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Articles in June 2013

June 4th, 2013
Today we’re honoring June’s official birthstone – the lovely pearl — by bringing you a glimpse of a rare ancient fossil 10 times the size of an average oyster that is likely concealing an extraordinary treasure – a natural pearl the size of a golf ball.

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The seven-inch fossilized oyster, which is estimated to be 145 million years old, was scanned with sophisticated MRI equipment that revealed the presence of a round, smooth object that could be a giant pearl.

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This mammoth oyster reportedly turned up in the Solent, a strait separating mainland England from the Isle of Wight. The rare specimen is currently housed at the Blue Reef Aquarium in Portsmouth, UK, where it is seen only at lectures.

Lindsay Holloway of the Aquarium told The Daily Mail: “It was discovered in the nets of a fishing boat which was dredging here. When the fishermen came back to port they thought it was [live], but when they picked it up, cleaned it, and had a closer look they could tell it was a fossil. It had completely turned to stone.”

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Aquarist Jenna MacFarlane from the Blue Reef Aquarium holds the gigantic oyster that could contain a huge natural pearl.

Holloway explained that oysters could be aged by the annual growth rings on their shells. “We have counted more than 200 rings on this oyster, making it an extremely long-lived individual," Holloway said. "It's obviously a million-to-one chance that it would contain anything, but if you were to go purely on the dimensions of the shell then you'd be looking at a golf ball-sized pearl.”

If the object inside were removed and identified as a pearl, it could be priceless – but it would mean destroying the rare fossil, which is an unacceptable trade-off for Holloway and her team.

Natural pearls are formed inside the shells of bivalve mollusks as a defense mechanism against an irritant. The mollusk secretes layers of nacre (calcium carbonate) to seal off the irritation. This secretion process is repeated many times, producing a iridescent pearl. Natural pearls come in various shapes, with perfectly round pearls being the most rare.
June 5th, 2013
Top-ranked tennis pro Serena Williams, a beautiful and stylish athlete who has never been shy about wearing plenty of bling during her matches, sought the help of a trainer when her stacked diamond bands were chafing the pinky finger on her right hand just before the French Open quarterfinals on Tuesday.

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Instead of removing the rings, Williams decided to sacrifice comfort for style. The trainer applied ointment and tape to what Jon Wertheim of the Tennis Channel called a “bling blister,” and Williams was good to go.

Despite being down 2-0 in the third set to unranked Svetlana Kuznetsova, Williams amassed a strong comeback and is now poised to move on to the French Open semifinals for the first time since 2003. She’ll be matched up against No. 5 seed Sara Errani of Italy.

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Chris Chase, a blogger for USA Today, wrote: “Even with the pre-match injury, Serena didn’t take off the ring! She kept it on and showed no ill-effects, winning the first set 6-1 and eventually prevailing in three.”

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An older photo of what seems to be the same ring confirms that the jewelry at the center of our story is really a stack of four diamond bands, each one slightly different than the other in width and diamond size.

When it comes to looking fabulous on the tennis court, the world’s No. 1 female tennis player would never let a little blister get in her way. She’s often seen in huge dangling earrings, bold diamond rings, handcuff-style bracelets and stylish pendants. And, yes, the nails are always long, colorful and perfectly manicured.

When asked about her on-court accessories during a recent appearance on “The Late Show,” Williams told host David Letterman, “A girl’s gotta have her diamonds.”
June 6th, 2013
This rusty tube-shaped bead may not look very impressive, but its chemical composition reveals that it was part of a meteorite that ancient Egyptians crafted into iron jewelry more than 5,300 years ago.

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Egyptians of 3,300 BC probably believed that the sky-born metal was a gift from the gods, according to scientists from the Open University and the University of Manchester, who studied the artifact using an electron microscope and X-Ray CT scanner.

A chemical analysis revealed that as much as 30 percent of the metal inside the bead was composed of nickel, which strongly suggests a celestial origin. Nickel-rich iron wouldn't appear in Egypt until thousands of years later during the Egyptian Iron Age.

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The scientists also created a 3D model of the bead's internal structure, which revealed that the ancient Egyptians created the ornament by hammering a fragment of iron from the meteorite into a thin plate and then bending it into a tube. Their findings were published in the May 20 edition of Meteoritics & Planetary Science.

“The sky was very important to the ancient Egyptians,” said Joyce Tyldesley, an Egyptologist at the University of Manchester, UK, and a co-author of the paper. “Something that falls from the sky is going to be considered as a gift from the gods.”

The bead studied by Tyldesley and her team was one of nine metal tube-shaped beads that were first excavated at the Gerzeh cemetery near Cairo in 1911. The iron beads' inclusion in burials suggests this material was deeply important to ancient Egyptians, perhaps ensuring the deceased a quick journey to the afterlife, the scientists suggested.

In 1928, scientists studying the composition of the beads first suspected their cosmic origin. They determined that the nickel content was unusually high—the signature of iron meteorites.

But then in the 1980s, other scientists countered that the nickel-rich material could have resulted from early attempts at smelting.

The latest data puts an end to the mystery. The bead demonstrated a distinctive crystalline structure called a Widmanstätten pattern. This structure is found only in iron meteorites that cooled extremely slowly inside their parent asteroids as the Solar System was forming.

The beads are currently part of the permanent collection of University of Manchester’s Manchester Museum.
June 7th, 2013
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you sensational songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today we feature Journey’s romantic, Grammy-nominated anthem, “When You Love a Woman.” In the memorable refrain, lead vocalist and songwriter Steve Perry sings, “When you love a woman, you can see your world inside her eyes,” and describes the joy that lasts forever as “a band of gold that shines.”

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Originally released in 1996 as the lead single off the group’s Trial by Fire album, “When You Love a Woman” quickly ascended to #1 on the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary chart and topped out at #12 on the U.S. Hot 100. In 1997, the song earned a Grammy nomination in the category of Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group.

Former members of Santana and Frumious Bandersnatch formed Journey in San Francisco in 1973. After a long string of hits, the group disbanded in 1987 only to reunite in 1995. When lead singer Steve Perry went down with a hip injury and was unable to tour in 1998, the group made numerous — and mostly unsuccessful — attempts to fill Perry’s very big shoes.

Finally, in 2007, original band member Neal Schon was viewing Journey covers on YouTube when a video by Filipino Arnel Pineda caught his attention. Pineda had a golden voice similar to Perry’s and Journey had their man. He has been singing lead vocals for Journey ever since.

We invite you to enjoy the video at the end of this post. It’s Pineda’s interpretation of “When You Love a Woman.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

“When You Love a Woman”
Written by Steve Perry, Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain. Performed by Journey.

In my life I see where I've been
I said that I'd never fall again
Within myself I was wrong
My searchin' ain't over... over
I know that...

When you love a woman
You see your world inside her eyes
When you love a woman
You know she's standin' by your side
A joy that lasts forever
There's a band of gold that shines waiting somewhere... oh yeah

If I can't believe that someone is true
To fall in love is so hard to do
I hope and pray tonight
Somewhere you're thinkin' of me girl
Yes I know...I know that

When you love a woman
You see your world inside her eyes
When you love a woman
You know she's standin' by your side
A joy that lasts forever
There's a band of gold that shines waiting somewhere ...oh

It's enough to make you cry
When you see her walkin' by
And you look into her eyes

When you love a woman
You see your world inside her eyes
When you love a woman
Well you know she's standin' by your side
A joy that lasts forever
There's a band of gold that shines
When you love a woman...
When you love, love, love, love
When you love a woman
You see your world inside her eyes

June 10th, 2013
Set with 243 diamonds and tipping the scales at a hefty 380 grams (more than three-quarters of a pound), the Baltimore Ravens’ Super Bowl XLVII rings are over-the-top in every way. Members of the 2012 team, which beat the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 to capture the franchise's second championship, received their impressive bling on Friday night during a private ceremony at the team’s training complex. The 2012 ring is far bigger and more ornate than the one designed for the team in 2000.

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Wearing the 2012 ring on his left hand and the 2000 edition on his right, recently retired all-star linebacker Ray Lewis told the Associated Press: "There's no better way to go out. I can hold this the rest of my life and know I went out as champ."

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While acknowledging the symbolism behind the ring, Super Bowl MVP quarterback Joe Flacco tried to wrap his head around the practical side of showing it off. "It's kind of un-wearable," he joked.

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Designed by Jostens with the help of team owner Steve Bisciotti, Flacco and Lewis, the 10-karat white gold ring has yellow gold accents and a diamond total weight of 3.75 carats. The face of the oval ring looks like a diamond-encrusted stadium adorned with the symbols of both the Ravens and the National Football League.

The Baltimore Ravens’ logo is outlined with 40 round brilliant-cut diamonds, and the stylized “B” stands out in contrasting yellow gold as it sits atop a custom-cut purple amethyst stone. The beak of the raven is designed in white gold and the eye is colored in red enamel.

Since this is the team’s second championship, two Vince Lombardi Trophies adorn the face of the ring. The trophies are topped with .75-carat marquise-cut diamonds that mimic the shape of a football. The words "Word Champions" surround the left and right border.

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On the left side of the ring is the player’s name in white gold against a ground of black enamel. Below the name is the Ravens’ shield, along with the team slogan, “Play Like a Raven.” Below the shield is the player’s number. On Flacco's ring, it says "MVP."

The right side of the ring features the year 2012 in yellow gold, accented with 39 round diamonds. Below the year is the official Super Bowl XLVII logo.

Engraved inside the ring is the team’s mantra, “The team. The team. The team,” as well as the scores of the four playoff games that the Ravens won to earn their championship. The logo of the opponent is next to each score.
June 11th, 2013
The football-sized Millennium Sapphire, a gem carved with the likenesses of famous historical figures, is available for sale if the right buyer can come up with $180 million and promise that the 61,500-carat marvel will be housed where the public can view it on a regular basis, according to The National.

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Designed by Italian artist Alessio Boschi, the Millennium Sapphire was conceived as a tribute to human genius and includes 134 subjects, including the faces of Beethoven, Michelangelo, Shakespeare, Albert Einstein and Martin Luther King. It also features representations of the Pyramids of Giza, the Great Wall of China and Gutenberg’s printing press.

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A consortium of investors led by Daniel McKinney owns the Millennium Sapphire. Over the past 15 years, the impressive carved sapphire has been on public display only twice — in 2002 during the Academy Awards and two years later for the maiden voyage of the Sapphire Princess cruise liner. Otherwise, it has been tucked away in a safe in an undisclosed U.S. location.

Recently, the consortium agreed that amazing work needed to be enjoyed by the public. The owners opted against putting it up for auction, because they couldn’t control who the buyer would be.

“We’ve got offers in the past from various millionaires and billionaires from China and other places to buy it for themselves,” McKinney told The National, “but they would probably put it in their mausoleum and it would be lost to the world.”

“It would be great if it could be displayed in a museum as that’s why it was created,” said Scott Chapman, an associate of McKinney. “The consortium wants to be able to display it and show it.”

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The 28 cm (11 inch) Millennium Sapphire was unearthed in Madagascar in 1995. It weighed about 90,000 carats in its rough state and lost about a third of its mass during the carving process, which took two years and was completed in 2000.

Before the carvers set to work, they practiced by producing each of the 134 design elements on pieces of lapis lazuli.
June 12th, 2013
When it comes to selecting the perfect engagement ring, most guys are no longer on their own. A new survey by WeddingWire.com reveals that nearly 70% of brides have input in the buying decision.

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Faced with the question, “Who really selected your ring?” 30.1% of brides claimed it was a “joint decision,” 12.2% said it was “my sole decision,” and 26.6% said it was the “partner’s decision with some of my involvement.” Only 31% said it was her “partner’s sole decision.”

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When asked about the specific features of a ring, brides selected style over size.

More than 86% of brides said the “overall design” was one of the most important features of a ring. This answer topped all others, including price (62.7%), color of the diamond (58.5%), sentimental nature of the ring (58.3%) and size of the diamond (47.7%).

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The question, “How did you select your ring?” revealed a “disconnect” between the sexes.

Brides rated the “setting” (55.7%) above the “type of stone” (22.6), while their partners believed the opposite — the “type of stone” (50%) was of greater importance than the “setting” (20%).

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Round and princess-cut diamonds were, by far, the most popular choices of engagement ring center stones. Nearly half (46.8%) are flaunting their "round" diamonds, while 31.5% are enjoying their "princess" cuts. Further down on the list were "cushion" (5.5%), "emerald" (3.6%) and "marquise" (3.6%).

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The survey also revealed that chivalry is still alive. Exactly 80% reported that their partners paid for their engagement rings.
June 13th, 2013
Finely ground black diamonds are the key ingredients in London-based BeautyLab’s new anti-aging serum that diffuses the light to give skin an airbrushed, youthful look.

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Confirming the science behind the Black Diamond Energizing Serum, cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Sam Bunting told The Today Show that black diamonds create an optical blur when they settle into wrinkles and pores. “The diamonds diffuse the light and create a soft-focus effect, which potentially hides fine lines and wrinkles,” she said. “But that’s a cosmetic effect; it's not a permanent thing.”

BeautyLab’s managing director Roger Aoun explained that the black diamonds absorb visible light and convert invisible UV light into blue light, which is scattered across the surface of the skin. The result is the soft diffusion of light that gives the user an airbrushed look.

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Gemstones in beauty products are "a bit of a Hollywood secret," said Rachel Scaperotta, a beautician at the Beverly Wilshire hotel spa. "It's a pretty instant effect," she told Today. "That's why celebs like it."

In addition to black diamonds, the serum contains sapphires, hexapeptide, copper peptide and sea algae. The peptides stimulate the creation of collagen, resulting in plumper, smoother and more radiant-looking skin.

The serum is priced at $120 for a 30ml bottle. The companion lotion is $140. The brand new product is already a hit in the U.K., where it was launched a few weeks ago. The pre-launch waiting list topped 4,000.

In clinical trials, 1,000 women using the black diamond serum reported a 65% reduction in fine lines and wrinkles in just 28 days.
June 14th, 2013
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you awesome songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today we feature one of the finest rock guitarists the world has ever known. It’s Eric Clapton performing “Diamonds Made From Rain,” with backing vocals provided by Sheryl Crow.

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Using both diamond and pearl metaphors, Clapton sings about emotional redemption and his path to personal enlightenment in this bluesy track from his self-titled 2010 studio album.

Clapton sings, “Like diamonds made of rain, you can find joy inside the pain.”

Later he adds, “Everything that I've endured, for the wisdom of a pearl, I wouldn't change a thing. You can make diamonds from the rain.”

Interestingly, Clapton invited his former love interest, Crow, to collaborate on “Diamonds Made From Rain.” The pair apparently had a brief relationship in the late 1990s and it is rumored that her song, “My Favorite Mistake,” is about him.

A recipient of 17 Grammy Awards and the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as a solo artist, with the Yardbirds and with Cream), Clapton is ranked second on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.”

The 68-year-old Clapton has sold more than 129 million albums during his 50 years as a performing artist.

We invite you to enjoy the video at the end of this post. The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

“Diamonds Made From Rain”
Written by Doyle Bramhall II, Nikka Costa, Justin Stanley. Performed by Eric Clapton, with Sheryl Crow.

The moment's come and gone
Every memory leaves a trace
All that I've come to know
In the lines upon my face

Every storm that I have turned
Each forgiveness I have earned
Every shame that's taught me grace
From you I have learned

No love is lost
No love is lost

That everything is shown to me
I let it wash over me
Like diamonds made of rain
You can find joy inside the pain

Everything that I've endured
For the wisdom of a pearl
I wouldn't change a thing
You can make diamonds from the rain

Every mile of this road
Every chord that's struck my soul
You are the melody
That will soothe me 'til I'm old

If the promises are kept
I'll waive all of my regrets
I can say I've overcome
With you, my heart is open

No love was lost
No love was lost

That everything is shown to me
I let it wash over me
Like diamonds made of rain
You can find joy inside the pain

Everything that I've endured
For the wisdom of a pearl
I wouldn't change a thing
You can make diamonds from the rain

June 17th, 2013
A two-week nightmare is finally over for a well-intentioned, but bumbling, husband who accidentally sold his wife’s $23K diamond engagement ring for $5 at his neighborhood’s annual garage sale.

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After seeing media reports about the lost ring, a super-honest couple came forward on Thursday to return the 3-carat sparkler that had been hidden beneath a pillow compartment of an old watch box.

How did the ring find its way into the old watch box? Here’s the story…

June 1 was a busy day for the Cloutier family. Mom Racquel had just given birth to her fifth child and dad Eric zipped home from the hospital to participate in the community garage sale with the rest of his family. Eric scoured his house to find the right item to contribute to the sale and came up with a rarely used watch box from his closet.

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Eric planned to sell the seemingly empty box for $10, but settled for $5. It turns out that the woman who made the deal then gifted the box to her daughter and son-in-law, Andrew and Alyssa Lossau.

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When Racquel returned from the maternity ward she discovered that the watch box and her ring were gone. Racquel had taken off the ring and hidden it in the box days before she entered the hospital because her fingers had swollen due her pregnancy.

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"It wasn't until that Tuesday [June 4] that I thought to put my ring back on,” Racquel told The Daily News. “I didn't see the box." Then Eric told her that he sold the box at the garage sale. She began crying, "You just sold my wedding ring!"

The couple turned to the media for help. Their compelling story went viral and was soon picked up by high-profile outlets, such as The Daily News and Good Morning America.

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The Lossaus from nearby Mission Viejo, Calif., saw the report and contacted the Cloutiers. On Thursday, the couples met in the heartwarming return of Racquel’s engagement ring.

"I couldn't believe that my ring had come back to me. They really found it!" Cloutier told The Daily News.

The Cloutiers said they would make a donation to the Lossaus’ favorite charity to acknowledge their honesty and kindness.

“You just can’t ask for a better ending to a story,” Racquel told Good Morning America. “I don’t think I’ll be taking [the ring] off anytime soon.”
June 18th, 2013
Completely surrounded by South Africa, its only neighboring country, the diminutive Kingdom of Lesotho is a world-class powerhouse when it comes to producing large, top-quality diamonds.

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Five of the 20 largest gem-quality white diamonds ever recorded were unearthed at Lesotho’s Letšeng mine — a mine that consistently yields the highest per-carat value of any kimberlite diamond mine in the world.

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Recently, British mining company Gem Diamonds Ltd. revealed still another amazing find at Letšeng — a gem-quality rough diamond weighing in at 164 carats. Despite it being much smaller than its gigantic cousins — the 603-carat Lesotho Promise and the 550-carat Letšeng Star — the newest find was quickly scooped up for $9 million.

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Gem Diamonds Ltd. reported that the rough diamond was transported to Antwerp, where gem experts are determining its potential value as a faceted gemstone. In addition to computer analysis, they will be polishing a surface of the diamond to open a clear "window" into the center of the stone.

Depending on what they find, the D-color, Type IIa rough could be divided to yield a number of flawless polished diamonds, or if it is internally flawless, it will likely be kept as one single stone. A flawless diamond of this size has the potential to break previous price records if and when it sells at auction.

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At 10,000 feet above sea level, Letšeng has the distinction of being the world’s highest diamond mine. Gem Diamonds Ltd. has a 70% stake in the mine and The Kingdom of Lesotho owns 30%.
June 19th, 2013
On Saturday night at the Tiancheng International Auctioneer sale in Hong Kong, the final lot of the night — Lot 223 — featured perfectly matched miniature jadeite bangles, barely two inches in diameter. Displaying a bright emerald green color and fine texture, the bangles were translucent and showed no veins, blemishes or streaks.

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They were so perfect that, to the untrained eye, the rare jadeite could be mistaken for costume jewelry or a kid’s party favor. But the bidders this night knew they had a chance to own something very, very special.

When the gavel crashed down a few minutes later, the jadeite bangles had been sold to a phone bidder for an astonishing $5.86 million.

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In explaining the high price, auction officials noted that the matching bangles were not only of superior quality, but they were carved from an unusually large, extraordinarily rare, single piece of unblemished rough material.

In Eastern cultures, top-quality jadeite (the rarest form of jade) is coveted in the same way Western cultures prize gold and diamonds. As the best jadeite mines of Burma (also known as Myanmar) have become depleted, top-grade jadeite has become increasingly rare in the marketplace. The result is skyrocketing prices for the finest specimens.

According to the International Color Stone Association, the value of jadeite is determined according to its color, the intensity of that color, its vivacity and texture, and its clarity and transparency. In the finest jadeite, the color is evenly distributed, as seen in the auctioned bangles.

When we think of “jade,” we usually visualize varying nuances of green, but the gem also comes in shades of white, grey, black, yellow, orange and violet.

As early as 3000 B.C., the Chinese had a special name for jade. They called it “yu,” the “royal gem,” in an uncanny foreshadowing of an auction result 5,000 years later that would yield a king’s ransom.
June 20th, 2013
Repeatedly voted the world’s most luxurious hotel, the distinctive sail-shaped Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai raised the hospitality bar still again this month by offering every overnight guest a 24-karat gold-plated iPad that acts as a “virtual concierge.”

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Designed exclusively for the Burj Al Arab by Gold & Co. London, the glimmering iPads are engraved with the hotel’s name, logo and slogan, “Stay Different.”

Guests of the 7-star hotel that sits on a man-made island almost 250 meters off the Jumeirah coast can use their gilded iPads to take a tour of the hotel, order room service, make a restaurant reservation or get details about spa treatments and butler services.

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They can also sign into their iTunes account and download apps, games and music. A resort-wide wireless network is available for all users.

Hotel general manager Heinrich Morio commented: "Our exclusive Burj Al Arab 24-karat gold iPads epitomize Jumeirah’s philosophy of 'stay different' and further enhance our guests’ experiences during their stay."

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Just how luxurious is the Burj Al Arab? Guests who stay in the hotel’s $18,000-a-night Royal Suite enjoy 8,395 square feet of sheer luxury, including marble floors, mahogany furniture, Hermes toiletries, a private cinema and a rotating four-poster bed. They can also request a chauffeur-driver Rolls Royce or helicopter (at extra cost).

Although the opulent iPads will be given out on loan to hotel guests, the devices are available at the hotel boutique for $10,500.
June 21st, 2013
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you exciting songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today we feature “Gold,” the debut single from Nickelodeon star Victoria Justice. The song was released on iTunes this past Tuesday.

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Called the “perfect summer tune” by MTV Buzzworthy’s Byron Flitsch, “Gold” combines flirtatious, confident lyrics with an upbeat, carefree vibe. Justice told JustJaredJr.com that the song is about a girl trying to tell a guy that she’d like to be more than just friends. “I think it’s an empowering position for a girl to be taking because she’s putting it all out there,” she said.

In the sassy refrain, Justice challenges her guy: “Hey, boy, watcha gonna do. If you want me like I want you. Then man up and make your move. I'm Gold, Gold."

The 20-year-old Justice starred on the hit Nickelodeon series Victorious for three years. With this new single, she follows the lead of fellow Nickelodeon alumnae Ariana Grande and Miranda Cosgrove, who have launched successful musical careers after establishing huge fan bases on teen sitcoms.

Enjoy the video at the end of this post. The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along.

“Gold”
Written by Tove Nilsson, Peter Thomas, Jason Weiss, Sam Shrieve, Ben Camp, Jakob Jerlström & Ludvig Söderberg. Performed by Victoria Justice.

I’ve tried to let it go
But these butterflies I can’t ignore
'Cause every time that I look at you
Know we’re in a catch-22
We’ve been friends for so long but I
Need to tell you what’s on my mind
I’m sick and tired of playing games
'Cause I know that you feel the same

I know you inside out, so I’m asking now
Take a chance on me
How much clearer can I be?

Hey, boy, watcha gonna do
If you want me like I want you, then man up and make your move
I’m Gold, Gold
You, me, good as can be, want to be more than your company
So bet your money on me
I’m Gold, Gold

Do I really need to spell it out?
My heart skips when you're around
I got everything that you need
So come on baby get close to me
So confused that I'm not surprised
From greater bells, and rolled the dice
Know all your moves, don't know why I fall
Should put me out, but I want it all

I know you inside out, so I’m asking now
Take a chance on me
How much clearer can I be?

Hey, boy, watcha gonna do
If you want me like I want you, then man up and make your move
I’m Gold, Gold
You, me, good as can be, want to be more than your company
So bet your money on me
I’m Gold, Gold

Na ra ta la la
I’m Gold, Gold
Na ra ta la la
I’m Gold, Gold

Been to cool just to tell you straight out, but by now I wish you figured it out, I wish you figured it, I wish you figured it, I wish ya
You’re not a fool you see what I’m about, so by now I think you figured it out, I think you figured it out, I think you figured it out, I think ya!

Hey, boy, watcha gonna do
If you want me like I want you, then man up and make your move
I’m Gold, Gold
You, me, good as can be, want to be more than your company
So bet your money on me
I’m Gold, Gold

Na ra ta la la
I’m Gold, Gold
Na ra ta la la
I’m Gold, Gold

June 24th, 2013
Never underestimate the creativity and resourcefulness of a young man in love — nor the power of a progressive company dedicated to providing the ultimate customer experience.

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It all started when smitten boyfriend Adam wanted to deliver an epic marriage proposal to his girlfriend of five years, Taryn. Adam had produced a cleverly edited four-minute proposal video for Taryn and wanted her to see it during their flight from San Francisco to Long Beach, Calif., where they planned to celebrate his birthday.

Ambitious Adam contacted JetBlue Airways about the prospect of delivering his proposal at 30,000 feet, and the rest of the story is pure magic, as no fewer than eight JetBlue departments collaborated to make this a perfect day for the couple.

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This past Wednesday, exactly 28 minutes into the 90-minute JetBlue Flight 1437, Adam’s video began to play simultaneously on the monitors of each of the plane's 150 passengers.

In the video, Adam details how he first met Taryn when she was a hostess at a P.F. Chang's restaurant and he was a server there. Illustrated with a montage of pictures from their five years together, the video recounts how Adam won Taryn’s heart after a shaky start and lists all the qualities he loves about her.

Then these words appear: "You are the girl I think about. You are the girl I dream about. You are the girl I can't be without." Then the big question follows: "Will you marry me?"

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After the video went black, Adam got down on one knee and proposed to the visibly overwhelmed and emotional Taryn. She said, “Yes,” and excitedly slid her new ring onto her finger. The couple embraced and the JetBlue captain made an announcement to the other travelers that Adam and Taryn were officially engaged.

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But the excitement didn’t end there. The JetBlue in-flight crew continued the celebration by handing out cake pops to all the passengers.

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When the couple entered the Long Beach terminal, they were applauded by dozens of enthusiastic orange-vested JetBlue staffers. The airline also surprised the couple with festive decorations, a huge custom cake bearing their likenesses and, of course, some champagne.

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In its blog, “Blue Tales,” a JetBlue blogger confirmed that the airline’s staffers are “suckers for a good love story.”

“Blue Tales” reported that eight teams, “including Airports, Inflight, Product Development, Marketing, and our partners at LiveTV came together to create an extra special high-flying moment.”

“It wasn’t easy,” the blogger continued, “but we love a good challenge in the name of love. And we’ve got TVs at every seat and we’re not afraid to use them.”

In a thank-you note to the JetBlue, Adam wrote, “You are absolutely awesome! I almost cried in front of everyone… no joke. I am forever grateful to you and the JetBlue team, and a forever loyal die-hard JetBlue customer.”

Adam’s proposal video can be seen at this link… youtu.be/myOH9LXAgrU
June 25th, 2013
New research matching the geology of Mars with that of Australia’s Red Center sheds new light on why 95% of the Earth’s opals come from Down Under and how the Red Planet is likely a rich source of the colorful, fiery gemstone.

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The findings, which were published in the Australian Journal of Earth Sciences, reveal that opals started forming in a vast, but dying, inland sea about 100 million years ago during “an extraordinary episode of acidic weathering.”

“Before this, we did not know [opal's] origin, why it forms at such shallow depths or why it can be found in central Australia and almost nowhere else on Earth,” said lead researcher Professor Patrice Rey of the University of Sydney.

Between 100 million and 97 million years ago, a vast sea that covered 60% of Australia began retreating. As the sea regressed, a rare episode of acidic weather was taking place, exposing pyrite minerals and releasing sulphuric acid. As the surface of the basin dried further and cracked, silica-rich gel became trapped in the veins of the rock. Over time, the silica solidified to form opals.

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Central Australia is believed to be the only place on Earth where acidic weathering of this scale has ever taken place. However, the same conditions were documented on the surface of Mars in 2008.

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"If you look at Mars and the Red Center [of Australia], they share similar characteristics," said Patrice. "Similar rocks went through similar weathering processes, so potentially precious opals might exist there." Interestingly, Australia’s Red Center, an arid area known for its bright rust-colored soil, could easily be mistaken for an outpost of Mars.

So far, only poor-quality opals have been identified on the surface of Mars. They were discovered in 2008 by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter using a spectroscope.
June 26th, 2013
The mystical medicinal properties of silver — widely used by ancient civilizations — are back in the headlines, as a new study reveals that tiny amounts of the element added to common antibiotics make the medications up to 1,000 times more effective in fighting infections.

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The lustrous fashion-forward precious metal could be the medical community's silver bullet in its battle against drug-resistant “superbugs” — bacteria that has grown immune to standard drugs. Some doctors have feared that superbugs, left unchecked, could make the most common surgeries extremely risky because the arsenal of effective antibiotics is nearly tapped out.

The World Health Organization has warned that "many infectious diseases risk becoming untreatable and uncontrollable."

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Since the days of ancient Greece, silver has been cherished on so many levels — from fine jewelry and ornaments to currency and utensils. The ancients also discovered that silver had unique healing properties, such as protecting wounds from infection and preserving food and water.

Privileged families in the Middle Ages benefited health-wise from using silver eating utensils even though the side effect was often a bluish-grey discoloration of the skin. These fortunate families became known as "blue bloods." And North American pioneers routinely dropped silver coins into their drinks to ward off infection on long journeys.

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Silver’s place in the medical community continued all the way until the 1940s, when newly developed antibiotics were favored to fight sickness and infections. Now, 70 years later, the ascension of drug-resistant superbugs has scientists revisiting their old friend silver, the same element that the "Father of Medicine," Hippocrates, prescribed to treat ulcers in ancient Greece in 400 BC.

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In a study published in Science Translational Medicine, researchers at Boston University found that by adding trace amounts of silver to common antibiotics, the medications became up to 1,000 times more effective in fighting infections in mice.

"We went from basically no killing to substantial killing," said senior author James Collins, a professor of microbiology.

The silver attacks bacterial cells in two main ways: It makes the unusually tough cell membrane of superbugs more permeable, and it interferes with the cell’s metabolism. Both mechanisms could potentially be harnessed to make today’s antibiotics more effective against resistant bacteria, Collins said.

Although the experiments have yet to be performed on humans, initial findings are more than promising.
June 27th, 2013
Holly Madison is living the dream. On Sunday, high atop the Ferris wheel at the Electronic Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, the former Girls Next Door star received a jaw-dropping 18-carat yellow diamond engagement ring from her romantic long-time beau, Pasquale Rotella.

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Designed by celebrity jeweler Alan Friedman with an assist from Rotella, the Art Nouveau-inspired engagement ring features a mammoth cushion-cut yellow diamond center stone surrounded by delicate florets of yellow and pink diamonds. Tiny golden leaves complement a white gold shank that has the texture of tree bark.

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To make the ring even more special, Rotella worked with the jeweler to ensure that Madison’s love for owls was integrated into the design. Madison said that an engraved likeness of the nocturnal bird is cleverly hidden in the rose gold between two of the florets. (We're having trouble finding it in the photo, above.)

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"I couldn't have asked for a more wonderful or magical proposal!" Madison wrote in her blog.

The 33-year-old former model starred with Hugh Hefner in the E! reality show The Girls Next Door from 2005 to 2009. Madison and Rotella have been dating since the fall of 2011 and the couple had their first child, Rainbow Aurora, in March of this year.
June 28th, 2013
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fun songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today, Diamond Rio performs its hard-driving, toe-tapping 1998 crossover hit, “Unbelievable,” which features the unforgettable refrain: “kissable, huggable, lovable, unbelievable.”

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Infatuated frontman Marty Roe sings about being crazy in love with his “unbelievable” new girlfriend. His life had been lonely and boring, but now an intelligent, elegant, heaven-set beauty has turned his world upside-down — so much so that he stutters when he tries to speak to her.

In a memorable line from the song, Roe boasts that he “put a big down payment on that itty bitty diamond ring.”

Peppered with perfect harmonies, the fun, up-tempo “Unbelievable” vaulted to #2 on the Billboard Hot Country chart while capturing crossover fans, as well. The song settled in at #36 on the broader-based Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Diamond Rio was founded in Nashville in 1984 and is still comprised of the same six members — Gene Johnson, Jimmy Olander, Brian Prout, Dan Truman, Dana Williams and Roe. The group is a 13-time Grammy nominee and was voted the Country Music Association’s Vocal Group of the Year four times in the 1990s.

Enjoy the music video at the end of this post. The lyrics are below because we know you'll want to sing along…

"Unbelievable"
Written by Jeffrey Steele and Al Anderson. Performed by Diamond Rio.

She's so kissable, huggable, lovable, unbelievable
She's a mouthful of anything and everything a man could want
She ain't typical, she's unpredictable, she's available, it's a miracle
How my heart stumbled into someone so kissable, huggable, lovable, unbelievable

Up 'til now my life has been so lonely and boring
I never thought I would find someone so

Elegant, intelligent, heaven sent, all my money spent
I put a big down payment on that itty bitty diamond ring
She's so beautiful, it's indisputable, it's undeniable, she's got-to-havable
She's music to my ears, and makes my heart sing, so kissable, huggable, lovable, unbelievable

There's so many things
I want to tell her
Like I love her
But every time I talk
I start to stutter

She's so elegant, intelligent, heaven sent, all my money spent
I put a big down payment on that itty bitty diamond ring
She's so beautiful, it's indisputable, it's undeniable, she's got-to-havable
She's music to my ears, and makes my heart sing, kissable, huggable, lovable, unbelievable

Kissable, huggable, lovable, unbelievable
Kissable, huggable, lovable, unbelievable