Friday, May 20, 2016

Music Friday: The Voice's Emily Ann Roberts Sings, 'I've Got Your Class Ring, But She's Got You'

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, 17-year-old Emily Ann Roberts — who wowed us on Season 9 of The Voice — sings about a class ring in the Patsy Cline classic, "She's Got You."


Originally a #1 country hit for Cline in 1962 and then again for Loretta Lynn in 1977, "She's Got You" is about a heartbroken woman who reminisces about romantic mementos of a relationship gone bad.

Roberts' rousing rendition of "She's Got You" paid a fitting tribute to the country legends that came before her. She sings, "I've got your class ring that proved you cared / And it still looks the same as when you gave it, dear / The only thing different, the only thing new / I've got these little things, she's got you."


Roberts' outstanding performance earned her accolades from Blake Shelton, her coach on The Voice. “I can’t stop smiling right now," said Shelton. "My heart is pounding. That was so good… I want people at home to know I have never had a better collaborator in nine seasons than Emily Ann. She is so smart and knows who she is as an artist."

"She's Got You" was so well received by the viewers of The Voice that the song made it into the iTunes Top 10 and ascended to #21 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. Roberts' performance of "She's Got You" was also included in The Complete Season 9 Collection, a compilation album of songs featured on The Voice.

As the runner-up to Season 9 champion Jordan Smith, Roberts is well on her way to a successful music career. The Knoxville, Tenn., native told Extra how she's planning to go for a Dixie Chicks vibe. “They are that perfect mix of country and bluegrass and that’s exactly who I am," she said. "So I would definitely have tons of bluegrass influences but it will be a solid country album.”

Songwriter Hank Cochran told Patsy Cline biographer Ellis Nassour that in 1961 he called the country star and told her he'd just written her next #1 hit. Cline invited Cochran to come over to her house and play the song on guitar. She immediately fell in love with the song and learned it that same night. Excitedly, she called her producer, Owen Bradley, and sang it to him on the phone. At that point, Cline and Bradley were certain they had a hit — and they did.

Since 1962, "She's Got You" has been covered by an all-star group of music artists, including Rosanne Cash, LeAnn Rimes, Timi Yuro, Jimmy Buffet, Lee Ann Womack and Loretta Lynn.

We know you will enjoy the video of Roberts' live performance of "She's Got You" on The Voice. It's been viewed more than 840,000 times on YouTube. The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"She's Got You"
Written by Hank Cochran. Performed by Emily Ann Roberts.

I've got your picture that you gave to me
And it's signed with love, just like it used to be
The only thing different, the only thing new
I've got your picture, she's got you

I've got the records that we used to share
And they still sound the same as when you were here
The only thing different, the only thing new
I've got the records, she's got you

I've got your memory, or has it got me
I really don't know, but I know it won't let me be

I've got your class ring that proved you cared
And it still looks the same as when you gave it, dear
The only thing different, the only thing new
I've got these little things, she's got you

I've got your memory, or has it got me
I really don't know, but I know it won't let me be

I've got your class ring that proved you cared
And it still looks the same as when you gave it, dear
The only thing different, the only thing new
I've got these little things, she's got you

Credits: Screen captures via YouTube/The Voice

Thursday, May 19, 2016

'Oppenheimer Blue' Claims Title of Priciest Gemstone Ever Auctioned; $57.5M Price Beats 'Blue Moon' by $9M

Last night, the "Oppenheimer Blue" became the highest priced gemstone ever sold at auction. The 14.62-carat fancy vivid blue diamond, dubbed "the gem of gems," fetched an astounding $57.5 million at Christie's Geneva.


Two bidders battled back and forth for more than 20 minutes in a dramatic exchange that included 44 individual offers. The bidding started at 30 million Swiss francs (about $30.4 million) and rushed forward in increments of 1 million, 500,000 and 200,000 Swiss francs.


Watching the action in real-time via streaming video, viewers around the world joined in the excitement as the bidding moved well above the pre-sale high estimate of 45 million Swiss Francs ($45.6 million).

Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s International Head of Jewelry, finally put the hammer down at 50.6 million Swiss francs ($51.2 million) to the roar of the showroom crowd. With commissions and fees included, the final price was 56.8 million Swiss francs ($57.5 million). That number was $9 million more than the previous record-holder, the "Blue Moon of Josephine," which sold at Sotheby's Geneva in November 2015 for $48.5 million.

Both diamonds boast the top color grade of "fancy vivid." While the 12.03-carat cushion-shaped Blue Moon of Josephine was rated internally flawless, the rectangular-cut Oppenheimer Blue was one grade below at VVS1 clarity.

The Oppenheimer Blue's price per carat price of $3.93 million came up just shy of the record of $4.03 million held by the Blue Moon of Josephine.

Named after Sir Philip Oppenheimer, one of the leaders of the diamond industry for generations, the Oppenheimer Blue was the largest fancy vivid blue diamond ever offered at auction.

Kadakia had called the Oppenheimer Blue "the gem of gems,” and “one of the rarest gems in the world.” He was impressed by its perfect hue, impeccable proportions and fabulous rectangular shape. The magnificent gem was offered for sale in its original platinum mounting by Verdura.

During the auction, he encourage the bidding by reminding the audience that this type of gem comes around only once in a lifetime. According to Christie's, less than .0001 percent of all diamonds mined are blue. Blue diamonds owe their color to the presence of boron in the chemical makeup of the gem.

Credit: Image courtesy of Christie's. Screen capture via

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

'Unique Pink' Sells for $31.5M, Sets Record for a Fancy Vivid Pink Diamond

The 15.38-carat "Unique Pink," the largest pear-shaped fancy vivid pink diamond ever offered at auction, lived up to its pre-sale fanfare by fetching $31.5 million at Sotheby's Geneva last night. It was the highest price ever paid for a fancy vivid pink diamond.


The much-anticipated final lot of Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels & Noble Jewels sale — Lot #495 — sparked a five-minute bidding war that started with an opening offer of 24 million Swiss francs (about $25.5 million). Six subsequent bids propelled the price up to 27.3 million Swiss francs. With the buyer's commission included, the final price was 30.82 million Swiss francs (or $31.56 million).


Previously, the record for a fancy vivid pink diamond was held by "Sweet Josephine," a 16.08-carat beauty that sold for $28.5 million at Christie's Geneva in November of 2015.

Sotheby's had estimated that the Unique Pink would sell in the range of $27.5 million to $37.3 million.

The Unique Pink, which boasts the highest possible color grading of "fancy vivid," had been characterized as one of the finest pink diamonds of all time. Sotheby's Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewelry Division, David Bennett, had described the diamond's color as "simply astonishing."


“It is difficult to imagine a diamond that better illustrates the term ‘vivid pink’ than this outstanding stone,” noted Bennett.

The gem also stood apart because of its impressive size and "exceedingly pure" Type IIa clarity rating.

The Unique Pink was so special that it headlined a multi-city promotional tour that included stops in Hong Kong, London and New York City, before returning to Geneva for the auction.

It is believed that pink diamonds owe their 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.

Credits: Unique Pink photos courtesy of Sotheby’s. Auction screen capture via

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Red-Hot Chicago Cubs Slugger Anthony Rizzo Assists With Surprise Marriage Proposal

Chicago Cubs slugger Anthony Rizzo showed off his tender side on Saturday when he assisted lifelong fan, Steve Milsap, with a surprise marriage proposal.


Earlier in the day, the red-hot Rizzo, who is hitting .373 in the month of May for the first-place Cubs, smashed a three-run homer in an 8-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. But even more unforgettable than the game was what happened that same evening at the Fanatics sports memorabilia show in Chicago.

Show organizers had arranged for Milsap and his girlfriend, Leslie, to meet Rizzo for a photo op and autograph signing. The unsuspecting girlfriend was told that the special Rizzo meet-and-greet was a surprise was for her nine-year-old daughter, who idolizes the 26-year-old phenom.


After posing for a few photos with the family, Rizzo turned to Milsap and said, "Steve, do you have any questions you want to ask."

Milsap took a step toward his girlfriend and said, "Leslie, from the day that I met you I knew you were the one."

"No," said Leslie.


"Yes," countered her smiling boyfriend. Then he pulled a ring box from his pocket, went down on one knee and popped the question.

"Will you marry me?" he asked.

"Yes. Oh my, God. Oh my," she answered, as memorabilia show onlookers shouted their approval.


Rizzo then presented the couple with a Cubs jersey with the words "Marry Me" and Rizzo's number "44" embroidered on the back. Milsap asked if Rizzo would sign the jersey and he was happy to oblige.

The 6-foot-3, 240-pound athlete seemed to love his role as Cupid. "She was really excited and she started crying," said Rizzo. "It's awesome for them."

"I'm still in shock right now," said Leslie.

Milsap thanked Rizzo and the show coordinators.

"We couldn't have done it without Fanatics," said Milsap. "We want to thank everybody who helped out. It was amazing."

Check out the heartwarming 67-second video here...

Credits: Screen captures via YouTube/Fanatics

Monday, May 16, 2016

Ultra-Rare 'Aurora Green' Diamond Could Fetch the Highest Price Per Carat Ever for Any Gemstone

And the amazing diamonds just keep coming... On May 31, Christie's Hong Kong will be putting up for bid the "Aurora Green," an ultra-rare fancy vivid green diamond that could set a new auction record for the highest price per carat ever paid for any gemstone.


Christie's estimated the rectangular-shaped 5.03-carat Aurora Green to be valued between $16.2 million and $20.1 million, or at the high end about $4 million per carat. The current record holder is the "Blue Moon of Josephine," a 12.03-carat vivid blue diamond that sold in November 2015 for $48.5 million, or $4.03 million per carat.

Experts believe the Aurora Green has a legitimate shot at breaking the record at Christie's Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels sale because of its combination of rarity, size, color and quality. The green gem, which owes its color to the natural radiation present during its formation inside the earth, is the largest, natural fancy, vivid green diamond in the world. “Vivid” is the most saturated color intensity for green diamonds, and while "fancy intense" green diamonds come to auction frequently, "fancy vivid" green diamonds are almost unheard of.

Asian bidders might be particularly attracted to the Aurora Green because that color symbolizes health, prosperity and harmony in Chinese culture.

According to the Diamond Investment & Intelligence Center, the only other time a fancy vivid green diamond has come to auction was in the midst of the global financial crisis in 2009. In November of that year, Sotheby's sold a 2.52-carat fancy vivid green diamond at its Geneva event for $3.07 million.


The Aurora Green diamond is presented in a pink diamond halo setting. The Gemological Institute of America described the green gem as a “cut-cornered rectangular modified brilliant” with a clarity of VS2.


Vickie Sek, Christie’s deputy chairman and head of jewels for Asia, told ARTINFO that the Aurora Green got its name from nature's phenomenal light shows — the aurora borealis and aurora australis, also known as the Northern or Southern Lights. She said the diamond's saturated color and scintillation emulates the "magical display of dancing lights that can only be seen above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres."

"While the auroral displays appear in a spectrum of colors, the vibrant, vivid greens are the most anticipated and admired," she said.

Credits: Aurora Green images courtesy of Christie's. Northern lights by Varjisakka (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons.