mean a thing
'Cause yesterday you gave me your ring
And I'm so glad that I kept on saying

Oh, no, not my baby
Oh, no, not my sweet baby
You're not like those other guys
Who lead you on and tell you lies

Oh, no, not my baby
Oh, no, not my sweet baby
Oh, no, not my baby
Oh, no, not my sweet baby

Credits: Promotional image via Epic Records. Tapestry album cover.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Kansas City Royals' World Series Bling Signals a Return to Yellow Gold

The Kansas City Royals celebrated their 2015 World Series championship on Tuesday with dazzling rings that signal a return to yellow gold. The ring ceremony took place at Kauffman Stadium prior to their contest against the New York Mets, the same team they vanquished last October in a series of thrilling come-from-behind victories.


The spectacular rings by Jostens feature a combination of 2.5 carats of white diamonds and 7 carats of blue sapphires set in a two-tone display of white and yellow 14-karat gold. A representative from Jostens noted that it's been nearly a decade since a World Series ring has been designed in yellow gold. The last ones were worn by the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals.

The KC logo on the top of the ring is masterfully created from custom-cut blue sapphires surrounded by a yellow gold outline placed atop a field of 14-karat white gold and brilliant round diamonds. The words "WORLD" and "CHAMPIONS" edge the top and bottom of the ring in yellow gold.


Reaching up from the sides of the ring and framing the top is a crown motif that mimics the team's iconic logo. A row of blue sapphires sits behind the crown, which is adorned with 30 round white diamonds.

One side of the ring features the player's name atop a silhouetted image of Kauffman Stadium overlaid with the Royals' script logo.

The opposite side features the championship year 2015 set in white diamonds and placed above a baseball diamond that surrounds a silhouette of the World Series trophy. The trophy sits atop five round diamonds representing the five runs the Royals scored in the top of the 12th inning of the series-clinching Game 5. First and third bases are shown set with two blue princess-cut sapphires representing the team's back-to-back World Series appearances in 2014 and 2015.


The interior of the band notes the Royals' series records against the three teams they faced in the playoffs: The Houston Astros (3-2), the Toronto Blue Jays (4-2) and the New York Mets (4-1). Also included is the phrase “Royals crowned back to back A.L. champs.”


"Today is a special celebration for the entire Royals organization and our fans as we honor the 2015 Kansas City Royals with the presentation of their World Series Championship rings," said Royals president Dan Glass. "These brilliant rings embody the sacrifices and contributions made by the entire Royals organization to become the 2015 World Series Champions. It is an honor to present this highest reward to our players, coaches and staff members."

The Royals will be giving out about 700 rings in total. That numbers includes players, coaches, field staff, full-time front office members, scouts and minor-league instructors.

Credits: Images courtesy of Jostens; Screen captures via

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Fancy Vivid Blue 'De Beers Millennium Jewel 4' Sells for $32M, Sets Asian Auction Record

Jewelry buffs will remember the spring of 2016 as the "season of sensational blue diamonds." In a span of just six weeks, three museum-quality blue diamonds — all larger than 9.5 carats and each carrying a price tag of $25 million or more — will be making headlines around the world.


Yesterday. The first of the three, the 10.10-carat "De Beers Millennium Jewel 4," set an Asian auction record at Sotheby's Hong Kong yesterday. The $32 million selling price broke the record for the most expensive piece of jewelry ever sold at auction in Asia. It was scooped up by a phone bidder who chose to remain anonymous. The pre-sale estimate for the fancy vivid blue gem had been $30 to $36 million.

Slightly larger than an almond, the internally flawless oval diamond edged out the previous record holder, a 118-carat white diamond that fetched $30.6 million in 2013.

The De Beers Millennium Jewel 4 was originally unveiled by De Beers in 2000 as part of the Millennium Jewels Collection. While the priceless grouping was being displayed in London's Millennium Dome, a gang of thieves tried to steal the baubles in a daring raid that included a James-Bond-like escape down the Thames in a speedboat. Metropolitan Police foiled the heist and the bad guys were jailed for up to 18 years each.

Three superior blue gems appearing in one season is significant because gem experts believe that there are no more than a dozen or so fancy vivid blue diamonds over 10 carats in the world. millennium2

April 19. Next up in this spring's cavalcade of diamond delights will be the "Shirley Temple Blue," a gorgeous 9.54-carat fancy deep blue diamond ring purchased for the child star by her father in 1940. The cushion-cut diamond in its original Art Deco-inspired setting is expected to sell for $25 million to $35 million when it hits the auction block at Sotheby’s New York on April 19.

The “Shirley Temple Blue” carries a clarity grade of VVS2 and was rated “potentially internally flawless.” George Francis Temple paid $7,210 for the ring 76 years ago.


May 18. Next month at Christie's Geneva, the 14.62-carat rectangular-cut "Oppenheimer Blue" has a chance to surpass the record $48.5 million paid at Sotheby’s Geneva for the 12.03-carat cushion-shaped internally flawless “Blue Moon” (now called “Blue Moon of Josephine”). “Blue Moon” is the record holder for the highest price ever paid for a diamond of any color, and for the highest price paid per carat for any diamond ($4.02 million).


The Oppenheimer Blue, which boasts a VVS1 clarity, carries a pre-sale estimate of $38 million to $45 million and is the largest fancy vivid blue diamond ever offered at auction. Some experts believe Christie’s high estimate is on the conservative side, so the Blue Moon's record could be within reach.

Images: Courtesy of Sotheby’s; courtesy of Christie's.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Romantic Marriage Proposal Takes Terrible Turn as Engagement Ring Bounces Into Mobile Bay

A romantic marriage proposal on a pier overlooking picturesque Mobile Bay turned into a nightmare for an Alabama man who fumbled the ring and helplessly watched it bounce into the water below.


Greg's well-intentioned plan was to share a magical outing with his girlfriend, Sara, on the pier at Fairhope. There, he would surprise her by popping the question. Somehow, Greg never got the memo that diamond engagement rings and large bodies of water do not mix.

With a friend capturing the picture-perfect moment with an iPhone, Greg delivered a heartfelt proposal, got down on one knee and presented a ring box that he had hidden in his pocket. All good, so far.


Then, he opened the box and watched helplessly as the diamond engagement ring seemed to fly out, bouncing on the wooden decking and then splashing into the bay. The shocked couple can be seen staring into the water.

Greg and Sara could hardly believe what had just happened.


"We were thinking that we just saw some splash, but that this was not real," Greg told CW 39.

The future groom bravely jumped into the water, but had no success locating the uninsured ring.


All was not lost, however, as the determined Alabaman escorted Sara back to the jewelry store the very same day. He purchased a replacement ring and proposed right there in the retail establishment.

"Then I did something of a quick proposal," Greg told CW 39. "Just asked her if she would marry me in the store."

Sara said, "Yes."

Greg joked that the proposal took place on dry land with no water nearby — a hard lesson learned.

Credits: Video screen captures via

Monday, April 04, 2016

'Oppenheimer Blue' Could Challenge 'Blue Moon' for the Title of Priciest Diamond Ever; Record Now Stands at $48.5M

In November 2015, the 12.03-carat "Blue Moon" set an auction record for the priciest diamond ever when the fancy vivid blue gem sold for $48.5 million at Sotheby's Geneva. But on May 18, the 14.62-carat "Oppenheimer Blue" has a chance to dethrone the Blue Moon when it goes under the hammer at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva.


Oppenheimer Blue, which carries a pre-sale estimate of $38 million to $45 million, is the largest fancy vivid blue diamond ever offered at auction. Some experts believe Christie's high estimate is on the conservative side, giving the stone a viable chance of setting a new record.


Despite both diamonds being of similar color, the cushion-shaped Blue Moon (now called the Blue Moon of Josephine) was rated internally flawless, while the rectangular-cut Oppenheimer Blue sits one grade below at VVS1 clarity.

Even if the Oppenheimer Blue doesn't match Blue Moon's record per-carat selling price of $4.03 million, it could still sell for more because it is 2.59 carats larger.


"The Oppenheimer Blue was named in honor of a very special connoisseur — its previous owner, Sir Philip Oppenheimer," noted Rahul Kadakia, Christie's International Head of Jewelry. "The Oppenheimers have been leaders in the diamond industry for generations and Sir Philip could have had any diamond he wanted. But he chose this one, with its perfect hue, impeccable proportions and fabulous rectangular shape."


Kadakia called the "Oppenheimer Blue" the "gem of gems," and "one of the rarest gems in the world."

In a promotional video, the narrator described the rise in the popularity of blue diamonds.

"Blue diamonds have gained a wider following," he said, "not only because they are stunning, but because there are so few of them available in the world."

The magnificent gem will be offered for sale in its original platinum mounting by Verdura. The large blue center stone is flanked by two trapeze-shaped white diamonds.

Fancy vivid blue diamonds are extraordinarily rare. A Gemological Institute of America study of 462 blue diamonds revealed that only 1% attained the color grade of "fancy vivid."

Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale is scheduled to take place at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues on May 18.

Images: Oppenheimer Blue courtesy of Christie's. Screen captures via Blue Moon courtesy of Sotheby's.