Unique Jewels Blog

Unique Jewels Blog
May 22nd, 2018
Marlyn Sanchez is well known at Marlins Park in Miami because she's frequently called on to sing the national anthem. So, when her boyfriend, Ralph Cabrera, arranged for her to throw out the first pitch before Wednesday's contest between the Marlins and the Dodgers, Sanchez didn't have a clue that he had plotted the perfect marriage proposal.



Dressed like a Marlins player and masked in full catcher's gear, Cabrera crouched behind the plate as his girlfriend stepped on the pitcher's mound, wound up and spiked the pitch — wide to the left. Her boyfriend scooped up the wild toss and hustled to the mound to give her the ceremonial ball.



Sanchez's embarrassment at throwing such an off-target pitch quickly turned to elation when Cabrera unmasked himself, dropped to one knee and opened a custom ring box that happened to be in the shape of a baseball. Slotted in the box was a diamond engagement ring.



In front of the Marlins' hometown fans, Cabrera asked Sanchez to marry him and she instantly nodded yes.



Miami Marlins broadcasters, who were covering the ceremonial first pitch and proposal in real time, suspected that something was awry. Typically, the person receiving the game's first pitch doesn't come out in full catcher's gear.

Also, the masked catcher was wearing a #1 jersey with the name "RAMAR" on the back. Sanchez revealed in a pregame Twitter video that the name represented a combination of the first letters in the names Ralph and Marlyn. The #1 symbolized that the couple would soon be united as one.



"I found a diamond in the rough," Cabrera said on the Miami Marlins Twitter page. "And now I'm going to give her a diamond on the diamond."

During a post-proposal TV interview, the newly engaged Sanchez revealed how she was feeling just before her boyfriend unmasked himself.

"I was so busy concentrating on trying to throw the ball – it was horrible," she said. "I apologized to him when he came over and he took off his mask."

Sanchez and Cabrera, both of whom are die-hard Marlins fans, will always remember an unforgettable marriage proposal — and an exciting Marlins victory over the Dodgers, 6-5.

Their story was picked up by Yahoo, USA Today, Sun Sentinel and Inside Edition, among many other outlets.

Credits: Screen captures via mlb.com; Twitter/Miami Marlins.
May 21st, 2018
An estimated 3 billion people worldwide tuned in Saturday to see American Meghan Markle tie the knot with Prince Harry of Wales, and much of the buzz about the romantic royal nuptials was focused squarely upon the bride's diamond tiara.



Holding Markle's veil in place was the Queen Mary Diamond Bandeau Tiara — a stunning piece lent to the young bride by 92-year-old Queen Elizabeth II. The platinum tiara was originally made for Queen Mary in 1932 and incorporates a removable center brooch that dates back to 1893.



The platinum tiara is formed as a flexible band of 11 sections, each glittering with large and small brilliant-cut diamonds. The tiara was specifically designed to accommodate the center brooch, which is set with 10 diamonds, according to an official press release.



The brooch had been gifted to then-Princess Mary in 1893 by the County of Lincoln on the occasion of her marriage to Prince George, Duke of York. The bandeau and the brooch were bequeathed by Queen Mary to Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Queen Elizabeth is the longest-reigning British monarch.

Prior to Saturday's royal wedding, there was some speculation that the bride might forgo tradition and have a new tiara designed for the occasion. In the end, Markle decided to pay homage to her new family by wearing an accessory from the Queen's jewelry collection.



The bride's Welch gold wedding band also reflects a long-standing royal tradition. For the past century, royal wedding bands have been crafted from rare Welsh gold, sourced at the Clogau mine in Bontddu, Wales. The mine dates back to the Bronze Age, and commercial mining began there in the mid-1880s, according to a report by CBS News.

The mine was closed in the 1990s, but Queen Elizabeth II had received a kilogram of the rare gold for her 60th birthday in 1986. CBS reported that the Queen's reserves have been the source of royal wedding bands ever since. While the bride will be wearing a gold wedding band, Prince Harry opted for a platinum band with a textured finish.

Screen captures via YouTube.com/Today; YouTube.com/BBC.
May 18th, 2018
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you exciting songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today, Marina Lambrini Diamandis, better known as Marina and the Diamonds, stays true to her name in the 2012 international hit, “Primadonna.”



In this song about a self-absorbed diva who “wants the world,” the sassy 32-year-old Welsh recording artist tries to coax a marriage proposal and a giant-size sparkler from her suitor.

She sings, “Would you do anything for me? / Buy a big diamond ring for me? / Would you get down on your knees for me? / Pop the pretty question right now baby.”

Diamandis created her stage name by incorporating her first name with the translation of her surname, which means “diamonds” in Greek. She explained that “the Diamonds” part of “Marina and the Diamonds” does not refer to her backing band, but to her fans.

"Primadonna" was the lead single from the 32-year-old artist's second studio album, Electra Heart. MTV Buzzworthy critic Sam Lansky described "Primadonna" as “a monster song,” and fans across the globe agreed. The song was an international sensation, reaching the top five in three countries and charting in 13. Within the first few hours of its release in March of 2012, the song became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter.

Born in Brynmawr, Wales, Diamandis moved to London as a teenager to pursue a music career. In 2009, at the age of 24, she placed second in the BBC's "Sound of 2010" competition. That success led to her debut studio album, The Family Jewels.

The official video at the end of this post has been viewed on YouTube more than 68 million times. The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along...

“Primadonna”
Written by Marina Diamandis, Julie Frost, Lukasz Gottwald and Henry Walter. Performed by Marina and the Diamonds.

Primadonna girl, yeah
All I ever wanted was the world
I can’t help that I need it all
The primadonna life, the rise and fall
You say that I’m kinda difficult
But it’s always someone else’s fault
Got you wrapped around my finger, babe
You can count on me to misbehave

Primadonna girl,
Would you do anything for me?
Buy a big diamond ring for me?
Would you get down on your knees for me?
Pop the pretty question right now baby
Beauty queen of the silver screen
Living life like I’m in a dream
I know I’ve got a big ego
I really don’t know why it’s such a big deal, though
I’m sad to the core, core, core
Everything is a chore, chore, chore
When you give I want more, more, more
I wanna be adored

(Chorus)
Cause I’m a primadonna girl, yeah
All I ever wanted was the world
I can’t help that I need it all
The primadonna life, the rise and fall
You say that I’m kinda difficult
But it’s always someone else’s fault
Got you wrapped around my finger, babe
You can count on me to misbehave

Primadonna girl
Fill the void up with Celluloid
Take a picture, I’m with the boys
Get what I want cause I asked for it
Not because I’m really that deserving of it
I’m living life like I’m in a play
In the limelight I want to stay
I know I’ve got a big ego
I really don’t know why it’s such a big deal, though
Going up, going down, down, down
Anything for the crown, crown, crown
With the lights dimming down, down, down
I spin around

(Chorus x 2)
Cause I’m a primadonna girl, yeah
All I ever wanted was the world
I can’t help that I need it all
The primadonna life, the rise and fall
You say that I’m kinda difficult
But it’s always someone else’s fault
Got you wrapped around my finger, babe
You can count on me to misbehave

Cause I’m a primadonna girl, yeah
All I ever wanted was the world
I can’t help that I need it all
The primadonna life, the rise and fall
You say that I’m kinda difficult
But it’s always someone else’s fault
Got you wrapped around my finger, babe
You can count on me to misbehave
Primadonna girl


Credit: Screen capture via YouTube.com.
May 17th, 2018
A Galveston, Texas, police officer went above and beyond the call of duty Saturday evening to help a young woman who lost her engagement ring at the beach. Not only did he drive nearly 100 miles to retrieve his own metal detector to assist in the search, but went back to the site in the wee hours of the morning even though all the other searchers had given up. At 4:36 a.m., officer Derrick Jaradi texted the woman, Jessica Haelen, with the news he had found her ring.



What's even more amazing is the fact that the selfless officer had gotten engaged earlier that same day.

Saturday had been a beautiful beach day on Galveston Island. Haelen and a bunch of friends were cleaning up after a long day of sun worshipping when a friend's car got stuck in the sand. Haelen had taken off her engagement ring and placed it in her lap while she applied hand sanitizer, but got distracted by her friend's call for assistance.

After freeing the car, the group went out for dinner. That's when Haelen realized the ring was no longer on her finger.

Healen, who will be taking her wedding vows on July 7, was frantic. Not only did the ring symbolize an eternal bond with her fiancé, but it also served as a lasting sentimental connection to her mom, who passed away five years ago. The ring was originally hers.



The group of friends — nine in total — hustled back to the beach and started what would become a tiring and fruitless search. It was like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

Haelen flagged down Galveston Police officer Jaradi, who immediately connected emotionally to the young woman's plight. The officer had proposed to his fiancée earlier that day.

Jaradi told Haelen and her search party that he owned a metal detector, and that he was willing to drive home to get it. The roundtrip would cover 94 miles and take about an hour and a half. He told Haelen to text him if the searchers found the ring while he was gone.

When Jaradi returned, he handed his equipment to Haelen's group and delivered a crash course in how to use the metal detector.



"[We} searched everywhere, every square inch of the area," Haelen told CBS affiliate KHOU. "My heart was stopping at every little beep, because I knew it had to be there."

Despite their best efforts, Haelen's exhausted team called off the search at midnight and returned the detector to the officer.

Later that night, a devastated Haelen had trouble sleeping.

“I thought maybe when I lost it, it was God telling me to let go of my parents and to move on with my life,” Haelen told click2houston.com.



But then at 4:36 a.m., an unexpected text alert startled the young woman.

It was from Officer Jaradi and read, "I ended up getting called back to that beach at 2 a.m... You happened to wave down the one Galveston Police officer on the same day he gets engaged to find your lost engagement ring. I couldn't get that out of my mind, so I gave it another shot between calls."

"I was just bawling," Haelen told KHOU. "He went above and beyond, and I definitely thank him for that."



Haelen and her fiancé have extended an invitation to Officer Jaradi and his new fiancée to attend their July 7 wedding.

"No pressure," Haelen told a TV reporter for KHOU. "I know we just met, but we shared such a special moment, and they should be a part of [the celebration]."

Credits: Images via Facebook.com/Jessica Marie Haelen. Screen captures via click2houston.com.
May 16th, 2018
A 6.16-carat blue diamond owned more than 300 years ago by Elisabeth Farnese, Queen of Spain, fetched $6.7 million at Sotheby's Geneva yesterday. The winning bid crushed the auction house's pre-sale high estimate by more than $1.7 million.



The historic "Farnese Blue" was originally presented in 1715 as a wedding gift to the Spanish Queen by the governor of the Philippine Islands.



Secreted away in a royal jewelry box, the pear-shaped, fancy dark grey-blue diamond traveled across Europe for centuries, as the Queen’s descendants married into Europe’s most important dynasties.



For 300 years, the gem would stay in the same family, but would never be seen in public. In fact, except for close relatives and the family jewelers, no one knew of its existence.

Recently, the diamond emerged on the market for the first time and was highly touted by Sotheby’s in the run-up to the Geneva auction. In fact, the Farnese Blue headlined a promotional tour that made stops in Hong Kong, London, New York, Singapore, Taipei and Geneva.

As the final lot of yesterday's auction, the Farnese Blue didn't disappoint. Bidding started on Lot 377 at $3.6 million and advanced rapidly in $100,000 increments. After four minutes, the final price of $6.7 million had beaten the pre-sale high estimate by more than 34%.

The Farnese Blue was the most historic lot of the auction, but was not the highest priced.

Two magnificent diamonds, each weighing more than 50 carats, were the auction's top performers.



Lot 373 featured a round, brilliant-cut diamond weighing 51.71 carats. Set in a ring, the D-color diamond boasts the highly coveted Type IIa purity grade and flawless clarity. The ring sold for $9.2 million, just slightly more than its pre-sale high estimate of $9.1 million.



An oval diamond weighing 50.39 carats highlighted the highly anticipated Lot 350. This diamond also carried a D-flawless grade and a Type IIa purity classification. The diamond ring, which went into the auction with a pre-sale estimate of $6.9 million to $7.6 million, sold for $8.1 million.

Credits: Diamond images courtesy of Sotheby’s. Elisabeth Farnese image by Louis-Michel van Loo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
May 15th, 2018
A 50.47-carat cushion brilliant-cut diamond ring is expected to be the top lot at Christie's Magnificent Jewels Sale in Geneva tomorrow. The D-color, VVS1-clarity diamond is set in a platinum ring designed by Harry Winston and carries a pre-sale estimate of $5 million to $7 million.



Christie's is saving the best for last. Bidding for the sale's headliner will culminate two sessions, during which 419 lots will hit the auction block at the Geneva Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues. The first session starts at 1:30 p.m. and includes Lots 1 through 274. The second session commences at 7 p.m. and covers Lots 275 through 419.

Christie’s boasts that its Magnificent Jewels Sale catalog reads as an encyclopedia of the world's finest jewelry. And while it's true that the auction house will be offering a range of spectacular pieces — including Art Deco, Retro and animal-themed jewelry — colored and colorless diamonds stand out as the highest-valued lots of the sale. Here are some of the most exciting items up for grabs...

Superb Diamond Ring, Harry Winston (Lot 419). The 50.47-carat cushion brilliant-cut diamond in this ring carries the ultra-rare Type IIa purity grade and is potentially internally flawless, according to Christie's. Estimated price: $5 million to $7 million.



Rare Colored Diamond and Diamond Ring (Lot 381). A fancy light purplish-pink rectangular cut-cornered diamond weighing 33.51 carats is the colorful centerpiece of this white gold ring. Flanked by tapered baguette-cut diamonds and secured by double-claw prongs, the fancy-colored center stone boasts a VS2 clarity. Estimated price: $4 million to $5 million.



Sensational Colored Diamond Ring (Lot 414). This fancy vivid yellow rectangular cut-cornered diamond weighs 20.49 carats and is set on a plain white gold band. The diamond earned a clarity rating of VVS1. Estimated price: $3.8 million to $4.5 million.



Colored Diamond Ring (Lot 406). Also boasting a clarity of VVS1, this fancy intense purplish-pink rectangular cut-cornered diamond weighs 8.52 carats. Estimated price: $3.5 million to $5 million.



Rare Colored Diamond and Diamond "Toi et Moi" Ring, Cartier (Lot 418). Translated in English as "You and Me," this stylish "Toi et Moi" ring by Cartier features a 5.03-carat fancy intense blue pear modified brilliant-cut diamond and a 4.16-carat fancy vivid yellow pear modified brilliant-cut diamond, connected by sweeping steps of yellow and colorless tapered baguette diamonds. Estimated price: $2.5 million to $3.5 million.



Diamond Ring (Lot 320). Scintillating 21.83-carat marquise brilliant-cut diamond highlights this platinum ring. The D-color gem has a clarity of VVS2, but is potentially internally flawless, according to Christie's. This stone also carries the coveted Type IIa purity grade. Estimated price: $2.5 million to $3.5 million.



Impressive Diamond Riviere Necklace (Lot 352). Exactly 26 graduated old-cut diamonds — the largest of which are 15.04, 13.20 and 13.02 carats — add brilliance to this choker-length necklace, which is fabricated in silver and gold. Estimated price: $1.7 million to $2.2 million.

Credits: Images courtesy of Christie's.
May 14th, 2018
Archaeologists at the Smallin Civil War Cave in Ozark, Mo., recently recovered a 1960 class ring that had been lost for 57 years and returned it to its stunned owner.



Workers had demolished an old wooden platform at the popular historic site and were planning to replace it with a new concrete one. With the old platform out of the way, historical surveyors were able to explore a previously inaccessible part of the cave's stream bed. Metal detectors led them to some very interesting discoveries — including one that had profoundly changed the life of Peggy McLaughlin.



"We were finding bullets, we were finding some change from different time periods and then we found the ring," Eric Fuller, archaeologist for the Smallin Civil War Cave, told NBC affiliate KY3. "We always have history in here, I just never expected it in the form of a class ring."

Fifty-seven years earlier, McLaughlin lost her Osage High School class ring during a Civil War-themed field trip to the cave that had been arranged by her history professor. At the time, she was a freshman at Evangel University.



McLaughlin told the Springfield News-Leader that she enjoyed exploring the cave, and barely noticed how cold her hands were. After walking some 200 feet into the cave, the young woman suddenly felt her loose-fitting class ring slip from her finger.

The ring had fallen into the cave's rocky stream bed and she realized that the prospects of getting it back were slim to none.

When the freshman returned to campus later that day, she told her boyfriend, Gene Grounds, about the loss of her cherished ring — a ring she had owned for only four months.

The boyfriend responded, “Maybe we will just have to replace that ring.”

Two weeks later, he presented McLaughlin with an engagement ring.

McLaughlin and Grounds were married and had two children.

The class ring that was partly responsible for Gene Grounds' marriage proposal lay dormant in the stream bed for next 57 years. Then, during the demolition of the old viewing platform, an old wooden plank was cleared from the stream bed. Underneath was McLaughlin's Osage High School ring.

"It was a surreal moment when I found it," historical surveyor Chadwick Oldham told the Springfield News-Leader. "I saw an Osage Indian on it, but of course they didn't have class rings."



Once the calcite was cleaned from the ring, it was clear that it was from the 1960 graduating class of Osage High School at Osage Beach, Mo. Oldham and his wife, Jackalyn, posted photos of the ring to the Osage High School alumni page. A few days later, McLaughlin spotted her ring and arranged to have it returned.

McLaughlin told the Springfield News-Leader that the return of her long-lost ring has brought back many fond, wonderful memories.

She was excited to get it back on her finger.

"It was still loose," she said, laughing.

Credits: Ring photo by Smallin Civil War Cave. Screen captures via KY3.com.
May 11th, 2018
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you romantic songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Ron Isley of The Isley Brothers sings about the symbolism of bridal jewelry in the group's release, "Brazilian Wedding Song (Setembro)."



Written by Brazilian composers Ivan Lins and Gilson Peranzzetta, "Brazilian Wedding Song (Setembro)" became a frequent request for wedding day playlists after a sweet rendition by The Isley Brothers appeared on their 1992 Tracks of Life album.

The song is essentially a groom's wedding vow — using jewelry references to describe his solemn pledge of love and devotion.

Isley sings, "I pledge all my love to you always / Don't you know this ring / This ring is a symbol of my love / Grant us blessings from above oh, oh / Who cherish all the magic of our days."

In the next verse, gold chains symbolize the couple's eternal bond... "Oh Lord, oh Lord, here I stand / Golden chains around our hearts / Vow to death we'll never part."

Often cited as the group that has enjoyed one of the "longest, most influential, and most diverse careers in the pantheon of popular music," The Isley Brothers became the first band to score a Top 50 hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in six consecutive decades.

Originally from Cincinnati, the group was established in 1954 as a gospel trio consisting of brothers O'Kelly Isley, Jr., Rudolph Isley and Ron Isley. Soon they landed a spot on Ted Mack's Amateur Hour, where they won the competition and took home the grand prize — a watch. With their new-found fame, they began touring all over the eastern U.S., performing in a variety of churches.

The brothers moved to the New York City area in the late 1950s. In 1959, the brothers celebrated their first big hit, "Shout," a song that would become a cultural phenomenon nearly two decades later when it was performed by Otis Day and the Knights in the 1978 fraternity house film National Lampoon's Animal House.

The Isley Brothers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, and in 2010, Ron Isley received a "Legend Award" at the Soul Train Music Awards. The 76-year-old is still actively touring.

Trivia: A then-21-year-old Jimi Hendrix played on The Isley Brothers' stage shows in 1964.

Please check out the audio track of The Isley Brothers performing "Brazilian Wedding Song (Setembro)." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Brazilian Wedding Song (Setembro)"
Written by Ivan Guimaraes Lins and Gilson Peranzzetta. Performed by The Isley Brothers.

Today is the day to say I do
Yes, I promise to be true

I pledge all my love to you always
Don't you know this ring
This ring is a symbol of my love
Grant us blessings from above oh, oh
Who cherish all the magic of our days

Oh Lord, oh Lord, here I stand
Golden chains around our hearts
Vow to death we'll never part
From this day as one we'll start our lives

Oh Lord, here I stand
With my heart out in my hand
Rich or poor, I am your man
I'm your lover and friend for life
Ooh

So much love, so much love, girl
So much love, girl, la, la, la, la
Today, today, today is the day to say I do
Yes, I promise to be true

I pledge all my love to you always
Don't you know this ring
This ring is a symbol of my love
Grant us blessings from above oh, oh
Who cherish all the magic of our days

And I can hear them when they play
Our Brazilian wedding song


Credit: Screen capture via YouTube.com.
May 10th, 2018
Fura Gems is breathing new life into the 400-year-old Coscuez emerald mine in Colombia and its initial sampling has yielded 850 carats of high-quality gemstones, including an exceptional 25.97-carat rough gem named the "ARE Emerald."



The ARE gemstone is “rare and exceptional" given its size, color, saturation and clarity, according to the Toronto-based mining company, and bodes well for the future output at the historic mine, which is located in Colombia’s Boyacá region.

The ARE Emerald is named after a figure in ancient Colombian mythology. Legend states that the Muzo creator God, ARE (also spelled Ar-e), formed two figures on the shore of the sacred Minero River. One was male (Tena) and the other was female (Fura). The Muzo people believed Fura and Tena were the parents of humanity and legend states that the tears of Fura became emeralds. Today, the Fura and Tena mountains, as well as a bountiful source of fine emeralds, are the lasting symbols of that ancient culture.



Although the Coscuez Emerald Mine has been in operation for more than 400 years, recent activities at the mine had been carried out on a very traditional, small-scale basis. Fura's automated mining operation will allow for the processing of 30 tons of material per hour.

“We firmly believe that mine has only been scratched on the surface, and the best is yet to come,” Dev Shetty, President & CEO of Fura, told mining.com. “We estimate that if we capitalize it from the current state itself, [Coscuez] will have a minimum life of about 25 years or more, and there is a potential to expand the life by doing core drilling.”

Since the commencement of Fura's bulk sampling program, 214 tons of host rock have been collected and a total of 1,831 carats of rough emeralds have been discovered — 850 carats of which are considered high-quality gemstones.

Shetty noted that the gem-quality emerald rough will be sold via auction, with the first offering taking place during the second quarter of 2019. Fura holds a 76% stake in the Coscuez Emerald Mine.

Credits: Images courtesy of Fura Gems.
May 9th, 2018
Rising star Andrew Benintendi of the Boston Red Sox had a memorable day at the ballpark on Saturday. Not only did he go 3-for-5 with a triple and double in the Red Sox's 6-5 victory over the Texas Rangers, but he also earned an assist with a very romantic pre-game marriage proposal.



During batting practice at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, a couple from Arkansas — dressed in his-and-her Red Sox regalia — was among a small group of devoted fans allowed on the field to meet the players. Little did the woman know that her boyfriend had plotted a special on-field proposal with the help of a former Arkansas Razorback.



Benintendi, who was born in Cincinnati and played college ball in Arkansas, went up to a woman in the meet-and-greet line and presented her with a baseball that he pulled from his back pocket. Written in bold marker across the ball were the phrases, "Turn Around" and "Will You Marry Me."



The stunned woman spun around to see her boyfriend on bended knee with an engagement ring box in his hand.



The man nervously fumbled with the ring and asked the woman to marry him. Major League Baseball cameras captured the special moment when she said "Yes" and he slipped the ring on her finger.



Under the caption, "It's hard not to be romantic about baseball," the Red Sox organization posted the proposal video to its Twitter page.

One clever fan commented, "Takes a brave man to have @asben16 give his lady a ball that says "Will you marry me?" I'd be like, well I barely know you but what the hell! You only live once!"

The 23-year-old Benintendi told NESN’s Guerin Austin that it was "pretty cool" to be part of the marriage proposal.

Benintendi was drafted by the Red Sox in 2015 and joined the major league team in August of 2016. In his first full year, Benintendi was the second-place finisher for the American League's Rookie of the Year.

Screen captures via Twitter/Red Sox.