Music Friday: ZZ Top Ticks Off a List of Jewelry Must-Haves in the 1983 Classic, ‘Sharp Dressed Man’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fun songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, ZZ Top ticks off a list of jewelry must-haves in its 1983 classic, “Sharp Dressed Man.”

According to the song, well-dressed men are irresistible to women, so original band members Dusty Hill, Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard cover the essential jewelry items in the second verse.

They sing, “Gold watch, diamond ring / I ain’t missin’ not a single thing / Cufflinks, stick pin / When I step out I’m gonna do you in / They come runnin’ just as fast as they can / ‘Cause every girl crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man.”

Written by Gibbons, Beard and Joe Michael Hill, “Sharp Dressed Man” appeared as the third track on ZZ Top’s extraordinarily popular 1983 album Eliminator. The album sold more than 10 million copies, earning it a rare Diamond certification. The single topped out at #56 on the U.S. Billboard 100 and remains one of ZZ Tops’ most enduring signature songs. In fact, the group performed it live at the 1997 VH1 Fashion Awards and during the halftime festivities of the 2008 Orange Bowl.

“Sharp dressed depends on who you are,” Hill told Spin magazine in 1985. “If you’re on a motorcycle, really sharp leather is great. If you’re a punk rocker, you can get sharp that way. You can be sharp or not sharp in any mode.”

Founded in Houston in 1969 as a blues-inspired rock band, ZZ Top has featured its three core members since 1970.

Gibbons told Q magazine that their first gig at a Knights of Columbus Hall outside of Houston in 1970 was attended by just one person.

“We shrugged and pressed onwards,” he said. “We took a break halfway through, went out and bought him a Coke.”

Over the course of the following 48 years, the band would go on to sell more than 50 million albums worldwide. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.

Trivia: According to songfacts.com, Gibbons and Hill have been growing their beards since 1979.

Please check out ZZ Top’s live performance of “Sharp Dressed Man.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“Sharp Dressed Man”
Written by Billy Gibbons, Frank Beard and Joe Michael Hill. Performed by ZZ Top.

Clean shirt, new shoes
And I don’t know where I am goin’ to
Silk suit, black tie,
I don’t need a reason why
They come runnin’ just as fast as they can
‘Cause every girl crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man

Gold watch, diamond ring,
I ain’t missin’ not a single thing
Cufflinks, stick pin,
When I step out I’m gonna do you in
They come runnin’ just as fast as they can
‘Cause every girl crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man

Top coat, top hat,
And I don’t worry ’cause my wallet’s fat
Black shades, white gloves,
Lookin’ sharp lookin’ for love
They come runnin’ just as fast as they can
‘Cause every girl crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man

Credit: Screen capture via YouTube.com.

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Win, Win: Good Samaritan Rewarded for Reuniting Teacher With Lost Wedding Rings

A Raleigh, N.C., woman who went to great lengths to find the rightful owner of a lost bridal set was rewarded for her honesty by a local Walmart.

A little over two weeks ago, Esther Daniel found a diamond engagement ring and matching wedding band on the pavement of a Walmart parking lot. She immediately alerted the store’s management and posted a lost-and-found notice on the “Raleigh Moms” Facebook group. When nobody came forward to claim the rings, Daniel turned to her local ABC affiliate for help.

ABC11’s Eyewitness News ran the story and posted notices on its own Facebook and Twitter pages. That high-profile exposure worked to perfection, as Raleigh elementary school teacher Shnita Horton came forward as the owner.

“When she lost [the rings], it was like her world fell apart,” husband Robert Horton told Eyewitness News. “She was missing something, more than the rings. It was like a piece of her was missing.”

Daniel explained why she wouldn’t rest until the owner was found…

“When I was a little girl my mama taught me [about] honesty and just this week we were talking with my son about integrity,” Daniel said. “That integrity is doing the right thing when no one is watching.”

The Raleigh mom’s exceptional efforts were noticed by the management of the local Walmart.

“I was actually emotional, too, when I first heard this story and that she was able to get the ring back to the right person,” assistant manager Salif Saidy told Eyewitness News.

Saidy asked the reporter to invite Daniel back to the store for a followup story. When she arrived, Saidy had a surprise waiting for her.

“We just wanted to thank you for your honesty and for the good deed, and on behalf of Walmart I would like to present you with a $500 gift card,” Saidy said.

Saidy handed Daniel a big bouquet of flowers and balloons and pulled out his cell phone. On the screen was the photo Daniel had posted to social media two weeks earlier.

Daniel said she was moved by Walmart’s gesture.

“It was humbling because I was just doing what needed to be done, and what I would like someone to do for me,” she said.

For Daniel, the experience affirmed a maxim that’s very close to her heart.

“Never stop fighting for the right thing,” Daniel said.

Credits: Screen captures via abc11.com.

20-Carat Diamond Ring Flies Off Paris Hilton’s Finger at Dance Club; Fiancé Finds It in Ice Bucket

Socialite Paris Hilton lost her 20-carat diamond engagement ring while dancing at a trendy Miami club Friday night. Hilton had been seen reveling with her hands in the air when the $2 million ring “flew off” her finger.

A mad scramble ensued, with security guards and patrons crawling under VIP tables in search of the sparkler Hilton had received from fiancé Chris Zylka in early January. At the time, she called it her “dream ring” and the “most beautiful thing I have ever seen.”

Finding Hilton’s one-of-a-kind sparkler — a pear-shaped center stone surrounded by a halo of smaller round diamonds — was particularly challenging because the venue was crowded and dark. The former RC Cola Plant in the Wynwood Arts District has been transformed into a 50,000-square-foot club that can accommodate 7,000 guests.

Zylka miraculously spotted the ring inside an ice bucket two tables away from where Hilton was dancing.

Clubgoers told Page Six that Hilton was completely “panicked” during the search and “cried with relief” when the ring was recovered.

Hilton’s 18 million Twitter followers got a first-hand account of the drama in a Monday tweet: “The ring was just so heavy and big that while I was dancing it literally flew off my finger into an ice bucket a couple of tables over. Thank God by some miracle my fiancé found it before someone else did and most likely would not have returned it. I am so lucky!”

Zylka had proposed to Hilton in scenic Aspen, Colo., during the New Year’s holiday weekend. Celebrity jeweler Michael Greene told People magazine that the actor had remembered that Hilton mentioned on a number of occasions how much she loved her mother’s pear-shaped diamond.

“And when Chris came to me that was his request,” Greene noted. “The pear shape really jumped out for him and ultimately for her.”

Just after the proposal, Hilton posted to Twitter a series of romantic shots, along with this caption: “I said Yas! So happy & excited to be engaged to the love of my life. My best friend & soulmate. Perfect for me in every way. So dedicated, loyal, loving & kindhearted. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world! You are my dream come true! Thank you for showing me that fairytales do exist.”

In addition to possessing all those attributes, Zylka apparently has excellent eyesight and is very talented when it comes to figuring out the trajectory of an airborne diamond engagement ring. How many people would have thought to look in an ice bucket “a couple of tables over” or even be able to discern a diamond-and-platinum ring among the ice cubes in a dark club?

And here’s a quick tip for Ms. Hilton: It’s time to get your ring resized.

Credit: Image via Instagram/ParisHilton.

Disneyland Paris Named the World’s Most Popular Place to Pop the Question

Located just a short skip from The City of Love, Disneyland Paris has been named the world’s most popular place to pop the question.

Wedding-planning website Hitched.co.uk reports that one in 500 proposals worldwide takes place at the Paris venue — and we’re certain that many suitors staged their bended-knee photo op squarely in front of the picturesque Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Hitched based its findings on the analysis of hashtags used on Instagram. For many couples, the first thing they do after celebrating their engagement is announce the big news on social media. The researchers at the wedding website analyzed the data from hashtags, such as #bridetobe and #engaged. They also used geotagging to define the most popular landmarks associated with engagement messaging.

The results seem to confirm that a Disney Park is not only “the happiest place on Earth,” but also the most romantic. Disney dominates the “Most Popular Places to Propose” list, placing three properties in the Top 10.

Ranking #2 on the list is Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida (one in 555 proposals), and placing #8 is Walt Disney’s Epcot, also in Orlando (one in 1,428 proposals).

Disneyland Paris offers a six-page brochure that promotes a “wedding proposal service” that promises to make your special moment “a magical affair” in the most fabulous of settings. The park can provide a dedicated representative to manage all the details of the proposal, including the perfect location, photographer and flowers. The representative also can schedule a romantic dinner with personalized table decorations, and reserve an enchanting room sprinkled with rose petals.

Rounding out the Top 10 list of the Most Popular Places to Propose are #3 Centennial Lakes Park in Minneapolis, Minnesota (one in 625 proposals), #4 Eiffel Tower in Paris, France (one in 679), #5 The Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles, California (one in 1,000), #6 Central Park and Brooklyn Bridge, New York (one in 1,111), #7 Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada (one in 1,250), #9 Big Bear Lake, California (one in 1,666) and #10 Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia (one in 2,000).

Credit: Image via Facebook/Disneyland Paris.

After Being Secreted Away for 300 Years, Historic ‘Farnese Blue’ Diamond Emerges at Sotheby’s

The 6.16-carat blue diamond originally presented in 1715 as a wedding gift to Elisabeth Farnese, Queen of Spain, has emerged on the market for the first time and will be offered for sale at Sotheby’s Geneva on May 15. It is expected to fetch between $3.7 million and $5.3 million.

Sotheby’s noted that the blue diamond was gifted to Farnese by the governor of the Philippine Islands on the occasion of her wedding to King Philip V of Spain, the grandson of Louis XIV, King of France. Blue diamonds were viewed as the ultimate royal gift in the 17th and 18th centuries because the color blue was identified as “the color of the kings.”

Even though it had remained in the same family for more than 300 years, “The Farnese Blue” was never seen in public. In fact, except for close relatives and the family jewelers, no one knew of its existence.

Secreted away in a “royal casket,” the pear-shaped, fancy dark grey-blue diamond traveled across Europe, as Elisabeth and Philip’s descendants married into Europe’s most important dynasties. The “casket” likely refers to a rectangular jewelry box that is shaped like a casket, not a coffin.

The gift from the governor of the Philippine Islands was given to the Queen at the urging of the Spanish government. Governors of Spain’s colonies from Mexico to the East Indies were encouraged to send wedding presents to Madrid.

In August of 1715, a fleet of 12 Spanish ships carrying a fortune in gold bullion and enormous emeralds set sail from Cuba, but were devastated by a hurricane in the gulf of Florida. Only one ship survived the voyage back to Spain, and that was the ship carrying the blue diamond.

“It is difficult to put into words the excitement of holding between thumb and forefinger a gem discovered centuries ago, knowing it originated in the legendary Golconda diamond mines of India,” noted David Bennett, Chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewelry Division and Co-Chairman of Sotheby’s Switzerland. “This stone has witnessed 300 years of European history, and in color is reminiscent of historic Golconda blue gems, such as the Hope Diamond.”

“The Farnese Blue” will embark on an international tour before returning to Geneva for the May 15 Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale. The diamond will make appearances in Hong Kong (March 29 – April 2), London (April 7-10), New York (April 13-17), Singapore (April 27-28), Taipei (May 1-2) and Geneva (May 12-14).

Credits: Diamond images courtesy of Sotheby’s. Elisabeth Farnese image by Louis-Michel van Loo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

Music Friday: Taylor Swift Wants to Wear His Initial on a Chain in 2017’s ‘Call It What You Want’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you the hottest songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Taylor Swift wants to wear her new boyfriend’s initial on a chain around her neck in the introspective 2017 hit, “Call It What You Want.”

Written by Swift and collaborator Jack Antonoff, this deeply personal tune recounts how falling in love again helped her recover from a very dark time when her “castle crumbled overnight.”

She sings, “I want to wear his initial / On a chain round my neck, chain round my neck / Not because he owns me / But ’cause he really knows me.”

Her new boyfriend is British actor and model Joe Alwyn, and Swift has been spotted wearing a script initial “J” engraved on silver charm pendant.

Following her split from Tom Hiddleston and an emotionally draining public feud with Kanye West, Swift stepped out of the spotlight to make new music and hit the reset button. What resulted was the 15-track Reputation, an album that topped the charts in 14 countries and sold more than 2 million copies in its first week.

“Call It What You Want” is the penultimate song on an album that takes the listener of an emotional journey from rebellion and anger to true love. The single topped out at #27 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and #24 on the Canadian Hot 100 chart.

Swift fans will notice similarities between the lyrics of “Call It What You Want” and her 2008 hit, “Love Story.” In both songs, the heroine wants to run away with her boyfriend…

In “Love Story,” she sings, “Romeo, take me somewhere we can be alone / I’ll be waiting, all that’s left to do is run / You’ll be the prince and I’ll be the princess / It’s a love story, baby just say yes.”

In “Call It What You Want,” she sings, “I recall late November, holdin’ my breath / Slowly I said, ‘You don’t need to save me / But would you run away with me?’ / Yes.”

Born in Wyomissing, Pa., Swift was not an average schoolgirl. By the time she was 11, Swift was already performing regularly at karaoke contests, festivals and fairs near her home in Berks County. When she was 14, her parents moved the family to Nashville, where Swift would be better positioned to pursue a career in country music. At the age of 17, Swift was topping the country charts. Swift is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 40 million albums and 130 million single downloads. She has won 10 Grammy Awards, one Emmy, 21 Billboard Music Awards and 12 Country Music Association Awards.

Please check out the official lyric video of “Call It What You Want.” You can also follow along, below…

“Call It What You Want”
Written by Taylor Swift and Jack Antonoff. Performed by Taylor Swift.

My castle crumbled overnight
I brought a knife to a gunfight
They took the crown, but it’s alright
All the liars are calling me one
Nobody’s heard from me for months
I’m doing better than I ever was, ’cause

My baby’s fit like a daydream
Walking with his head down
I’m the one he’s walking to
So call it what you want, yeah, call it what you want to
My baby’s fly like a jet stream
High above the whole scene
Loves me like I’m brand new
So call it what you want, yeah, call it what you want to

All my flowers grew back as thorns
Windows boarded up after the storm
He built a fire just to keep me warm
All the drama queens taking swings
All the jokers dressin’ up as kings
They fade to nothing when I look at him
And I know I make the same mistakes every time
Bridges burn, I never learn, at least I did one thing right
I did one thing right
I’m laughing with my lover, making forts under covers
Trust him like a brother, yeah, you know I did one thing right
Starry eyes sparkin’ up my darkest night

My baby’s fit like a daydream
Walking with his head down
I’m the one he’s walking to
So call it what you want, yeah, call it what you want to
My baby’s fly like a jet stream
High above the whole scene
Loves me like I’m brand new
(Call it what you want, call it what you want, call it)
So call it what you want, yeah, call it what you want to

I want to wear his initial
On a chain round my neck, chain round my neck
Not because he owns me
But ’cause he really knows me
Which is more than they can say, I
I recall late November, holdin’ my breath
Slowly I said, “You don’t need to save me
But would you run away with me?”
Yes (would you run away?)

My baby’s fit like a daydream
Walking with his head down
I’m the one he’s walking to
(Call it what you want, call it what you want, call it)
So call it what you want, yeah, call it what you want to
My baby’s fly like a jet stream
High above the whole scene
Loves me like I’m brand new
(Call it what you want, call it what you want, call it)
So call it what you want, yeah, call it what you want to

Call it what you want, yeah
Call it what you want
To

Credit: Image via YouTube.com.

Gold and Titanium May Hold the Key to Curing Some Forms of Blindness, Chinese Researchers Say

Chinese researchers have successfully restored the vision of blind mice by replacing their deteriorated photoreceptors with artificial ones made from gold and titanium.

Using jewelry-industry metals to reverse blindness could prove to be a game changer in the treatment of debilitating eye diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and macular degeneration.

In the study, scientists from Fudan University and the University of Science and Technology of China swapped out degraded photoreceptors — the sensory structures in eyes that respond to light — with replacements made from titanium nanowires studded with gold flakes.

The researchers reported that the once-blind mice began responding to green, blue and ultraviolet light. Their pupils dilated, confirming that the photoreceptors were, in fact, working. Essentially, the missing links between the eyes and the brain had been reestablished.

Interestingly, the titanium and gold photoreceptor replacements need no outside power source to function. They simply remain in physical contact with retinal cells and pass the animal’s natural electrical impulses to the visual cortex. The photoreceptors remained implanted in the mice for eight weeks, during which the animals showed no ill side effects or discomfort.

The team’s findings were published in the journal Nature Communications.

The researchers were not able to measure visual acuity or whether the mice regained full color vision, so there is still much work to be done. Nevertheless, the Chinese study paves the way for fascinating future research — and these advancements could mean a very bright future for people suffering from blindness.

Credit: Image by BigStockPhoto.com.

Never-Before-Seen Deep-Earth Mineral Is Found Trapped Inside a Diamond

A tiny diamond found at South Africa’s Cullinan mine is credited with preserving and ferrying an unstable, never-before-seen deep-Earth mineral 400 miles to the surface.

Scientists at the University of Alberta’s Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences discovered a minuscule sample of the elusive mineral “calcium silicate perovskite” trapped within the rough diamond that measured only .031 millimeters in diameter. It was polished to give researchers a clearer view of the inclusion trapped inside.

Calcium silicate perovskite is believed to be the fourth-most-abundant mineral on Earth and makes up as much as 93% of Earth’s lower mantle. Despite being so plentiful, scientists could only hypothesize its existence. Nobody could actually see it because the mineral’s crystal lattice deforms as it moves toward the surface.

“Nobody has ever managed to keep this mineral stable at Earth’s surface,” lead researcher Graham Pearson, a geochemist at the University of Alberta, said in a press release. “The only possible way of preserving this mineral at Earth’s surface is when it’s trapped in an unyielding container like a diamond.”

While most diamonds are formed under intense pressure at a depth of 93 to 124 miles, the diamond encasing the calcium silicate perovskite was likely formed 400-plus miles below the surface. The pressure at that depth is equivalent to 240,000 times the pressure at sea level.

Diamonds can be blasted to the surface during volcanic eruptions. The vertical superhighways that take the diamonds on their journey are called kimberlite pipes.

“Diamonds are really unique ways of seeing what’s in the Earth,” Pearson said.

The mineral’s composition was confirmed by X-ray and spectroscopic analysis. Future research will focus on the age and origin of the material.

The scientists also noted that chemical clues found in the diamond reveal that it formed out of the remains of oceanic crust, supporting the theory that the Earth undergoes a recycling process that brings crust material into the deep mantle.

Researchers at the University of Alberta published their findings in the journal Nature.

Credit: Image courtesy of Nester Korolev, University of British Columbia.

24.70-Carat Ruby Ring and ‘Circle of Heaven’ Jadeite Bracelet Share Top Billing at Sotheby’s Auction

A spectacular 24.70-carat cushion-shaped ruby ring will share top billing with “The Circle of Heaven” jadeite bracelet at Sotheby’s Hong Kong on April 3. Both items are expected to fetch more than $10 million when they hit the auction block at the Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Spring Sale.

Rubies found in the Mogok region of Myanmar (formerly Burma) are famed for their top-grade pigeon-blood color. The Burmese ruby coming up for bid at Sotheby’s Hong Kong will be of particular interest to buyers because Mogok-sourced specimens in excess of 20 carats are said to be among the rarest gems in the world.

The ruby is secured with yellow-gold prongs and surrounded by D-color pear-shaped diamonds (internally flawless to VVS1). The shank is set with pavé-set brilliant-cut diamonds. The pre-auction estimate for the piece is $10.4 million to $11.7 million.

Co-starring in Hall 5 of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on April 3 will be a superb jadeite bracelet known as “The Circle of Heaven.” Displaying a brilliant emerald green color, fine texture and high translucency, the bracelet boasts a pre-sale estimate of $10.2 million to $12.8 million.

Fine-quality jadeite is highly cherished, especially in Chinese culture. Jadeite symbolizes benevolence, righteousness, wisdom, bravery and honesty. The ancient Chinese revered jadeite as the “stone of heaven.”

Other notable items to be presented in Hong Kong include a beautiful array of colored diamond, sapphire and emerald rings…

A Rare Fancy Blue Diamond Ring. This step-cut fancy blue diamond weighs 14.18 carats and is surrounded by a halo of round pink diamonds. The pre-sale estimate is $5.9 million to $7.7 million.

A Sapphire and Diamond Ring. An impressive 10.18-carat Kashmir sapphire is the centerpiece of this ring by Cartier. Displaying a velvety blue color, the sapphire is accented by a pair of triangular diamonds. Sotheby’s set the pre-auction estimate at $1.2 million to $1.7 million.

An Important Emerald and Diamond Ring. Sporting a rich, natural saturation, this step-cut 14.72-carat Colombian emerald is set in a ring by Cartier. The ring’s pre-sale estimate is $1.1 million to $1.4 million.

Credits: Images courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Gold, Platinum and Diamonds Pelt Siberia’s Coldest City After Plane Spills Its Cargo

Gold, platinum and diamonds literally rained from the sky over the frigid city of Yakutsk in eastern Siberia last Thursday.

The wild display of flying treasure — worth 21 billion rubles or $368 million — was attributed to the failed cargo hatch of a Cold War-era transport plane called the Antonov An-12. The aircraft was carrying gold bars, platinum bars and loose diamonds on behalf of Chukota Mining and Geological Company. About 99% of all Russian diamonds are mined in Yakutia, where winter temperatures routinely hit -35C (-31F).

According to The Siberian Times, the plane had been loaded with 10 tons of precious metals and gemstones when it lifted from Yakutsk airport.

Shortly after takeoff, the heavy cargo shifted, ripping through the cargo door and damaging a portion of the fuselage. Nearly 200 gold bars fell from the plane, littering the runway with gold and platinum bars. The damaged plane continued to fly for 16 kilometers (10 miles) — dropping more treasure along with way — before landing at the nearby Magan airport.

Russia’s state-run TASS news agency reported that technicians who had prepared the plane for takeoff may have failed to properly secure the cargo.

Police immediately sealed off the runway and began the task of retrieving about 3.4 tons of precious metal ingots. A typical gold bar weighs 12.4 kilograms or 27.3 pounds, so it is fortunate that nobody was hurt by the plummeting precious metal.

Yakutsk, which is the capital of Yakutia or the Sasha Republic, is frequently cited as the coldest major city in the world.

The Siberian Times had a little fun with that fact, tweeting, “It’s -21C in Yakutia, sunny, we expect showers of diamond, platinum and gold… Plane loses its $368 million cargo; gems and precious metals rain over Russia’s coldest region as police and secret services stage emergency search.”

Credits: Screen captures via YouTube.com/The Siberian Times. Map by Google Maps.