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Articles in May 2014

May 1st, 2014
Emerald, the lavishly illustrated coffee-table book, may be the most ambitious retrospective ever published about the intoxicating green gemstone that is 20 times rarer than a diamond — and happens to be the official birthstone for May.

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Featuring 400 color illustrations and bringing together the work of four leading authors, the large-format book opens with a review of style icons wearing their favorite emerald jewelry. Included are celebrities ranging from Elizabeth Taylor and Angelina Jolie to Diana, Princess of Wales.

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The second part of the book showcases dozens of the world’s most famous pieces of emerald jewelry, including many previously unseen designs from private and royal collections. Historic creations almost 5,500 years old are represented alongside those designed by modern jewelry houses.

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The final part reveals the backstory of how emeralds find their way from mine to market. This section is illustrated with specially commissioned photography from across four continents.

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Emerald is the result of the collaborative efforts of writers Joanna Hardy, Hettie Judah, Jonathan Self and Franca Sozzani.

The Daily Telegraph wrote, “This chic tome is almost as beautiful as the fine jewels it celebrates.”

Added Architectural Digest, “Gem lovers will be green with envy turning the pages of Emerald, an extravagant tome with stunning photos of verdantly bedecked royals, socialites and movie stars.”

Formally titled Emerald: Twenty-one Centuries of Jewelled Opulence and Power, the book was produced by Violette Editions and published in December 2013 by Thames and Hudson.
May 2nd, 2014
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you awesome songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, we feature Eddy Grant’s 1984 hit, “Romancing the Stone,” which he wrote as the title song of what would become the international blockbuster movie starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and a giant emerald.

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Although the song reached #26 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Chart, an apparent dispute between the music artist and the movie’s producers left nearly all of the title song on the cutting room floor and completely off the soundtrack album. Only a remnant of the song — a guitar solo — can be heard in the scene when Douglas and Turner are in a small house in the jungle.

Grant’s original video for the song featured scenes from the film. Later, the video was re-edited with no Romancing the Stone clips.

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The action-adventure romantic comedy, in which all the main characters pursue “El Corazon,” a huge faceted emerald, went on to gross more than $86 million worldwide.

Grant eventually included “Romancing the Stone” as the first track of his 1984 album Going for Broke. The artist is best known for his 1983 hit, “Electric Avenue,” which reached #2 on the U.S. Billboard Top 100 chart.

“Romancing the Stone” includes the following lyrics: “I have found a love so precious, like an emerald so bold / It's a firelight escaping from the jeweler's hold.”

Check out the video of Grant performing our featured song on American Bandstand, with an introduction by the show’s host, Dick Clark. The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

“Romancing the Stone”
Written and performed by Eddie Grant.

I'm romancing the stone, never leaving your poor heart alone
Every night and every day gonna love the hurtin' away
I'm romancing the stone, never leaving your poor heart alone
Every night and every day gonna love the hurtin' away

Tonight, tonight I'm falling where the peaceful waters flow
Where the unicorn's the last one at the water hole
I have found a love so precious, like an emerald so bold
It's a firelight escaping from the jeweler's hold

I'm romancing the stone, never leaving your poor heart alone
Every night and every day gonna love the hurtin' away
I'm romancing the stone, never leaving your poor heart alone
Every night and every day gonna love the hurtin' away

Oh and in the heat of rapture when I feel the cold winds blow
Through the broken glass, I'll see at last the sweet desire in you
I will climb up on my pulpit and I'll preach a sermon, you
On the mountain roads, in Harlem, feel my jeweler's hold

I'm romancing the stone, never leaving your poor heart alone
Every night and every day gonna love the hurtin' away
I'm romancing the stone, never leaving your poor heart alone
Every night and every day gonna love the hurtin' away

May 5th, 2014
The love bug has struck perennial bachelor George Clooney. People magazine reports in its current issue that the Hollywood heartthrob popped the question to Amal Alamuddin and professed his devotion with a 7-plus-carat emerald-cut diamond ring that he helped to design.

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The jaw-dropping, but understated, platinum ring is accented by two tapered baguettes and is estimated to be worth $750,000. People featured an exclusive shot of the ring with its cover story.

The magazine reported that the 52-year-old two-time Oscar winner proposed to the 36-year-old London-based human rights lawyer in the most traditional and romantic way — first meeting her parents in March and then cooking a meal for her and getting down on bended knee in April. The actual proposal took place in California on April 22.

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The couple could tie the knot as soon as September 2014, according to an Alamuddin-family source. However, a Clooney-family insider reported that the couple was in “no rush.” The couple had been spotted together for he first time in October of 2013.

Long considered Hollywood’s “Most Eligible Bachelor,” Clooney has been a serial dater for 21 years. His four-year marriage to Talia Balsam ended in 1993. Alamuddin was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and studied at Oxford and New York University.

EOnline.com reported that Alamuddin originally had no interest in dating Clooney, turning him down two times before saying yes. Apparently, the handsome actor stole her heart, as she accepted his marriage proposal on the first take.
May 6th, 2014
Auctioneers at Woolley and Wallis in Salisbury, England, were astonished when a single 17.4mm natural South Sea pearl sold on May 1 for $1.37 million, nearly seven times the pre-sale estimate.
  
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Auction officials knew they had something special during the weeks leading up to the sale. Although they announced an official high estimate of $200,000, there were unofficially rumblings that the number could rise to $400,000 or more. Both estimates were widely off base.

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The bidding opened at £60,000, but one enthusiastic phone bidder quickly pushed that number to £300,000. Eventually, the spirited bidding led to a hammer price of £680,000 ($1.15 million). With commissions and fees, the final price paid by London jeweler David Morris was £811,600 ($1.37 million). The jeweler reportedly will incorporate the pearl into a necklace as part of a larger collection for a Hong Kong buyer.

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Believed to be the largest natural South Sea pearl to ever hit the auction block, the mammoth specimen was discovered largely by chance. The anonymous woman who was gifted the matched pair of drop earrings by her husband, didn’t realize that one of the two was worth more than $1 million. The earrings had fallen out of style, so she had left them in a locker, forgotten for years. One day, while cleaning up the house, she rediscovered them and decided to get an estimate of what they were worth.

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She and her husband met with Jonathan Edwards, the head of the Woolley and Wallis jewelry department. After an examination, Edwards suspected that one of the pearls could be natural. Two independent labs confirmed his suspicions.

A grading report described the natural pearl as having an attractive white color with weak rosé and green overtones, often referred to as the "orient of pearls." It is nearly three-quarters of an inch in diameter, weighs 33.14 carats and took at least 10 years to develop. The mollusk that produced the natural pearl was likely a Pinctada maxima gold-lipped oyster, which can grow up to 12 inches in diameter.

Natural pearls are organic gems, created by a mollusk totally by chance, without human intervention. To find one 17mm in size, completely round and without surface imperfections is hard to believe.

Cultured pearls, by comparison, are grown under controlled conditions, where a bead is implanted in the body of the mollusk to stimulate the secretion of nacre.
May 7th, 2014
When a deadly hurricane sank the SS Central America 160 miles off the coast of South Carolina in 1857, the steamship was carrying nearly a half-million ounces of gold bars and freshly minted coins. Last month, a deep-ocean recovery company — Odyssey Marine Exploration — pulled nearly 1,000 ounces of gold from the wreck in a successful reconnaissance dive 1.3 miles below the surface.

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During the dive, Odyssey's eight-ton remotely operated vehicle ZEUS “flew” over the shipwreck to assess its condition. Gold ingots, coins and other artifacts were clearly visible on the surface and no excavation was required for their removal.

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The Odyssey crew believes that the five gold bars and two coins found at the site confirm it still contains a fortune in precious metals. Odyssey has an exclusive contract to conduct an archaeological excavation and recover the remaining valuable cargo from the SS Central America shipwreck. The team expects to work the site until late summer.

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A previous expedition to the site in 1988 by the Columbus-America Discovery Group had to be cut short because of legal entanglements. At that time, only 5 percent of the site had been explored.

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Worth $628 million in today’s dollars, the SS Central America’s precious cargo was en route to New York from San Francisco via the Panama Canal when the 280-foot-long, wooden-hulled, side-wheel “Ship of Gold” got caught up in a fateful storm that took 425 lives and left it paralyzed at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

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The recovered gold bars varied in weight from 96.5 to 313.5 troy ounces and were stamped with the assayer's marks. The $20 Double Eagle coins were dated 1850 and 1857, with one bearing a mint mark from Philadelphia and the other from San Francisco.

It was reported that the commercial shipment of gold was valued in 1857 at $93,000, but there may have been a “substantial” amount of passenger gold valued in 1857 at upwards of $1.28 million.

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"This dive confirms for me that the site has not been disturbed since 1991, when I was last there," noted Bob Evans, chief scientist and historian for the Recovery Limited Partnership, which legally owns the shipwreck.
May 8th, 2014
Any schoolchild could draw a picture of Saturn’s rings, but did you know astronomers in Chile recently identified a nebula-and-star formation 2,500 light years from Earth that bears an uncanny resemblance to an engagement ring?

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Dubbed the “Engagement Diamond” nebula — but scientifically called Abell 33 — the cloud of gas resulting from blown off outer layers of an aging star has a perfectly round shape and hollow center that looks like a ring. A strikingly bright star positioned along the rim of the nebula appears to be glittering diamond.

“This is just a chance alignment,” said astronomer Olivier Hainaut. "The star, named HD 83535, lies in the foreground of the nebula, between Earth and Abell 33, in just the right place to make this view even more beautiful. Together, HD 83535 and Abell 33 create a sparkling diamond ring.”

“This cosmic gem is unusually symmetric, appearing to be almost circular on the sky,” noted a spokesperson for the European Space Agency, which revealed the image. More commonly, planetary nebula tend to be irregular in shape.

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Astronomers were able to view the intergalactic bling using the Very Large Telescope at the European Southern Observatory in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile.
May 9th, 2014
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today, we feature Creed performing “Higher,” a song in which lead singer/songwriter Scott Stapp dreams of a heaven on Earth.

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Stapp sings, “Can you take me higher? / To the place where blind men see / Can you take me higher? / To the place with golden streets.”

In 2013, Stapp told Songfacts.com that “Higher” was about his idealistic dream of creating a heaven on Earth.

“I wanted the world, so to speak. I wanted to achieve every dream that I ever had,” he said. “At the time I penned that song, my view of what heaven on Earth meant was very narrow, very naïve, and very wrapped up in ego and self-fulfillment.”

However, in 2000, Stapp told Spin magazine a different story about the song. During that interview, he said “Higher” was about the power of lucid dreaming when “you're physically asleep, but you're awake in your mind.”

Apparently, Stapp had been haunted by a recurring nightmare, in which the singer is running down a highway being chased by a gunman. He turns left and hides behind a pillar beneath an overpass, but he still gets shot. Stapp reported that once he was able to lucid-dream, he could alter the events, turning right, and escaping harm. The nightmares soon went away.

Released in 1999 as the first single from Creed’s album, Human Clay, “Higher” peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was a breakthrough hit for the band. Human Clay made its debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 and sold more than 10 million copies. VH1 ranked “Higher” as the 95th greatest hard rock song of all time.

The band broke up in 2004, but then reunited for tours in 2009 and again in 2012. Stapp has said that another reunion is unlikely due to tension among the band members.

Please check out the video of Creed performing “Higher” on Late Night With David Letterman. The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“Higher”
Written by Scott A. Stapp and Mark T. Tremonti. Performed by Creed.

When dreaming I'm guided to another world
Time and time again
At sunrise I fight to stay asleep
'Cause I don't want to leave the comfort of this place
'Cause there's a hunger, a longing to escape
From the life I live when I'm awake

So let's go there, let's make our escape
Come on let's go there, let's ask, “Can we stay?”

Can you take me higher?
To the place where blind men see
Can you take me higher?
To the place with golden streets

Although I would like our world to change
It helps me to appreciate those nights and those dreams
But my friend, I'd sacrifice all those nights
If I could make the Earth and my dreams the same
The only difference is
To let love replace all our hate

So let's go there, let's make our escape
Come on let's go there, let's ask, “Can we stay?”

Can you take me higher?
To the place where blind men see
Can you take me higher?
To the place with golden streets

So let's go there, let's go there
Come on let's go there, let's ask, “Can we stay?”

Up high I feel like I'm
Alive for the very first time
Set up high I'm strong enough
To take these dreams and make them mine

Set up high I'm strong enough
To take these dreams and make them mine

Can you take me higher?
To the place where blind men see
Can you take me higher?
To the place with golden streets

Can you take me higher?
To a place where blind men see
Can you take me higher?
To the place with golden streets


May 12th, 2014
It’s official. After years of breathless anticipation, Penny and Leonard of “The Big Bang Theory” finally got engaged Thursday night in an episode that was viewed by 15 million fans of the top-rated CBS comedy series.

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The Twittersphere exploded in excitement when Leonard pulled a diamond engagement ring from his wallet and proposed to Penny in an episode called “The Gorilla Dissolution.”

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“Where did you get a ring?” asked Penny, played by Kaley Cuoco.

“Umm, I've had it for a couple years. Not important,” said Leonard, the nerdy physicist played by Johnny Galecki. “Penny, will you marry me?”

“Oh, my God. Yes!"

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Leonard placed a classic white-metal ring on Penny’s finger and the couple embraced. The ring appeared to have a round center stone accented by two or three smaller diamonds on each side. The long-awaited engagement, which came after many years of dating and four rejected proposals between them, puts an exclamation point on the popular series, which is just about to complete its seventh season.

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In the episode, the aspiring actress gets fired from her role as a go-go dancer and realizes that it’s time to start thinking seriously about her future.

“I need to start making some smart decisions,” Penny said.

But Leonard wonders out loud if her new interest in settling down with him is simply a “smart” decision, somewhat like choosing a healthy bran muffin over an exciting diabetes-inducing strawberry Pop-Tart. When he presses her on what she really needs, she says, “You, you stupid Pop-Tart!”

The past eight months have been a whirlwind of personal and professional milestones for Cuoco, who recently took home the 2014 People’s Choice Award for Favorite TV Comedy Actress. In September 2013, she got engaged to boyfriend Ryan Sweeting and tied the knot a few months later on New Year’s Eve.


Cuoco’s real-life engagement ring features a halo design and 2.5 carat princess-cut center stone. After the wedding, she was photographed wearing the engagement ring complemented by twin wedding bands.

In an interesting twist, Galecki and Cuoco dated for two years while working on “The Big Bang Theory,” and broke up in December of 2009.

Will Penny and Leonard finally tie the knot? I guess we’ll have to wait for season eight to find out.

For those of you who missed “The Big Bang Theory” on Thursday night, here’s a clip of the memorable scene.

May 13th, 2014
The wildly popular engagement ring “selfie” — seen across social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest — has spawned a new cosmetic procedure that makes hands look more youthful and picture-perfect.

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Dr. Ariel Ostad told PIX11 News in New York that his $1,200 “hand lift” procedure can restore and replenish lost volume in the hands, giving them a fuller and smoother appearance.

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In a simple procedure that takes only five to 10 minutes, the doctor demonstrated how he injects Juvéderm, a gel-like filler, into the back of his patient’s hand.

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The material plumps the hand, correcting age-related volume loss. The results are immediate and last for about nine months. Makers of Juvéderm originally intended for the FDA-approved product to be injected into the cheek area.

Patient Alexandra Berry told PIX11 News that she has been self-conscious about how her hands look and was reluctant to post a selfie of her diamond engagement ring.

Explaining her motivation for undergoing the procedure, she said, “I always thought my hands were a little boyish growing up so I figured why not. Engagement pictures are just around the corner and there’s no better time.”

Ostad believes that the popularity of the “hand lift” procedures is directly tied to the engagement ring “selfie” trend.

May 14th, 2014
Attendees of Witherell’s Old West Show at the Nevada County (CA) Fair Grounds last weekend got a first-hand look at the Saddle Ridge Hoard – an $11 million cache of 1,454 gold coins that was discovered by a California couple while walking their dog on their own property.

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The exhibition of Gold Rush-era coins was the last opportunity for the public to see what experts are calling the “greatest buried treasure ever unearthed in the United States.”

Most of the coins will be offered for sale on Amazon’s web site starting May 27 at 9 p.m. PDT. All the coins will have a fixed price. The lowest-priced coin in the group will be offered for $2,600.

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Back in February, we learned about a middle-aged couple who struck it rich when they spotted the edge of a rusty can peeking out of the moss near a path on their property. John and Mary, who declined to reveal their full names or home address for fear of unwanted treasure hunters descending on their property, used a stick to scratch the old can out of the ground.

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Sealed on both ends, the can was extremely heavy, but the couple had no idea what was inside. As they struggled to get the can back to their home, the lid cracked off, revealing a cache of gold coins. Later, the couple went back to discover seven more cans crammed with gold coins.

Nearly all the coins are in pristine condition even though they were buried in California’s Sierra foothills for more than 100 years.

Despite speculation that the coins might be tied to the unsolved mystery of Walter Dimmick, a San Francisco Mint chief clerk, who was convicted in 1901 of embezzling 1,500 gold coins, no credible claims have been made.

Rare coin expert Dr. Donald Kagan, whose currency firm, Kagin’s, is representing the couple, told a local reporter that the Saddle Ridge Hoard’s appearance at the Old West Show was fitting.

"We're kinda bringing the coins back to where they were buried, in the gold country," Kagan told FOX40 News.

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The most valuable item of the hoard is an 1866 $20 coin printed without the “In God We Trust” motto, known as the 1866-S No Motto Double Eagle. Experts placed the value of the coin at approximately $1 million.

The rest of the coins are dated from 1847 to 1894. There are 1,400 $20 gold pieces, 50 $10 gold pieces and four $5 gold pieces. The hoard has a face value of $28,520, and an estimated worth of $11 million.

“So here’s an opportunity not just to own a coin, but to own an incredible story [about] a couple who weren’t looking for it, [but] who have found their pot of gold,” Kagin said.

May 15th, 2014
A massive 228,000-carat ruby crystal is expected to fetch between $100,000 and $150,000 when it hits the auction block at Bonhams next Tuesday. At 100 pounds, the extraordinary specimen is the largest ruby ever offered at public auction.

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Discovered at the famous Longido mine near Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the ruby crystal is seven times larger than any previously found at Longido, according to the auction house.

Some gem experts have speculated that Longido might be one of the long-lost ruby mines that once belonged to the ancient Israelite King Solomon.

The ruby crystal is embedded in the mineral zoisite, which itself can be very valuable. The most prized zoisite is the blue/purple variety known as tanzanite.

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The giant-sized ruby crystal is just one of the highlights from Bonhams’ Gems, Minerals, Lapidary Works of Art and Natural History auction, which will take place in Los Angeles.

Another notable lot is a collection of 27 rhodochrosites, also known as "Red Gold," which were mined from the Kalahari Manganese Field in South Africa. They are estimated to fetch between $200,000 and $250,000.

The 431-lot auction also includes mammal, dinosaur and plant fossils; un-mounted and rare faceted gemstones; lapidary carvings by German masters; jewelry, amber, petrified wood, meteorites, gold nuggets and rare, natural pearls.
May 16th, 2014
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fabulous songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today we feature Céline Dion’s shining rendition of “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now,” a power ballad written by master lyricist Jim Steinman.

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In this song inspired by the classic novel Wuthering Heights, Dion reminisces about a long lost love: “There were moments of gold / And there were flashes of light.”

The ballad was a blockbuster hit for Dion in 1996, as it ascended to #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was featured on Dion’s Grammy-award-winning Album of the Year Falling into You, which went on to sell 32 million copies.

Interestingly, Meat Loaf, who collaborated with Steinman on the classic Bat Out of Hell albums, originally thought “It’s All Coming Back…” was intended for him. Meat Loaf claimed that Steinman had given him the song in 1986 to use on Bat Out of Hell II, but the singer and composer chose to hold it for Bat Out of Hell III.

"That was my song," Meat Loaf told Billboard magazine in 2006. "I wanted to record it, and Jim said, 'Let's wait,' and so I took him at his word. The next thing you know, Celine Dion is recording it."

Meat Loaf sued and the courts sided with Steinman.

In 2006, Meat Loaf finally got his chance to record “It’s All Coming Back…” — a duet with Norwegian singer Marion Raven, which appeared on his Bat Out of Hell III album.

We invite you to check out the video of Dion’s live performance of “It’s All Coming Back…” The lyrics are below so you can sing along. Enjoy!

"It's All Coming Back to Me Now"
Written by Jim Steinman. Performed by Celine Dion

There were nights when the wind was so cold
That my body froze in bed
If I just listened to it
Right outside the window

There were days when the sun was so cruel
That all the tears turned to dust
And I just knew my eyes were
Drying up forever

I finished crying in the instant that you left
And I can't remember where or when or how
And I banished every memory you and I had ever made

But when you touch me like this
And you hold me like that
I just have to admit
That it's all coming back to me
When I touch you like this
And I hold you like that
It's so hard to believe but
It's all coming back to me
(It's all coming back, it's all coming back to me now)

There were moments of gold
And there were flashes of light
There were things we'd never do again
But then they'd always seemed right
There were nights of endless pleasure
It was more than any laws allow
Baby, Baby, Baby

When you touch me like this
And when you hold me like that
It was lost long ago
But it's all coming back to me

If you want me like this
And if you need me like that
It was still long ago
But it's all coming back to me
The flesh and the fantasies
All coming back to me
I can barely recall
But it's all coming back to me now

If you forgive me all this
If I forgive you all that
We forgive and forget
And it's all coming back to me
When I see you like this
And you see me like that
We see just what we want to see

All coming back to me
The flesh and the fantasies
All coming back to me
I can barely recall but it's all coming back to me now

(It's all coming back to me now)
And when I touch you like this
(It's all coming back to me now)
And when you kiss me like that
(It's all coming back to me now)
And if you do it like this
(It's all coming back to me now)
And if we…


May 19th, 2014
Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva last week crowned new record-holders in numerous categories, including blue diamonds, pink diamonds, blue-green diamonds, pink sapphires and color-change alexandrites.

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The biggest news of the day was the sale of The Blue, a 13.22-carat flawless fancy vivid blue diamond, for $23.8 million, or $1,799,953 per carat. Billed as the largest of its kind to be offered at auction, the pear-shaped diamond’s hammer price was the highest ever paid per carat for a vivid blue diamond.

The Blue was purchased by Harry Winston and was renamed The Winston Blue.

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Breaking an auction record for the highest price ever paid for a light pink diamond was the centerpiece of a magnificent necklace by Leviev, which fetched $10.2 million. The necklace is highlighted by a 76.51-carat light pink cut-cornered square-cut diamond, which is surrounded by a mosaic of yellow diamonds and suspended from a line of fancy-cut diamonds mounted in platinum and gold. The necklace had been estimated to sell in the range of $7.1 million to $10.2 million.

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The Ocean Dream, a fancy vivid blue-green triangular-cut diamond, attained a new record for a blue-green diamond when it sold for $8.8 million. The 5.5-carat Ocean Dream is the largest of its type ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America.

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Diamonds weren’t the only gems making news at Christie’s. A spectacular 49.04-carat pink sapphire sold for nearly 10 times its high estimate and established a new auction record for pink sapphires when the gavel went down at $2.01 million. The cushion-shaped sapphire is accented with diamonds in a eye-catching ring.

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An unmounted color-change alexandrite surprised auction officials when it sold for $1.49 million, more than twice the pre-sale estimate. The 21.41-carat gemstone, which changes from green to purple depending on the light source, set a new auction record for alexandrites.

The auction itself was a record-breaking event, with total sales of $154.1 million, surpassing the tally of $137.2 million achieved at the Christie’s auction of actress Elizabeth Taylor’s jewels in December 2013.
May 20th, 2014
When Courtney Vidrine lost her $6,000 diamond engagement ring in the churning surf at Jacksonville Beach, Fla., last June she and her husband, Eric, accepted the harsh reality that the cherished jewelry was probably gone forever.

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“She was reaching down and the ring fell off her finger and into the tide,” Eric Virdrine told CNN affiliate WJXT-TV. “We desperately thrashed at the water to try to find it, [but] we knew as soon as it hit the water it was pretty much gone.”

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The Vidrines returned to the scene several times to renew their search, but the ring was nowhere to be found. Finally, the couple purchased a replacement ring and life went on.

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Only a few days ago, amateur treasure hunter David Sielaff was combing a nearby beach with his metal detector when the device signaled a possible find. Sielaff first pulled a fishing sinker from the sand, but after he dug a bit deeper what emerged was Vidrine’s lost ring.

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Fortunately, the ring was stamped with a trademark and serial number that linked the ring to the Vidrines. In short time, officials at the retail store where the ring was originally purchased contacted the surprised couple and arranged to reunite them with the ring.

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The Vidrines met Sielaff at Jacksonville Beach, where a TV crew documented the emotional encounter. Courtney Vidrine, with her beloved ring back on her finger, presented Sielaff with a bottle of champagne and a card with a gift inside to thank the Good Samaritan for his honesty.

“We can't thank you enough. Honestly, we were so shocked,” Courtney Virdrine said.

Courtney Vidrine told WJXT-TV that she will never forget the date the ring was lost. “It was June 1st, 2013,” she said. “I knew everything, like every minute of what happened, because it was so horrible.”
May 21st, 2014
When avid baseball fans Chez and Dee got engaged in front of thousands of fans at a Texas Rangers game earlier this month, they enjoyed a big assist from the team’s official mascot. The seven-foot-tall palomino-style horse dressed in the team's uniform surprised Dee with a sign that read, “Dee Anna, Will you marry me? Love Chesarae.”

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After Dee accepted Chez’ proposal, the furry horse — named Rangers Captain — handed Dee a small bouquet of flowers and a "We Got Engaged" certificate. Then, he posed for some photos with the couple, shook Chez’ hand, leaned in to kiss Dee, but instead, opened his giant mouth and comically consumed Dee’s head. The cost of the 100-second encounter was $200.

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The delighted couple is just one of hundreds who will be spending big bucks to pop the question at Major League ballparks year. The fees range from as low as $38.50 at Pittsburgh Pirates' PNC Park, where a simple text-based message will be shown on the scoreboard, to $2,500 at Los Angeles Dodgers Stadium, where a live video feed of the proposal will be shown on a giant video screen for all to see.

According to Swimmingly.com, the proceeds from these public expressions of devotion are not intended to enrich the teams. The money goes to charity.

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In honor of America’s favorite pastime, we turn to Swimmingly.com, which compiled a comprehensive list and clever infographic of MLB teams that offer special services for couples looking to get engaged at the game.

ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS — CHASE FIELD
$250: Message displayed on scoreboard (limit one per homestand). Includes commemorative DVD.

ATLANTA BRAVES — TURNER FIELD
$50: Message displayed on scoreboard.

BALTIMORE ORIOLES — CAMDEN YARDS
Proposals not offered.

BOSTON RED SOX — FENWAY PARK
$250: Message displayed on scoreboard. $350: In addition to scoreboard message, couple is featured live on video board and greeted by Wally, the team’s mascot.

CHICAGO CUBS — WRIGLEY FIELD
$175: Message displayed on scoreboard (limit one per game). Includes commemorative print and digital copy of the proposal.

CHICAGO WHITE SOX — U.S. CELLULAR FIELD
$55: Message displayed on scoreboard.

CINCINNATI REDS — GREAT AMERICAN BALL PARK
$50: Message displayed on scoreboard or printed on a sign delivered by Rosie Red, the team’s mascot.

CLEVELAND INDIANS — PROGRESSIVE FIELD
$400: On-field proposal at one of the season’s 15 post-game fireworks nights. (In-game proposals not offered.) Call (216) 420-HITS.

COLORADO ROCKIES — COORS FIELD
$50: Message displayed on scoreboard. Call (303) ROCKIES.

DETROIT TIGERS — COMERICA PARK
$50: Paws, the team’s mascot, conducts a “trivia contest” at the couple’s seats that ends in a surprise proposal. Includes baseball decorated with message and date. $75: Message displayed on scoreboard.

HOUSTON ASTROS — MINUTE MAID PARK
$500: Proposal featured live on video board (limit one per series, proposals not offered in consecutive games). Includes two tickets and commemorative DVD. Call (713) 259-8332.

KANSAS CITY ROYALS — KAUFFMAN STADIUM
Proposals not offered.

LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM — ANGEL STADIUM
Proposals not offered.

LOS ANGELES DODGERS — DODGER STADIUM
$75: Message displayed on scoreboard. $2,500: Proposal featured live on video board (limit one per month).

MIAMI MARLINS — MARLINS PARK
$250: Message displayed on scoreboard and couple featured live on video. $500: In addition to message and video, package includes a PA announcement and a dozen roses delivered by Billy the Marlin, the team’s mascot. Call (305) 480-1300.

MILWAUKEE BREWERS — MILLER PARK
$100: Single-line message (up to 35 characters) displayed among others on scoreboard. $250: Full scoreboard message (up to 75 characters). Call (414) 902-4501.

MINNESOTA TWINS — TARGET FIELD
$209: Proposal featured live on video board (limit one per game). Call (612) 659-3502.

NEW YORK METS — CITI FIELD
Proposals not offered.

NEW YORK YANKEES — YANKEE STADIUM
$100: Message displayed on scoreboard (limit 10 per game).

OAKLAND ATHLETICS — O.CO COLISEUM
$85: Message displayed on scoreboard.

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES — CITIZENS BANK PARK
$450: Proposal featured live on video board. Includes four tickets, champagne toast, and commemorative DVD. Call (215) 463-1000.

PITTSBURGH PIRATES — PNC PARK
$38.50: Message displayed on scoreboard.

SAN DIEGO PADRES — PETCO PARK
$55: Message displayed on scoreboard (up to 50 per game).

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS — AT&T PARK
$145: Message displayed on scoreboard (weekday games). $175: Message displayed on scoreboard (weekend and premium games).

SEATTLE MARINERS — SAFECO FIELD
$115: Message displayed on scoreboard.

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS —BUSCH STADIUM
$250: Private tour for a group of up to 20 that ends with a surprise proposal on the field. $500: In addition to private tour, message displayed on scoreboard. Proposals only offered on non-game days. Call (314) 345-9630.

TAMPA BAY RAYS — TROPICANA FIELD
$500: Proposal featured live on video board (limit one per game). Includes a dozen roses and commemorative DVD.

TEXAS RANGERS — GLOBE LIFE PARK IN ARLINGTON
$200: Message printed on sign delivered by Rangers Captain, the team’s mascot, along with a bouquet of flowers and a certificate featuring the date and the couple’s names. Includes digital photos of the proposal. Call (972) RANGERS.

TORONTO BLUE JAYS — ROGERS CENTRE
Proposals not offered.

WASHINGTON NATIONALS — NATIONALS PARK
$500: Message displayed on scoreboard (limit one per game). $1,500: Proposal featured live on video board (limit two per season). E-mail production@nationals.com.
May 22nd, 2014
On Tuesday, Lucara Diamond Corp. trumpeted the news of its incredible haul of 100-plus-carat diamonds sourced at the famous Karowe Mine in Botswana. Of the 13 enormous diamonds, eight were reported to be of gem quality and two were larger than 200 carats.

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Equally impressive is the fact that all of the scale-tipping stones were discovered since the start of the second quarter of 2014.

The Vancouver-based mining company noted that the largest gem-quality rough diamond weighed 259 carats, followed one at 239 carats, two at 153 carats and one at 133 carats.

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Typically, a rough diamond will lose half its weight during the arduous cutting-and-polishing process. Still, the top-five Lucara rough diamonds should yield a newsworthy collection of faceted finished gems.

Although gems of these sizes are extreme rarities in the diamond world, they seem to have become more and more prevalent. This could be due to the new techniques employed by mining companies that have improved recoveries and reduced breakage of exceptionally large stones.

Typically, the ore containing the rough diamonds goes through many stages of crushing and processing before it can be sorted and classified. Although diamond is the world’s hardest material, it can be brittle. In the past, larger diamonds could be inadvertently fractured by the heavy machinery during processing.

The Karowe Mine in landlocked Botswana on the continent of Africa is one of the most prolific diamond-producing areas in the world, and is especially famous for yielding the largest diamond rough.

Since the beginning of the second quarter, the mine has produced 239 diamonds larger than 10.8 carats, including 27 diamonds weighing between 50 and 100 carats.

Members of the diamond trade have been invited to inspect and purchase these rough diamonds at Lucara’s Exceptional Stone Tender on July 18. Viewings will take place in both Antwerp, Belgium, and Gaborone, the capital of Botswana.

(Images: Lucara Diamond Corp.)
May 23rd, 2014
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fresh songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today we present up-and-coming Disney star Brooke Nicole Sorenson performing her brand new release, “No Ordinary Sky.”

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In the song, a lonely young girl who wants to hide from the complicated things in life is suddenly energized by a new love interest. She sings, “Your eyes like diamonds / Now my universe is shining / I found you out there / in the cosmos / I wanna hold you way up close.”

Only 15 years old, the Charlotte, NC, native is already well on her way to establishing a cross-over career in the mode of teen-actresses-turned-pop-stars Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez.

Sorenson is best known for her role as Anna Gabriels in the 2013 TV movie The Gabriels. Sorenson can be seen in upcoming episodes of Mighty Med and Kickin' It, both on DisneyXD, as well as on Nickelodeon’s The Thundermans this fall.

We invite you to check out Sorenson’s official video for “No Ordinary Sky” at the end of this post. The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along.

“No Ordinary Sky”
Written by Brooke Lundy. Performed by Brooke Sorenson.

When life seems complicated
I'll find a place that's dark and quiet
where the lights of the city aren't blinding
and the blackness will hide me

Arms open to the horizon
Don't wanna be alone like I've been
Am I feeling a change in the air?
Is there anyone out there?

Chorus:
Stars on fire
Moon is ignited
This is No Ordinary Sky
Above my lost days and dark nights
You're ultraviolet
This is No Ordinary Sky
Not tonight
Not tonight

(This is No Ordinary Sky)

Your eyes like diamonds
Now my universe is shining
I found you out there
in the cosmos
I wanna hold you way up close

CHORUS

Bridge:
Guided by nightlights
Wrapped in the silence
Beyond a lifetime
You and I...

CHORUS 2X


May 27th, 2014
When Jack Hyer first dated fellow University of Montana student Rebecca Strellnauer nearly four years ago, he had a gut feeling that he would spend the rest of his life with her, writing in his travel journal, “I’m going to marry this girl, eventually.”

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For the next four years, Hyer assembled an elaborate marriage proposal video that features him lip-synching The Proclaimers’ “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” through 26 countries on four continents. Some of the destinations included Cambodia, Israel, China, Greece, France, Turkey and England.

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When he returned to the states, Hyer was faced with the immense challenge of editing 16 hours of snippets into a cohesive six-minute video. It took him two full days to complete the task.

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On the night of the couple’s May 17 graduation, they invited friends and family to a Missoula restaurant to celebrate the occasion and view what was supposed to be a graduation slide show. Instead, they all witnessed Hyer’s epic video, which concluded with Hyer, in real life, proposing to Strellnauer.

First, Hyer showed Strellnauer and his guests the page in his travel journal where he had written that he would marry her one day.

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Then the 21-year-old Montana native said, “I've been on many adventures. I've traveled on elephant, on camelback, hiked to the lowest point on the earth and I've gotten to see some of the highest. But the best adventure I've had is loving Becca."

Spoiler alert: The 22-year-old Strellnauer said, “Yes.”

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The video, which was posted on YouTube exactly one week ago, already has been viewed 3.43 million times and has been picked up by the national and international news media.

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The couple told ABC News that they plan to stay in Missoula while Hyer finishes graduate school and Strellnauer begins her teaching career. Eventually, they may relocate to San Francisco.

Although the couple plans to have a local wedding, their honeymoon will probably take them to someplace exotic. “We’ve got our passports ready,” Hyer said.

Check out Hyer’s amazing video below…

May 28th, 2014
South Florida newlywed Saira Rossy was only three days into her marriage when she accidentally tossed her bridal set into her condominium’s huge trash compactor.

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Willing to do some dumpster diving to make up for her goof, Rossy bought a HAZMAT suit, mask and boots. Then she called Collier County Waste Management and asked if she could get into the 20-foot by 8-foot compactor.

“I was frantic,” Rossy told The Daily Mail. “They understandably said it was too much of a liability — that it was too toxic and it could crush me.”

However, the sympathetic team at Waste Management offered to search the five tons of stinky trash on her behalf.

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Christi Epperson, route manager for Waste Management, and driver Dennis Sierra, emptied the compactor’s contents at their facility and carefully combed through the giant mound of trash. Specifically, they were searching for a white trash bag with a red tie. The bag contained trash from the newlyweds’ dinner, specifically a Little Caesar’s Pizza box, and a tiny Ziploc bag that held the rings — a diamond engagement ring and diamond wedding band.

Within 15 minutes, the heroes located the bag and its precious contents.

"It [was] like finding a needle in a haystack," Epperson told NBC2 News.

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Rossy explained that the mishap occurred in the morning as she was rushing to get to work.  She had collected the trash from the night before, stuffed it in a white plastic bag, and slid it down the chute leading to the trash compactor.

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Rossy had taken off her bridal jewelry and placed the two rings in a Ziploc bag. She intended to put the bag in her purse, where she would keep them out of harm's way while she was at work. Instead, the tiny bag ended up near the empty pizza box and eventually into the compactor.

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When Epperson and Sierra located the rings, the route manager said she couldn’t dial her phone fast enough to tell Rossy the good news.

"I was praying,” said Rossy. “I already had set [Epperson’s] phone number to a specific ring on my phone. And when she said, ‘How much do you love Waste Management,’ I knew right there she found it."

"She won the Lotto," Epperson told NBC2 News. "If she hasn't gone and bought a Lotto ticket, she needs to go buy a Lotto ticket because it's one in a million."

Rossy thanked Epperson and Sierra with $50 gift cards to a local restaurant.

“I didn’t know what else to do,” Rossy told The Daily Mail. “It’s just so nice that a company would do this. They were extraordinary to do this.”
May 29th, 2014
A 6.13-carat fancy intense green diamond set a new auction record Tuesday when it sold at Christie’s Hong Kong for $3.6 million, or $594,510 per carat. Green diamonds are among the rarest of all colored diamonds.

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The natural green cushion-cut diamond with a VS2 clarity is the centerpiece of a rose gold ring that is accented by brilliant-cut pink diamonds. The selling price was on the high side of its pre-sale estimate of $2.5 million to $3.8 million.

Green diamonds are unique because they owe their color to their exposure to radiation as they were forming in the earth eons ago, according to gem expert Antoinette Matlins.

Other colored diamonds achieve their natural color through the presence of trace elements, such as nitrogen, boron or hydrogen, in their chemical composition. Still others get their color from anomalies in their lattice structure.

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The top lot of the sale — and another world auction record-setter — was a pair diamond ear pendants featuring pear-shaped, internally flawless, D-color diamonds weighing 25.49 carats and 25.31 carats, respectively. The earrings sold for $9.7 million, or $191,746 per carat.

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Also garnering a lot of attention was an elegant ring highlighted by a 9.38-carat pear-shaped intense pink diamond. Mounted in platinum and rose gold, the pink diamond is flanked by pear-shaped white diamonds. The ring sold for $5.9 million.

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Christie’s officials were disappointed when the most publicized piece of the sale — the “Eye of Golconda” necklace — remained unsold.

The magnificent piece, which is highlighted by not one, but two, internally flawless, D-color diamonds from the legendary Golconda mine in India, had a pre-sale high estimate of $10 million. The diamonds weigh 40.05 carats and 6.76 carats, respectively.

Among the famous diamonds that are believed to have come from the Golconda mine are the Koh-i-noor, the Darya-i-Nur, the Nur-ul-Ain and The Hope Diamond.

Photos: Chrisite's
May 30th, 2014
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, we have Malcolm David Kelly and Tony Oller (better known as MKTO) singing “Classic,” a feel-good anthem that pays tribute to a bygone era of classic style and classic music.

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MKTO serenades a girl who seems to be from a “throwback age.” They sing, “Ooh girl you're shining / Like a 5th Avenue diamond.”

Later in the song, they build on the classic theme with references to Michael Jackson, Prince, Marvin Gaye and Frank Sinatra.

Oller told MTV News that the song is about natural beauty. “I think a lot of people these days can kinda get infiltrated in their minds about what’s appropriate and how you have to look a certain way,” he said.

Having already conquered the charts in Australia and New Zealand, the pop/hip-hop duo’s “Classic” currently sits at #25 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 list. It was also nominated for “Catchiest New Song” at the 2014 Radio Disney Music Awards.

Both accomplished child actors, Kelly and Oller met in 2010 on the set of the Nickelodeon series Gigantic and decided to start a band. Their YouTube covers caught the attention of bigwigs at Columbia records and MKTO nailed a record deal.

While MKTO clearly stands for the combined initials of Malcolm Kelly and Tony Oller, the artists insist their group name means much more. Oller told IvoryMusic.org: "It also stands for what our album kind of is: Misfit Kids and Total Outcasts – just like the kids we were in high school."

Please take a look at MKTO’s official “Classic” video. You will be dancing, and here are the lyrics if you’d like to sing along…

“Classic”
Written by Lindy Robbins, Andrew Maxwell Goldstein, Emanuel Kiriakou and Evan Bogart. Performed by MKTO.

Hey! Where's the drum?

Ooh girl you're shining
Like a 5th Avenue diamond
And they don't make you like they used to
You're never going out of style

Ooh pretty baby
This world might have gone crazy
The way you saved me,
Who could blame me
When I just wanna make you smile

I wanna thrill you like Michael
I wanna kiss you like Prince
Let's get it on like Marvin Gaye
Like Hathaway write a song for you like this

You're over my head
I'm out of my mind
Thinking I was born in the wrong time
One of a kind, living in a world gone plastic
Baby you're so classic
Baby you're so classic
Baby you,
Baby you're so classic

Four dozen of roses
Anything for you to notice
All the way to serenade you
Doing it Sinatra style

Ima pick you up in a Cadillac
Like a gentleman bringin' glamor back
Keep it real to real in the way I feel
I could walk you down the aisle

I wanna thrill you like Michael
I wanna kiss you like Prince
Let's get it on like Marvin Gaye
Like Hathaway write a song for you like this

You're over my head
I'm out of my mind
Thinking I was born in the wrong time
Let's start the rewind, everything is so throwback age (I kinda like it like it)
Out of my league
Old school chic
Like a movie star
From the silver screen
One of a kind living in a world gone plastic
Baby you're so classic
Baby you're so classic
Baby you're so classic

Baby you're class and baby you're sick
I never met a girl like you ever til we met
A star in the 40's, centerfold in the 50's
Got me tripping out like the 60's
Hippies Queen of the discotheque
A 70's dream and an 80's best
Hepburn, Beyoncé, Marilyn Manson
Girl you're timeless, just so classic

You're over my head I'm out of my mind
Thinking I was born in the wrong time
Let's start the rewind, everything is so throwback age (I kinda like it like it)
Out of my league
Old school chic
Like a movie star
From the silver screen
You're one of a kind living in a world gone plastic
Baby you're so classic
Baby you're so classic
Baby you're so classic