Music Friday: Fed-Up Girlfriend Demands a Shiny Ring and a Walk Down the Aisle in the ‘Little White Church’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fun songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town demands an engagement ring and a walk down the aisle in the up-tempo 2010 country hit, “Little White Church.”

Fairchild portrays a young woman who is fed up with her boyfriend — a “charming devil” with a “silver tongue.” He’s been skirting a marriage commitment for far too long, and now Fairchild needs to lay down the law. From here forward, he won’t be riding this “gravy train” until he buys her a shiny ring and takes her down to the little white church.

She sings, “You’ve been singing that same old song / Far too long, far too long / Say you’ll buy me a shiny ring / But your words don’t mean a thing.”

Co-written by Little Big Town band members Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Jimi Westbrook and Phillip Sweet, along with Nashville-based songwriter Wayne Kirkpatric, “Little White Church” was inspired by a phrase jotted down in Fairchild’s notebook.

Sweet told songfacts.com that a writing session turned into an avalanche of creativity when they started working on “Little White Church.”

“And it came together pretty fast,” Sweet said. “Karen had the idea written in her book… because you drive around [Franklin] Tennessee and you see all these beautiful, quaint, picturesque, little white churches all over the place.”

Fairchild wanted the song to incorporate a bluegrass-inspired musical form called “call and response,” which can be heard in the rousing “take me down, take me down” chorus.

“Little White Church” is the lead single from Little Big Town’s album The Reason Why. The song climbed to #6 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and had crossover success on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, topping out at #59.

In the official music video, Fairchild portrays a bride on her wedding day. As she’s walking on a country road toward the town’s little white church, she’s joined by her band members. Meanwhile, Fairchild’s deranged mom gags her fiancé, ties him up and hides him in the trunk of a car.

Check out the video to see how it all turns out. The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“Little White Church”
Written by Jimi Westbrook, Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet and Wayne Kirkpatrick. Performed by Little Big Town.

You’ve been singing that same old song
Far too long, far too long
Say you’ll buy me a shiny ring
But your words don’t mean a thing
No more calling me baby
No more loving like crazy

Till you take me down (take me down)
You better take me down (take me down)
Take me down to the little white church
Take me down (take me down) take me down (take me down)
Take me down to the little white church
Take me down

You can’t ride this gravy train
Anymore, anyway
There’s a price for keeping me
I might be cheap, but I ain’t free
No more calling me baby
No more loving like crazy

Till you take me down (take me down)
You better take me down (take me down)
Take me down to the little white church
Take me down (take me down) take me down (take me down)
Take me down to the little white church
Take me down

Come on

Charming devil, silver tongue
Had your fun, now you’re done
Mama warned me ’bout your games
She don’t like you anyway

No more calling me baby
No more loving like crazy
No more chicken and gravy
Ain’t gonna have your baby

Till you take me down (take me down)
You better take me down (take me down)
Take me down to the little white church
Take me down (take me down)
You better take me down (take me down)
Take me down to the little white church
Take me down to the little white church (take me down)
Take me down (take me down to the little white church)
Take me down (take me down)
You better take me down (you better take me down)
Take me down to the little white church
Take me down (take me down)
You better take me down (take me down)
Take me down to the little white church
Take me down (take me down)
You better take me down (take me down)
Take me down to the little white church
Take me down to the little white church, take me down to the little white church

Credit: Screen capture via YouTube.com.

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Engagement Ring Lost While Baking Cookies Turns Up 50+ Years Later During Kitchen Renovation

Herman’s Hermits were on the radio, Lyndon B. Johnson was in The White House and Audrey Musgrove was on her hands and knees looking for an engagement ring she would never find in the kitchen of her brand new home in Sully, Iowa.

The year was 1965, and the young mom had taken off her bridal jewelry prior to mixing up a batch of cookies with her son. She had placed the rings against the backsplash, but when she returned later to retrieve the rings, the engagement ring was gone.

If the ring had fallen from the backsplash, it had to be in the kitchen — somewhere — but despite hours of searching, Audrey and husband, Don, came up empty.

“We hunted everywhere, but didn’t find it,” Audrey told hometownpressia.com. “We had no way to know for sure, and removing cabinets at the time didn’t seem logical.”

She accepted the harsh reality that the engagement ring was likely gone forever.

She did joke, though, that 100 years from now somebody would be tearing down the house and maybe they’d find the ring.

More than 50 years passed and the Musgroves, in 2016, moved into a new Sully home more suited to their senior lifestyle. She has worn the wedding band every day for 59 years, but never replaced the engagement ring.

Earlier this year, the new owners of the Musgrove home, George and Kimberley Mould, embarked on a total kitchen renovation. When they removed the island cabinet, a pristine engagement ring winked up at them. The startled homeowners contacted their real estate agent, who, in turn, tracked down the Musgroves. Audrey provided a detailed description of the missing ring, and the real estate agent confirmed it was hers.

“I had asked about picking the ring up, and since [the Moulds] were at the house working, they said to ‘Come on over,’” Audrey Musgrove told hometownpressia.com. “We both went to the house to get it. We were so excited, and I think they were also excited as Kimberley gave me a big hug when she handed me the ring. It was in perfect condition!”

Audrey Musgrove is still having trouble wrapping her head around the fact that her engagement ring is back on her finger.

“I still can’t believe it and have to look at it every once in a while to believe it is really there,” she said.

Credits: Screen captures via kcci.com.

Graff’s $53M Purchase Reunites 1,109-Carat Lesedi La Rona With Her 373-Carat Sibling

British billionaire and diamantaire Laurence Graff paid $53 million for the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona, the largest gem-quality rough diamond discovered in more than a century. Graff’s purchase marks the poignant reunion of two of the world’s largest and most high-profile diamonds. You see, Graff had already paid $17.5 million for the 373.72-carat “chunk” that fractured from her sibling during the mining process.

Lucara Diamond Corp. and Graff closed the deal with a handshake after more than a year of negotiations. The 79-year-old founder of Graff Diamonds had purchased Lesedi La Rona’s smaller sibling at Lucara’s Exceptional Stone Tender in May. That price was $46,827 per carat, just slightly lower than the $47,777 per-carat price paid for Lesedi La Rona.

“We are thrilled and honored to become the new custodians of this incredible diamond,” noted Graff in a statement. “Our highly skilled team of master craftsmen will draw on many years of experience of crafting the most important diamonds, working night and day to ensure that we do justice to this remarkable gift from Mother Nature.”

What the tennis-ball-sized Lesedi La Rona will ultimately yield after the cutting and polishing process is still a mystery.

“The stone will tell us its story. It will dictate how it wants to be cut and we will take the utmost care to respect its exceptional properties,” Graff added. “This is a momentous day in my career, and I am privileged to be given the opportunity to honor the magnificent natural beauty of the Lesedi La Rona.”

The largest gem-quality rough diamond of all time is the 3,106-carat Cullinan Diamond. It was discovered in South Africa in 1905 and eventually cut into nine major pieces and 96 smaller brilliant-cut diamonds. The largest of the polished diamonds, the Great Star of Africa, weighed 530.4 carats and is now part of the British Crown Jewels.

Back in June of 2016, Lucara Diamond Corp. was confident that Lesedi La Rona, which means “our light” in Botswana’s Tswana language, would fetch at least $70 million when it went under the hammer during a stand-alone sale at Sotheby’s London.

The diamond went unsold when bidding stalled at $61 million. Then, in the summer of 2017, Lucara officials lamented that Lesedi La Rona might be “too big to sell” and contemplated slicing it into smaller parcels.

At first blush, it appears as if Graff made a great deal at $53 million. By comparison, the 813-carat Constellation — also sourced from Lucara’s Karowe mine in Botswana and nearly 300 carats lighter — sold for $63 million in May of 2016. In fact, Lesedi La Rona, the Constellation and the Graff “chunk” were all found within 72 hours of one another in November of 2015.

All three stone are rated Type IIa, the purest of all diamonds because they are composed solely of carbon with virtually no trace elements in the crystal lattice.

Graff is no stranger to the world of magnificent diamonds. In 2006, he bought the 603-carat uncut Lesotho Promise for $12.4 million. Also among his treasures are the D-flawless 102.79-carat Graff Constellation, the 118-carat vivid fancy yellow Delaire Sunrise diamond and the internally flawless 23.88-carat Graff Pink.

Credits: Images courtesy of Graff Diamonds, Lucara Diamond Corp.

NJ Officer Searches Breakdown Lane — on His Own Time — to Find Engagement Ring of Young Bride-to-Be

A police officer with a heart of gold searched the breakdown lane of Route 4 in New Jersey — on his own time — to find the engagement ring of a young bride-to-be.

Kimberly Garcia had lost her ring while changing a flat tire on the side of the busy highway in northern New Jersey, but didn’t realize it had slipped off until she got home on Sunday. The distraught 27-year-old, whose wedding is set for August 2018, filed a report with the Paramus Police Department and returned to the scene the same day with a group of officers.

Despite their best efforts, they were unable to find the ring.

Obviously moved by Garcia’s plight, Officer Jon Henderson was not ready to give up the search. On Monday, he returned to Route 4 during his free patrol time and meticulously scoured the breakdown lane where Garcia had been.

Before long, the officer had successfully located the ring and returned it to an ever-grateful Garcia.

The Paramus Police Department posted a photo of the officer and Garcia, whose brilliant smile reflects just how happy she is to have her engagement ring back on her finger.

The caption reads, in part, “The Paramus Police Department is ecstatic that Officer Jon Henderson was able to recover the lost engagement ring of Kimberly Garcia.”

The post earned 1,300 Likes, 113 Comments and 43 Shares on Facebook.

Noted Facebook user Don Pierce, “Awesome job! No surprise here. Paramus PD is a class outfit.”

Added Michael Dalton, “Excellent job!! Way to go above & beyond!!”

Bringing an amusing perspective to the story was Chris Balutis, who wrote, “I don’t know which is more impressive. That he took the extra time to locate her ring or that she was changing her own flat on the side of Route 4!”

Credit: Image courtesy of Paramus Police Department.

KC Man Who Fumbled Ring Into Pond Earns a Redo on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ AND Gets Original Ring Back

The forlorn boyfriend who famously fumbled an engagement ring into the pond at Kansas City’s Loose Park earned a redo on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Tuesday. Seth Dixon got to propose to Ruth Salas in front of a national TV audience on a set that mimicked the wooden footbridge where the original proposal took place.

The redo came as a complete surprise for the couple, who thought that they were being invited to Los Angeles by ABC to be interviewed on 20/20. That all was a ruse to get the couple to attend the taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, where the host invited them onto the stage. He recounted their story and showed the original “oops” video, where — in mid proposal — the engagement ring flies out of the ring box, bounces on the bridge decking and falls through the slats into the murky pond below. Despite the valiant efforts of the couple and many friends, the ring could not be found.

The video went viral and triggered scads of proposal-gone-wrong headlines around the world.

Kimmel didn’t only provide the venue for the high-profile redo, but also made sure the couple had a new engagement ring. The ring, presented by celebrity jeweler Neil Lane, featured an oval-cut center stone accented by 100 smaller diamonds in a halo setting.

Dixon’s redo proposal went off without a hitch.

“We’ve been together for four years,” he said. “You’re the love of my life. We’ve had ups and downs, and we’ve gotten through it all. We know this day’s been coming for a long time. And I love you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”

Then it got down on one knee.

“Will you marry me?”

“Yes,” Salas said.

What the ABC studio audience didn’t know at the time of the taping was that back at Loose Park in Kansas City, metal-detector enthusiast Michael Long had successfully pulled the original ring from the mucky bottom of the pond. The resident of Springfield, Mo., had seen the couple’s viral video on Facebook and made the 170-mile trip to Loose Park three separate times to dive for the ring.

“I wanted to make sure they got it back before somebody else found it and had the opportunity to not give it back,” Long told Kansas City TV station KSHB.

Dixon, an Uber driver, and Salas, a substitute teacher, got word of the good news while they were in California and told the producers of 20/20 that the ring was found.

Dixon described the events on his Facebook page…

“Throughout the week, we [had] been in constant communication with 20/20 and they have been made aware that we found the ring, but it wasn’t in our possession yet,” he wrote. “We have been completely honest with them during this entire process. Even with them knowing everything, they still decided to bless us with a new ring. After the show, we again mentioned the ring situation. They again said they wanted us to keep the new ring! All of the staff at Jimmy Kimmel Live! have been AMAZING and we are so thankful for them! They have been nothing but a blessing to us!”

Dixon also acknowledged the kindness and tireless efforts of a complete stranger.

“A BIG THANKS to Michael Long for offering his services to help us find the original ring!” he wrote. “We truly appreciate you going out of your way to find our ring and returning it to us. Many people searched for the ring, but you are the one who found it. We greatly appreciate your service! We recommend Michael to everyone as a professional treasure hunter! Thank you again!”

The couple plans to wed on October 21 and it’s still not clear whether Salas will be wearing the original ring or the new one provided by the show.

Check out the video of Dixon’s “redo” proposal on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. And, yes, Dixon and Salas happen to be wearing the same outfits (right down to the shoes) from the original “oops” video.

Screen captures via YouTube.com/Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Facebook.com/Staci Dabney’s Photography. Recovered ring via Facebook/Seth Dixon.

Music Friday: Coldplay’s Chris Martin Learns He Doesn’t Have to Possess Achilles’ Gold to Get a Shot at True Love

Hey, it’s Music Friday when we bring you awesome songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. When “Something Just Like This” was released earlier this year, the lyric video set a YouTube record with more than 9 million views in 24 hours. To date, that video has been seen an astonishing 686 million times.

A collaboration of The Chainsmokers and Coldplay, “Something Just Like This” uses a precious metal reference to tell the story of a young man who discovers that he doesn’t have to possess superhuman qualities to get a shot at true love.

In the first verse, Coldplay’s frontman Chris Martin compares himself to legendary heroes and faces the harsh reality that he doesn’t stack up.

He sings, “I’ve been reading books of old / The legends and the myths / Achilles and his gold / Hercules and his gifts / Spiderman’s control / And Batman with his fists / And clearly I don’t see myself upon that list.”

Fortunately for him, his girlfriend is logical, level-headed and more realistic about what is really important in a relationship.

Martin sings her response, “I’m not looking for somebody / With some superhuman gifts / Some superhero / Some fairytale bliss / Just something I can turn to / Somebody I can kiss / I want something just like this.”

Written by members of both The Chainsmokers and Coldplay, “Something Just Like This” became an international sensation when it was released in February of 2017. The song charted in 38 countries, and topped out in #3 spots on both the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and the Canadian Hot 100 lists.

Andrew Taggart of The Chainsmokers told New Musical Express (NME) how the song magically came together during a studio session.

“We found some chords that everyone loved and then Chris plugged a mic into the PA in the studio and freestyled for an hour. This song was the result,” Taggart said. “We’ve never seen a song written in such a stream of conscious. It’s hard to maintain your identity when working with such an established artist, but we feel this song is a great balance between both us and Coldplay.”

The song was released by both bands. It was the second single from The Chainsmokers’ debut album Memories… Do Not Open. A live version, recorded in Tokyo, appeared as the first single from Coldplay’s Kaleidoscope EP.

“Something Just Like This” was premiered with a remarkable live performance at the 2017 BRIT Awards. The video of that performance has earned more than 27 million views on YouTube and can be seen below. Here are the lyrics if you’d like to sing along…

“Something Just Like This”
Written by Andrew Taggart, Guy Berryman, Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland and Will Champion. Performed by The Chainsmokers & Coldplay.

I’ve been reading books of old
The legends and the myths
Achilles and his gold
Hercules and his gifts
Spiderman’s control
And Batman with his fists
And clearly I don’t see myself upon that list

But she said, where’d you wanna go?
How much you wanna risk?
I’m not looking for somebody
With some superhuman gifts
Some superhero
Some fairytale bliss
Just something I can turn to
Somebody I can kiss

I want something just like this
Doo-doo-doo, doo-doo-doo
Doo-doo-doo
Oh, I want something just like this
Doo-doo-doo, doo-doo
Doo-doo-doo
Oh, I want something just like this
I want something just like this

I’ve been reading books of old
The legends and the myths
The testaments they told
The moon and its eclipse
And Superman unrolls
A suit before he lifts
But I’m not the kind of person that it fits

She said, where’d you wanna go?
How much you wanna risk?
I’m not looking for somebody
With some superhuman gifts
Some superhero
Some fairytale bliss
Just something I can turn to
Somebody I can miss

I want something just like this
I want something just like this

Oh, I want something just like this
Doo-doo-doo, doo-doo-doo
Doo-doo-doo,
Oh, I want something just like this
Doo-doo-doo, doo-doo
Doo-doo-doo

Where’d you wanna go?
How much you wanna risk?
I’m not looking for somebody
With some superhuman gifts
Some superhero
Some fairytale bliss
Just something I can turn to
Somebody I can kiss
I want something just like this

Oh, I want something just like this
Oh, I want something just like this
Oh, I want something just like this

Credit: Screen capture via YouTube.com.

$8 Garage Sale Brooch Delivers $26,250 Windfall at Bonhams Auction

A sparkly red, white and green brooch that was scooped up for just $8 at an Ohio garage sale five years ago delivered a $26,250 windfall at Bonhams New York on Tuesday.

Although the brooch was hardly the highest priced lot of the Bonhams auction, the feel-good It Could Happen to You narrative behind the piece made it the most intriguing.

Amid the pre-sale hype, Susan Abeles, Director of U.S. Jewelry for Bonhams, told the New York Post, “This is a really wonderful story and it just goes to show, treasures are really everywhere.”

According to the auction house, the owner had presumed the brooch she bought at a garage sale was costume jewelry and gave it to her daughter to wear for church. The daughter reluctantly accepted the gift and placed it at the bottom of her purse, where it remained forgotten for months.

During a chance visit with her local jeweler, the young woman pulled out the brooch and shared the story of how she acquired it. The jeweler inspected the piece and revealed the unexpected news that the piece was very real.

When approached with the $8 brooch, Abeles and her team of jewelry experts immediately sent the stones to the Gemological Institute of America to be tested. Results confirmed that the three primary gems in the piece were not only genuine, but were of gem quality.

Near the top of the brooch is a 1.39-carat old mine-cut diamond that boasts a D color, VS1 clarity and Type IIa purity. The 1.50-carat rectangular-shaped emerald was of Colombian origin and the 0.60-carat oval-shaped ruby was determined to be of Burmese origin.

Old mine-cut diamonds were common in the 19th century and featured a smaller table and larger culet (the small flat surface at the bottom of a diamond) than modern brilliant-cut diamonds.

The gems are set in an openwork stylized shield design (circa 1900), which is crafted from platinum and 14-karat gold. The piece is accented with smaller old European-cut diamonds.

Bonhams set the pre-auction estimate at $20,000 to $30,000.

“Discoveries like these don’t happen very often, so we were delighted to offer this at auction where the actual value of the piece was finally realized,” Abeles told Forbes.com.

Credits: Images courtesy of Bonhams.com.

Government of Botswana Calls ‘First Dibs’ on Exceptional Diamond Discoveries

In mid-November 2015 — during a span of just 72 hours — Lucara’s Karowe Mine in Botswana yielded three exceptional rough diamonds that tipped the scales at a combined 2,296 carats. Now, the government of Botswana wants first dibs on future historic finds.

A new clause in Botswana’s Precious and Semi-Precious Stones Act compels mining companies to notify the minister within 30 days of coming into possession of an “unusual” rough or uncut diamond. The country’s chief mineral officer said that a diamond “outlier” may be considered “unusual” if it demonstrates extraordinary size, quality or color.

The chief mineral officer told BusinessWeek that the government wanted an opportunity to celebrate as national treasures the museum-quality diamonds sourced at Botswana’s mines.

Even though the Karowe Mine is 100% owned by Vancouver-based Lucara Diamond Corp. through its Boteti Mining subsidiary, the government of Botswana will have the right of first refusal on “unusual” diamonds. Purchases of rough diamonds would be made in accordance with the current market price.

Interpreting the market price of enormous gem-quality rough diamonds is not an easy task.

For instance, the largest of the three diamonds discovered in November 2015 still doesn’t have a clear value. Named Lesedi la Rona, the Type IIa diamond weighed a spectacular 1,109 carats, making it the second-largest gem-quality rough diamond ever discovered. Lucara decided to circumvent normal diamond-trading channels and put the gem up for bid at Sotheby’s in 2016. After the diamond failed to meet the $70 million reserve price (bidding stalled at $61 million), Lucara wondered out loud if the stone was just too big to sell.

Today, it remains unsold, and Lucara has seriously considered slicing the mammoth stone into smaller segments. Buyers have been apprehensive to make a play for Lesedi la Rona because of the enormous investment and lack of guarantees. Cutting a 1,109-carat diamond is uncharted territory, fraught with risks.

Lesedi la Rona’s stablemates — the 813-carat “Constellation” and the 374-carat shard that broke off from Lesedi la Rona — were sold for $63 million and $17.5 million, respectively.

With Lucara employing new large diamond recovery (LDR) equipment and X-ray transmissive technology (XRT), the unveiling of the next massive rough diamond could be right around the corner. Under the new rules, Botswana will get first dibs.

Credits: Images courtesy of Lucara Diamond.

Lifelong Cubs Fan and Former Wrigley Field Usher Wins $70,000 Player-Grade 2016 World Series Ring

Geneine Dietz, a lifelong Cubs fan who spent 10 seasons ushering games at Wrigley Field, plunked down $10 on a raffle ticket and scored an authentic, player-grade 2016 World Series ring valued at $70,000.

Dietz’s winning ticket — #001907 — was drawn randomly from more than 25,000 entries. Fans paid $10 per entry to have a chance to win a Cubs championship ring that boasts 5.5 carats of diamonds, 3 carats of genuine Burmese rubies and 2.5 carats of genuine sapphires in a handsome red, white and blue design.

Ironically (and somewhat eerily), the winning ticket number matches the year the Cubs won their first World Series. The club also won in 1908, and then suffered through a championship draught that lasted an agonizing 108 years. The number “108” was so significant that Jostens designed the 14-karat white gold ring with a slew of symbolic elements, including 108 diamonds surrounding the bezel on all sides.

“My friends and family are giddy with excitement and I can’t wait for them to see the ring for themselves,” the Wilmette, Ill., resident said in a statement. “For generations to come, I know my family will take special care of the beautiful World Series ring.”

A photo of Dietz provided by the Cubs, shows the dedicated fan trying on her enormous ring. It’s probably fair to say she won’t be wearing it around the house.

During the 2016 World Series, the Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians in seven games after coming back from a 3-1 deficit. The final game went into extra innings, but the Cubs prevailed 8-7.

“Last year’s World Series journey was remarkable and so is the dedication of our fans,” Cubs executive vice president of community and government affairs Mike Lufrano said in the statement. “We launched the ring raffle to give them the unique opportunity to win arguably one of the most prestigious championship rings in all of sports with proceeds benefiting Cubs Charities. We are thrilled to share this special player-grade ring with a lifelong Cubs fan who will get to treasure this piece of history with her family and friends.”

When the 2016 World Series rings were originally revealed at the start of this year’s baseball season, a Jostens vice president noted that the company had the responsibility to create a once-in-a-lifetime ring for the Cubs organization.

“This iconic piece of jewelry uses intricate craftsmanship to tell the unforgettable story of the Cubs’ World Series victory, which now takes its prominent place in the history of all professional sports,” said Chris Poitras, Jostens Division Vice President, College & Sports.

The World Series ring raffle, which ran from July 7 through September 4, generated more than a quarter-million-dollars for Cubs Charities. The charities are dedicated to improving the lives of children and families across Chicago and beyond. They provide increased access to sports opportunities and target improvements in health, fitness and education for those at risk.

Credits: Geneine Dietz images via Twitter.com/Chicago Cubs; Ring image courtesy of Jostens.

Argyle Mine — World’s Primary Source of Pink, Red and Blue Diamonds — Is Nearly Tapped Out

Rio Tinto’s Argyle Mine in Western Australia — the world’s most prolific diamond mine and primary source for pink, red and blue diamonds — is nearly tapped out. The mine is expected to cease operations in 2021 after a 38-year run that has produced more than 800 million carats of rough diamonds.

While the bulk of Argyle’s yearly output is brown in color, a minute segment of the production represents fancy-color diamonds so rare and so valuable that only 16 people in the world are permitted to touch them.

According to a recent article in The Western Australian, Rio Tinto has 50,000 employees worldwide and not even its London-based CEO, Jean-Sebastien Jacques, is allowed handle the 58 diamonds that make up the 2017 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender.

The 2017 Tender is currently on a multi-city tour that started in Perth, traveled to Hong Kong and will end in New York. At each stop, top buyers are being invited to view the collection and put their secret bids into sealed envelopes. Bidding ends on October 11 and winners will be announced shortly thereafter.

The headliner of the 2017 Tender is a fancy red diamond called the Argyle Everglow. The 2.11-carat, VS2-clarity, radiant-cut diamond was given this name because it seemed to possess an inner glow. The magnificent diamond, which could sell for upwards of $10 million, was cut from a 4.38-carat rough diamond discovered in the fall of 2016. It is the first 2-carat-plus fancy red diamond ever offered by Rio Tinto.

Red diamonds are so rare that in the 33-year history of the Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender there have been fewer than 20 carats of fancy red certified diamonds sold.

The collection includes five “hero” diamonds selected for their unique beauty and named by Rio Tinto to ensure there is a permanent record of their contribution to the history of the world’s most important diamonds:

• Argyle Everglow™ — 2.11-carat radiant-cut fancy red diamond

• Argyle Isla™ — 1.14 carat radiant-cut fancy red diamond

• Argyle Avaline™ — 2.42-carat cushion-cut fancy purple-pink diamond

• Argyle Kalina™ — 1.50-carat oval-cut fancy deep pink diamond

• Argyle Liberté™ — 0.91-carat radiant-cut fancy deep gray-violet diamond

Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine is currently the largest diamond producer in the world by volume and accounts for 90% of the world’s pink diamonds. Once shuttered, the world’s annual supply of fancy-colored pinks, reds and blues are expected to diminish, forcing prices sky high.

If the Argyle Everglow earns a $10 million bid, it will set a record for the highest price ever paid per carat for a gemstone. The current record is held by the 12.03-carat Blue Moon of Josephine, which sold for $48.4 million, or a bit over $4 million per carat.

It is believed that red diamonds get their rich color from a molecular structure distortion that occurs as the jewel forms in the earth’s crust. By contrast, other colored diamonds get their color from trace elements, such as boron (yielding a blue diamond) or nitrogen (yielding yellow), in their chemical composition.

Credits: Images courtesy of Rio Tinto.