Thursday, December 23, 2021

'Thank You, By the Way' Ad Campaign Gets a Boost From Indian Export Association

Back in August of this year, the Natural Diamond Council (NDC) unveiled its global ad campaign titled, “Thank You, By the Way,” with the mission of communicating the massive socioeconomic benefits generated by the natural diamond industry.

The campaign addressed the concerns of jewelry consumers who, now more than ever, want to know where their products come from, and the impact their purchases have on the producing countries and local communities.

Created with the support of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), the campaign illustrated how choosing a natural diamond positively influences the lives of millions of people in the most remote corners of the earth.

In a pre-Christmas press release, the NDC announced that it will be magnifying the “Thank You, By the Way” messaging by partnering with a leading India-based trade group called the Gem Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC).

"In order to achieve long-term sustainability in our industry, we need to adapt a 360-degree approach," said Colin Shah, chairman of the GJEPC. "The association with the Natural Diamond Council does just that, by highlighting the contributions made and recognizing the vital role of the trade in bringing the community together, touching lives and making a real difference. The sector has always taken a 'do good' approach and we will continue to do so in the future."

The GJEPC has spearheaded a number of philanthropic initiatives, including aid to orphanages, schools, old age homes, hospitals and other similar causes in India and around the world. What's more, the natural diamond sector helps 2 million Indians secure their livelihoods.

NDC's omnichannel ad campaign is built around a core of critical facts related to the socioeconomic and community benefits of the natural diamond industry. The series of creative executions can be seen across NDC's social media channels, with a dedicated page on Only Natural Diamonds.

Here are some headlines from that page…

  • "Your natural diamond has contributed to $16 billion of annual benefits for our world. That includes healthcare, jobs, education, biodiversity and infrastructure."
  • "Your natural diamond provides high quality and safe jobs, as well as supports the livelihood of 10 million people worldwide."
  • "Your daughter’s natural diamond jewelry is not just a gift to her, but also the reason why 4 million people get access to healthcare."
  • "Your natural diamond helps educate children and empower thousands of women."
  • "While your natural diamond is a sparkling symbol of your legacy, it is also a treasure trove of education for half a million children in rural communities."
  • "From solar-powered clinics to groundbreaking disease management programs, your natural diamond purchase helps build a healthier future for some of the world’s most remote, vulnerable communities."
  • "When you reward yourself for that much-deserved promotion with natural diamond jewelry, you help fund more than 400 women-owned businesses across Africa."

"Consumers are looking for purpose and want to know if the company they buy from has strong values and robust management systems that integrate sustainability at the core of their operations," said RJC executive director Iris Van der Veken. "The RJC certification gives that third-party assurance."

Credit: Image courtesy of The Natural Diamond Council.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Miami Dolphins Fan Misses His Own Jumbotron Marriage Proposal at Hard Rock Stadium

Did you hear about the guy who missed his own jumbotron marriage proposal during halftime of the Dolphins-Jets game at Miami's Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday?

Dolphins fan Luis Llorens had arranged with the Hard Rock's special events team to propose in dramatic fashion to his girlfriend — and Jets fan — Christine Dobrin. But when the big moment arrived, Llorens was nowhere to be found.

The giant screen showed a still photo of the couple with the caption: “Christine. Will you marry me?” But when the Hard Rock's video team switched to the live shot of what was supposed to be the marriage proposal, only Dobrin was seated. Frozen in the moment, she stared at the screen with her hand over her mouth.

“I didn’t know what was going on because he wasn’t at the seats, and looking all around, between the crying and the happiness, I didn’t know where he was, so it was a whole big mix of emotions,” Dobrin told Miami FOX affiliate WSVN.

It turns out that Llorens wasn't suffering from cold feet. He was a victim of poor communications. Llorens mistakenly believed that he was supposed to meet the Hard Rock's video crew in the tunnel just below their seats.

“I was actually there," Llorens told WSVN. "People just don’t realize I was about 25 feet underneath her. I was in the tunnel.”

As soon as he realized the mistake, Llorens rushed to make the best of a bad situation.

"I had to hurry up back to my seat and do what I could do to save this,” said Llorens.

Once he was reunited with his girlfriend, Llorens delivered a proper proposal to the cheers of the well wishers in their section, and then from the whole stadium of fans. You see, the Hard Rock's video crew had followed the action and managed to catch the exact moment of the proposal on the big screen.

Connor Hughes, a writer who covers the Jets for The Atlantic was tweeting about the halftime oddities in real time.

"Amazing," Hughes tweeted. "So they just did a scoreboard proposal here at Hard Rock. However, when they cut away from this graphic to where the two are supposed to be sitting, the guy wasn’t there! Just the girl, sitting there, hand over mouth! Dude must have been in the concession line lol."

Hughes' followers on Twitter enjoyed taking light-hearted jabs at the hapless Llorens, who had yet to tell his side of the story. They presumed that he was preoccupied with halftime snacks or stuck in the bathroom.

For a $500 donation, the Hard Rock Stadium special events team will post a message on the giant screen and then cut to a live shot of guests in their seats. The messages run during the last four minutes of halftime, following the on-field entertainment.

The fee is considered a donation because the funds go to the Miami Dolphins Foundation, which leverages the power of sports and entertainment to inspire a healthier, more educated and united South Florida community.

Credits: Proposal message photo via twitter.com / Connor_J_Hughes; Proposal screen captures via twitter.com / derekdferny.

Monday, December 20, 2021

NBA Star Trae Young Pops the Question With Oval-Cut Diamond Engagement Ring

Atlanta Hawks' star point guard Trae Young popped the question to his college girlfriend Shelby Miller on Thursday with a stunning oval-cut diamond in a halo setting. Young shared with his four million Instagram followers a bunch of candid pics of the actual proposal.

He captioned his post, "What a night," and added two ring emojis and the hashtag "FutureMrsYoung."

On her own Instagram page, the former Oklahoma Sooners cheerleader posted similar pics and captioned them, "Forever Young" punctuated by a grey heart.

With a ring box gripped in his left hand, the NBA's second-leading scorer kneeled on a bed of white rose petals against a backdrop of white and blue balloons and a sign that read, "Marry Me."

One of the Instagram photos shows Miller overcome with emotion, holding her right hand over her mouth as Young is just about to propose. In another photo, the newly engaged Miller joyfully shows her new ring to the camera.

The oval shape has been trending lately, as a cavalcade of stars have chosen this shape — a cut that flatters the wearer by making the finger appear longer and slimmer. Among the most recent celebs to join the "Oval Club" are Kourtney Kardashian, Ariana Grande and Tay Dome, the new fianceé of actor Taylor Lautner.

Young, 23, and Miller, 25, have been dating since 2017. They met at the University of Oklahoma, where he became a top NBA prospect after his freshman year.

The 6 ft 1 in, 164 lb playmaker they call "Ice Trae" is currently second in the NBA in scoring, averaging 27.3 points per game in the first half of an All Star-caliber season. In August of this year, he signed a new deal with the Hawks that's worth at least $172 million.

Credits: Images via Instagram.com / traeyoung.

Friday, December 17, 2021

Music Friday: Here's How the Scrapped Song ‘Tinkle Bell’ Became a Holiday Classic

Welcome to another Christmas Edition of Music Friday when bring you fun songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, we present Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell singing the original 1951 version of “Silver Bells,” a holiday favorite that was nearly scrapped, according to songwriter Ray Evans.

A 91-year-old Evans revealed to NPR’s radio audience in 2006 the “stupid, stupid” backstory of “Silver Bells” and its first, off-putting incarnation — “Tinkle Bell.”

Evans and his writing partner, Jay Livingston, were under contract for Paramount Studios when they were assigned to write a Christmas song for The Lemon Drop Kid, a comedy starring Bob Hope. Evans and Livingston believed the world already had too many Christmas songs and were underwhelmed with the task at hand.

Sitting at facing desks in a shared office, the pair was inspired by a little bell that sat on one of the desks.

“We said, ‘Ahh, there’s our theme for Christmas. The bell makes a tinkly sound when it rings,’” Evans remembered. “We’ll call the song ‘Tinkle Bell.’”

When Livingston told his wife about the new song, she was astonished by the writing team's stupidity.

“Tinkle bell? Are you out of you mind?” Livingston’s wife said. “You can’t write a Christmas song with the word ‘tinkle’ in it. Don’t you know what tinkle means?”

Jay Livingston said, “I never thought of that.”

The next day, Livingston and Evans agreed that the song had to be tossed and the writing partners started working on a brand new song.

“We were ready to get rid of ‘Tinkle Bell’ completely,” said Evans, “but we liked the music and a lot of the lyrics. We ended up with the same song we started with, except ‘tinkle’ became ‘silver.’”

“It’s a stupid, stupid story,” Evans continued, “but ignorance is bliss. Our royalties are very, very good.”

The Evans and Livingston collaboration produced a string of hits that included the Oscar-winning “Buttons and Bows,” “Mona Lisa” and “Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)." They wrote 26 songs that were million-sellers and, in total, recordings of their songs have sold nearly 500 million copies.

“Silver Bells” has been covered by dozens of artists spanning 70 years. The neatest of them all is the original performed by Hope and Maxwell. At the very beginning of the clip, you will see a street corner Santa played by William Frawley, who was famously Fred Mertz on the classic TV sitcom I Love Lucy. The song starts at the :40 mark.

The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Silver Bells"
Written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston. Performed by Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell.

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks.
Dressed in holiday style
In the air
There's a feeling
of Christmas
Children laughing
People passing
Meeting smile after smile
and on every street corner you'll hear

Silver bells, silver bells
It's Christmas time in the city
Ring-a-ling, hear them sing
Soon it will be Christmas Day

Strings of street lights
Even stop lights
Blink a bright red and green
As the shoppers rush
home with their treasures

Hear the snow crunch
See the kids bunch
This is Santa's big scene
And above all this bustle
You'll hear

Silver bells, silver bells
It's Christmas time in the city
Ring-a-ling, hear them sing
Soon it will be Christmas Day

Credit: Screen capture via Youtube.com.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

'The Chipembele Crash' Avatars to Generate Funds for Rhino Conservation

Six emerald-themed avatars called "The Chipembele Crash” are being auctioned in a very unique way to raise financial support for the black rhinoceros conservation efforts in Zambia, home of Gemfields’ famous Kagem mine.

The six rhino avatars are being sold as NFTs — non-fungible tokens — on OpenSea, the largest NFT marketplace.

NFTs are pieces of digital content linked to the blockchain, the same digital database underpinning cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin. NFTs are typically used to buy and sell digital artwork.

Even though images of the rhino avatars may be widely distributed, the winning bidder of the NFT can claim ownership of the original. The winner will also have the ability to unlock exclusive content. In this case, it is an exclusive photo of the avatar’s real-life counterpart in Zambia. Bids will close at 4:42pm EST on December 19.

If you're wondering how The Chipembele Crash got its name, “Chipembele” means rhinoceros in the local indigenous dialect of Bemba and “crash” is a term used to describe a group of rhinos.

The announcement of The Chipembele Crash NFT coincides with Gemfields’ sale of the largest emerald ever discovered at its Kagem mine. The 7,525-carat "Chipembele" emerald was recently sold for an undisclosed sum to Isreali-based Eshed-Gemstar, a worldwide diamond and emerald supplier.

Gemfields noted that Eshed-Gemstar will benefit from the unique DNA nanoparticle tagging carried by Chipembele. Developed by Provenance Proof, the DNA tagging technology ensures that the cut-and-polished gems that Chipembele yields can be identified and certified as having originated from this extraordinary gemstone.

Each of the six avatars is inspired by a real-life rhino from the North Luangwa Conservation Programme (NLCP) in Zambia. Their names are Intanda, Kango, Mapalo, Mwamba, Subilo and Tamala.

The unique green body color of each avatar is actually a photographic representation of the emerald inclusions seen inside Chipembele. Each avatar carries the individual ear-notch of the animal, and is outfitted with human accessories that hint at the rhino’s distinctive personality.

Funds raised from the sale of each avatar will go to the North Luangwa Conservation Programme to aid critical black rhinoceros conservation efforts. Those funds will be added to the donation Gemfields has already pledged from the sale of the Chipembele emerald.

"Gemfields is excited to embrace innovative technology in supporting conservation efforts in Africa,” said Sean Gilbertson, CEO of Gemfields. “We are delighted to celebrate the Chipembele emerald in this manner and to promote our belief in ‘conservation gemstones.’ The Chipembele Crash NFTs are fun, unique and rooted in supporting the vital efforts of Zambia’s North Luangwa Conservation Programme. We hope that the NFTs appeal to likeminded thinkers and secure meaningful donations to help even more black rhinos in Zambia.”

NFT bidding runs through the afternoon of December 19 at this website.

Credits: Images courtesy of Gemfields.