Friday, June 24, 2016

Music Friday: Meghan Trainor's 'MTRAIN' Necklace Stars in the Video for Her New Hit Single, 'Me Too'

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you hot, new songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. In today's installment, Meghan Trainor shows off her gold-and-diamond "MTRAIN" necklace in the viral video for her new hit single, "Me Too."


In this song about self-love, body image and empowerment, Trainor sings, "What's that icy thing hangin' 'round my neck? / That's gold, show me some respect."


The official video, which has been viewed a staggering 98 million times, includes an extreme closeup of Trainor's necklace, with MTRAIN spelled out in raised gold letters on a framed plaque adorned with two bezel-set diamonds.

Trainor, the 2016 Grammy Award winner for Best New Artist, co-wrote "Me Too" with Jason Derulo and three other collaborators. It was released on May 5 as the second single from her album, Thank You, and quickly ascended the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. It currently resides at #18 after coming in at #31 last week.

Interestingly, the official video for the song was released on May 9 and quickly pulled by Trainor the same day after the artist learned that her image was digitally manipulated, apparently to make her waist look thinner.

On Snapchat, Trainor commented, "My waist is not that teeny. I didn't approve that video and it went out for the world, so I'm embarrassed."

Trainer famously referenced Photoshop editing in her mega-hit "All About That Bass" when she sang, "I see the magazines working that Photoshop, we know that ain't real, come on now make it stop."

On May 10, a new edit of video was released.

The 22-year-old Trainor rose to fame after releasing Title in 2015. That chart-topping album produced three Top-10 singles and sold more than a million copies in the U.S. alone.

We know you'll enjoy Trainor's official video of "Me Too." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along.

"Me Too"
Written by Meghan Trainor, Eric Frederic, Jacob Kasher Hindlin, Jason Derulo and Peter Svensson. Performed by Meghan Trainor.

Who's that sexy thing I see over there?
That's me, standin' in the mirror
What's that icy thing hangin' 'round my neck?
That's gold, show me some respect

I thank God every day
That I woke up feelin' this way
And I can't help lovin' myself
And I don't need nobody else, nuh uh

If I was you, I'd wanna be me too
I'd wanna be me too
I'd wanna be me too
If I was you, I'd wanna be me too
I'd wanna be me too
I'd wanna be me too

I walk in like a dime piece
I go straight to V.I.P.
I never pay for my drinks
My entourage behind me
My life's a movie, Tom Cruise
So bless me, baby, achoo
And even if they tried to
They can't do it like I do

I thank God every day
That I woke up feelin' this way
And I can't help lovin' myself
And I don't need nobody else, nuh uh

If I was you, I'd wanna be me too
I'd wanna be me too
I'd wanna be me too
If I was you, I'd wanna be me too
I'd wanna be me too
I'd wanna be me too

(Turn the bass up)
Turn the bass up
(Turn the bass up)
Let's go!

I thank God every day
That I woke up feelin' this way
And I can't help lovin' myself
And I don't need nobody else, nuh uh

If I was you, I'd wanna be me too
I'd wanna be me too
I'd wanna be me too
If I was you, I'd wanna be me too
I'd wanna be me too
I'd wanna be me too
If I was you, I'd wanna be me too
I'd wanna be me too
I'd wanna be me too
If I was you, I'd wanna be me too
I'd wanna be me too
I'd wanna be me too

Credits: Image captures via

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Bejeweled Private Collection of Joan Rivers Nets $2.2 Million at Christie's New York

The Private Collection of Joan Rivers, an eclectic assortment of fine jewelry, bejeweled items and collectibles, netted $2.2 million at Christie's New York last night.


The biggest surprise of the auction was the $245,000 selling price of a gem-embellished Fabergé frame that carried a modest pre-sale estimate of $40,000 to $60,000. Crafted in nephrite (a form of jade) and adorned with rose-cut diamond flowers and a seed pearl bezel, the frame features an enamel portrait of Queen Louise of Denmark. The frame dates back to 1898.


Another surprise was the failure of a Fabergé lily of the valley leaf to achieve its reserve price. Touted prior to the auction for its rarity and importance, the objet d’art was reportedly one of only two examples of a Fabergé lily of the valley leaf study in existence. A Christie's expert noted that the original design was most likely executed by Carl Fabergé himself. The piece, which is adorned with diamonds and pearls, carried a pre-sale estimate of $200,000 to $300,000.


Rivers, whose acerbic comedic style earned her legions of fans and a co-hosting gig on E!’s Fashion Police, passed away on Sept. 4, 2014, at the age of 81. During her successful 55-year-career as a comedian, actress, writer and producer, Rivers amassed an impressive collection of pieces from Fabergé, Harry Winston, Chanel and Tiffany.

According to published reports, Rivers was particularly fond of Fabergé because she felt the objects helped her get in touch with her Russian heritage.


In all, The Private Collection of Joan Rivers included 39 lots of jewelry. Here are some of the other highlights...


• A diamond and platinum flower brooch signed by Harry Winston fetched $75,000, far greater than the pre-sale estimate of $30,000 to $50,000. The piece features round diamonds forming the pistil, marquise-cut diamond petals, baguette-cut diamond stem and round diamond leaves.


• A silver-topped star sapphire and diamond pendant brooch by Fabergé yielded $75,000. The piece, which was fabricated between 1899 and 1903, has the workmaster's mark of August Holmstrom of St. Petersburg. The pre-sale estimate was $70,000 to $90,000.


• A gold, silver, aquamarine and diamond brooch by Fabergé sold for $35,000, at the low end of the pre-sale estimate of $35,000 to $45,000. A cushion-cut aquamarine is flanked on either side by a clover-like formation of diamonds. The piece is dated between 1908 and 1913 and also has the workmaster's mark of Holmstrom.


• A third piece credited to Fabergé and Holmstrom is an an amethyst and diamond brooch dating to 1900. The piece sold for $30,000, at the high end of the pre-sale estimate of $20,000 to $30,000.

Credits: Jewelry images courtesy of Christies. Joan Rivers photo by David Shankbone [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Trainee Five Months Into His Apprenticeship Is Credited With Discovering the 1,109-Carat Lesedi La Rona Diamond

An eagle-eyed trainee barely five months into his apprenticeship at Lucara's Karowe mine in Botswana is credited with plucking the 1,109-carat gem-quality diamond — now known as the Lesedi La Rona — from the mining company's "large diamond recovery" sorting machine. It was the largest rough diamond discovered in 111 years.


“At first I wanted to scream,” Tiroyaone Mathaba told The Telegraph. “Then I said in a low, hoarse voice, 'God, it’s a diamond! It’s a diamond, it’s a big diamond!’”

The rough stone is the size of a tennis ball and could potentially yield the world's largest faceted diamond, grander than even "The Great Star of Africa" at 530.20 carats.

Lesedi La Rona, which means “Our Light” in Botswana’s Tswana language, is expected to sell for $70 million or more when it's offered for sale at Sotheby's London exactly one week from today. That price would easily break the world record for any gemstone sold at auction. The current record holder is the “Oppenheimer Blue,” a 14.62-carat fancy vivid blue diamond that fetched $57.5 million at Christie’s Geneva in May.

As a trainee, the 27-year-old Mathaba had been responsible for inspecting the rock and sand produced by the mine’s large diamond recovery machines. But, on the morning of Nov. 16, 2015, he was having trouble with the equipment.

“We were experiencing a near blockage," said the recent graduate of the geology program at the University of Botswana. "I was having to work quite hard.”

Then, he spotted something shiny in his sorting tray. Was it a strange rock, or an unfathomable, mammoth-sized diamond?

Lucara geologists confirmed that Mathaba's find was the second biggest diamond ever recovered. Only the 3,106-carat Cullinan, unearthed in South Africa in 1905, was larger.


Based on the cleavage faces and sculpted surfaces of the Lesedi La Rona, Lucara experts believe the rough diamond had been much larger. In fact, some of the adjacent pieces have been recovered and matched to the larger stone.

One of the reasons why extremely large diamonds are so rare is because the stones undergo tremendous stress in the mining and sorting process. Although diamonds are the world's hardest material, they can fracture.

Lucara's new Tomra large diamond recovery machine, which utilizes X-ray transmission sensors, is designed to identify and isolate potentially large diamonds before they can be damaged. Only one day after Mathaba's discovery, two other massive diamonds — weighing 813 and 374 carats — also were found.

Despite the $70-million-plus price that Lesedi La Rona is likely to fetch, Mathaba did not earn a special bonus for finding the stone. Instead, each of the 804 people working a Lucara enjoyed bonuses related to the huge windfall. Mothaba has since become a permanent member of the Lucara staff.

Mathaba explained to The Telegraph why he finds his job so exciting: “You get to see diamonds how nature made them – the octahedron shapes, the cubes – before humans touched them.”

Credits: Images courtesy of Sotheby's.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Mom Reunited With Her Engagement Ring Six Weeks After Tike Flushes It Down the Toilet

City worker Jose Cervantes called it a "one in a million shot," but the thin odds of finding an engagement ring in a sewer system six weeks after it was lost didn't dissuade him from helping a family in need.


Anna and Ryan Cornish, of Bothell, Wash., had been heartbroken over the loss of Anna's double-halo-style diamond engagement ring — a precious keepsake their 4-year-old son, Landon, had flushed down the toilet during bath time.


Despite the admirable efforts of their plumber — who put cameras in the waste pipes — the ring was nowhere to be found.


But, then by chance, Ryan noticed a truck from the City of Bothell Public Works in his neighborhood. He approached sewer maintenance worker Cervantes and asked if he could help.

Normally, retrieving jewelry in the sewer is a fruitless endeavor. But Cervantes knew of a quirk in the local sewer system that could make all the difference.

“Where [Ryan] lives there’s actually what’s called a belly in a pipe, a settled out piece of pipe," Cervantes told a Global News affiliate. "It’s a little lower, so solids end up getting in there.”


After getting the thumbs-up from his supervisors, Cervantes and his team returned the next day to suck up the sewage from the depression in the pipe. They dumped the material out of their truck and carefully hosed it down. Emerging from the stinky mess was Anna's ring.

“It was shocking, amazing," Cervantes said. "We got the ring. Holy cow, it’s a one in a million shot.”

Ryan was excited when he found out the ring was recovered, but decided to keep the good news from Anna until it could be presented in the proper way.

First, he brought the ring to a local jeweler for a professional and thorough cleaning. Then he placed it in a ring box so a very special person could make the presentation...

"Mom, I’m so sorry. Will you please forgive me?” little Landon said as he handed the ring box to Anna.

"Then he opened the box with the ring inside," recounted Anna. "I just felt speechless; tears started coming down my eyes."

Ryan and Anna couldn't be more grateful to the City of Bothell Public Works crew, who went above and beyond the call of duty. Anna plans to hand the ring down to her daughter, who is now three years old.

Many years from now they'll have quite a tale to tell.

Credits: Video captures via

Monday, June 20, 2016

Amateur Treasure Hunters Unearth Trove of 1,100-Year-Old Viking Bangles in Denmark

Three amateur treasure hunters, who call themselves "Team Rainbow Power," unearthed the largest trove of Viking gold ever found in Denmark.


Working with metal detectors in a field in Jutland, the team discovered seven bangles — six gold and one silver — dating back to the year 900. The combined weight of the jewelry, nearly all of which remained in pristine condition despite being buried for more than 1,100 years, is 900 grams (about 2 pounds). Only the silver bangle has tarnished.


"We really felt like we had found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow when we found the first bracelet, but when others then appeared it was almost unreal," noted Team Rainbow Power member Marie Aagaard Larsen.


Larsen revealed that her team, which includes Poul Nørgaard Pedersen and Kristen Dreiøe, had been working in the field barely 10 minutes when the metal detectors indicated that there was treasure underfoot.

After finding the third of seven bracelets, Team Rainbow Power sought the assistance of Lars Grundvad from the Sønderskov Museum.

The field in Jutland had been of interest to archaeologists at the museum because a Viking gold chain had been discovered there more than 100 years ago.

“At the museum, we had talked about how interesting it could be to check out the area with metal detectors because there was a 67-gram gold chain found there back in 1911," Grundvad said. "But I would have never in my wildest fantasies believed that amateur archaeologists could uncover seven bracelets from the Viking Age.”


Two of the gold bracelets discovered by Team Rainbow Power are crafted in the Jelling style, which is associated with the Viking elite. Peter Pentz, a Viking expert at the National Museum, believes the bracelets may have been used by a Viking leader to form alliances or to reward his faithful followers.


The Viking social classes of this era were divided into the noble "jarls," the middle class "karls" and the slave class "thralls."

"To find just one of these rings is huge, so it is something special to find seven," said Pentz. "The Viking Age is actually the ‘silver age’ when it comes to hoards. The vast majority of them contain only silver. If there is gold, it is always a small part, not like here, the majority.”

Why the jewelry was buried is a more difficult mystery to unravel. Perhaps they were buried in a ritual, or hidden by someone who failed to retrieve them, say the archaeologists.

The Sønderskov Museum, which is only 13 miles from the discovery site, will put the seven bracelets on display before shipping them 160 miles east to the National Museum in Copenhagen for further study. Team Rainbow Power will be compensated for their find, although the exact amount has not been disclosed.

Credit: Group of seven bracelets by Nick Schaadt, National Museum of Denmark. Photos of Marie Aagaard Larsen, Team Rainbow Power, bracelet closeup and bracelet in sand by Poul Nørgaard Pedersen. All images provided by National Museum of Denmark via Creative Commons.