Music Friday: ‘You Were a Shining Pearl in a Broken Shell,’ Sings Thomas Dolby in 1992’s ‘Cruel’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you awesome songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, the brainy British performer who blinded us with science in 1982, returns with “Cruel,” a deeply personal song about a one-sided love affair. Thomas Dolby, in a haunting duet with honey-voiced Eddi Reader, uses jewelry imagery to tell the story of an unrepentant boyfriend who refuses to change his ways.

He sings, “You were a shining pearl / In a broken shell / Under moonlight / And I was cruel.”

Dolby and Reader trade verses throughout the song, but join voices in a line about chasing false hope.

Together they sing, “But when my tears are washed away / You’ll still be blind / Skin-diving / For jewels.”

“Cruel” was released in 1992 as the second track from Dolby’s fourth studio album Astronauts & Heretics. Although the song hardly achieved the success of his biggest hit, “She Blinded Me With Science,” Dolby told in 2008 that “Cruel” was one of three songs that best defined him as an artist.

When asked by what he wanted to be remembered for, he answered, “My more obscure songs like ‘Screen Kiss,’ ‘I Love You Goodbye’ and ‘Cruel.’ I think it’s inevitable when you have hits as big as I had with “She Blinded Me With Science” and “Hyperactive,” that still get played on the radio 20 years later, people will tend to assume those songs define your music. But in my case, the music I really care most about is my quieter, more personal side.”

He told that he was pleased that his big hits gave people an inroad to discover the rest of his music, but lamented that his record label wouldn’t take the risk of releasing his “quieter” songs as singles.

Thomas Morgan Robertson was born in London in 1958. The son of an internationally distinguished professor of classical Greek art and archaeology, Dolby sang in a choir at age 11 and learned to sight-read music shortly thereafter. The artist’s stage name is a nod to Dolby noise-reduction cassettes. His schoolmates teased him about the Dolby cassette player that he carried everywhere.

Dolby is primarily known for synthpop, a subgenre of new wave music that first became prominent in the late 1970s. Dolby said he “got his hands on a kit-built synthesizer and never looked back.” Early in his career, he promoted himself as a kind of a musical mad scientist. Later on, he would become a technology entrepreneur in Silicon Valley. Today, he’s a Professor of the Arts at Johns Hopkins University.

Please check out the audio track of Dolby and Welsh songstress Reader singing “Cruel.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

Written by Thomas Dolby. Performed by Dolby with guest vocal by Eddi Reader.

Cruel – what a thing to do
I’ve been cruel to you such a long time
And how can I hide my shame
‘Cause there I go again
At the wrong time

And I know that it was just the fear of flying
And I know it’s hard to keep myself from crying

But when my tears are washed away
You’ll still be blind
For jewels

You were a shining pearl
In a broken shell
Under moonlight
And I was cruel

And I know that it was just the fear of flying
And I know it’s hard to keep myself from crying
But when my tears are washed away
You’ll still be blind
For jewels
Cruel – I’ve been such a fool
And I’ll be missing you
Such a long time
I was cruel

Credit: Image by Arthur Mouratidis from United States [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Survey: Majority of Tech-Obsessed Millennials Prefer to Shop in Physical Stores

Despite their obsession with technology, millennials prefer to shop in physical stores, according to a new survey released by CouponFollow. The study reveals that while millennials love their mobile devices and are likely to use them to research items online, when it comes to closing the deal, most of them will end up buying the products in a traditional store.

Understanding how millennials shop is crucial to the evolution of retail sales strategies. Those born between 1982 and 1996 make up the largest generation in human history, with more than 80 million members in the U.S. alone. They pump nearly $600 billion into the U.S. economy annually and are poised to inherit $30 trillion from their Baby Boomer parents. Today, millennials account for 28% of all daily per-person consumer spending — a figure that could rise to 35% by 2030, according to CouponFollow, a website that provides online coupon codes to consumers.

Here are the most important takeaways from CouponFollow’s “Millennial Shopping Report Summer 2017,” which outlines the trends, attitudes and behaviors of 1,000 Americans between the ages of 20 and 35 from all 50 states…

• According to the survey, 53% of millennials make the majority of their purchases in brick-and-mortar stores. Exactly 31% report that most of their purchases are made online via desktop computer and 16% make the majority of their purchases via a mobile device.

• Younger millennials (ages 20-23) are more likely to shop at brick-and-mortar stores. The survey reveals that 58% of younger millennials make the majority of their purchases offline. That number is five percentage points higher than the generational average.

• More than three in four millennials will browse the internet before making a purchase. When millennials research a product both online and offline, they’re more likely make the purchase at a traditional store. Specifically, 67% of millennials who conduct this level of research will make their purchase offline, while 33% will head for the online shopping cart.

• When shopping online, millennials are most impacted by savings, free shipping and peer reviews, and least impacted by personalization and checkout ease. Nearly 80% of online shoppers noted that they are “greatly impacted” by finding deals and saving money, while 67% are “greatly impacted” by the option of free shipping. Six in 10 said they are “greatly impacted” by product reviews and feedback.

• On average, more than half of millennials search for coupons on the internet before making an online or offline purchase. Seventy percent of those purchasing via desktop will seek an internet coupon, while 52% of their brick-and-mortar counterparts will do the same.

The analysts at CouponFollow believe that as millennials advance in age and spending power, so too must the strategies developed and implemented by America’s retailers.

Their advice: By fusing together the online and offline shopping experience, brands can earn considerable market share by adopting a hybrid approach to commerce that’s rooted in value and designed to empower authentic consumer engagement across a rapidly evolving suite of channels and platforms.

Credit: Image by Porapak Apichodilok/Creative Commons CC0.

Israeli Schoolchildren Unearth Trove of 900-Year-Old Jewelry at Ancient Crusader Fortress

More than 2,500 Israeli schoolchildren helped unearth a trove of 900-year-old jewelry at the Givat Tittora excavation site in Modi’in, about 20 miles northwest of Jerusalem. Among the items found were bronze and silver rings, bracelets and earrings dating from the Crusader period.

Local students from the fourth to 12th grades got a chance to learn about history while literally playing in the dirt. Over the past year, the students and other volunteers from the community have successfully exposed the inner courtyard of a Crusader fortress, where its occupants cooked and baked for hundreds of years during the Middle Ages.

“It seems that the cooks of the time were not sufficiently careful with the jewelry they wore while cooking and baking, since numerous pieces of jewelry have been found in the excavation, some made of bronze and silver,” explained Avraham Tendler, excavation director for the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Other artifacts found at the site included clay ovens, cooking pots, jars and serving dishes. They also identified food remains, such as olive pits and animal bones.

Nine-year-old volunteer Kinneret Goodman told the Times of Israel that participating in the dig was “as good as going to the beach.”

Said the fourth grader, “You get to find things and then you can take pictures and remember the time that you found things from hundreds of years ago, and even more.”

Tendler said that the excavation site has yielded artifacts left behind by a long line of inhabitants dating back to the Chalcolithic period (c. 6,000 years ago). The hilltop site has been a popular settlement due to its strategic location on the route from the Mediterranean coast to Jerusalem, as well as its proximity to fertile valleys, which were able to support food production.

The cultural-educational archaeological program is jointly sponsored by the Israel Antiquities Authority and the municipality of Givat Tittora. The program gives local students a unique opportunity to work alongside professional archaeologists in an historical setting.

“The enthusiasm begins with the younger generation, with activities carried out by the Israel Antiquities Authority in the schools, and makes its way into the homes, to the parents and the extended family,” noted Vered Bosidan, project coordinator for the Israel Antiquities Authority. “It is there that the seeds are sown that result in the development of an awareness of antiquity preservation.”

The Israel Antiquities Authority anticipates that the Givat Tittora project will continue for many years as local schoolchildren and residents carry on the task of peeling away ancient layers, exploring its treasures and being connected to them in an exciting, hands-on way.

Credits: Images courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Aussie Pensioner Lands 151-Ounce Gold Nugget, Fulfilling His 37-Year Dream of Finding ‘The Big One’

Syd Pearson, a 68-year-old metal detector hobbyist from Down Under, dug up a 151.6-ounce nugget at a secret location near Bendigo, Australia, fulfilling a 37-year dream of finding “The Big One.” The golden treasure netted a $227,000 windfall for the pensioner.

The former sanitation engineer said that his discovery actually took place in December, but he kept it a secret for security reasons.

He told the media that he was enjoying his favorite pastime when the hum from his metal detector signaled a sizable find. He poked his pick axe into the soil and was astonished by the distinctive “clunk” sound that echoed back at him. It was the sound of gold.

He carefully pried out the nugget that had been lying just under the surface and held it with two hands. He said he was “gobsmacked” by the experience.

“I never let it go, I just sat there and shook,” he said.

Pearson joked that he was shaking so much that he didn’t need to stir the cup of tea he made for himself right after the discovery.

“It’s not just the value of it,’’ Pearson told The Herald Sun. “I’ve achieved something I spent 37 years trying to do. I always dreamt of finding the big one. I was persistent and never gave up.’’

The nugget — which he named “The Lady Catherine” in honor of his wife — was determined to be about 96% pure, the equivalent of 23-karat gold. Based on the spot price of gold, the precious metal content would be worth $183,404. The Aussie press has reported that the nugget was valued at nearly AUD$300,000, or about $227,000. Apparently, the rarity of the nugget warrants a premium of 24%.

While The Lady Catherine is a huge nugget by most standards, it’s barely 7% the weight of “The Welcome Stranger,” which was discovered near Moliagul, Victoria, in 1869. That record-setting nugget weighed a staggering 2,300 ounces (143.75 pounds) and would have a precious metal value today of more than $3 million.

In the months between his initial discovery and now, Pearson has successfully sold the nugget to an anonymous U.S. collector. But, before he did, he commissioned two replicas of the nugget — one for himself and one for the Melbourne Museum.

Pearson used his earnings to pay down his home mortgage and invest in bathroom renovations. He’s also planning to go on a houseboat holiday.

Australia is experiencing a mini Gold Rush, with thousands of metal detector enthusiasts returning to the “Golden Triangle” in western Victoria to seek their fortune. The area’s first Gold Rush period was in the 1850s.

Credits: Screen captures via Map by GoogleMaps.

5-Year-Old Gets a Heart Necklace Moments After Her Mom Gets a Diamond Engagement Ring

Grant Tribbett swept two ladies off their feet in late May when he popped the question to his girlfriend, Cassandra Reschar, and then, moments later, asked her five-year-old daughter, Adrianna, if he could be her daddy. Both ladies said, “Yes.”

While the 29-year-old Tribbett proposed to Reschar with a traditional diamond engagement ring, Adrianna received a heart necklace to symbolize the permanent piece of his heart that she will always have with her.

“I knew proposing to Cassandra [meant] that I also would be committing to a lifetime of fatherhood. So what better way to ask the love of my life to marry me than to ask her beloved daughter to get the honor to be her daddy?” Tribbett told ABC News.

Reschar, 26, gave her account of the momentous event on “How He Asked,” the Instagram page managed by The Knot: “After proposing to me, Grant got back down to propose to my daughter. He said, ‘Adrianna can I be your daddy, to promise to love and protect you for the rest of your life?’ As soon as he spoke those sweet words, I once again broke down in tears. Not the cute kind of tears either, the bawling type tears. My little heart could not take so much love! Adrianna replied, “YES!” and then screaming with joy she said, “I FINALLY GET A DADDY, MOMMY, I FINALLY GET A DADDY!'”

Reschar concluded, “My daughter and I both got our fairy tale ending…”

The heartwarming two-for-one proposal took place on a picturesque bridge inside Ritchey Woods Nature Preserve in Fishers, Ind. Tribbett had arranged for his photographer friend, Mandi Gilliland, to hide near the bridge so she could capture the moment. The resulting photos are spectacular. You can see the series at “How He Asked.” Click this link.

The future groom recently moved from St. Louis to Westfield, Ind., to be closer to Reschar and her daughter. The couple will be hosting 125 guests at a barn wedding in December.

Credits: Photos via

Music Friday: Love-Struck Brad Paisley Forgets the Engagement Ring in ‘You Have That Effect On Me’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fun songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, a love-struck Brad Paisley is about to propose to his girlfriend, but accidentally leaves the engagement ring at home in 2001’s “You Have That Effect On Me.”

In the song, Paisley assumes the role of a young man who is so head-over-heels in love that he can hardly think straight. He tells his girlfriend how anxious he’s been during the past few weeks — that he’s been haunted by the vision of getting down on one knee and forgetting what to say. Each morning, while brushing his teeth, he’s rehearsed the lines, but still can’t get them memorized.

He purchased the ring of her dreams, but when it was finally time to pop the question, something was still not right…

Paisley sings, “You’ve had your eyes on a 2-carat ring / I finally went out and I bought it / Right now it’s at home sittin’ on my TV / Would you believe I forgot it.”

Our hero tells us why he deserves a free pass for his absentmindedness: “You can’t blame me ’cause it’s plain to see that you have that effect on me.”

The role of an awkward suitor comes naturally to Paisley, who famously fell in love with actress Kimberly Williams in 1991, but didn’t get the courage to call her until 10 years later. Williams starred in 1991’s Father of the Bride, and Paisley developed an instant crush when he saw her on the big screen. His feelings only grew stronger when he saw her in Father of the Bride II in 1995. It took another six years before he would finally contact the actress and convince her to go out on a date.

Williams told that they “fell for each other fast.” They met in 2001, were engaged in August of 2002 and tied the knot in March of 2003.

“You Have That Effect On Me” was the 11th track of Part II, his second studio album — a release that rose to #3 on the U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums chart and #31 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart.

Born in West Virginia, Bradley Douglas “Brad” Paisley was introduced to country music by his grandfather, Warren Jarvis, who gave the eight-year-old his first guitar, a Sears Danelectro Silvertone. Jarvis taught his grandson to play, and by the age of 10 Paisley was already performing at his church.

While in junior high, Paisley was doing a show at a local Rotary Club, when he was discovered by a program director for a Wheeling, W.V., radio station. He was invited to be a guest on the popular radio show “Wheeling Jamboree” and the rest is history.

Paisley has sold more than 12 million albums, won three Grammy Awards, 14 Academy of Country Music Awards, 14 Country Music Association Awards and two American Music Awards. In 2001, at the age of 28, he became the youngest artist ever to be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.

In 2010, Paisley performed at the National Memorial Day Concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (see photo, above).

Please check out the audio track of Paisley performing “You Have That Effect on Me.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“You Have That Effect On Me”
Written by Brad Paisley and Frank Rogers. Performed by Brad Paisley.

Every morning the last couple of weeks
In between shaving and brushing my teeth
I’d lean on the sink and practice my lines
By now you would think they’d be memorized

But leave it to me to come all this way
Get down on one knee and forget what to say
I’m at a loss, should have known this is how it would be
‘Cause you have that effect on me

I must admit I still don’t understand
Why I lose my head holding your hand
There’s no explanation, no simple excuse
For this intoxication I feel around you

And now truth be known since I’ve met you girl
I’ve been walkin’ around in my own little world
One look in my eyes and darlin’ any fool could see
That you have that effect on me

You’ve had your eyes on a 2-carat ring
I finally went out and I bought it
Right now it’s at home sittin’ on my TV
Would you believe I forgot it

But you can’t blame me ’cause it’s plain to see
That you have that effect on me
Yeah, you have that effect on me
Girl, you have that effect on me

Credits: Image by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Traveler’s Despair Turns to Elation as Albany TSA Pulls Out All the Stops to Find Lost Diamond

Earlier this month, airline passenger Kana Chi-Murenbeeld had just cleared the security checkpoint at New York’s Albany International Airport when she looked down at her engagement ring and was horrified to see that a prong had broken off and her pear-shaped diamond was missing from the setting.

“I have never in my life been so panicked and upset in an airport, let alone anywhere else in public before,” wrote Kana Chi-Murenbeeld in note to TSA. Married only three years, the young woman had worn the diamond ring every day since her engagement in 2013.

Overcome with despair, the Fort Lauderdale resident sank into a seat at the back of the checkpoint area and cried.

Supervisory Transportation Security Officer Louetta “Rainy” Littman spotted the distraught passenger and assured her that her diamond was “not lost yet.”

While a group of TSA officers continued to screen passengers, other officers were on their hands and knees looking for the diamond. They scoured the area from the ticket document checking station through the entire checkpoint lane, going through the stack of bins, peering under machines and using flashlights in the hope of seeing a reflection bouncing off the diamond.

After about 10 minutes, Transportation Security Officer Steven Kaminski glanced at a bin with a tissue left inside of it.

“Nobody had looked in that bin yet, so I looked in and there it was,” he said. “I just wanted to help her out. I know I would have been disappointed if I had lost a valuable item like that and nobody had helped me.”

Chi-Murenbeeld was quick to thank the entire TSA crew, and especially the man who saved the day.

“She squeezed the air out of me with a huge hug,” Kaminsky said. She also hugged all of the other officers who were involved in the diamond hunt.

“The amazingly kind and caring supervisor on duty was on top of the situation right away, having her team of officers scour the area as well as calm me down with her optimistic attitude,” noted Chi-Murenbeeld. “I have traveled all around the world and can say in all honesty that I have never met such an amazing team of workers in the airline or security industry.”

Credits: Steve Kaminiski and Albany TSA team photos courtesy of TSA. Ring photo courtesy of Kana Chi-Murenbeeld.

18.4-Carat ‘Rockefeller Emerald’ Sets World Auction Record at Christie’s in Rockefeller Center

The 18.4-carat “Rockefeller Emerald” set a new world auction record for the highest per-carat price ever achieved for an emerald when it fetched $5.5 million yesterday at Christie’s New York, which is headquartered, quite fittingly, in Rockefeller Center.

Described by Christie’s as possessing mesmerizing color and impeccable clarity, the Colombian emerald was originally purchased in 1930 as part of a pendant brooch by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., for his wife, Abby. After Abby passed away in 1948, Rockefeller asked New York jeweler Raymond C. Yard to disassemble the Van Cleef & Arpels brooch so the individual emeralds from the setting could be distributed among the Rockefeller children. Yard set the center emerald in a platinum ring and Rockefeller gifted it to his son, David.

“This is supremely natural beauty,” Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s International Head of Jewelry, told CNBC. “This truly is the finest emerald that’s ever come up for sale at auction, or anywhere else in the world.”

The ring features the octagonal step-cut emerald flanked on either side by trapezoid and circular-cut diamonds.

Christie’s noted that the intense color and distinct saturation that typifies a Colombian emerald is illustrated perfectly in this remarkable stone. American Gemological Laboratories described the stone as “exceptional,” possessing what AGL calls an “unusual combination of size, provenance, absence of treatment and quality factors [that contribute] favorably to its rarity and desirability.”

The Rockefeller Emerald’s per-carat price of $304,878 edged out the $281,329 achieved by the previously record holder — a 23.46-carat emerald-and-diamond pendant brooch formerly owned by actress Elizabeth Taylor. That Bulgari brooch was sold by Christie’s New York for $6.6 million in 2011 as part of the landmark auctions of “The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor” and still claims the record for the highest price ever paid for an emerald jewel.

Members of the Rockefeller family are often characterized as American royalty. John D. Rockefeller Jr. was the only son among five children of Standard Oil co-founder John D. Rockefeller, America’s first billionaire. During the Great Depression, “Junior” developed Rockefeller Center, an impressive complex of midtown Manhattan office buildings, which he called the “city within a city.”

“It’s very, very cool that we have this city within a city, selling the stone that belonged to the man who built it,” Kadakia told CNBC.

Credits: Rockefeller Emerald images courtesy of Christie’s.

Snake Ring Made in Prison by Clyde Barrow for Bonnie Parker Hits the Auction Block

The three-headed snake ring that notorious outlaw Clyde Barrow crafted in prison for the love of his life and partner in crime, Bonnie Parker, will be offered for sale at RR Auction in Boston later this month.

The silver-tone promise ring — featuring green and red jewels — was recovered from their bullet-riddled ’33 Ford Model B by Sheriff Smoot Schmid after the “Sowers Raid” in November 1933. Bonnie and Clyde fled on foot, escaping the police ambush despite wounds to their legs from the bullets that passed through the car. The legendary couple famously robbed banks and evaded the law for two years until they met a tragic demise in 1934. Bonnie was 23 and Clyde was 25.

This promise ring, which is expected to fetch $40,000+ at the auction house’s “Gangsters, Outlaws and Lawmen” sale on June 24, is recorded in Sheriff Schmid’s inventory as “Bonnie Parker Ring (3 Silver Snakes with Tiny Jewels).”

An authentication paper written by New Hampshire-based graduate gemologist David H. Bellman explained that Clyde was a skilled amateur craftsman, dabbling in jewelry-making, leather craft and woodworking. He was also an accomplished musician.

The snake ring he crafted in 1930 while incarcerated at Eastham Prison Farm near Huntsville, Texas, bears his personal trademark, an arrow passing through the musical note “B.” The arrow in his maker’s mark may be that of Cupid, symbolizing his love for Bonnie, or it may be a clever, graphical way to spell out his last name, [B]arrow. He likely carved the design from a block of wax and then fabricated the ring from copper using the lost-wax casting process. The final step was plating it in silver.

Among some of the other items known to have been made by Clyde while in jail are a beaded necklace given to his sister, Marie, a hand-tooled leather belt with metal studs and blue and red stones, and his own polished silver belt buckle with a five-pointed Texas Star in the center surrounded by abalone shell. Bellman noted that the leather belt, belt buckle and snake ring all exhibit similar styles of artistic approach and the same level of high-quality, though unrefined, craftsmanship.

The couple’s exploits were romanticized in the 1967 blockbuster film, Bonnie and Clyde, with Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty playing the title roles. Bonnie and Clyde captured two Academy Awards, including Best Cinematography.

Interestingly, at the time of her death, Bonnie was wearing the wedding ring that was given to her by Roy Thornton, who she married just before her 16th birthday in 1926. Their marriage crumbled when Thornton was jailed in 1929. Bonnie met Clyde in 1930, and they immediately fell in love. Two months later, Clyde would become an inmate at Eastham Prison Farm, where he would test his jewelry-making skills. Although they were never formally engaged, the three-headed snake promise ring remains a powerful symbol of two of America’s highest-profile antiheroes.

On May 23, 1934, Bonnie and Clyde were ambushed and killed by police officers near the town of Sailes, in Bienville Parish, La.

Credits: Jewelry images courtesy of RR Auction; Bonnie and Clyde photo by one of the Barrow gang [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

De Beers Launches State-of-the-Art Diamond-Seeking Vessel

Outfitted with state-of-the-art sonar technology and drilling devices, the mv SS Nujoma is ready to start probing the ocean floor for valuable diamond deposits off the coast of Namibia. It’s the sixth and most advanced vessel in De Beers’s growing fleet.

Mining of Namibia’s diamonds — some of the most valuable in the world — takes place at about 120 to 140 meters below sea level.

The $157 million, 113-meter-long vessel incorporates unique technologies that allow it to sample faster, take larger samples and collect more information per sample than any other diamond sampling vessel. It generates sampling results at more than double the speed of its predecessor.

The new vessel was officially introduced Thursday at an inauguration ceremony, which was attended by De Beers and Namibian officials, including the ship’s namesake, Namibia’s founding president Sam Nujoma.

“Offshore diamond mining is becoming increasingly important in meeting global demand for diamonds as many of the major onshore deposits have now been discovered,” said Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group. “The mv SS Nujoma will allow even more of Namibia’s high-quality offshore diamonds to be discovered and mined, ensuring a strong future for Namibia’s diamond industry, as well as the global diamond market.”

In 2016, Debmarine Namibia, a 50/50 joint venture between the Government of the Republic of Namibia and the De Beers Group, mined more than 1.2 million carats of high-quality diamonds off the shore of the southwestern edge of the African continent. According to The Wall Street Journal, the mining operation yields a handful of diamonds for every 180 tons of material processed.

De Beers predicts that it will take about 50 years to “mine out” the licensed area that covers 2,300 square miles. It starts about three miles offshore and extends into the ocean an additional 10 to 20 miles.

The partnership is the single biggest contributor to Namibia’s economy and delivers more than $781 million in revenue annually. Since 2002, Debmarine Namibia has been the only company in the world to mine diamonds offshore.

While sea-based diamonds account for just 4% of De Beers’s annual production by carat weight, they account for 13% by value. This is because 95% of the diamonds pulled from the ocean floor are of 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 stay intact.

Geologists believe that many eons ago, the Orange River ferried precious diamonds from the center of South Africa westward all the way to the Atlantic coast — eventually scattering millions of carats across the ocean floor.

Credits: Images courtesy of De Beers; Map via Google Maps.