‘De Beers Blue’ Comes Within a Whisker of Setting New Auction Record

The 15.10-carat “De Beers Blue” came within a whisker of setting a new world record for the priciest vivid blue diamond ever sold at auction. The hammer price of $57,471,960 at Sotheby’s Hong Kong last night was just short of the $57,541,779 achieved by the 14.62-carat “Oppenheimer Blue” at Christie’s Geneva in 2016.

The single-lot, live-streamed auction featured eight minutes of intense bidding, as Sotheby’s reps in London and Hong Kong fielded phone offers from international buyers. The bidding started at HK$310 million and quickly zoomed to HK$380 million in increments of HK$10 million.

Then the bidding slowed down and ascended in smaller increments of HK$2 million, until the winning bid settled in at HK$390 million. With the buyer’s premium, the final price was HK$450,925,000 ($57.47 million).

Sotheby’s used a clever screen-in-screen presentation to reveal the interplay between auctioneer Ian McGinlay and the remote Sotheby reps. Also on the screen was a visual of the featured diamond, the current bid in Hong Kong dollars, as well as the equivalent price in seven other currencies.

Billed as the largest vivid blue diamond ever to appear at auction and a “once-in-a-generation” stone, the internally flawless, step-cut De Beers Blue was purchased by an anonymous telephone bidder for $3.8 million per carat. That number is slightly lower than the $3.93 million per carat achieved by the Oppenheimer Blue, which carried a clarity grade of VVS1.

The De Beers Blue was cut from an exceptional 39.34-carat blue rough diamond unearthed by Petra Diamonds at South Africa’s iconic Cullinan Mine in July of 2021.

The diamond retained 38.4% of its weight during the arduous cutting process and earned the rating of internally flawless from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). The gem was fashioned into its step-cut shape by Diacore’s master diamond cutters working in concert with De Beers.

A GIA Monograph highlighted the remarkable achievement. The GIA wrote, “To achieve a Fancy Vivid grade with a step cut or emerald cut, the inherent body-color has to be stronger than virtually every other fancy shape.”

Sotheby’s noted that blue diamonds of this importance are exceptionally rare, with only five examples over 10 carats ever having come to auction. Until last night, none had exceeded 15 carats.

The 59.6-carat, flawless, fancy vivid pink diamond called the “CTF Pink Star” still holds the record for highest price ever paid for any gem at auction. That stone fetched $71.2 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in 2017.

Credits: De Beers Blue images courtesy of Sotheby’s. Screen capture via sothebys.com. Rough diamond image courtesy of Diacore.

Jewelry Category to Break Another Sales Record This Mother’s Day, Predicts NRF

Mother’s Day 2022 jewelry sales are expected to hit $7 billion, making it the fastest-growing and highest-volume gift-giving category for the second year in a row, according to an annual survey released by the National Retail Federation (NRF).

The jewelry sector’s record-breaking tally is up from $6.1 billion in 2021 and $5.3 billion in 2020. That’s a two-year sales gain of 32%.

Exactly 41% of respondents said they will be buying jewelry for their moms this year. That’s a 6 percentage point increase over 2021. Forty-seven percent of men and 35% of women said they will be gifting jewelry this Mother’s Day.

Jewelry purchases and special outings, such as dinner or brunch, are driving this year’s spending increases, according to the survey, which was conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics.

“Jewelry remains a timeless gift selection for Mother’s Day and continues to capture an increasing market share,” said Prosper Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist.

Overall Mother’s Day spending is expected to total $31.7 billion this year, up $3.6 billion from a record-setting 2021. The average spend will be $245, which is $25 higher than 2021 and $41 higher than 2020.

Men are expected to budget an average of $308 for their moms, while women are slated to spend $186.

Consumers in the 25-to-34 age range are likely to spend the most on Mother’s Day gifts at $346. That group is followed closely by the 35- to 44-year-olds, who are expected to spend $340.

“Consumers are eager to find memorable ways to honor their mothers and other important women in their lives and are willing to spend a little extra on this sentimental holiday,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.

According to the survey, there is also a notable uptick in the number of shoppers seeking gifts that cannot be wrapped. Gifts of experience, such as concert or sporting event tickets, will be given by 27% of Mother’s Day shoppers, up from 23% last year and the highest since NRF started tracking this category in 2016.

Finding meaningful Mother’s Day gifts remains a top priority for shoppers. The most important factors are finding a gift that is unique or different (46%) and finding a gift that creates a special memory (41%).

The survey of 8,574 consumers was conducted April 1-11, 2022, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.

Credit: Image by Bigstockphoto.com.

Giant Kelp to Play a Key Role in Diamond Miner’s Carbon-Neutral Initiative

Climbing to a height of 175 feet or more, giant kelp will be playing a key role in De Beers’ ambitious efforts to achieve carbon neutrality across its operations by 2030.

The world’s largest diamond miner by value announced that it is investing $2 million in Kelp Blue, an innovative start-up that is pioneering a nature-based solution for sequestering carbon dioxide.

Kelp Blue will be managing large-scale giant kelp forests in Namibian waters that have the potential to safely and permanently lock away vast amounts of CO2 in the ocean.

Research has shown that kelp forests have carbon sequestration properties exceeding those of terrestrial forests and that they help sustain healthy marine ecosystems, providing food and shelter for countless species.

The kelp cultivation will help offset the carbon footprint of the company’s seven diamond-recovery vessels that operate along Namibia’s coast. The newest one — the $420 million, 580-foot-long, state-of-the-art Benguela Gem — is capable of extracting 500,000 carats annually.

While De Beers Group’s primary focus in achieving its carbon-neutral goal will be on increasing efficiency and replacing fossil fuel and fossil-based energy from its operations with renewable alternatives, carbon credits resulting from the investment in Kelp Blue will support the company in removing any remaining emissions, alongside other nature-based initiatives.

The offshore mining project, which is known to yield some the world’s highest-quality diamonds, is a 50/50 joint venture between De Beers Group and the Government of the Republic of Namibia.

In 2021, Kelp Blue was awarded a license to cultivate Giant Kelp off the coast of Namibia and is now in the pilot phase.

The business will contribute infrastructure development in and around the Namibian town of Lüderitz, benefitting the local community by creating employment and up-skilling opportunities in kelp cultivation and processing.

During the pilot phase, the business will generate a range of direct and indirect jobs in biotechnology, engineering, processing, support services and logistics in Namibia.

Daniel Hooft, Founder and CEO of Kelp Blue, commented: “De Beers’ early investment in our offshore pilot – a world first in terms of scale and ambition – specifically helps us accelerate the quantification and verification of the carbon sequestration pathways, which is essential for the whole seaweed industry in terms of scientifically establishing the potential of this novel nature-based solution.”

Credit: Photo courtesy of Kelp Blue.

Queen Elizabeth II Barbie Doll Wears Replica of the Famous ‘Fringe Tiara’

Mattel’s newest Barbie doll is literally fit for a queen. Sculpted in the likeness of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, the new Barbie Signature Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Doll celebrates her 70 years of service and reflects her love of fine jewelry. The toy company released the collectible on the Queen’s 96th birthday, April 21.

Jewelry lovers will notice right away that Mattel’s designers paid extreme attention to the miniature queen’s blingy accessories, which include a replica of the iconic headpiece called the “Queen Mary Fringe Tiara.” Elizabeth wore this tiara on her wedding day in 1947.

“I loved working on the accompanying jewelry, being a fan of the Crown Jewels myself,” noted Robert Best, Senior Director of Barbie Design. “I’ve been fortunate to see the actual Crown Jewels in the Tower of London Museum! It was a cool opportunity to recreate some of them in miniature. I worked closely with (Product Design Manager) Monica LaValle, who did the technical drawings that were then translated by our sculptors.”

Mattel explained on its website that each of the jewelry pieces has a history and a meaning, which was important for Robert, Monica and the sculpting team to get just right.

“The tiara is based on Queen Mary’s Fringe Tiara, and the little medallions on ribbons are the Royal Family Orders,” Best said. “The pink ribbon was given to the Queen by her father George VI, and the pale blue by her grandfather George V. Creating miniatures of all the jewelry did have some challenges, as capturing the details becomes increasingly difficult at such a small scale. I think Monica and the sculpting team did an amazing job and I love the way they turned out!”

The actual, full-size Fringe Tiara was originally crafted in 1919 for Elizabeth’s grandmother, Queen Mary, by royal jewelers Garrard and Co. The diamonds adorning the 47 vertical bars of the tiara were harvested from diamond necklaces given by Queen Victoria to Mary on the occasion of her wedding in 1893.

Fun Fact: In 1947, a hair stylist accidentally snapped the frame of the Fringe Tiara while assisting Elizabeth with her wedding attire just before she was scheduled to head out to Westminster Abbey for the ceremony.

Fortunately, a jeweler from Garrard and Co. was standing by in case of an emergency. Legend has it that the jeweler was rushed back to his workshop via police escort. There, he quickly mended the tiara and returned it to Elizabeth just in time.

During the Queen’s long reign, she has generously lent the Fringe Tiara to the young brides of the royal family, including Princess Anne and Princess Beatrice.

Best added that the miniature gown is not a copy of any one dress the queen wears, but rather a gown inspired by the style and color of gown that she’s favored in royal portraits of herself for the past several years.

He said, “If you look at those portraits or how she dresses for important events, she very much has a signature style and look – always a very simple design in white or ivory, which makes sense given that she must then wear all the accompanying jewelry and sash as befits her rank.”

The Gold Label Queen Elizabeth II Doll is available for $75, with a limit of three dolls per person.

Credits: Barbie Signature Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Doll images courtesy of Mattel. Queen Elizabeth II portrait Photograph taken by Julian Calder for Governor-General of New Zealand, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Music Friday: The Light Inside of All of Us Is Like a Diamond, Sings Avril Lavigne

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you uplifting songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today, newly engaged Canadian recording artist Avril Lavigne performs “Fly,” a power ballad inspired by the athletes of the Special Olympics.

In this song about having the inner strength to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges, Lavigne metaphorically states that “we were all meant to fly,” and compares the discovery of one’s special ability to unearthing a precious stone.

In the first verse, she sings, “There’s a light inside of all of us / It’s never hiding, you just have to light it / It’s the one thing that you gotta trust / It’s like a diamond, you just have to find it.”

Lavigne, who recently announced her engagement to fellow pop-punk rocker Mod Sun and shared a peek at her new 5-carat, heart-shaped diamond ring on Instagram, performed “Fly” live for the first time during the stirring opening ceremonies of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.

Proceeds from the song benefited the Special Olympics in association with The Avril Lavigne Foundation, a charity that provides support to children and youth living with serious illnesses or disabilities.

“This song means a lot to me personally,” Lavigne said at the time. “It is inspired by the many young people I’ve met throughout my work with my Foundation. They pursue their dreams no matter what obstacles they face.”

“Special Olympics’ mission is to unleash the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports,” she added, “so they’re a natural fit for this song.”

In 2014, Lavigne herself was faced with a daunting physical challenge when she was struck down with Lyme disease, a bacterial infection spread by ticks. The illness left her bedridden for five months.

“I felt like I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t talk and I couldn’t move,” she said. “I thought I was dying.”

Lavigne was able to overcome her bout with Lyme disease and seemed to be in top form as she delivered a beautiful performance of “Fly” on July 25, 2015, in front of a stadium of onlookers and an international television audience.

Please check out the official video, below. The lyrics are are included if you’d like to sing along…

“Fly”
Written by Avril Lavigne, David Hodges and Chad Robert Kroeger. Performed by Avril Lavigne.

There’s a light inside of all of us
It’s never hiding, you just have to light it
It’s the one thing that you gotta trust
It’s like a diamond, you just have to find it

So if you ever feel like giving up
Yeah, just remember that.. we were all meant to fly

Spread your wings across the universe
It’s your time to—it’s your time to shine
There’s a light inside of all of us
Soon, you’ll find that it’s your time to fly
Your time to fly

A little help is all it ever takes
Somebody else to tell you it’s worth fighting
A single step becomes a leap of faith
That’s when you realize you started flying

So, don’t you ever say you’re giving up
No, there’s no looking back… ’cause we were all meant to fly

Spread your wings across the universe
It’s your time to—it’s your time to shine
There’s a light inside of all of us
Soon, you’ll find that it’s your time to fly
It’s your time to fly

Just reach up, don’t give up
Until you’ve touched the sky
Just reach up, don’t give up
Until you’ve realized…

That we were all meant to fly

Spread your wings across the universe
It’s your time to—it’s your time to shine
There’s a light inside of all of us
Soon, you’ll find that it’s your time to fly, fly

It’s your time to—it’s your time to shine, shine
Soon, you’ll find that it’s your time to fly

Spread your wings across the universe
It’s your time to—it’s your time to shine
There’s a light inside of all of us
Soon, you’ll find that it’s your time to fly

Credits: Photo by juliastavale, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Valued at Just $415, College Football’s Championship Ring Still Packs a Punch

Unlike Super Bowl rings that can be worth upwards of $35,000 apiece, college football’s National Championship rings cannot exceed $415 in value, according to NCAA rules.

This reality creates enormous challenges for companies, such as Jostens, which was recently tasked with creating commemorative jewelry for the University of Georgia Bulldogs’ National Championship football team. Instead of using diamonds and other precious gems in the design, Jostens used simulated stones. Fourteen-karat gold was replaced by less precious alloys.

Despite the necessary cost-cutting, the Bulldogs’ National Championship rings still pack a punch with artful details and symbolic storytelling of a season that culminated in a 33-18 win against the #1-rated Alabama Crimson Tide. January’s exciting title game drew 22.6 million viewers on ESPN.

On Saturday, the rings were presented to non-returning seniors at the Bulldogs’ G-Day intrasquad game and then privately to the remaining players and coaches at a reception on Monday.

“It’s beautiful,” former Georgia nose guard Jordan Davis told ESPN2 viewers during the G-Day coverage. “We designed it ourselves, the seniors. We knew what we were getting into. It’s even beautiful in person. It looks a lot different than the mockups. We love it. This is our baby right here. We treasure this.”

The ring top features the Georgia “G” logo boldly placed atop the coveted CFP Trophy, which is set with a marquise-cut (football-shaped) stone, symbolic of the 2021 National Championship and the team’s first in the CFP (College Football Playoff) era, which began in 2014. The Bulldogs’ previous national championship was way back in 1980.

The base of the Trophy features three baguette-cut stones, representing Georgia’s three National Championship titles. Encircling the logo are 14 spikes, honoring the iconic Bulldog collar and representing the Bulldogs’ 14 season wins.

Set between the spikes are 20 round stones, paying homage to the 20 unanswered points scored in the fourth quarter, leading the University of Georgia to victory.

An additional 45 stones are set on the ring top, collectively representing the 45 wins of the senior class, with the words NATIONAL CHAMPIONS accenting the left and right side of the ring top. Completing the ring top are four additional stones and the team’s core characteristics: RESILIENCY, TOUGHNESS, COMPOSURE and CONNECTION.

The left side of the ring proudly displays the recipient’s name in raised gold lettering above the jersey number, title or initials, which are hand-set with colorless stones. The left-side design also includes the 2021 championship year at the bottom.

The right side of the ring adds specific details about the 2021 season. The final championship game score of 33-18 is highlighted above gate 10 of Sanford Stadium, the location of the Dawg Walk, which takes place before each home game.

Replacing the gate number on the pillars of the stadium is the number 45, a nod to the 45 total wins of the senior class. The right side is completed with the official Georgia Football National Championship logo, which is accented with a single marquise-cut stone.

The interior of the ring pays tribute to Georgia’s first national championship in 41 years with a custom logo and the “1” rendered in Bulldog red. As an added touch of personalization, the recipient’s signature is engraved on the inside of the ring. The team’s motto, FAMILY, is featured on the outside palm.

Credits: Images courtesy of Jostens.

Orange and Blue Sapphires, White Diamonds Tell Story of Astros’ AL Championship

The Houston Astros’ colorful 2021 American League Championship rings tell the story of the team’s impressive run to the World Series, where they narrowly lost to the Atlanta Braves in six games. The 10-karat white and yellow gold rings feature 104 round diamonds, 15 custom-cut diamonds, four princess-cut diamonds, 42 blue sapphires and eight orange sapphires for a total gemstone carat weight of 7.10 carats.

The Astros’ players and coaches received their rings on Monday as they stood along the first base line at Minute Maid Park in an exciting ceremony prior to the team’s 2022 home opener.

A beautiful design detail is the use of eight custom-cut orange sapphires to make up the star of the Houston Astros logo on the face of the ring. Rising above the orange star is the Houston “H” rendered in 15 intricately set custom-cut diamonds, symbolic of the Astros 15 franchise postseason appearances. The logo sits upon a background of 40 round pavé-set diamonds surrounded by a halo of 42 genuine blue sapphires.

Framing the logo in contrasting yellow gold — signifying the team’s 2021 American League Team Gold Glove award — are the words AMERICAN LEAGUE along the top and CHAMPIONS along the bottom. These words are accented with four princess-cut diamonds, two on each side of the ring face. These four diamonds represent the number of league pennants won throughout the franchise’s history.

The ring’s 104 round diamonds symbolize the 95 games won during the regular season and the team’s nine post-season victories. The 60 diamonds accenting the perimeter of the ring top pay tribute to the Astros’ 60th season in Major League Baseball.

The left side of the ring features the player’s name in capital letters, spelled out vertically in eye-catching yellow gold. To the right of the name is the player’s jersey number rendered in diamonds. Completing the left side of the ring is an intricate rendering of the home of the Astros, Minute Maid Park.

The right side of the ring features the Astros wordmark logo accented with the championship year 2021. The American League Trophy in yellow gold stands out from the white gold background. A single diamond is set in the trophy, symbolizing the most recent American League championship won by the Astros. Four banners are set on either side of the trophy, each set with a single diamond representing the team’s four trips to the World Series. These five total diamonds are representative of the Astros’ current run of five consecutive ALCS appearances.

The interior of the ring reveals a bit of team history by featuring the Astros logo accented by four stars and the championship years of four league pennants. The palm side of the ring displays the team’s 2021 rally cry, “FOR THE H,” with the “H” being the Astros logo.

While the gemstone descriptions of the 2021 AL championship rings are impressive, they fall a bit short of the specs of the World Series rings awarded to the Astros on opening day 2018. Also designed by Jostens, those rings — the first World Series championship rings in franchise history — used 225 colorless diamonds, nine orange sapphires and 16 blue sapphires set in 14-karat white and yellow gold. Each ring weighed 90 grams and glittered with a total gem weight of 10.40 carats.

Credits: Images courtesy of Jostens.

Here’s Why Mod Sun Picked a Heart-Shaped Diamond for Avril Lavigne

Singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne turned to Instagram recently to announce her engagement to fellow pop-punk rocker Mod Sun and to offer a peek at her new 5-carat, heart-shaped diamond ring.

She treated her 10.8 million Instagram followers to a series of romantic proposal pics, some with a clear view of the Eiffel Tower in the background. She captioned the photos, “Oui! Je t’aime pour toujours Dimanche. 27. Mars. 2022,” which means “Yes! I love you forever. Sunday, March 27, 2022.” She punctuated the post with three emojis: a heart, a diamond ring and a pair of champagne glasses.

Sun, 35, chose to propose in Paris because Lavigne, 37, has always had a special affection for the city. He also chose a heart-shaped diamond because he literally wanted to give Lavigne his heart, according to the “My Happy Ending” singer’s jewelry designer friend, Caryn Alpert of XIV Karats, Beverly Hills, CA.

Alpert told EOnline.com that when the performers met for the first time, they were stunned to notice they were wearing identical heart-shaped, pavé-accented rings. What were the chances that they would prefer the same type of jewelry and wear it out on the same day?

“They literally haven’t taken them off since then,” Alpert explained. “So when Mod came in, and he was ready to propose, it for sure had to be a heart because they have this whole heart connection thing.”

Sun shared proposal photos on his Instagram page and captioned them with an eight-line poem:

The day we met I knew you were the one.
Together forever til our days are done.
I had a dream where I proposed in Paris.
I pulled out a ring + asked you to wear it.
I was on one knee as I looked in your eyes.
You’re too beautiful for my words to describe.
I grabbed your hand + took one last breath…
I said “will you marry me?” + she said “yes”.

At the end of the poem, he added the phrase, “I love you Avril” and punctuated it with a red heart emoji.

Alpert told PageSix.com that the 5-carat stone is accented by a French micropavé band that bears the words “Hi Icon,” which were the first words Sun ever uttered to Lavigne. She also told Eonline.com that Sun had a crystal clear vision for the ring design.

“He really knew what he wanted,” she said. “And we were able to find him a really beautiful selection and he just chose the biggest, prettiest one of all of them…”

Lavigne has been married two previous times. In 2006, she married pop-punk musician Deryck Whibley of the band Sum 41, but divorced in 2010.

In 2013, she married musician Chad Kroeger, frontman of Nickleback. In August of 2012, Kroeger had proposed to Lavigne with a vintage-style platinum engagement ring featuring a 10-carat pear-shaped center stone accented on each side with specially cut half-moon-shaped diamonds totaling an additional 4 carats. Their marriage ended in 2015.

Credits: Images via Instagram / avrillavigne; Instagram / modsun.

Jon Batiste, Suleika Jaouad Tie the Knot Using Bread Ties for Wedding Rings

Jon Batiste, the musician who won big at the 2022 Grammys, revealed to CBS Sunday Morning that he and his bestselling author partner, Suleika Jaouad, secretly tied the knot in February — using bread ties as wedding rings — in a hastily arranged ceremony one day before her scheduled bone marrow transplant.

According to Jaouad, who is battling leukemia for a second time, her boyfriend had been planning a proposal for a long time, but hadn’t popped the question because the ring was still in the works.

“He said to me, ‘I just want to be very clear, I’m not proposing to you because of this diagnosis. It’s taken me a year to design your ring. So, just know this timing has nothing to do with it. But what I do want you to know is that this diagnosis doesn’t change anything. It just makes it all the clearer to me that I want to commit to this and for us to be together.’ But once we realized we had this tiny window before the bone marrow transplant, we decided to go for it,” Jaouad said.

Jaouad described her wedding as a “tiny, beautiful, little ceremony” witnessed by a few members of the medical staff. She and Batiste pulled a few strings to get a marriage license right away and decided to use bread ties instead of formal wedding bands.

“And I’ll tell you, we walked into that bone marrow transplant unit on cloud nine,” she said. “We were so happy, so brimming with love and positivity from this beautiful evening that we’d had. And I really believe that that carried us through.”

Now, two months after their in-hospital ceremony, it seems as if Jaoaud did receive her proper rings.

During her interview with CBS Sunday Morning, the cameras offered a closeup of her ring finger, where she appeared to be wearing a three-stone emerald-cut diamond engagement ring, along with a bezel-set sapphire wedding band, both in yellow gold.

Batiste, 35, had been the star of this year’s Grammy awards. He was nominated 11 times and took home five trophies, including the one for Album of the Year.

Jaouad became a New York Times bestselling author with her memoir, Between Two Kingdoms, which chronicled her diagnosis, treatment and recovery from her first bout with leukemia.

Batiste explained how their February wedding was an act of defiance.

“OK, this happened,” Batiste said, “but this is not going to interrupt the plan that we had. This is just a bump in the road. The darkness will try to overtake you, but you just have to turn on the light, focus on the light, hold onto the light.”

The 33-year-old Jaoaud shares the same positivity. The walker she uses is bedazzled with faux gemstones.

“Instead of looking at this walker and feeling a sense of dread,” she said, “it kinda makes me happy.”

Credits: Screen captures via cbsnews.com.

Music Friday: ‘Jenny From the Block’ Sings, ‘Don’t Be Fooled By the Rocks That I Got’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fun songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, our spotlight shines on Jennifer Lopez, who set the Internet abuzz this past week when she revealed the super-rare 8.5-carat green diamond engagement ring she received from Ben Affleck — nearly 20 years after their first engagement became a tabloid sensation.

In November of 2002, Lopez famously accepted a 6.1-carat pink diamond engagement ring from Affleck, but the couple never made it to the alter.

Ironically, only a few weeks earlier, at the end of September 2002, the singer/actress scored a big hit with “Jenny From the Block,” a song that focused on her eye-popping jewelry and emphasized that, despite her new fortune and fame, she remained true to her humble beginnings.

The catchy refrain goes like this: “Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got / I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block / Used to have a little, now I have a lot / No matter where I go I know I came from, from the Bronx.”

It’s hard to imagine that today’s A-lister was once a backup dancer for New Kids on the Block and a Fly Girl dancer on the sketch comedy television series In Living Color.

“Jenny from the Block” was released as the lead single from Lopez’s third studio album, This is Me… Then. It charted in 24 countries, including a #3 position on the US Billboard Hot 100 and a #1 spot on the Canadian Singles chart.

Even though it’s nearly 20 years old, “Jenny From the Block” continues to be Lopez’s signature song. In fact, she included it in a medley for the Super Bowl LIV halftime show in February of 2020.

Please check out the video of Lopez performing “Jenny From the Block.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“Jenny From the Block”
Written by Jennifer Lopez, Troy Oliver, Andre Deyo, Samuel Barnes, Jean Claude Olivier, Jose Fernando Arbex Miro, Lawrence Parker, Scott Sterling, Michael Oliver, David Styles and Jason Phillips. Performed by Jennifer Lopez.

Children growing, women producing
Men go work, and some go stealing
Everyone’s got to make a living

Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got
I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go I know I came from

Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got
I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go I know I came from, from the Bronx

From “In Livin’ Color” to movie scripts
To “On the 6” to “J.Lo” to this, headline clips
I stay grounded as the amounts roll in
I’m real I thought I told ya, I’m really been on Oprah, that’s just me
Nothin’ phony, don’t hate on me
What you get is what you see, oh

Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got
I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go I know I came from, from the Bronx

Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got
I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go I know I came from, from the Bronx

I’m down to earth like this, rockin’ this business
I’ve grown up so much
I’m in control and lovin’ it, rumors got me laughin’ kid
I love my life and my public
Put God first and can’t forget to stay real
To me it’s like breathing, yeah

Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got
I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go I know I came from, from the Bronx

Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got
I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go I know I came from

Yo, it take hard work to cash checks
So don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got, they’re assets
You get back what you put out
If even if you take the good route, can’t count the hood out

After a while you’ll know who to blend with
Just keep it real with the ones you came in with
Best thing to do is stay low, LOX and JLo
(Everyone’s got to make a livin’)
They act like they don’t, but they know, yeah

Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got
I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go I know I came from, from the Bronx

Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got
I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go I know I came from, from the Bronx

Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got
I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go I know I came from, from the Bronx

Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got
I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block
Used to have a little, now I have a lot
No matter where I go I know I came from, from the Bronx

Credit: Image by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from Washington D.C, United States, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.