Friday, May 06, 2016

Music Friday: Teardrops Turn Into Precious Gems in Kelita's Inspirational Song of Inner Healing, 'Tears'

Welcome to Music Friday when we often bring you uplifting songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Canadian recording artist Kelita performs "Tears," an inspirational song about inner healing and overcoming adversity.


In this song, Kelita compares herself to a sparrow with broken wings. But, instead of accepting her fate of never being able to "fly," she describes how the Holy One will take away the pain by cradling her teardrops and transforming them into precious stones.

She sings, "Shimmering diamonds, rubies of red / Bright as the blood that my dear Savior shed / Emeralds of green, sapphires of blue / He’ll take away your teardrops / Turn them into jewels."

"Tears" first appeared in 2000 on Kelita's Naked Soul album, a work that earned a nomination for a Juno Award (Canada's version of a Grammy) for Best Gospel Album. Kelita also included the song as the final track of her Heart of a Woman album in 2010.

Born Kelita Haverland in Alberta, Canada, the singer/songwriter/actress/comedian draws her strength from having overcome a series of seemingly insurmountable life challenges. As a child, she suffered sexual abuse at the hands of her sibling. Her alcoholic father committed suicide and then her mother died from cancer. Her abusive sibling later died from a heroin overdose, and Kelita nearly lost her own life in a terrible auto accident.

Kelita's official website explains that the artist writes, sings and speaks what is gleaned from her own life experiences. From a relentless life of tragedy to triumph, the lessons are shared with a transparency and honesty that engages, encourages and inspires. Her ability to touch and penetrate the hearts of audiences is what drives her success.

Kelita is credited with giving the first break to an aspiring 19-year-old singer name Eileen Twain. The teenager from Timmins, Ontario, sang backup on Kelita's hit song, "Too Hot to Handle." Today, that up-and-coming young singer is known as Shania Twain.

We know you will enjoy the audio clip of Kelita singing "Tears." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

Written and performed by Kelita Haverland.

Tiny little sparrow fell from the tree
Sometimes I feel that little wounded sparrow is me
Tiny broken wings that never will fly
I wonder does her little heart know how to cry

Does her heart know how to cry
Are her tears gently falling inside
Crying tears she’s been trying to hide
Does her heart know how to cry like mine

Warm velvet words poured like sweet honey from his tongue
Until tonight I’d never heard the Holy one
He said that he would cradle every teardrop in His hand
He’d take away their pain and turn them into precious gems

Jesus knows the tears that you've cried
And he has seen them falling inside
Crying tears you've been trying to hide
Jesus knows the tears that you've cried like mine

Shimmering diamonds, rubies of red
Bright as the blood that my dear Savior shed
Emeralds of green, sapphires of blue
He’ll take away your teardrops
Turn them into jewels

Jesus knows the tears that you've cried
And he has seen them falling inside
Crying tears you've been trying to hide
Jesus knows, Jesus knows, Jesus knows the tears that you've cried like mine

Credit: Promotional image via

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Smithsonian's 75-Carat Hooker Emerald Was Once Mounted Into a Sultan's Belt Buckle

One of the world's most spectacular examples of May's official birthstone is the 75.47-carat Hooker Emerald, an historic gem that was once mounted into the belt buckle of an Ottoman sultan.


Today, it is beautifully displayed in a platinum brooch adorned with 109 brilliant-cut diamonds weighing approximately 13 carats. When Janet Annenberg Hooker donated the piece in 1977 to the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., it was valued at $500,000. Based on inflation alone, today it would be worth $2.03 million.

If the name Janet Annenberg Hooker sounds a bit familiar, it may be because the renowned philanthropist and publishing heiress was the principal benefactor of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. Her cash donation to the museum of $5 million allowed for the construction of a fabulous gallery, which was named the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals.

The emerald brooch designed by Tiffany & Co. is an open-ended circular band of platinum. The two ends of the band curl outward into scrolls and are connected by a large round brilliant-cut diamond. Spokes cross the band and converge in the center, forming the setting for the Hooker Emerald.


The emerald was mined in Colombia in the 16th or 17th century and was sent to Europe by Spanish conquistadors to be cut and polished. The gem was sold to the ruling family of the Ottoman Empire and became part of the crown jewels during the reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid II (1876-1909). The sultan reportedly wore the emerald mounted into his belt buckle.

In 1908, the emerald was smuggled to Paris on behalf of the sultan, who hoped the proceeds from its sale would ensure him a comfortable life in exile should he be dethroned by a revolution. The sultan never received the anticipated windfall. The money raised by the sale of the gem went to the succeeding government.

The massive emerald had been auctioned to Tiffany & Co, which initially set it in a tiara. Despite its beauty, the tiara remained unsold for decades. In 1950, the emerald was re-set into a brooch that included matching earrings. Five years later, the brooch was purchased by Hooker. In 1977, she donated it to the Smithsonian.

The Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals that was named in her honor was officially opened in September of 1997, just three months before she passed away at the age of 93.

Lush green emeralds have excited legions of gem admirers for thousands of years. The first emerald mines were in Egypt, and Cleopatra was known to favor this, the most famous member of the beryl family. The name "emerald" comes indirectly from the ancient Greek word for green, “smaragdos.” Ancient Romans believed emerald could relieve eyestrain, and the grass-green emerald was said to be one of the four precious stones given by God to King Solomon.

Besides being the birthstone for the month of May, it's also the official gemstone for 20th and 35th wedding anniversaries.

Credit: Hooker Emerald by Chip Clark, courtesy Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History; Sultan Abdul Hamid II (public domain).

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

'Impossibly Rare' Violet Diamond Could Fetch $5 Million or More

Described as "impossibly rare" and "a complete fluke of nature," the largest violet diamond ever found at Australia's Argyle mine could sell for $5 million or more.


The 2.83-carat polished oval-shaped diamond, known as The Argyle Violet, will headline the 2016 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender, the annual showcase of the rarest diamonds from the Argyle mine in Western Australia.

The Rio Tinto-owned mine generates more than 90% of the world's pink diamonds, and on rare occasion will yield a violet stone. In the past 32 years, Argyle has produced only 12 carats of polished violet diamonds for its annual tender. In fact, before the discovery of The Argyle Violet, the mine had delivered just one other 1-carat-plus violet-colored diamond — and that was in 2008.


The Argyle Violet is "a complete fluke of nature," Josephine Archer from Argyle Pink Diamonds told Yahoo7 News.

Rio Tinto’s general manager of sales Patrick Coppens added, “Impossibly rare and limited by nature, The Argyle Violet will be highly sought after for its beauty, size and provenance.”


Argyle’s master polisher Richard How Kim Kam worked for more than 80 hours cutting the 9.17-carat oddly-shaped rough diamond into its perfectly symmetrical final form. More than 69% of the diamond's weight was lost during the cutting process.

The Argyle Violet was assessed a color grade of "Fancy Deep Greyish Bluish Violet" by the Gemological Institute of America. Violet diamonds owe their unique color to the presence of hydrogen atoms in the chemical composition of the stone.

Experts believe The Argyle Violet is sure to attract offers of $1 million to $2 million per carat at Argyle's annual tender. That would put its selling price somewhere between $2.8 million and $5.6 million.

Argyle Pink Diamonds manager Josephine Johnson said, “We are very excited to announce this historic diamond ahead of our Tender launch. This stunning violet diamond will capture the imagination of the world’s leading collectors and connoisseurs.”

Credits: Images courtesy of Rio Tinto.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Jewelry Remains the Top Gift-Giving Category for Mother's Day; Spending to Exceed $4.2 Billion

Americans will be spending more than $4.2 billion on jewelry gifts for their moms this Mother's Day, according to survey results just released by the National Retail Federation. That dollar amount places "jewelry" at the top of all gift categories — a place it has occupied for four of the past five years.

Adult daughter giving to her mother gift for Mother's Day while

The survey revealed that 35.4% of adults have jewelry on their Mother's Day shopping lists this year, up from 34.2% in 2015 and 31.7% in 2014. Nearly four in 10 men (39.2%) plan to purchase a jewelry item for the special moms in their world, while 31.7% of woman plan to do the same.

The average cost of a Mother's Day jewelry gift will be $95.71, with men expecting to spend $117.79 and women $69.82.

Total Mother's Day gift spending is expected to reach $21.4 billion in 2016, up slightly from $21.2 billion in 2015. Overall, men will spend $197.77 on Mother's Day gifts this year, while women will spend $147.99.

While jewelry remains to top category in terms of dollars spent, other strong categories include "special outings" ($4.1 billion), flowers ($2.4 billion), gift cards ($2.2 billion), consumer electronics ($1.9 billion), apparel ($1.9 billion) and personal services, such as spa treatments ($1.6 billion).

Mother’s Day greeting cards are still a gifting staple, with 78% of consumers reporting that they will buy a card for their moms. Total spending on cards will reach $792 million in 2016, according to the NRF.

The biggest spenders this Mother’s Day are expected to be 25- to 34-year-olds ($248.88). Their 18- to 24-year-old counterparts plan to spend an average of $188.87.

Mother's Day continues to draw wide interest and participation across all demographic groups. Overall, 84.4% of adults surveyed said they would be celebrating Mother's Day in 2016. That participation rate grows to about 95% for adults 18 to 34.

“Mother’s Day is the time when millions of Americans find special ways to express their love and gratitude for Mom,” said analyst Pam Goodfellow of Prosper Insights & Analytics, which conducted the survey of 7,000 consumers for the NRF. “While many will spend a little more than usual to pamper her, some consumers will provide unique experience gifts for the entire family to enjoy together.”

Don't forget: Mother's Day is this Sunday, May 8!


Monday, May 02, 2016

40 Contestants Pounce on 800-Pound Wedding Cake to Find the $2K Diamond Engagement Ring Baked Inside

Decked out in their "Star 98 Diamond Dive" T-shirts, 40 wildly enthusiastic contestants pounced on a 6-foot-tall, 800-pound wedding cake to try to find a $2,000 diamond engagement ring that was baked inside.


They destroyed the cake in a matter of seconds as onlookers at the Grand Teton Mall in Idaho Falls, Idaho, this past Saturday watched in amazement. A video of the event shows the cake being enveloped by a sea of humanity.


The 2nd Annual Diamond Dive was sponsored by local radio station Star 98 in conjunction with a local baker, who designed the cake, and a local jeweler, who provided the jewelry. In all, 16 rings were hidden in the cake, 15 of which were non-precious and represented other prizes. The grand prize was a genuine .50-carat princess-cut diamond engagement ring.


In order to qualify for the Diamond Dive, listeners of Star 98 had to call the station at designated times, starting on April 18. Forty people were eventually selected to participate in the messy, no-holds-barred cake-diving event.


To make the massive cake, the baker's team had to use 165 cake mixes, 54 dozen eggs, 192 pounds of sugar, 72 pounds of shortening and a quart of cake flavoring.


As the excitement unfolded on Saturday, the only person who knew the exact location of the diamond ring was the baker.


As if describing an Olympic event, Star 98 program manager Preston Lee joked to Local News 8, "So these are dedicated people. They've been training. They've been warming up for the past few years. Now, all that training is coming together for one moment, for the diamond dive."

All 16 rings were found within 15 minutes, and emerging victorious with the genuine engagement ring was Nick Musetti, who admitted he didn't have a significant other.

"I'm thinking about selling it because I don't have anyone to give it to," he lamented.

Check out the fun video below...

Images: Screen captures via YouTube; Facebook/Sugar Shell; Facebook/Star 98.