For Sale: 102.34-Carat D-Flawless Diamond Is Largest Round Brilliant in the World

Sotheby’s London Salon is offering for sale the world’s largest D-flawless round brilliant-cut diamond. At 102.34 carats, the impeccable stone is being hailed as the rarest white diamond ever to come to market, and Sotheby’s is confident it will break a world record for the highest price ever paid for a D-flawless. The diamond is expected to fetch more than $34 million.

Sotheby’s emphasized that while only seven D-flawless diamonds weighing more than 100 carats have ever sold at auction, none were round brilliant cuts. The lack of rounds is really a matter of dollars and cents. When working with extraordinarily large rough stones, cutters generally opt for elongated cushions, emerald cuts and pear shapes, which allow them to keep the maximum carat weight.

Sourced in Botswana by De Beers, the 102.34-carat polished gem was cut from a rough diamond weighing 425 carats. The cutting and polishing process was conducted by Diacore’s most experienced artisans in Johannesburg and New York, and took six painstaking months to complete. Although 24 other finished gems would be extracted from the rough, the round primary stone accounted for only 24.1% of the total weight.

By comparison, the 163-carat stunner known as “Art of de Grisogono” was honed from an Angolan-sourced rough diamond that weighed 404 carats. The emerald-cut primary gem accounted for 40.3% of the total weight. The D-flawless “Art of de Grisogono” fetched $33.7 million at Christie’s Geneva in November of 2017 and currently holds the record for the most expensive D-flawless diamond.

While a great majority of its high-profile gemstones are offered at auction, Sotheby’s will be selling the flawless round through the Sotheby’s Diamond retail boutique on New Bond Street in London. The diamond was on public display last week and will be available for private viewings through February 16. A Sotheby’s spokesperson told that she expects the stone’s selling price to “greatly exceed” the current record.

“This stone is over 100 carats of flawless perfection,” said Patti Wong, Founder and Chairman of Sotheby’s Diamonds. “In the course of my long career, which has brought me close to some of the greatest stones the earth has ever yielded, I have not encountered anything quite like this.”

Sotheby’s noted that beyond the stone’s exceptional color, size, clarity, cut and symmetry, it is also rated Type IIa by the Gemological Institute of America. Diamonds in this rare and coveted subgroup are chemically pure and often show extraordinary optical transparency.

Credits: Images courtesy of Sotheby’s.


McDonald’s Celebrates Big Mac’s 50th and Valentine’s Day With a ‘Bling Mac Ring’ Contest

A seven-tier stackable ring that uses champagne-colored diamonds to represent all-beef patties, tsavorites to depict the lettuce and pickles, and orange sapphires to illustrate the special sauce is the scintillating prize in McDonald’s romantic “Bling Mac Ring” competition. 

Valued at $12,500, the fanciful ring by New York-based designer Nadine Ghosn will be awarded to the Twitter user who does the best job professing his or her love for any of the three Big Mac sandwiches — Grand Big Mac, Big Mac and Mac Jr. The competition marks both Valentine’s Day and the 50th anniversary of the Big Mac.

Just about everybody knows via the iconic McDonald’s jingle that the Big Mac consists of two beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a (three-part) sesame seed bun. Ghosn’s challenge was to reimagine its iconic multi-layered sandwich in 18-karat gold and precious stones. We particularly like the sesame seeds rendered in flush-set round white diamonds.

“They were very adamant about having every burger ingredient represented in the ring,” Ghosn told

The competition, which started February 7 and will run through Valentine’s Day, February 14, is being promoted via McDonald’s Twitter page. The instructions: “Tweet @McDonald’s with #BlingMacContest and your funniest, most creative vows of love to the Big Mac burgers to compete to win the Bling Mac Ring.” No purchase is necessary to participate.

A panel of experts will rate the entries based on the following criteria: 40% creativity; 30% love and affinity for the Big Mac sandwich; and 30% humor. Judging will take place from February 19 through February 28 and the winner will be announced shortly thereafter. In addition to the ring, the winner will get a check for $4,286 to help pay for the taxes or to be used at the winner’s discretion.

The Big Mac was invented in 1967 by Jim Delligatti, a McDonald’s franchise owner in Uniontown, Pa. It was an instant success in the Greater Pittsburgh area and added to the McDonald’s menus nationwide a year later. It was billed as a “meal disguised as a sandwich.”

While the regular Big Mac has been a staple of McDonald’s menus for five decades, the company is re-releasing the Grand Mac and Mac Jr. for a limited time.

Credits: Images and screen captures via

Music Friday: Get Into the Olympic Spirit With a Go-for-the-Gold Theme Song, ‘Reach Out’

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fun songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals (in this case, medals) in the title or lyrics. Today marks the opening of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, so to get into the spirit of the Games — throwback style — we’ve searched our attic for an old neon leotard and a long-forgotten 45 of “Reach Out,” the go-for-the-gold theme song from the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

Composed by three-time Oscar winner Giorgio Moroder and sung by pop star Paul Engemann, “Reach Out” is a power ballad that includes the inspiring lines, “Reach out / Reach out for the medal / Reach out / Reach out for the gold / Come play to win / Never give in / The time is right for you to come and make your stand / Reach out / Reach out.”

The catchy chorus of “Reach Out” will bring back memories of Irene Cara singing “Flashdance… What a Feeling.” And that’s no coincidence. Only one year earlier, Moroder composed that song for the blockbuster 1983 film Flashdance. It earned Moroder, 77, a Grammy for Record of the Year in 1983 and an Oscar for Best Original Song in 1984. Moroder is frequently credited with pioneering electronic dance music.

Engemann, 60, is best known for his 1983 song “Scarface (Push It to the Limit).” That tune, which was co-written by Moroder, was featured in the famous Tony Montana rise-to-power montage sequence in the motion picture Scarface, starring Al Pacino.

Interestingly, the 1984 Summer Olympics had unique theme songs for individual events. For instance, Quincy Jones wrote “Grace” for the gymnastics competition and Foreigner’s “Street Thunder” was played during the marathon. “Reach Out” was the theme of the track and field events. In all, there were 13 songs included in the album titled The Official Music of the 1984 Games.

“Reach Out” was also included in Moroder’s 1985 album Innovisions. The song scored a #1 spot on the German singles chart, #2 on the Swiss singles chart and #81 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Please check out the video of Engemann performing “Reach Out.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“Reach Out”
Written by Giorgio Moroder, Paul Engemann and Richie Zito. Performed by Engemann.

Reach out
Reach out for the medal

Reach out
Reach out for the gold
Come play to win
Never give in

The time is right for you to come and make your stand
Reach out
Reach out

You now hold the future in your hand
You have come from everywhere across the land
The stars are shining bright
Make it yours tonight

You know every wish you have’s at your command
Reach out
Reach out for the medal

Reach out
Reach out

Now’s the time to take hold of your dream
You are standing on the edge of history
So let the games begin
May the best man win

Give your all for all the world to see
Reach out
Reach out for the medal

Reach out
Reach out for the medal
Reach out
Reach out for the gold

Credit: Screen capture via

‘Maddie and I Both Got Us a Ring,’ Exclaims Newly Engaged Eagles QB Carson Wentz

Just two days removed from his team’s stunning Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz announced his engagement to Madison Oberg on Twitter and Instagram.

The 25-year-old rising star, who was forced to watch the championship game from the sidelines due to an injury, tweeted, “She said YES! And now Maddie and I both got us a ring… can’t wait to marry my best friend! God is doing some amazing things and I can’t thank him enough!”

Actually, Wentz has yet to receive his Super Bowl ring. They’re scheduled to be distributed to the players, coaches, football staff and team executives some time in June.

The tweet was accompanied by four romantic shots of Wentz proposing to Oberg in what seems to be the candle-lit rooftop of a fanciful castle.

Wentz had been leading the Eagles to one of the greatest seasons in the franchise’s history when he tore his ACL in Week 14. Up to that point, he had thrown for 3,296 yards and 33 touchdowns.

The former North Dakota State University star underwent surgery in December and was on the sidelines during the Eagles’ epic 41-33 victory over the favored Patriots on Sunday. His replacement, Nick Foles, was named the Super Bowl MVP after throwing three TD passes and catching a fourth one. It was the Philadelphia franchise’s first-ever championship title.

Wentz’ social media followers were introduced to Oberg in a December Instagram post from his hospital bed. The photo showed the quarterback with Oberg at his side giving a thumbs up. He told his 863,000 Instagram followers that “the comeback officially begins now!” and added, “The Lord truly blessed me with this beautiful young lady to walk by my side and support me through all of this!”

Millions of fans are expected to attend the Eagles’ parade in Philadelphia today. Fans will line a route from Broad Street and Pattison Avenue to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, hoping to catch a glimpse of Foles, Wentz and the rest of their heroes.

Wentz is expected to regain his starting position when the Eagles return to action later this year. The couple has yet to announce a wedding date.

Credits: Images via

Your Next Smartphone May Have a Diamond Screen That’s ‘Virtually Unbreakable’

An Illinois-based technology company is testing a diamond smartphone screen that it claims is six times stronger, 10 times harder and runs 800 times cooler than the leading competitor’s glass. The revolutionary nanocrystalline diamond material is said to be “virtually unbreakable.”

Akhan Semiconductor is marketing the material as Miraj Diamond Glass. The company claims that its display is harder, stronger and thinner, while running cooler to the touch. Akhan Semiconductor boasts that Miraj Diamond Glass exhibits the brilliance and beauty of a real diamond.

Diamond is the hardest substance known to man and the only thing that can scratch a diamond is another diamond. Still, despite their hardness, diamonds can be brittle. A diamond struck by a hammer, for instance, will shatter.

Akhan Semiconductor has solved this issue by arranging the diamond nanocrystals in a random pattern to help lower the probability of the screen fracturing. The company claims the new screens are virtually unbreakable and shatterproof.

Akhan Semiconductor is partnering with an unnamed smartphone company, which is currently putting Miraj Diamond Glass through a series of tests. Among the issues being worked out are reducing glare and ensuring that the diamond material can respond to the touch. The company is also studying how Miraj Diamond Glass performs when applied as a top layer to other materials, such as conventional glass or Gorilla Glass.

Akhan Semiconductor is also planning to introduce Miraj Diamond Glass to related product lines, such as screen protectors and fitness bands.

In the past, phone makers have experimented with sapphire crystal screens. Sapphire is the second-hardest material (rating 9 on the Mohs scale, while diamond rates a 10). The maker of Miraj Diamond Glass claims that the nanocrystalline diamond is superior to sapphire not only because it is harder, but because it can flex to a greater degree.

If testing goes well, expect diamond smartphone screens to hit the market in high-end devices by 2019.

Credits: Images courtesy of Akhan Semiconductor.

New Mexico Woman Finds Diamond Ring in Tub of Vicks VapoRub

We’d hardly be surprised to find a prize mixed into a Cracker Jack box or a fun toy buried in a specially marked package of Lucky Charms, but a diamond ring immersed in a tub of Vicks VapoRub? Now, that’s a curiosity.

Last week, Albuquerque, N.M., resident Sharon Roybal fished a 10-karat diamond ring out of an old jar of the mentholated topical ointment — and she’s not quite sure how the ring got there or who it belongs to.

Roybal told local NBC affiliate KRQE that she had used the ointment to care for her mother, who has since passed away. In fact, her mom’s room — along with the jar of Vicks — had been left undisturbed for the past four years.

Recently, Roybal went to use the ointment in her mom’s room and was shocked to see a diamond ring suspended just below the surface.

While one would assume that the ring might be her mom’s, Roybal was certain that it wasn’t.

“I was with my mom 24/7, I cared for her. I took care of her and my dad, this is not her ring,” Roybal told KRQE.

Determined to find the rightful owner, Roybal contacted the Vicks company, which has been owned by Procter & Gamble since 1985. A company representative offered to investigate the case of the Vicks VapoRub ring and asked Roybal to send the jar and the ring to their headquarters. The representative told her the ring was likely lost during the packaging process.

Interestingly, Vicks VapoRub is currently manufactured and packaged in India and Mexico. Since Indian consumers favor higher karatages of gold, we might assume that the 10-karat ring was lost at Vicks’ Mexican factory.

For now, Roybal has decided to keep possession of the ring and the old container of Vicks VapoRub.

“The Vicks bottle is sentimental because it’s [a memory of] my mom and dad,” she told KRQE. “The ring is someone else’s special memory and I would like to get it back to them.”

She’s hoping that her story will wind its way to the person — possibly in Mexico — who lost the ring many years ago.

Credit: Illustration by The Jeweler Blog with images via and

NRF Survey: Jewelry Tops List of 2018 Valentine’s Day Gifts; Category Grows 9.3%

For the second year in a row, jewelry tops the list of Valentine’s Day gifts, according to an annual survey released by the National Retail Federation. U.S. consumers are expected to spend $4.7 billion for jewelry-related items on Cupid’s favorite holiday, up 9.3% compared to 2017.

Jewelry is not only the most popular category in 2018 — outperforming an “evening out” ($3.7 billion), flowers ($2.0 billion) and clothing ($1.9 billion) — but it is also the fastest growing.

The “evening out” category is down 2% from 2017 and 17.6% from 2016. Flowers and clothing were both flat, compared to 2017.

Rounding out the most popular Valentine’s Day gifts for 2018 are candy ($1.8 billion), gift cards/gift certificates ($1.5 billion) and greeting cards ($894 million).

The NRF reports that overall spending on Valentine’s Day gifts will reach a near-record $19.6 billion in 2018, narrowly missing the high-water mark of $19.7 billion in 2016. Valentine spending in 2017 was $18.2 billion, according to the NRF.

Jewelry will be the gift of choice for 19% of Valentine’s Day consumers in 2018, the exact percentage tallied in 2017. This compares to an “evening out” (to be gifted by 36%), flowers (17%), clothing (17%), candy (55%), gift cards/gift certificates (15%) and greeting cards (46%).

The average amount spent on Valentine’s Day gifts in 2018 is expected to creep up to $143.56 from last year’s $136.57. That’s an increase of 5.1%.

Valentine gift-givers will spend an average of $88.98 on their significant other/spouse ($12.1 billion), $25.29 on other family members, such as children or parents ($3.5 billion), $7.26 on children’s classmates/teachers ($991 million), $7.19 on friends ($982 million), $5.50 on pets ($751 million) and $4.79 on co-workers ($654 million).

The overall observance of Valentine’s Day will go up a tick in 2018. Exactly 55% of respondents said they will celebrate on February 14, up 1 percentage point compared to 2017, but down from 63.4% in 2007.

The NRF’s 2018 Valentine’s Day spending survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to Valentine’s Day. The survey was conducted for NRF by Prosper Insights & Analytics. The poll of 7,277 consumers was conducted from January 3-10, 2018, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.

Credit: Image by