Friday, January 24, 2020

Music Friday: Mumford & Sons' Frontman Paints His Spirit Gold in 2012's 'I Will Wait'

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you blockbuster songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Mumford & Sons' frontman Marcus Mumford paints his spirit gold in the Grammy-nominated 2012 hit, "I Will Wait."

Mumford told MTV News that the song was written on the road and reflective of the band's hectic touring schedule. Life away from home can take a heavy toll on personal relationships, and this song serves as a solemn reminder of why it's so important to cherish the ones you love.

He sings, "Raise my hands / Paint my spirit gold / And bow my head / Keep my heart slow."

While the repeated chorus, "And I will wait, I will wait for you," is directed to Mumford's significant other, fans have shared their own heartfelt interpretations of the song. Some have recounted how they waited patiently for years and then finally married the girl of their dreams. Others shared how the song gives them hope that one day they will be reunited with loved ones who passed away.

Released as the first sing from Mumford & Sons' second album Babel, "I Will Wait" became the group's biggest hit, selling more than five million copies and charting in 17 countries. Babel was named "Album of the Year" at the 2013 Grammy Awards.

After listening to this rousing Bluegrass tune, one would assume that Mumford & Sons has its roots in Nashville. But that couldn't be farther from the truth. The band was actually formed in West London in December 2007.

Frontman Marcus Mumford had been playing for various acts in London, where he met the other three founding members of Mumford & Sons — Ben Lovett, Winston Marshall and Ted Dwane. The men bonded over their passion for bluegrass and folk music.

Please check out the beautifully shot video of Mumford & Sons' live performance of "I Will Wait." The concert took place in August 2012 at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre near Denver, Colo., and the video has been viewed 164 million times. The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"I Will Wait"
Written by Ted Dwane, Ben Lovett, Marcus Mumford and Winston Marshall. Performed by Mumford & Sons.

Well I came home
Like a stone
And I fell heavy into your arms
These days of dust
Which we've known
Will blow away with this new sun

But I'll kneel down
Wait for now
And I'll kneel down
Know my ground

And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you

So break my step
And relent
You forgave and I won't forget
Know what we've seen
And him with less
Now in some way
Shake the excess

'Cause I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you

Now I'll be bold
As well as strong
And use my head alongside my heart
So take my flesh
And fix my eyes
A tethered mind free from the lies

And I'll kneel down
Wait for now
I'll kneel down
Know my ground

Raise my hands
Paint my spirit gold
And bow my head
Keep my heart slow

'Cause I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you

Credit: Image by Rob D [CC BY] via Wikimedia Commons.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

'The Jewelled Tiger' Is Immortalized in Pink Diamonds on The Perth Mint's 3D Coin

Crafted in 18-karat rose gold and pavé set with 3 carats of extraordinarily rare Argyle pink diamonds, "The Jewelled Tiger" strikes a menacing pose on the face of The Perth Mint's 2020 limited-edition 3D coin.

Priced at $177,275 (AUD $259,000), The Jeweled Tiger represents the third in a series of highly collectible coins showcasing Asia’s revered mythical and mortal creatures. The 2018 Jewelled Phoenix and 2019 Jewelled Dragon coins sold out within weeks of their respective release dates.

Recognizing the significance of the number eight in Asian cultures and its association with luck and prosperity, only eight Jewelled Tiger coins will be issued by The Perth Mint, each presented in a luxurious display case with 18-karat gold accents and inset with two additional Argyle pink diamonds.

The proof coin is unusual because it features a three-dimensional representation of the beast known as the "king of the mountain." The super-rare gems that make up the body of the tiger include a mix of fancy vivid, intense pink and purplish-pink Argyle diamonds. The diamonds are highly coveted because Australia's Argyle mine — the main source of the world's gem-quality pink diamonds — will be retired in 2020. Two emeralds from Colombia's legendary Muzo mines are used to represent the tiger's brilliant green eyes.

The coin’s reverse design is rendered In the style of literati painting, with the tiger depicted ascending a rocky outcrop with stylized mountains and foliage in the background. Also included is the Chinese character for "tiger," the inscription "JEWELLED TIGER" and The Perth Mint’s traditional ‘P’ mintmark. The obverse features the Jody Clark effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the weight and fineness, the "2000 DOLLARS" monetary denomination, "AUSTRALIA," the Queen's name and the year 2020.

The Jewelled Tiger coin measures 61 mm (2.4 inches) across and includes 10 ounces of 99.99 fineness yellow gold and .41 ounces of 18-karat rose gold. The unique coin will be on display at The Perth Mint shop in East Perth until supplies run out.

Please check out The Perth Mint's promotional video...

Credits: Images courtesy of The Perth Mint.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Louis Vuitton Buys Historic 1,758-Carat 'SewelĂ´' Diamond From Lucara Diamond Corp.

French luxury brand Louis Vuitton has purchased the historic 1,758-carat Sewelô diamond from Lucara in a deal that allows the mining company to retain a 50% interest in the individual polished diamonds that result from the cutting of the massive stone. The amount of Louis Vuitton's upfront payment was not disclosed.

Sewelô, which means “rare find” in Setswana, was recovered from Lucara's Karowe Diamond Mine in Botswana in April 2019. It ranks as the world's second-largest rough diamond. Only the 3,106-carat Cullinan, which was discovered in South Africa in 1905, was larger. The Cullinan was eventually cut into nine principle stones (some of which now form part of the British royal family's crown jewels) and 96 smaller stones.

Louis Vuitton will be working with Antwerp-based diamond manufacturer HB Company to determine the optimal way to divide the tennis ball-sized diamond in order to deliver its full potential. According to published reports, the size, shape and quantity of polished diamonds that Sewelô will yield may take a year to finalize due to the complexity and high stakes of the task at hand.

The New York Times reported that Louis Vitton's manufacturing partners are already talking about potential principle diamonds — a 904-carat cushion, an 891-carat oval or several smaller diamonds ranging between 100 and 300 carats.

Lucara had previously characterized the stone as near-gem quality. A more recent analysis confirmed that the stone includes domains of higher-quality white gem.

Amazingly, the Karowe Diamond Mine in Botswana has yielded two 1,000-plus-carat diamonds. The 1,111-carat Lesedi La Rona, which was unearthed in 2015, had been purchased for $53 million by British luxury jeweler Graff Diamonds and divided into one principle emerald-cut stone weighing 302 carats and 66 smaller diamonds of varying shapes.

Lucara also announced that 5% of all the proceeds generated from the Sewelô collection will be earmarked for community-based initiatives in Botswana.

Lucara CEO Eira Thomas commented: "We are delighted to be partnering with Louis Vuitton, the famous luxury house, to transform the historic, 1,758-carat Sewelô, Botswana's largest diamond, into a collection of fine jewelry that will commemorate this extraordinary discovery and contribute direct benefits to our local communities of interest in Botswana."

Credits: Image (top) courtesy of Louis Vuitton. Image (middle) courtesy of Lucara Diamond Corp.