Keno Brothers Blog
September 20th, 2019
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you classic songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Martha and the Vandellas sing about the thrill of receiving a wedding band in the 1967 release, "Third Finger, Left Hand."

They sing, "At last my dreams come true / Today he said "I do" / Friends said it couldn't be done / But all his love I know I've won / 'Cause third finger, left hand / That's where he placed the wedding band."

Written by Motown's main creative team of Lamont Dozier and the brothers Brian and Eddie Holland, "Third Finger, Left Hand" is the memorable hook of a song that's best known for being the "B" side of "Jimmy Mack," which soared to #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart and #10 on the Billboard Hot 100.

In the years before CDs and digital downloads, young people cherished their vinyl 45 singles. While the purchase was sparked by the popular "A" side, sometimes the "B" side would reveal a hidden gem.

"Against the Vandellas' 'shoop-shoops,' Martha recalls the sweet moments leading up to that wonderful walk to the altar," writes Ed Hogan of "It's a good bet that 'Third Finger Left Hand' got almost as much turntable play as its hit A-side."

Trivia: While one's thumb is a digit, it is generally not considered a "finger." So the third finger of one's left hand is, indeed, the ring finger.

Formed in Detroit in 1957, Martha and the Vandellas, became one of Motown's greatest acts. Featuring the powerful lead vocals of Martha Reeves, the group charted more than 26 hits, including their signature single, "Dancing in the Street." The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995. Reeves continues to tour at the age of 78.

The songwriting and production team known as Holland–Dozier–Holland was behind the Motown sound of the 1960s. They not only wrote for Martha and the Vandellas, but also for the Supremes, the Four Tops and Freda Payne, who sang one of our H-D-H favorites, "Band of Gold." The trio was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

Please check out the audio track of Martha and the Vandellas singing "Third Finger, Left Hand." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Third Finger, Left Hand"
Written by Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland. Performed by Martha and the Vandellas.

At last my dreams come true
Today he said "I do"
Friends said it couldn't be done
But all his love I know I've won
'Cause third finger, left hand
That's where he placed the wedding band

He walked right up to me
And pledged his love for me
I longed to hear him say
The sweet words he spoke that day
Made me feel so good inside
The tears came to my eyes
I love him above the rest
'Cause in my book he's the best

'Cause he did something that no one else did
Friends said it couldn't be done
But all his love I know I've won
'Cause third finger, left hand
That's where he placed the wedding band

His words were precious few
But all along my heart knew
That no other boys in line
Could ever change my mind
Other boys, I sent away
I locked my heart till our wedding day
I love him above the rest
'Cause in my book he's the best

'Cause he did something that no one else did
Friends said it couldn't be done
But all his love I know I've won
'Cause third finger, left hand
That's where he placed the wedding band
Third finger, left hand
That's where he placed the wedding band
Third finger, left hand
That's where he placed the wedding band
Third finger, left hand
That's where he placed the wedding band
Third finger, left hand
That's where he placed the wedding band

Credit: Image by Aug856 [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons.
September 19th, 2019
Emirates, the luxury airline that set the Twittersphere ablaze in 2018 with the introduction of its "Bling 777," is back again with a post of its "Diamond" A380 onboard lounge.

It was December 2018 when the airline took to Twitter to show off an Emirates Boeing 777 spectacularly embellished with diamonds. The image went viral instantly, as supporters and naysayers alike chimed in on what they believed to be the first-of-its-kind, gem-encrusted aircraft.

What many Emirates Twitter followers didn't grasp was that the "Bling 777" was a fanciful rendering by award-winning Pakistani artist Sara Shakeel, who specializes in photo-editing diamonds onto otherwise-ordinary objects.

At the time, the confusion on social media forced Emirates to clarify that the diamond jet was not real.

“We just posted an art piece made by crystal artist Sara Shakeel," an airline spokesperson told Gulf News. "I can confirm it’s not real.”

On Tuesday, Emirates posted a new pic across its social media outlets with the following caption: "We know you liked our Bling 777, so here’s the Emirates ‘Diamond’ A380 Onboard Lounge. #FlyEmiratesFlyBetter."

The super-realistic image shows how the lounge of the luxury jetliner would look if it was decorated from wall to wall with diamonds. The "diamonds" cover the seat backs, partition coverings, window trim and horseshoe-shaped bar area.

The post has already earned more than 124,000 likes on Instagram, where Emirates boasts 4.7 million followers.

Credits: Images via Instagram/emirates; Twitter/emirates.
September 18th, 2019
The Pantone Color Institute recently unveiled its top 12 colors for Spring/Summer 2020. Described as friendly and relatable, the colors — which range from Flame Scarlet to Biscay Green — were seen illuminating the runways of NY Fashion Week in downtown Manhattan from September 5-13.

Flame Scarlet / Saffron / Classic Blue / Biscay Green

While Pantone's Fashion Color Trend Report described the 2020 hues as "recognized favorites," it also acknowledged that designers will be taking these colors through some unique twists and turns, highlighting humor, modernity and entertainment.

And we'll be ready with colorful jewelry accessories and vibrant gemstones to align with Pantone's palette.

“Combining our desire for stability, creativity, and more spontaneous design approaches, the color palette for Spring/Summer 2020 infuses heritage and tradition with a colorful, youthful update that creates strong multi-colored combinations, as well as energizing and optimistic pairings,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute.

Pantone's 2020 standouts lead off with Flame Scarlet, a burning bright color that exudes confidence and determination; Saffron, a pungent hue that adds flavorful brilliance to the palette; Classic Blue, which is evocative of the vast and infinite evening sky; and Biscay Green, an aqua shade reminiscent of a tropical bay.

Chive / Faded Denim / Orange Peel / Mosaic Blue

The next foursome expected to dominate in the coming year include Chive, a savory herbal green that imparts healthy and restorative harmony; Faded Denim, a relatable and dependable blue that conveys comfort and ease; Orange Peel, a bright shade with a tasteful tang; and Mosaic Blue, which displays an air of mystique and depth of feeling.

Sunlight / Coral Pink / Cinnamon Stick / Grape Compote

Pantone's final four colors include the smile-inducing Sunlight, the warm and welcoming Coral Pink, the earthy and warm Cinnamon Stick and the mellow and mysterious purple shade called Grape Compote.

Lark / Navy Blazer / Brilliant White / Ash

In additional to the 12 dominant colors, Pantone revealed four classic neutrals that impart an element of natural sophistication and versatility. Pantone noted that there will always be a need for structure in everyday fashion, and the neutrals for 2020 work well as a singular color statement or serve as a foundation for playful color contrasts. These include the khaki-colored Lark, deep blue Navy Blazer, crisp and pristine Brilliant White and eternally timeless Ash.

Pantone, the global color authority, publishes its Fashion Color Trend Report to give consumers and retailers a sneak peek at the color stories that will emerge in all areas of design and fashion in the coming year.

In early December, we will reveal Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2020. Previous winners have included Living Coral (2019), Ultra Violet (2018), Greenery (2017), Rose Quartz/Serenity Blue (co-winners for 2016), Marsala (2015), Radiant Orchid (2014), Emerald (2013) and Tangerine Tango (2012).

Credits: Images courtesy of Pantone.
September 17th, 2019
San Diego bride-to-be Jenna Evans swallowed her 2.4-carat diamond engagement ring during a vivid dream last Tuesday night. Her crazy story, which has gone viral on Facebook, earned the young woman a Monday morning spot on NBC's Today Show.

Evans told Today's Gadi Schwartz that she was having an action-packed, exciting dream about a cargo train and some villains.

"It was very James Bond," she said. "And in my dream my fiancé told me that I needed to swallow my engagement ring in order to protect it, I guess."

While still in a semi-dream state, Evans slid the diamond ring off her finger, put it in her mouth and swallowed it with a glass of water.

When she woke up the next morning, the 29-year-old noticed her ring was gone and she had a very good idea of where it could be.

"I couldn't help but laugh at it, and then I had to wake my fiancé up and tell him that I had swallowed my engagement ring," the frequent sleepwalker told Schwartz.

Urgent care physicians confirmed Evans' hunch when an X-ray revealed the distinctive shape of a diamond ring in her digestive tract.

Rather than risk internal injuries as the ring traveled naturally through her system, the doctors ordered an emergency upper endoscopy to retrieve the ring.

"They put a camera down my throat with a net, and they scooped it up and pulled it right out," Evans said.

The doctors handed the ring to Evans' boyfriend, Bobby Howell, for safe keeping. It wasn't until the next day that Evans got her ring back.

"I promised not to swallow it again, we're still getting married and all is right in the world," she wrote. The wedding is planned for May of 2020.

Despite a scary hospital visit, Evans was able to enjoy the silly side of her predicament. She shared her story on Facebook, hoping it would bring smiles to the folks who happened upon her post.

On Facebook, she wrote, "I also had no idea this would go viral — please be kind. I didn't do it on purpose and I'm not trying to change the world here, just share a funny story and hopefully a good belly laugh. Pun intended."

Credits: Screen capture via X-ray and hospital images via
September 16th, 2019
The fully functional 18-karat gold toilet that dazzled and delighted visitors to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City during its year-long installation in 2016-2017 was stolen from Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, England, on Saturday — just two days after its British debut. The toilet is said to be worth $6 million.

Called “America,” the irreverent work by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, was heisted from the palace — the birthplace of Winston Churchill — in the wee hours of the morning by a team using two getaway vehicles. The exhibit had been set to run through October 27.

Ironically, in an August interview with The Times, Edward Spencer-Churchill, the founder of the Blenheim Art Foundation, poo-pooed the idea of the toilet being stolen.

"It's not going to be the easiest thing to nick (steal)," Spencer-Churchill said. "Firstly, it's plumbed in, and secondly, a potential thief will have no idea who last used the toilet or what they ate. So no, I don't plan to be guarding it."

Another barrier to stealing a gold toilet was its weight. Gold is an extremely dense material. A standard gold bar (7 inches x 3 5/8 inches x 1 3/4 inches), for example, weighs 400 troy ounces, or 27.5 pounds.

Undaunted, the bandits entered the palace some time before 4:50 a.m. on Saturday and unceremoniously ripped the commode from its plumbing fixtures.

"Due to the toilet being plumbed in to the building, this has caused significant damage and flooding," Detective Inspector Jess Milne said in the statement. "We believe a group of offenders used at least two vehicles during the offense."

Artist Cattelan seemed to be amused that his work of art has become the subject of an elaborate heist.

"When this morning I was informed about the robbery," said Cattelan, "I thought it was a prank and it took me a while to come to the conclusion that it was true and it wasn't a surreal movie where instead of the jewels of the crown, the thieves went away with a toilet. I always liked heist movies and finally I'm in one of them."

When the toilet was exhibited in New York City, the Guggenheim’s website noted that Cattelan’s toilet was a social commentary about the excesses of the art market, while also evoking the American dream of opportunity for all. The toilet's basic utility reminded us of the inescapable physical realities of our shared humanity.

“This is 1 percent art for the 99 percent,” Cattelan told the New York Post during the opening of the exhibition in 2016.

Visitors to the Guggenheim were encouraged to use the golden toilet, and over the course of the exhibition more than 100,000 people waited patiently in line for an "opportunity to commune with art and with nature,” noted Nancy Spector, the Guggenheim’s artistic director and chief curator.

Credits: Photo by Kris McKay © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.
September 13th, 2019
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you awesome songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today, Barbadian singer Rihanna compares herself and her boyfriend to yellow diamonds in the very first line of her blockbuster 2011 hit, "We Found Love."

She sings, "Yellow diamonds in the light / And we're standing side by side / As your shadow crosses mine / What it takes to come alive / It's the way I'm feeling I just can't deny / But I've gotta let it go."

in 2009, Rihanna and singer Chris Brown were precious and rare diamond-grade performers on the verge of superstardom. They were an A-list couple enjoying the glow of the media spotlight, but what most fans didn't know was that Brown had an abusive dark side — a side Rihanna describes in the song as his "shadow crossing mine."

She finally comes to the realization that no matter how much she loves him, she can't be with him anymore. She's got to "let it go."

Written by Scottish DJ Calvin Harris, "We Found Love" appeared on Rihanna's sixth studio album, Talk That Talk, and rapidly ascended the charts in 25 countries. It topped the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 for 10 weeks and went on to sell more than 20 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time.

"We Found Love" is described as an electro house song with elements of Europop, pop, techno, trance and Euro disco.

Interestingly, the song's composer, Calvin Harris, cautioned a Q magazine writer against reading too much into the song's hook phrase, "We found love in a hopeless place."

While some believe that it represents two people finding each other when both are down on their luck, Harris described the origins of the phrase this way: "I don't know exactly what I was thinking about. I was just playing the song and doing nonsense singing to see if the syllables fitted the song. It was like that. I was singing nonsense and that's how the lyrics happened."

Robyn Rihanna Fenty was born in Saint Michael, Barbados, in 1988. She grew up listing to reggae music and, as a 15-year-old, dropped out of high school to form a musical trio. The girls were lucky enough to land an audition with American record producer Evan Rogers, who recognized Rihanna's talent and invited her to record some demo tapes. The tapes landed at the studios of Def Jam Recordings, where she was signed to a record deal by singer Jay-Z, who was also a record company exec.

Please check out the audio clip of Rihanna singing "We Found Love." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"We Found Love"
Written by Calvin Harris. Performed by Rihanna, featuring Calvin Harris.

Yellow diamonds in the light
And we're standing side by side
As your shadow crosses mine
What it takes to come alive

It's the way I'm feeling I just can't deny
But I've gotta let it go

We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place

Shine a light through an open door
Love and life I will divide
Turn away 'cause I need you more
Feel the heartbeat in my mind

It's the way I'm feeling I just can't deny
But I've gotta let it go

We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place

Yellow diamonds in the light
And we're standing side by side
As your shadow crosses mine (mine, mine, mine)

We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place

We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place
We found love in a hopeless place

Credit: Image by Sam Collart [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
September 12th, 2019
Archaeologists exploring Russia's "Atlantis" have discovered a gem-adorned 2,137-year-old "iPhone case" buried in the grave of a young fashionista who scientists have nicknamed Natasha.

The unusual rectangular object is made from the black gemstone jet and is inlaid with an array of contrasting precious gemstones, including turquoise, carnelian and mother-of-pearl. It is also decorated with ancient Chinese wuzhu coins, which helped the dating process.

Natasha's remains and her blinged-out accessory were excavated from the Ala-Tey Necropolis in the so-called Sayan Sea. Located in the Russian Republic of Tuva, the man-made reservoir is usually 56-feet-deep, but was drained over the summer, giving archaeologists rare access to the site.

Although the seven-inch by three-inch object discovered with Nastasha looks very much like an iPhone case, scientists believe it's a very ornate belt buckle.

“Natasha’s’ burial with a Hunnu-era 'iPhone' remains one of the most interesting at this site,” noted archaeologist Dr. Pavel Leus.

Nastasha lived during a time when a nation of nomads ruled ancient Mongolia from the 3rd century BC to the late 1st century AD.

"This site is a scientific sensation," Dr. Marina Kilunovskaya of the St Petersburg Institute of Material History Culture told "We are incredibly lucky to have found these burials of rich Hun nomads that were not disturbed by [ancient] grave robbers."

The gemstone jet is considered to be a mineraloid — a naturally occurring mineral-like substance. Some examples of mineraloids are jet, amber and lapis lazuli. Jet, specifically, is derived from wood that has decomposed under high pressure. The term "jet black" means the darkest black possible.

In the U.S. during the Roaring Twenties, young flappers would wear multiple strands of jet beads reaching from their necklines to their waists.

Credits: Images courtesy of IHMC RAS/Pavel Leus.
September 11th, 2019
An exceptional 10.64-carat flawless vivid purplish-pink diamond is expected to sell for as much as $26 million when it hits the auction block at Sotheby's Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite sale on October 7 in Hong Kong.

In Sotheby's auction catalog, the top lot is described as a cut-cornered rectangular mixed-cut diamond, but it also can be described as a radiant cut, which incorporates the shape of an emerald cut with the faceting array of a round brilliant. The stone is set in an 18-karat white and pink gold ring and is flanked by trapeze-cut white diamonds.

Sotheby's established a pre-sale estimate for the headliner at $20 million to $26 million. If it achieves the high estimate, the diamond's price per carat would be $2.44 million — a number on par with some of the most famous pink diamonds in the world.

For instance, in November 2018, the 18.96-carat “Pink Legacy” was purchased by Harry Winston for $50.3 million, establishing a record price-per-carat for a fancy vivid pink diamond at $2.7 million per carat. The previous record holder was the 14.93-carat "Pink Promise," which sold at a 2017 auction for $2.2 million per carat.

In April of 2017, the 59.6-carat Pink Star — a flawless, fancy vivid pink diamond — shattered the world record for the highest price ever paid for any gem at auction. The Pink Star’s hammer price of $71.2 million at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite sale in Hong Kong.

It is believed that pink and red diamonds get their rich color from a molecular structure distortion that occurs as the diamond crystal 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. Pink diamonds larger than five carats are rarely encountered. In fact, fewer than 10% of pink diamonds weigh more than one-fifth of a carat.

Other top lots at Sotheby's Hong Kong auction will include a spectacular ruby ring and a super-size flawless diamond, both of which feature the number "88" in their carat weights. The number 8 is the luckiest number in Chinese culture and is believed to bring good luck and prosperity. With each hundredth of a carat equally 0.002 grams, precision cutting and care was required to finish the polishing of both gems at just the right moment to achieve double eights in the final weight.

Superb Ruby and Diamond Ring. This ring by designer Raymond Yard features an oval Burmese ruby weighing 11.88 carats. The ruby is set in platinum and is accented by various shaped diamonds. The pre-sale estimate is $5.6 to $8.1 million.

A Magnificent Unmounted Diamond. Weighing 80.88 carats, this unmounted D-flawless emerald-cut diamond has excellent polish and symmetry. It is reportedly one of only five emerald-cut diamonds larger than 80 carats to have come up for auction. The gem is graded Type IIa, the most chemically pure of all diamonds. It is expected to sell in the range of $9.9 million to $12.7 million.

Credits: Images courtesy of Sotheby's.
September 10th, 2019
Each week during the NFL season, Snickers will be presenting a blinged-out "S" pendant to the league's "Hungriest Player." The chain will pass from one top performer to the next, based on their successes both on and off the gridiron.

The "S" is actually the first letter of the iconic Snickers logo beautifully rendered in 47 carats of brilliant-cut blue sapphires, white diamonds and red rubies. The pendant dangles from a thick Cuban link chain.

As Snickers' social media campaign explains, "Only the hungry can storm the gridiron, but only the hungriest will wear the chain. Follow this season @snickers."

As the end of the season nears, Snickers will be inviting fans to weigh in on which of the weekly honorees was the hungriest. Snickers will then offer the jewelry for sale with the proceeds going to the hungriest player's favorite charity.

"When Snickers hit me up about collaborating on a chain to honor the hungriest players in the NFL this season, I was immediately all in," said Los-Angeles-based jewelry designer Ben Baller. "The idea of passing this Snickers chain to a different player each week is just crazy, so I knew we'd have to come up with something next level to make sure it served as the ultimate reward for hustle and success."

The familiar Snickers candy bar features the product name spelled out in capital blue letters against a white ground and bordered in red. Baller reinterpreted the logo as a single letter "S" rendered in blue sapphires set in yellow gold against a ground of white diamonds and bordered in rubies. Mimicking the candy bar, the border is rounded on the upper-left and bottom-right corners and pointed on the other two.

Established in 1930, Snickers continues to thrive with annual worldwide sales of more than $2 billion. The brand got a boost in 2012 with its wildly popular "You're not you when you're hungry" ad campaign. After its first full year, the clever ad series helped increase the global sales of Snickers by 15.9%.

Fans can follow the #SNICKERSchain journey this season on social media via @SNICKERS to see which player receives the chain each week. For more information, visit

Credits: Images courtesy of PRNewsPhoto/Mars, Incorporated.
September 9th, 2019
Last November, Sir Jony Ive, Apple’s Chief Design Officer, and renowned industrial designer Marc Newson, collaborated on "The (Red) Diamond Ring" — an all-diamond ring that would be honed from a 45-carat rough gem.

The piece — which has no precious metal components — was specially designed to benefit the third (RED) Auction in Miami, a charity supporting AIDS research. An anonymous bidder purchased the ring for $256,250, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation matched 90% of the bid, nearly doubling the total donation.

At the time of the auction, the ring did not exist in real life. However, Ive and Newson promised to custom make an actual ring for the winning bidder in any ring size up to 5. This past Friday, the ring was finally revealed.

The Diamond Foundry, which supplied the lab-grown diamond for the project, announced on Twitter that the ring was completed, and released a video showing how it was meticulously carved and faceted using laser beam and water jet technology. The ring was created by removing material rather than adding it. The original blueprint boasted 2,000 to 3,000 individual facets. A typical round brilliant-cut diamond has 58 facets.

According to the company, the shape and model of the finished stone are revolutionary since there were no guidelines. The Antwerp-based cutters had to create it from scratch using custom tools that had to be ordered from a specialized diamond tools supplier in Belgium.

Ive is reportedly leaving Apple this year to form a new design company called LoveFrom. He has been with Apple for 30 years.

Shawish Geneva was the first company to form a ring from a single diamond. Shawish unveiled the innovative ring to the public during the 2012 Baseworld Watch and Jewelry Show. That ring was laser-cut from a 150-carat rough diamond. While the Shawish ring was groundbreaking, the Ive-Newson design is said to be more wearable.

Credits: Screen captures from Diamond Foundry video.