Friday, May 13, 2016

Music Friday: 'You Give Back Your Ring to Me, And I Will Set You Free,' Sings John Lennon in 'Anna'

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great throwback songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. In today's selection, John Lennon of The Beatles performs the lead vocals to "Anna," the third track of the legendary group's 1963 debut album, Please Please Me.


In the song, Lennon woefully accepts the fact that his girlfriend is in love with another man. He sings, "Anna, just one more thing girl / You give back your ring to me / And I will set you free / Go with him."

Written and originally recorded by Arthur Alexander, "Anna" was a favorite of Lennon, who recommended that The Beatles cover it for Please Please Me. When Alexander released his version in 1962, it peaked on the Billboard chart at a modest #68. One year later, it would be included on one of the most famous albums of all time — a work that would launch the careers of The Fab Four.

The album Please Please Me was released in the U.K. in March 1963 and in the U.S. in January of 1964 by Vee-Jay Records under the name Introducing... The Beatles. Interestingly, the U.S. version stalled for nine weeks at #2 on the Billboard album chart. The #1 album during the same period was Meet The Beatles on Capitol Records.

Music critics noted that Lennon's raspy vocals on "Anna" reflected a "tortured pain." One explanation is that Lennon had a terrible cold during the historic session of February 1, 1963, when The Beatles recorded 11 songs in 10 hours.

Another oddity about the song is its subtitle (Go to Him). The lyrics of both Alexander's and The Beatles' versions clearly state "Go with him."

The Beatles went on to become the best-selling band in history, with 177 million certified records in the U.S. and 600 million records worldwide.

We invite you to enjoy the audio track of Lennon and The Beatles performing “Anna.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

"Anna (Go to Him)"
Written by Arthur Alexander. Performed by The Beatles.

Anna, you come and ask me girl
To set you free, girl
You say he loves you more than me
So I will set you free
Go with him
Go with him

Anna, girl, before you go now
I want you to know now
That I still love you so
But if he loves you more
Go with him

All of my life
I've been searching for a girl
To love me like I love you
Oh, now

But every girl I've ever had
Breaks my heart and leaves me sad
What am I, what am I supposed to do?
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

Anna, just one more thing girl
You give back your ring to me
And I will set you free
Go with him

All of my life
I've been searching for a girl
To love me like I love you
But let me tell you now

But every girl I've ever had
Breaks my heart and leaves me sad
What am I, what am I supposed to do?
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

Anna, just one more thing girl
You give back your ring to me
And I will set you free
Go with him
Go with him
You can go with him girl
Go with him

Credit: The Beatles promotional image.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Pop the Question, Then Eat the Ring Box — Because It’s Made of Pizza

As a clever sequel to his two outrageous pizza innovations — the pizza-topped pizza and the pizza-box pizza — Sean Berthiaume of Vinnie’s Pizzeria in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, introduced a mini pizza-box pizza that’s designed to hold an engagement ring.


Imagine popping the question using one of Berthiaume’s culinary masterpieces and then sealing the deal by gobbling the delicious box like the pooches in the spaghetti scene from Disney’s Lady and the Tramp.

Along with a photo of the new creation, Vinnie’s Pizzeria posted this caption to its Instagram page: “Mini Pizza Box Pizza for the pizza lover on the go. Handheld, for your pleasure. Great for a quick snack or use it to propose to your significant other, whatever you’d like!"

Berthiaume’s engaging personality and outrageous menu items have earned tons of publicity for the Vinnie’s Pizzeria locations in Williamsburg and Greenpoint, Brooklyn.


Last June, talk show host Jimmy Kimmel of Jimmy Kimmel Live! called Berthiaume an “American hero” for inventing the pizza-topped pizza. Via a live feed from the Williamsburg pizzeria, Kimmel interviewed the proprietor in a hilarious five-minute segment, during which Berthiaume explained exactly what goes into the pizza and how he came up with the idea.


Then, last month, the innovative pizza proprietor shook up the internet when he revealed the pizza-box pizza, a product that is delicious and environmentally friendly.

“I get ticked off when people ask for a box when they’re eating here,” Berthiaume told “There’s no point. It fills the trash can. So I thought, ‘What if you could just eat the box?’”

So, Berthiaume designed a box made of pizza that holds, you guessed it, another pizza. The pizza-box pizza is composed of three parts: the box, which is a Sicilian pizza; the box top, which is made of garlic bread; and the contents — the requested pizza.

He told that it takes about an hour to make a pizza-box pizza, compared to the normal 10 to 15 minutes for a regular pizza. The pizza-box pizzas are priced accordingly at $40 each.

Before you run out to Vinnie’s to get engaged, please note that the mini pizza-box pizza is an off-the-menu item and must be ordered in advance.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

'The Constellation' Sets Rough Diamond Price Record; 813-Carat Stablemate of 'Lesedi la Rona' Sells for $63M

Back in November of 2015, Canada-based Lucara enjoyed an uncanny stroke of good luck when its workers discovered two enormous gem-quality rough diamonds at its Karowe Mine in Botswana. The pair tipped the scales at a combined 1,922 carats — or just shy of a 14 ounces.


The larger of the two — the 1,109-carat Lesedi la Rona — will be offered for sale at Sotheby's London on June 29. The smaller of the two — The Constellation — just set a record when the 813-carat gem was purchased by Dubai-based Nemesis International for $63.1 million. It was the highest price ever paid for a rough diamond.


The record is likely to be short lived because the Lesedi la Rona is expected to fetch at least $70 million in London. If Lesedi la Rona earns the same $77,649 per-carat as its Lucara stablemate, it is likely to garner upwards of $86 million.

Both diamonds have been rated Type IIa by the Gemological Institute of America. Diamonds in this rare and coveted subgroup are chemically pure and often show extraordinary optical transparency.


As part of the deal with Nemesis International, Lucara retained a 10% interest in the net profit from the sale of the faceted diamond (or diamonds) The Constellation will yield after cutting and polishing.

Lesedi la Rona is being billed by Sotheby's as "The Diamond of a Lifetime" because it's the biggest rough diamond to be unearthed in more than a century. Only the 3,016-carat Cullinan Diamond, discovered in 1905, was larger. The Constellation, at 813 carats, is the sixth largest gem-quality rough diamond ever found, according to

It's hard to imagine how improbable it was for Lucara to secure two such extraordinary diamonds within days of each other in the same area of a single diamond mine — in this case, the south lobe of the Karowe Mine.

Credits: Facebook/Lucara Diamond Corporation.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Utah Man's Romantic Proposal Takes Unexpected Turn When Girlfriend Opens an Empty Ring Box

They say, "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry” and that's certainly the case for Greg Nottingham, whose perfectly planned marriage proposal took an unexpected turn of epic proportions.


The Provo, Utah, resident had picked a glorious day, the perfect diamond engagement ring and a scenic riverside setting for a romanic picnic with his girlfriend of five years, Sax Brinkley, and their dog, Bella. What's more, he also arranged for some friends to secretly photograph the exact moment Nottingham would pop the question to the love of his life.

At first, everything seemed to be going swimmingly.

When the timing was just right, Nottingham smoothly pulled a ring box from his jacket pocket and went down on one knee. As he opened the box, it became frighteningly clear that something very important was missing.

"There's nothing in it," exclaimed Brinkley as her mortified boyfriend froze in horror.

Fortunately for Nottingham, Brinkley has a wonderful sense of humor. All she could do was chuckle at the classic blunder.

Trying to make the best of a bad situation, Nottingham joked, "This is the part where I get down on one knee and show you a really pretty ring."

Nottingham had picked up the wrong box on his way to the picnic and left the actual engagement ring at home.

Despite the epic goof, Nottingham was undaunted as he continued with the marriage proposal — ring or no ring.

"Will you be mine forever and always, and for the rest of your life?" he asked.

"Yes, yes," she answered.

Then he lifted her into his arms.

As their friends filmed the couple, Brinkley wore a wide grin and repeated, "He forgot the ring! He forgot the ring!"

Later, Nottingham explained the circumstance that led to the embarrassing situation...

"I got the wrong box," he said. "Before I left the house, I put this coat on and just felt the pocket, which had a box in it. I didn't think to check it. The box I picked up was the gift box. The box with the ring [was] in another jacket."


After the picnic, the couple dashed home so Nottingham could give Brinkley her engagement ring. From the photo posted on Brinkley's Facebook page, it was clear the bride-to-be loved her new bling.

Despite the happy ending, Nottingham realized that his embarrassing story is now part of marriage proposal folklore.

"I'll have to live with that moment for the rest of my life," he said. Check out the video at The Daily Mail...

Credits: Video screen capture via Mail Online; Facebook/Saxanie Brinkley.

Monday, May 09, 2016

1,109-Carat 'Lesedi la Rona' Diamond Expected to Fetch $70M+ at Sotheby's London on June 29

The greatest diamond find in more than a century — the 1,109-carat gem-quality "Lesedi la Rona" — is expected to fetch at least $70 million when it goes under the hammer at what promises to be an electrifying stand-alone sale at Sotheby's London on June 29.

The $70 million figure would set a record for the highest price ever paid for a gemstone at auction, surpassing the $48.5 million achieved by the 12.03-carat Blue Moon of Josephine diamond at Sotheby's in November of 2015.

In its current rough state, Lesedi La Rona is the size of a tennis ball. When cut and polished, it could yield a D-color diamond weighing more than 400 carats. The current record for the largest top-quality faceted diamond in existence is held by the 530.20-carat Great Star of Africa, which was the largest of nine diamonds carved from the legendary 3,016-carat Cullinan Diamond more than a century ago. The Great Star of Africa is now part of the British Crown Jewels.

Unearthed by Lucara Diamond Corp. at its Karowe mine in Botswana in 2015, Lesedi la Rona means "Our Light" in the Tswana language spoken by the Botswana people. Sotheby's is calling Lesedi la Rona "The Diamond of a Lifetime."

When we first wrote about Lesedi la Rona in November 2015, Lucara had reported its weight to be 1,111 carats. The new weight of 1,109 reflects a loss of 2 carats during the cleaning process, which is normal, a Sotheby's spokesperson told

According to the Gemological Institute of America, the Lesedi la Rona’s “top color and transparency exemplify the 'limpid' appearance commonly associated with Type IIa diamonds” – a rare and coveted subgroup which comprises less than 2% of all gem diamonds. Stones in this group are “the most chemically pure and often show extraordinary optical transparency."

Independent reports on the potential yield of the rough have stated that the Lesedi la Rona may have the potential to yield the largest top-quality diamond that has ever been cut and polished.

“The Lesedi la Rona is simply outstanding and its discovery is the find of a lifetime," commented David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s Jewelry Division. "It is a huge honor for Sotheby’s to have been entrusted with its sale. Every aspect of this auction is unprecedented. Not only is the rough superlative in size and quality, but no rough even remotely of this scale has ever been offered before at public auction.”

The Lesedi la Rona will be on view at Sotheby’s London from June 18-28, ahead of its auction in the evening of June 29.

Credits: Donald Bowers/Getty Images for Sotheby's.