Endless Time and Jewelry Blog
October 19th, 2021
Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker surprised reality star Kourtney Kardashian with a massive, oval-cut diamond engagement ring on Sunday. The proposal took place within a heart of red roses at the beachfront Rosewood Miramar Hotel in Montecito, CA.

Based on photos of the ring that began flooding Instagram on Monday, the oval diamond could be as large as 15 carats with a value upwards of $1 million. The ring design is a simple platinum solitaire with a pavé diamond band.

Kardashian shared two proposal pics with her 147 million Instagram followers. Her simple caption read, "forever."

Sister Kim Kardashian later posted a video to Instagram of her sister and Barker enjoying a celebratory dinner with their families. During the clip, Kim zooms in on the oval diamond on her sister's finger. Using a fun mashup of the new engaged couple's names, she wrote, "KRAVIS FOREVER."

Also on Monday, Atiana De La Hoya, the daughter of Barker's ex, Shanna Moakler, posted a clear shot of Kourney's ring to her Instagram Story.

An eyewitness to the proposal told E! News, "It looked very romantic. I could see Kourtney smiling from ear to ear and put her hand over her mouth looking surprised. The family cheered for them and went back into the hotel."

It's also being reported that the romantic moment was filmed for the Kardashian's upcoming, still-untitled Hulu series.

Celebrity jewelers are generally placing the weight of the diamond in the range of 8 to 15 carats and the value in the range of $350,000 to $1 million, depending on the actual size and quality of the diamond.

Barker, 45, and Kardashian, 42, went public with their relationship in January of 2021. Throughout this year, they've been hinting on social media that their relationship was evolving into a lifelong commitment.

This will be the first marriage for Kardashian, although the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star has three children with former boyfriend and fellow TV personality Scott Disick. The upcoming nuptials will be the third for Barker, who was formerly married Melissa Kennedy (2001 to 2002) and Moakler and (2004 to 2008). He shares two children with the latter.

Credits: Screen capture of beach proposal via Instagram.com / kourtneykardash; Screen capture of dinner celebraton via Instagram.com / kimkardashian; Screen capture of ring closeup via Instagram.com / atianadelahoya.
October 18th, 2021
A rare 93-carat natural black diamond — one of the largest in the world — recently made its debut at the Natural History Museum in London. The limited engagement will run for 12 months.

The “Anastacia Diamond” was cut from a rough gem weighing just over 300 carats, which likely originated from Brazil. The rough diamond was acquired by the owner's family during the late 1800s in Goa, India, which was well known as a gem-cutting center at the time. The gemstone has remained with the family since. More recently, the stone was named for the owner's daughter.

The diamond was set into a pendant that features a large crescent moon and three yellow-diamond stars on the front and a depiction of the constellation Al-Dubb al-Akbar (a.k.a Ursa Major) rendered in diamonds on the back. The pendant, which includes 41 colorless diamonds and 26 yellow diamonds, was designed specifically for the diamond's namesake.

The “Anastacia Diamond” is now the largest diamond of any color on display at the museum. It can be see in "The Vault," alongside other impressive gems and minerals, including the Aurora Pyramid of Hope (the largest collection of fancy colored diamonds currently on display in the world), the 1,384 carat Devonshire Emerald and the recently discovered Winchcombe Meteor.

Black diamonds are different from other colored diamonds because they do not get their color from chemical impurities, such as nitrogen, hydrogen or boron, in the diamond’s makeup. Instead, black diamonds owe their color to numerous dark inclusions (mostly graphite). Their opaqueness is caused by a “polycrystalline” structure that inhibits the reflection of light.

According to the Natural History Museum, the inclusions made the cutting and polishing of the gemstone much more challenging. The tiny interlocking grains can be seen as lines on the surface of the polished faces. The diamond is translucent rather than opaque, and the inclusions can be seen as scattered "glitter" within.

The “Anastacia Diamond” is 25.5 carats larger than the world-famous Black Orlov diamond, which was discovered in the early 1800s in India and weighs 67.50 carats. That gem had been previously displayed at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and the Natural History Museum, London.

The London museum is recognized as a leading science research center and the most-visited natural history museum in Europe. The Natural History Museum in London welcomes more than five million visitors each year, while its digital content reaches hundreds of thousands of people in more than 200 countries each month. Touring exhibitions hosted by the museum have been seen by approximately 30 million people in the past 10 years.

The museum is also the custodian of one of the world’s most important scientific collections, comprising more than 80 million specimens. The museum’s 300 scientists continue to represent one of the largest groups in the world studying and enabling research into every aspect of the natural world.

Credits: Jewelry images © Trustees of the Natural History Museum London, used with permission. Museum image by Chiuchihmin, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
October 15th, 2021
Eddie Murphy's movies have earned more than $6 billion at the box office, but did you know that the actor-comedian-writer-producer also came thisclose to topping the Billboard music charts in 1985 with his hit song, “Party All the Time”?

The synth-pop ditty penned by Rick James is about a heartbroken lover who is clueless about why his girlfriend likes to party without him even though he lavishes her with expensive gifts, including diamond rings.

He sings, “I buy you champagne and roses and diamonds on your finger (Diamonds on your finger) / Still you hang out all night / What am I to do?”

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fun — and often nostalgic — songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title.

Coming off a successful run on NBC’s Saturday Night Live and a Golden Globe nomination for his role as Axel Foley in the movie Beverly Hills Cop, Murphy found himself in an exciting, but strange, new venue — James’s home-based recording studio in Buffalo, NY.

Besides writing “Party All the Time,” the famed “Super Freak” artist produced and arranged the song, provided backup vocals and even appeared in the music video.

The catchy hook, “My girl wants to party all the time, party all the time, party all the time,” proved irresistible to the masses and the song quickly ascended to #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, helped along by MTV, which put the song in heavy rotation.

"Party All the Time" may have been a #1 tune had it not been for Lionel Richie’s “Say You, Say Me," which wouldn't budge out of the top spot in the fall of 1985.

Now, more than 35 years after its release, “Party All the Time” is trying to find its rightful place in music history. The official Youtube video has been viewed more than 64 million times since being posted in 2014. The song accumulated 529,000 likes compared to only 19,000 dislikes.

Despite the overwhelmingly positive reaction of the masses, VH-1, Blender and AOL Radio all ranked "Party All the Time" on their lists of the “Worst Songs Ever.”

Trivia: It's rumored that Murphy recorded "Party All the Time" to settle a $100,000 wager with fellow comedian Richard Pryor, who claimed Murphy had no singing talent.

Please check out the official music video of Murphy performing “Party All the Time.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

Party All the Time”
Written by Rick James. Performed by Eddie Murphy.

I can’t understand it why you want to hurt me
After all the things I’ve done for you.
I buy you champagne and roses and diamonds on your finger –
Diamonds on your finger –
Still you hang out all night
what am I to do?

My girl wants to party all the time

Party all the time
party all the time.
My girl wants to party all the time
party all the time.

She parties all the time party all the time
She likes to party all the time party all the time
Party all the time she likes to party all the time
Party all the time.

I’ve seen you in clubs just hanging out and dancing.
You give your number to every man you see.
You never come home at night because you’re out romancing
I wish you bring some of your love home to me.

But my girl wants to party all the time
My girl wants to party all the time

party she likes to party all the time.
She likes to party all the time
She lets her hair down
she lets her body down,
She lets her body
She lets her body down.
Party all the time do you want to get any party
Party all the time party all the time.

Credit: Screen capture via Youtube.com / Eddie Murphy.
October 14th, 2021
"What gemstone is found in Utah that is rarer than diamond and more valuable than gold?"

That was the compelling headline penned in 2002 by the Utah Geological Survey to introduce its readers to red beryl, a little known gemstone found primarily in the state's Wah Wah Mountains.

Discovered in 1904 by Maynard Bixby, this raspberry-red gem had the bookkeeper-turned-miner scratching his head. He had a hunch that the stunning crystals represented a variety of beryl, but the red color didn't correlate with any beryl known to exist at the time.

Today, the best-known varieties of beryl include emerald (green), aquamarine (blue), morganite (pink) and heliodor (yellow).

One year after Bixby's discovery, W.F. Hillebrand, a geochemist from the National College in Washington, D.C., confirmed that Bixby's find was a new type of beryl. In 1912, Dr. A. Eppler named the fiery gem "bixbite" in his honor.

Over time, bixbite assumed several names, including "red emerald" and the more proper "red beryl." The name bixbite fell out of favor because it was often confused with bixbyite, a black manganese iron oxide also discovered by Bixby, in 1897.

Even though more than 100 years have passed since Bixby first encountered the curious red variety of beryl, the mineral has been unearthed in just a few locations — Utah's Thomas Range, Utah's Wah Wah Mountains and New Mexico's Black Range.

Of the three, only the Wah Wah Mountains have produced gem-grade crystals that are large enough to be faceted. The gems are primarily sourced at the Ruby-Violet Claim in Beaver County, Utah. The best specimens of red beryl display a raspberry-pink to slightly purplish-red color.

Writing for the Utah Geological Survey, Carl Ege noted that red beryl was worth 1,000 times more than gold and was so rare that one red beryl crystal is found for every 150,000 diamonds. Because red beryl is rarely found in large sizes, the Gemmological Association of Great Britain estimated that a 2-carat beryl has the same rarity as a 40 carat diamond.

The British gem association reported that the largest known faceted red beryl weighs in at 8 carats.

Gemsociety.org wrote that most fine red beryl crystal specimens are "zealously guarded by mineral collectors and never faceted." The one shown, above, is part of the Smithsonian's National Gem Collection in Washington, DC.

Credits: Faceted red beryl photo by DonGuennie (G-Empire The World Of Gems), CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons. Red beryl crystal photo by Chip Clark / Smithsonian.
October 13th, 2021
A colorful array of 355 gemstones imitate embroidered fabric in a Fabergé brooch that will be auctioned by Christie's London on November 29. The auction house set the presale high estimate at $122,000.

Christie's noted that the "incredibly delicate and rare brooch is one of the most imaginative and recognizable designs produced by Fabergé."

Peter Carl Fabergé and his company famously designed a series of 50 bejeweled eggs for the Russian Imperial Family from 1885 to 1917. Alexander III and Nicholas II commissioned many of the “Imperial” eggs as Easter gifts for their wives and mothers. The meticulously crafted objets d’art were produced up until the Russian Revolution, when the Fabergé family fled Russia.

Designed in St. Petersburg circa 1913, the piece seen above measures only 4.3 cm across (about 1 5/8 inches). Despite its small size, the platinum trellis-work panel contains 640 holes — 40 across and 16 down. More than half of them are set with diamonds, rubies, topaz, sapphires, demantoids, garnets and emeralds in a Russian-influenced floral motif. The perimeter of the brooch is framed by diamonds, but many of the holes just inside the perimeter are left empty to create a sense of dimension and negative space.

Fabergé artisans cut each of the square holes by hand and each gemstone had to be calibré-cut in such a way that it would perfectly fit into its designated space of approximately 1mm x 1mm.

According to Christie's, the same technique was employed for the Imperial Mosaic Egg presented by Nicholas II to his wife Alexandra Feodorovna in 1914. That egg is now part of the Royal Collection.

The Mosaic Egg was designed by Alma Pihl (1888-1976), who had deep ties with the Fabergé organization. Her father, Oscar Pihl, was head of Fabergé’s jewelry workshop in Moscow and her grandfather, August Holmström, was a Fabergé workmaster. According to jewelry-industry lore, Alma Pihl was inspired to produce the floral embroidery motif after watching her mother-in-law do needlework by the fireside.

Most recently, the piece was owned by Harry Woolf, a London-based businessman, who began to collect Fabergé items in the early 1970s. Christie's November 29 auction is titled "A Selection of Fabergé Masterpieces from the Harry Woolf Collection."

Credits: Images courtesy of Christie's.
October 12th, 2021
Hailing from San Diego County, CA, and standing 11 inches tall is “The Steamboat” tourmaline — a truly amazing example of October's birthstone.

The specimen’s two parallel crystals — which resemble steamboat stacks — display a range of vibrant colors that start at vivid reddish-pink at the bottom and transition to a bright bluish-green at the top. The tourmaline crystals rise out of a base of Cleavelandite, which is perched atop a large quartz crystal "hull."

Frank Barlow Schuyler is credited with discovering the fascinating formation at the Tourmaline King Mine in 1907. Three years earlier, Schuyler and a partner, D.G. Harrington, literally stumbled upon an enormous pocket of tourmaline crystals while searching for pegmatite in the Pala Chief Mountains.

Schuyler soon discovered that the tourmaline-rich pocket extended 30 feet in length and 10 feet wide, a single zone that would yield about eight tons of beautiful pink tourmaline. Schuyler would eventually sell most of the bounty to the Imperial Chinese government for $187.50 per pound. The $3 million worth of tourmaline that was pulled from the mine more than a century ago would be worth more than $86 million in today's dollars.

By 1915, Schuyler was still riding the wave of his tourmaline-based good fortune. At the Panama Pacific International Exhibition in San Francisco, the owner of the Tourmaline King Mine marketed his gems with the slogan, “Wear a tourmaline for luck.”

The “Steamboat” tourmaline was later purchased by master engineer Washington A. Roebling, who included it in his collection of 16,000 mineral specimens. Roebling was most famous for supervising the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Roebling’s son, John A. Roebling II, donated “The Steamboat” to the Smithsonian Institution, where it is has been on permanent display at the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals, which is part of the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC.

According to the Smithsonian, the tourmaline family consists of more than 30 distinct minerals, but only one — elbaite — accounts for nearly all of the tourmaline gemstones. Varieties of gem-quality elbaite include rubellite (red-pink), indicolite (blue), Paraiba (neon greenish-blue) and the multicolored watermelon (pink surrounded by green).

Tourmaline shares the spotlight with opal as the official birthstones for the month of October.

Credits: Photos by Dane A. Penland / Smithsonian.
October 11th, 2021
Monica Puig, the 2016 Olympic gold medalist in women's tennis, has a lot to smile about despite having to bow out of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics due to multiple surgeries. The Puerto Rican athlete announced with a series of Instagram photos that she got engaged over the weekend to fellow athlete Nathan Rakitt.

The jagged mountains of Lost Dutchman State Park in Arizona served as a majestic backdrop for a romantic proposal that saw Rakitt going down and one knee and presenting his girlfriend with what we believe is a princess-cut diamond ring.

"He said: Ready to jump?! I SAID YES!!!!!!" Puig wrote on Instagram. She punctuated her caption with two emojis: a red heart and a diamond ring.

Rakitt shared the same photos on his Instagram and exclaimed, "SHE SAID YES!!!!!!!"

Puig added a closeup photo on her ring to her Instagram story and captioned it, "Ninety percent sure I'm still dreaming."

A second image on her Instagram story showed the athlete in a workout room. She's grasping her morning coffee and aiming her new ring at the camera. She wrote, “Actin totally different this morning" and added three diamond ring emojis.

The tennis star also cleverly established a catchy wedding hashtag — #RacketsToRakitts — that links her profession to her new fiancé's last name.

Puig has been battling a series of injuries that prevented her from defending her Olympic crown. She had elbow surgery in December of 2020 and went under the knife again in June 2021 to have her rotator cuff and bicep tendon repaired.

Still, the 28-year-old told ESPN.com that her goal is to compete at the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

It's not clear how long the couple has been dating, but People.com reported that Puig began commenting on the 28-year-old Rakitt's Instagram posts in December of 2020.

This past April, the relationship seemed to advance to the next level on Instagram, where the couple traded sweet comments, each punctuated by a red heart emoji. Rakitt posted a photo of him and Puig and captioned it, "This girl." She commented, "I love you."

Credits: Images via Instagram / monicaace93 and Instagram / nrakitt.
October 8th, 2021
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fun songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today former Nickelodeon star Victoria Justice expresses female empowerment in her 2013 debut single, “Gold.”

In the song, a girl is trying to tell a long-time buddy that she’d like to be more than just friends.

She sings, "Hey, boy, whatcha gonna do / If you want me like I want you, then man up and make your move / I’m Gold, Gold."

Justice explained to Artistdirect how the word "gold" in the lyrics is intended to convey empowerment, not conceit.

"It's not like I'm saying, 'I'm gold. You should love me because I'm amazing and awesome.' It's more like, 'I feel empowered about myself. I feel good as a woman. I have self-respect. You should go for me!'"

Called the “perfect summer tune” by MTV Buzzworthy, “Gold” combines flirtatious, confident lyrics with an upbeat, carefree vibe.

The 28-year-old Justice became a household name in 2010 when she starred on the hit Nickelodeon series Victorious. With the release of her debut single, she followed the leads of fellow Nickelodeon alumnae Ariana Grande and Miranda Cosgrove, who also transitioned from acting to music.

Born in Hollywood, FL, in 1993, Victoria Dawn Justice made her acting debut as a 10-year-old on The WB comedy series, Gilmore Girls. Two years later, she landed the role of Lola Martinez on Nickelodeon's comedy-drama series, Zoey 101. From 2010 to 2013, she played Tori Vega on Victorious.

After releasing "Gold" in 2013, Justice took a seven-year hiatus from the music industry, returning in December 2020 with her single, "Treat Myself."

Trivia: Justice's love interest in the official video for "Gold" is played by Colton Haynes, who starred in the MTV series, Teen Wolf.

Please check out the video of Justice performing "Gold." The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

Written by Tove Nilsson, Peter Thomas, Jason Weiss, Sam Shrieve, Ben Camp, Jakob Jerlström and 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, whatcha 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, whatcha 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, whatcha 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

Credits: Screen capture via YouTube.com.
October 7th, 2021
Are diamond riches hiding in the seabed just off Greenland's southwest coast? Mining giant De Beers wants to know.

Multiple news agencies have confirmed that De Beers commissioned a survey to measure the viability of off-shore diamond mining near the town of Maniitsoq. De Beers would capture those diamonds using the same ship-based processing technology employed successfully near the coast of Namibia.

A De Beers spokesperson told Rapaport News that the early-stage research was intended to understand the region's topography.

The initial study was conducted by the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS), which is part of the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities.

Reuters reported that diamond deposits — formed under the intense pressure and heat of volcanoes — are known to be present onshore in west Greenland.

Off-shore diamonds are particularly prized because of their high value.

Ninety-five percent of the diamonds pulled from the seabed near Namibia, for example, are classified as gem quality. This compares to just 20% of gem-quality diamonds coming from De Beers’s top mine in Botswana. Some experts surmise that the diamonds in the ocean have endured such a pounding for so long that only the gem-quality ones could remain intact.

The initial survey in Greenland was conducted at a depth of 50 to 200 meters. The GEUS told Reuters that it would take months to analyze its data.

Off the coast of Namibia, Debmarine — a 50/50 joint venture between the Republic of Namibia and the De Beers Group — operates a fleet of ocean-based mining vessels that comb the ocean floor at a depth of up to 400 feet using advanced drilling technology.

Dredged gravel is pumped to the ships, where sophisticated X-ray machines and other diamond-sorting devices separate the gems from the gravel, and leftover material is returned to the sea bed. Recovered diamonds are securely sealed in containers, loaded into steel briefcases and flown by helicopter to De Beers's land-based facilities.

The newest ship in the Debmarine fleet will have the capacity to extract 500,000 carats annually.

Credits: Southwest Greenland coast image by Algkalv, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. Map by Google Maps. Diamond recovery vessel image courtesy of Debmarine-Namibia.
October 6th, 2021
A novice treasure hunter using his metal detector for the first time recently stumbled upon one of the largest, richest and most beautiful hoards of gold artifacts in Danish history.

Ole Ginnerup Schytz was looking for a place to try out his new metal detector, so he asked an old classmate if he could explore his property in Vindelev. Within a few hours, Schytz had literally struck gold — although he initially believed the crunched up, muddied metal he pulled from the ground was "the lid on a can of sour herring."

The lucky metal detectorist continued to strike gold at the site, netting 22 pieces dating back 1,500 years to pre-Viking times. The hoard weighed a total of 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds).

The site was subsequently excavated by archaeologists from Vejlemuseerne, in collaboration with experts from the Danish National Museum. The project was funded by Denmark's Agency for Culture and Palaces.

Archaeologists determined that the treasure was buried in a longhouse that was likely owned by an Iron Age chieftain.

"Only a member of the absolute cream of society would have been able to collect a treasure like the one found here," explained Mads Ravn, Head of Research at Vejlemuseerne.

The Vindelev Hoard consists of saucer-sized, beautifully decorated medallions, also known as bracteates. The recovery also included Roman coins that had been made into jewelry.

The burial of the gold may have been connected to a climate disaster that struck in the year 536 AD. Ash clouds from a large volcanic eruption resulted in many years of crop failure and famine.

According to many researchers, the catastrophe of 536 AD caused the inhabitants of what is now Denmark to reject the old rulers and bury lots of gold during this period — perhaps to to save it from enemies, or possibly to appease the gods.

In less than four months, the Vindelev Hoard will be presented to the public as part of Vejlemuseerne's large Viking exhibition, which opens on February 3, 2022.

Credits: Top two images courtesy of Vejle Museums. Bottom two images courtesy of Conservation Center Vejle.