Friday, July 22, 2016

Music Friday: Bruce Springsteen Knows That Some Day 'Jersey Girl' Will Wear His Ring

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fabulous songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today, music legend Bruce Springsteen performs "Jersey Girl," a tender ballad about falling head-over-heels in love with a gal from New Jersey. She's so spectacular in so many ways that Springsteen is confident that some day he'll ask for her hand in marriage.


He sings, "You know she thrills me with all her charms / When I'm wrapped up in my baby's arms / My little girl gives me everything / I know that some day she'll wear my ring."

Although Springsteen released "Jersey Girl" as the B-side to his 1984 hit "Cover Me," the song had became a fan favorite three years earlier when he began performing it during encores of his River Tour. The song generated so much emotion from the concertgoers that it became a set list staple — frequently opening or closing his shows. "Jersey Girl" was selected as the final track of Springsteen's 1986 box set Live/1975-85 and was the final song performed by Springsteen at New Jersey's Giants Stadium before its demolition in 2009.

The Boss' fans may be surprised to learn that although Springsteen was born in Colts Neck, N.J., and his rocker wife, Patti Scialfa, was born in Deal, N.J., "Jersey Girl" was actually penned by Californian Tom Waits in 1980. Waits revealed in an interview that he wrote the song with his future wife and Jersey girl, Kathleen Brennan, after she came into his life and "saved him." Waits included the song on his 1980 album Heartattack and Vine.

A master storyteller and poet, Springsteen rarely releases covers of other artists' songs, but "Jersey Girl" remains an exception. He recognized the main character in the song as the same guy from his own "Sandy" and "Rosalita."

In August 1981, Waits and Springsteen — both of whom would later enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — performed "Jersey Girl" together at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.

We hope you enjoy the audio track of Springsteen’s live performance of "Jersey Girl." The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

"Jersey Girl"
Written by Tom Waits. Performed by Bruce Springsteen.

I got no time for the corner boys
Down in the street making all that noise
Or the girls out on the avenue
'Cause tonight I want to be with you

Tonight I'm gonna take that ride
Across the river to the Jersey side
Take my baby to the carnival
And I'll take her on all the rides

'Cause down the shore everything's all right
You and your baby on a Saturday night
You know all my dreams come true
When I'm walking down the street with you

Sha la la la la la la
Sha la la la la la la la la
Sha la la la la la la la
Sha la la la I'm in love with a Jersey girl

You know she thrills me with all her charms
When I'm wrapped up in my baby's arms
My little girl gives me everything
I know that some day she'll wear my ring

So don't bother me man I ain't got no time
I'm on my way to see that girl of mine
'Cause nothing matters in this whole wide world
When you're in love with a Jersey girl

Sha la la la la la la
Sha la la la la la la la la
Sha la la la la la la la
Sha la la la I'm in love with a Jersey girl

I see you on the street and you look so tired
I know that job you got leaves you so uninspired
When I come by to take you out to eat
you're lyin' all dressed up on the bed baby fast asleep

Go in the bathroom and put your makeup on
We're gonna take that little brat of yours and drop her off at your mom's
I know a place where the dancing's free
Now baby won't you come with me

'Cause down the shore everything's all right
You and your baby on a Saturday night
Nothing matters in this whole wide world
When you're in love with a Jersey girl

Credits: Bruce Springsteen image by Manuel Martinez Perez [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

'Diamonds Do Good' Campaign Highlights Positive Impact Diamond Industry Has on Communities Around the World

In the Madhya Pradesh region of central India, 4,700 villagers now have access to clean drinking water thanks to the initiatives of diamond producer Rio Tinto.


In the Siberian town of Mirny, 2,000 youngsters take part in more than a dozen sporting activities offered at the state-of-the-art Cultural and Sports Complex built and funded by the diamond mining company ALROSA.


And in Africa, the Diamond Empowerment Fund is providing promising youth with access to higher education.


These are just a few stories featured on the new "Diamonds Do Good" website, which focuses on the positive impact the diamond industry is making on communities around the world. In addition to the website and its related social media pages on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, the "Diamonds Do Good" messaging will include three 60-second Public Service Announcements (PSAs).


The aim of the "Diamonds Do Good" initiative is to inspire consumers with the great stories behind diamonds. These powerful, positive video vignettes are being targeted at more than eight million Millennials (people born between 1982 and 2004). Videos will rotate on the highly trafficked websites of Vogue, The New York Times, InStyle, Elle, Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar and others.

Since it was founded in 2007 by business entrepreneur Russell Simmons and leaders in the diamond and jewelry industries, the nonprofit Diamond Empowerment Fund (D.E.F.) has had one mission: to help diamond communities become strong, stable, prosperous, and socially empowered.

Through the generosity and dedication of the diamond industry and its affiliates, Simmons' vision has become a reality. ALROSA, for example, reportedly allocates 5% of its revenue towards social programs, and puts social policy at the core of its mission.

Credits: Instagram/diamondsdogood;

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Drake Adds Golden Air Jordans to His Trove of Precious Keepsakes — But Are They Really Solid Gold?

On Sunday, Canadian rap star Drake gave his 25 million Instagram followers a sneak peek at what he claims are solid gold Air Jordans.


Designed and fabricated by mixed-media artist Matthew Senna, the shoes represent a gilded replica of the Air Jordan 10s that Drake's record label — OVO — created in collaboration with Nike.

On Instagram, Drake (a.k.a. Champagne Papi) divulged that the shoes weighed 100 pounds. If that number is accurate and the shoes are made of 24-karat gold, the precious metal value alone would be more than $2 million.


Senna kicked up some controversy when he took to Instagram to show off the golden sneakers. If the pair did, indeed, weigh 100 pounds, how could he effortlessly grip a 50-pound shoe with only a few fingers? An explanation could be that Senna's pair are a gold-plated prototype.

Nevertheless, the golden Air Jordans — whether they be solid gold or gold plated — will be joining Drake's growing collection of bling. Followers of this blog may remember that back in October 2015, the Toronto native and fellow rapper Future celebrated their chart-topping collaborative mixtape, What a Time to Be Alive, with matching diamond-encrusted “World Champions” pinky rings.


Reminiscent of a Super Bowl ring, the designs by Avianne feature the words “World Champions” engraved in black enamel against a polished white metal background. Drake’s version of the ring displayed an owl emblem and the initials OVO, which stand for "October's Very Own."


On Drake's Instagram page, the music artist may have stated the obvious when he posted an image of the golden Air Jordans with the hashtag "TheseAreNotToWear." The rapper would be hard pressed to achieve any locomotion while donning 100-pound shoes.

Drake has been a brand ambassador for Nike since 2013.

Credits: Images via Instagram/msenna, Instagram/champagnepapi.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Perth Mint Unveils AUD$1 Million Gold Coin Embellished by Ultra-Rare .54-Carat Red Diamond

Last year, The Perth Mint captivated the imaginations of coin and gemstone lovers alike when it released the "Kimberley Sunset," a 2-ounce pink gold coin punctuated by a petite .04-carat pink diamond. Last week, the Mint took the concept to new heights by unveiling "The Kimberley Treasure," a 1-kilogram (2.2-pound) yellow gold coin embellished by an ultra-rare .54-carat red diamond sourced in Western Australia.


The price tag for the one-of-a-kind collectible is AUD$1 million ($758,000). It's the most valuable coin ever released by The Perth Mint.


With its precious metal content valued at just under $50,000, the coin's premium price is based primarily on its exclusivity and the fact that natural red diamonds are the rarest of all fancy-colored diamonds. The diamond set in the "The Kimberley Treasure" was unearthed at Rio Tinto’s Argyle Diamond Mine in the east Kimberley region — one of the few mines in the world that produces red diamonds. Rio Tinto reports that its average annual output of red diamonds is barely 1 carat.

Fancy red diamonds are so rare that the world's supply of gem-quality specimens could easily fit in the palm of one's hand. In fact, many gemologist have never touched a red diamond. At auction, the elusive fancy red diamond can easily fetch $1 million per carat.


Emphasizing the coin's Aussie origin is a depiction of a kangaroo, hopping across the coin from right to left. Grasped between its rendered paws is a genuine radiant-cut red diamond (although The Perth Mint's illustration seems to show a round gemstone). Around the top rim is the phrase "AUSTRALIAN KANGAROO." The year 2016, the weight of 1 kilo and the metal purity of 9999 GOLD are written along the bottom rim.

On the reverse, an Ian Rank-Broadley portrait of Queen Elizabeth II is encircled by the denomination value of 5,000 DOLLARS (Australian), as well as her name and the word "AUSTRALIA" spelled in capital letters.


While last year's 22-karat pink gold Kimberley Sunset had a denominational value of 500 Aussie dollars and a purchase price of AUD$6,000, this year's Kimberley Treasure boasts a denomination value of 5,000 Aussie dollars and a selling price of AUD$1 million. The Sunset had been released in a limited mintage of 500. The Mint will produced only one Kimberley Treasure.

“We are delighted to collaborate with The Perth Mint on the exclusive release of this distinctive investment piece," said Simon Trott, managing director of Rio Tinto Diamonds. "It is a beautiful symbol of the unique treasures of Western Australia and sets a new benchmark in limited-edition craftsmanship.”

It is believed that red diamonds get their rich color from a molecular structure distortion that occurs as the jewel forms in the earth’s crust. By contrast, other colored diamonds get their color from trace elements in their chemical composition, such as boron (yielding a blue diamond) or nitrogen (yielding a yellow one).

Credits: Photos courtesy of Rio Tinto and The Perth Mint.

Monday, July 18, 2016

World's Most Lavish Dining Experience Starts With a Helicopter Ride Over Singapore and Ends With a 2.08-Carat Vivid Blue Diamond Ring

Singapore's Cé La Vi restaurant and Russia's World of Diamonds have teamed up to offer the ultimate dining experience. The $2 million dinner for two commences with a romantic helicopter ride over the cosmopolitan city and ends eight hours later — at midnight — with the presentation of The Jane Seymour Vivid Blue diamond ring.


One lucky couple will enjoy an exhilarating 45-minute airborne tour, followed by a private luxury cruise. When the couple returns to dry land, they will be whisked away in a chauffeured Rolls-Royce and transported to Cé La Vi, on the rooftop of Marina Bay Sands hotel, where they will be showered with 10,000 roses.


Their 18-course meal will include some of the finest delicacies the world has to offer. The menu includes Almas caviar, lamb sweetbreads, slow-cooked pigeon, fresh Belon oysters with champagne foam, New Zealand langoustine, air-flown Alaska wild salmon and grilled Mishima sirloin paired with 44- and 55-year-old vintage wines.


The couple will be trading in their traditional silverware for diamond-encrusted chopsticks, each of which will be engraved with the diners' names and the date of the epic dinner.

Throughout the evening, the couple will be entertained by a live band.

But the most exciting part of the dining experience will take place at the strike of midnight, when The Seymour Vivid Blue diamond ring will be presented to the couple. At that moment, a fireworks display will light up Singapore's evening sky and a bottle of Louis XIII de Rémy Martin cognac will be served.


The 2.08-carat fancy vivid blue cushion-cut diamond is set in a rose gold-and-platinum, Seymour-inspired geranium floral design. World of Diamonds valued the ring at $2 million. The 65-year-old British actress is best known for her performances in East of Eden, War and Remembrance, Somewhere in Time and the James Bond thriller Live and Let Die.

Fancy vivid blue diamonds have been in the headlines this season, most spectacularly when the Oppenheimer Blue, a 14.62-carat stunner, sold for $57.5 million at Christie's Geneva in May.

“As a diamond mining group, we recognize that Cé La Vi is a diamond in the sky," Karan Tilani, director of World of Diamonds Group, told contributor Roberta Naas. "[We expect] the response will be beyond overwhelming, but it’s only two diners who will eventually have the privilege.”

Executives from both the restaurant and diamond group will cherry-pick the couple that will eventually enjoy the most lavish dining experience in the world. Naas reported that the companies will be looking closely at the candidates' status as influencers, their affinity for blue diamonds and how they plan to flaunt or display The Jane Seymour Vivid Blue.

The companies are reportedly fielding requests from interested parties just ahead of a press preview that will take place next month.

Credits: Restaurant shots courtesy of Cé La Vi; Jewelry and Jane Seymour shots courtesy of World of Diamonds.