October 3rd, 2023
The Ancient Aztecs used two special names to describe the vibrant and colorful fire opals they discovered in the region that is now Queretaro, Mexico. According to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the first was quetza litzle pyolitli, meaning “stone which changes color in movement” and the second was huitzitziltecpatl, which meant “stone like a bird of a thousand colors.”


It's clear why the Aztecs believed fire opals were sacred stones that possessed mystical properties. The transparent and semi-transparent stones seemed to be ablaze with yellow, orange, red and blue body color. The fire opals presented a fascinating "play-of-color," which refers to the rainbow flashes seen when viewing the stone from various angles.

The GIA commented: "At times, the beauty of Mexican opal exceeds that found in opal from any of the world's better-known deposits, such as Australia."

The Mexican fire opal specimens shown above are part of the National Gem & Mineral Collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. The opals in this group range in weight from 11 to 143 carats and are excellent examples of October's birthstone. (Opal shares official October birthstone status with tourmaline.)

According to the GIA, fire opal in Mexico is believed to have formed over time as water seeped into silica-rich volcanic rock. Gradually, silica was deposited into cracks and voids in the rock and became opal.

Opals are categorized by their transparency and body color. White opals, for instance, are translucent stones with a play-of-color against a white body color. When the vivid play-of-color is seen against a black or dark body color the specimen is called a black opal.

Fire opals have a vibrant body color that resembles gelatin. According to the Smithsonian, the best fire opals are found in Mexico and the stones are sometimes called "Mexican opals." Opals are generally cut as cabochons or polished free-form to best show the play-of-color.

According to the GIA, the most important opal deposits in Mexico are in the state of Queretaro, although there are other significant deposits in the states of Chihuahua, San Luis Potosi, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco and Michoacan.

An opal’s silica structure contains 3% to 20% water, according to the American Gem Society. The value of a fine opal is based on a number of factors, including brightness, color, pattern, body tone and consistency (how it looks from multiple angles).

While Australia remains the primary source of fine opal production and Mexico is a well known source of fire opals, the October birthstone is also mined in Brazil, Honduras, Ethiopia, the Czech Republic and parts of the US, including Nevada and Idaho.

Credit: Photo by Chip Clark/Smithsonian.
October 2nd, 2023
The massive Russian Federation and tiny country of Botswana share top honors on 2022's list of the most prolific rough diamond producers in the world.


The Russian Federation extracted 41.9 million carats of diamonds in 2022, placing it on top of the leaderboard, far ahead of #2 Botswana (24.7 million carats) and #3 Canada (16.2 million carats).

The rankings rejigger when we analyze the diamond output in terms of value, with Botswana rising to the top of the list ($4.9 billion), followed by the Russian Federation ($3.5 billion) and Angola ($1.9 billion).

Of the world's 195 countries, only 22 engage in diamond mining. And of that group, the top 10 diamond mining countries accounted for 99.2% of all rough diamonds mined in 2022. World production was 120.2 million carats at a value of $16.2 billion.

Here's the current rankings of the Top-10 diamond producing countries by carat weight and by value. The stats are based on statistics compiled by Kimberly Process (a diamond-industry certification organization) as well as Dr. Ashok Damarupurshad, a precious metals and diamond specialist in South Africa.

Russian Federation: Carat Ranking #1 / Value Ranking #2

According to Dr. Damarupurshad's analysis, Russia produced more than a third (35%) of the world's rough diamonds in 2022 (by weight) and a little over one-fifth of its value.

Botswana: Carat Ranking #2 / Value Ranking #1

Botswana is famous for its gem-quality rough diamonds, six of which rank in the Top 10 of the largest rough diamonds ever discovered. That quality factor is why the country ranked #1 in value, topping its Russian rival by 40% even though its carat output was only 59% of Russia's total.

Canada: Carat Ranking #3 / Value Ranking #4

Dr. Damarupurshad noted that although Canada is also known for producing gem-quality diamonds, its production is on a declining trend as older, richer pipes at the Ekati and Diavik mines deplete. Nevertheless, Canada still ranked #3 in production (16.2 million carats) and #4 in value ($1.8 billion) in 2022.

The next seven countries on the list are all on the continent of Africa. In fact, eight of the top 10 diamond-producing countries are African, accounting for 51% of the world's diamond output by weight, and 66% by value.

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): Carat Ranking #4 / Value Ranking #11

The disparity in this countries rankings reflects the prevalence of lower-grade rough. The DRC generated 9.9 million carats with a value of just $65 million. The vast majority of diamonds produced in the DRC are used for industrial purposes.

South Africa: Carat Ranking #5 / Value Ranking #5

The home of the 3,106-carat Cullinan Diamond, the largest diamond ever unearthed, South Africa produces consistently high-quality diamonds and has been doing it for more than a century. The Cullinan was found in the Premier Mine in 1905. In 2022, South Africa generated 9.6 million carats valued at $1.5 billion.

Angola: Carat Ranking #6 / Value Ranking #3

Angola produced 8.7 million carats, but banked $1.9 billion — a number topped only by Botswana and Russia. The high value is a testament to a finer grade of rough material unearthed in 2022. Dr. Damarupurshad reported a marginal increase in carats in 2022, but a 20% increase in value compared with 2021.

At this point in the list, production and value take a big step down.

Zimbabwe: Carat Ranking #7 / Value Ranking #7

Zimbabwe's output of 4.4 million carats was about half of the tally of #6 Angola, and the diamond value of $424 million was barely a fourth of Angola's total. Zimbabwe's overall output improved compared to 2021, but the value retreated by nearly 40%.

Namibia: Carat Ranking #8 / Value Ranking #6

This country on the southwest coast of Africa produces gem-quality diamonds sourced largely from off-shore activities. In 2022, Namibia produced 2 million carats with a value of $1.2 billion. Dr. Damarupurshad called Namibian production in 2022 "the diamond mining highlight of the year." The value of diamond output grew by 50% and the price-per-carat grew to $601 — the highest of the Top-20 diamond mining countries in the world.

Lesotho: Carat Ranking #9 / Value Ranking #8

In 2022, this tiny, landlocked country which is completely surrounded by South Africa, scored a #9 spot with a rough diamond output of 727,000 carats and a #8 spot on the value chart with $314 million in revenue. In 2021, Lesotho diamonds generated the highest price per carat ($756), but the country failed to maintain that status in 2022 ($432 per carat).

Sierra Leone: Carat Ranking #10 / Value Ranking #9

Sierra Leone barely managed to remain in the Top 10 in 2022 based on production (688,000 carats) and value ($143 million). Both numbers were slightly down from the country's performance in 2021.

Credit: Image of 342-carat rough diamond mined in Botswana, courtesy of Lucara Diamond.
September 29th, 2023
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you exciting songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, country star Trisha Yearwood's “Powerful Thing” tells the story of a couple who can't deny the obvious — it's time to take their relationship to the next level.


In her 1998 country hit, Yearwood describes how the couple started out as “strangers on a two way street” with neither one looking to fall in love. But, they are instantly overwhelmed by their amazing chemistry, and the force of the attraction is beyond their control. It's stronger than a driving wind and hotter than a forest fire. Yearwood believes it’s time for them to jump right in and get over their fear of falling.

She sings, “It’s a powerful thing / It’s a powerful thing / More than three words / And a diamond ring / It can open up the heavens / Make the angels sing / Our love, baby, is a powerful thing.”

Written by Al Anderson and Sharon Vaughn, “Powerful Thing” was released as the third single from Yearwood’s album Where Your Road Leads. The song ascended to #6 on the US Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks and scored the #1 spot on Canada’s RPM Country Tracks chart. “Powerful Thing” also appears as the 14th track on the artist’s 2007 album Trisha Yearwood: Greatest Hits.

Patricia Lynn “Trisha” Yearwood was born in 1964 in Monticello, GA, to a school teacher mom and a banker dad. She got her big break as a 21-year-old when she interned for — and was then hired by — MTM Records, which was founded by TV legend Mary Tyler Moore. While working for MTM, Yearwood sang background vocals for new artists, including Garth Brooks (more on him later).

“I got work based on the fact that I showed up on time, I worked cheap, I knew the songs when I got there and I sang on pitch,” Yearwood told People magazine in 2015.

The 59-year-old Yearwood has been a cast member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1999 and has won three Grammy Awards, three Country Music Association Awards, three Academy of Country Music Awards and an American Music Award. She has sold more than 15 million albums worldwide.

She's best known for her hits "She's In Love With The Boy" (1991), "Walkaway Joe" (1992), "The Song Remembers When" (1993), "XXX's and OOO's (An American Girl)" (1994) and "Believe Me Baby (I Lied)" (1996).

In December of 2005, she married Brooks, her longtime friend and collaborator. Seven thousand fans witnessed his onstage proposal to Yearwood earlier that same year in Bakersfield, CA.

Brooks admitted on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that there had always been an undeniable chemistry between the pair. It must have been “a powerful thing.”

Yearwood will be appearing with the Nashville Symphony at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center from October 19-21.

Please check out Yearwood’s live performance of “Powerful Thing” at the 1999 American Music Awards. She is accompanied by her husband Garth Brooks, who is introduced at the time "as her good friend." The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…

“Powerful Thing”
Written by Al Anderson and Sharon Vaughn. Performed by Trisha Yearwood, featuring Garth Brooks.

I’ve never seen two people in my life
More determined to ignore the obvious
We better stop thinking
Let our hearts start doing the talking

You’d have to be stone deaf dumb and blind
Not to see what’s going on with us
So let’s jump in
And get over our fear of fallin’
‘Cause what we got here

It’s a powerful thing
It’s a powerful thing
More than three words
And a diamond ring
It can open up the heavens
Make the angels sing
Our love, baby, is a powerful thing

We started out strangers on a two-way street
Neither one of us lookin’ to fall in love
But we don’t need us a map
To know we’re headed in that direction

Well, it’s out of our hands
And over our heads
It’s something that’s bigger than both of us
Turnin’ back now’s completely out of the question
‘Cause what we got here

It’s a powerful thing
It’s a powerful thing
More than three words
And a diamond ring
It can open up the heavens
Make the angels sing
Our love, baby, is a powerful thing

Stronger than the force of a driving wind
Hotter than a forest fire
There never has been and there never will be
Nothing like the power of you and me, yeah

It’s a powerful thing (It’s a powerful thing)
It’s a powerful thing (It’s a powerful thing)
More than three words
And a diamond ring
It can open up the heavens
Make the angels sing
Our love, baby, is a powerful thing

It’s a powerful thing (It’s a powerful thing)
It’s a powerful thing (It’s a powerful thing)
More than three words
And a diamond ring
It can open up the heavens
Make the angels sing
Our love, baby, is a powerful thing

Credit: Image by DOD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.
September 28th, 2023
Chicago Med star Torrey DeVitto finally unveiled her radiant-cut diamond engagement ring on September 25 after keeping it under wraps for more than three weeks.


DeVitto announced her engagement to director Jared LaPine with an Instagram post that included a number of cuddly shots, a few of which put her new ring front and center.

The 39-year-old actress revealed in the Instagram caption that LaPine's proposal caught her totally off guard.


"Earlier this month at 5 pm on a weekday while walking the back trails at the farm, still in my PJs and goat boots, he got down on one knee, in what I hoped wasn't poison ivy, and asked for forever," she revealed to her million Instagram followers. "My answer was obvious." She punctuated her post with a red heart emoji.

On his Instagram page, LaPine posted a carousel of engagement photos and the following caption: "On September 1st, I got engaged to my best friend. Now I get to spend every single day as the luckiest man in the world. I love you more than anything and everything." LaPine's emojis included champagne glasses, diamond ring and red heart.


Although many outlets are reporting that the ring features an emerald-cut diamond, due to the intensity of the sparkle and smaller facets, we're pretty sure DeVitto is rockin' an elongated radiant-cut diamond.

A radiant-cut diamond — with 70 facets, compared to the 57 facets of a round brilliant — delivers a clean, modern, edgy look along with a large dose of fire.

DeVitto is best known for playing Dr. Natalie Manning on Chicago Med (2015-2023), as well as Melissa Hastings on Pretty Little Liars (2010-2017). LaPine is a film director and writer.

The couple went Instagram Official this past June when they shared a photo of a romantic embrace. During the summer, DeVitto and LaPine chronicled their multi-city adventures through Spain on their respective Instagram pages.

Credits: Photos via Instagram / torreydevitto.
September 27th, 2023
If you're planning a trip to the Land Down Under in 2024, be sure to see the "Pharaoh" exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), where more than 500 objects celebrating 3,000 years of ancient Egyptian jewelry, art and visual culture will be on display.

Egyptian.ngv .1

The huge collection will be on loan from The British Museum, which has amassed one of the most exceptional collections of ancient Egyptian objects in the world. It's the largest international loan the London institution has ever undertaken.

Running from June 14 through October 6, the landmark presentation will unpack the phenomenon of pharaoh, those all-powerful kings who claimed a divine origin.

Egyptian.ngv .2

"What really sets our show apart is a focus on the artistic aspects of these works and the sheer beauty and skill of the crafting of these works," said Amanda Dunsmore, NGV's senior curator, international decorative arts and antiquities. "Ancient Egyptian sculptors were absolute masters of their craft."

Among the 500 works are a wide array of exquisitely crafted gold jewelry, monumental sculpture, architecture, temple statuary, papyri (documents), coffins and a rich array of funerary objects.

Egyptian.ngv .3

The pharaohs presented an idealized image of themselves as invincible warriors and fervent worshippers of the gods. This is evident from the imagery on rings, bracelets and personal treasures, to the statues and monuments of colossal scale. Among the largest items is a 1.5-ton, 4-foot-wide fist of Ramses II.

Egyptian.ngv .4

The exhibition will be divided into seven thematic sections that explore the pharaoh’s roles and duties, including as the high priest officiating in temples, the head of the country’s administration, the leader of the army and the head of the royal family. The pharaohs were responsible for protecting Egypt against its enemies and ensuring universal order. They ruled both Upper and Lower Egypt from the 1st Dynasty (c. 3000 BCE) until the Roman conquest in 30 BCE.

Credits: Images courtesy of The Trustees of the British Museum.
September 22nd, 2023
Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fun songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Cake frontman John McCrea combines quirky lyrics with a vibraslap rattle as he describes his ideal partner: "a girl with a mind like a diamond."


Appearing as the fourth track from Cake's 2001 album Comfort Eagle, "Short Skirt/Long Jacket" is a song "about prosperity and depression," songwriter McCrea told CNN in 2001.

"It's really just about... what happens to the human mating ritual when you have population booms and then things start to lag in every way," he said. "So I was not really writing about a woman in short skirt/long jacket as much I was writing about humans and how strange our behavior is."

He sings, "I want a girl with a mind like a diamond / I want a girl who knows what's best / I want a girl with shoes that cut / And eyes that burn like cigarettes."

He also reveals that he prefers a girl who plays with her jewelry, enjoys uninterrupted prosperity and uses a machete to cut through red tape.

The video for "Short Skirt/Long Jacket" earned a nomination for Breakthrough Video at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards. The Platinum-certified single sold more than one million copies and the Comfort Eagle album earned a Gold certification with more than a half-million albums sold.

Last Friday, the band reissued Comfort Eagle on vinyl — in both black and Coke-bottle green varieties.

The song features McCrea playing a vibraslap, a percussion instrument consisting of a piece of stiff wire that connects a wooden ball to a hollow box of wood filled with metal “teeth.” When the wooden ball is struck with the palm of the hand, the device emits a prolonged rattlesnake sound.

Founded in Sacramento, CA, in 1991, Cake is classified as an alternative rock band, but many critics would rather put Cake in a class of its own due to the group's wide range of musical influences, off-beat lyrics and deadpan delivery.

The key to the band's unique sound, joked guitarist Xan McCurdy, is old, cheap guitars.

"We never get the exact same tone twice," he told songfacts.com.

Trivia: "Short Skirt/Long Jacket" was used as the opening theme to Chuck, an action comedy/spy drama that ran on NBC for five seasons starting in 2007.

Please check out the audio track of "Short Skirt/Long Jacket." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along…

"Short Skirt/Long Jacket"
Written by John McCrea. Performed by Cake.

I want a girl with a mind like a diamond
I want a girl who knows what's best
I want a girl with shoes that cut
And eyes that burn like cigarettes

I want a girl with the right allocations
Who's fast, and thorough, and sharp as a tack
She's playing with her jewelry
She's putting up her hair
She's touring the facilities
And picking up slack
I want a girl with a short skirt and a long jacket.

I want a girl who gets up early
I want a girl who stays up late
I want a girl with uninterrupted prosperity
Who uses a machete, to cut through red tape

With fingernails that shine like justice
And a voice that is dark like tinted glass
She is fast, thorough, and sharp as a tack
She is touring the facilities and picking up slack
I want a girl with a short skirt and a long jacket

I want a girl with a smooth liquidation
I want a girl with good dividends
At Citibank we will meet accidentally
We'll start to talk when she borrows my pen

She wants a car with a cup holder armrest
She wants a car that will get her there
She is changing her name
From Kitty to Karen
She's trading her MG for a white Chrysler LeBaron
I want a girl with a short skirt and a long jacket

Credit: Photo by Jay Adan, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
September 21st, 2023
For 37 years until its closing in 2020, Rio Tinto’s Argyle Mine in Australia produced between 90% and 95% of the world’s pink and red diamonds. Since diamond mines exist all over the world, scientists struggled to understand why nearly all of the blush diamonds were concentrated in one location.


Well, now researchers at Perth-based Curtin University believe they have the answer. And it all comes down to a mix of three key factors. Sure, you need diamond's key element — carbon — along with the massive force and heat generated by colliding tectonic plates. But the secret ingredient is continental "stretching."

Lead researcher Dr. Hugo Olierook from Curtin University's John de Laeter Centre said the "stretching" of landmasses created gaps in the Earth’s crust through which diamond-carrying magma could rise to the surface. What's more, the "stretching" also altered the diamond's lattice structure deep within the Earth.

Unlike yellow or blue diamonds that owe their color to the presence of nitrogen or boron in their chemical makeup, pink and red diamonds owe their color to the effects of intense pressure, heat and twisting. These factors caused distortions in the diamond’s crystal lattice that influence the way the gem absorbs green light, thus reflecting a pink or red hue.

As The New York Times explained, "The color comes from the warping of the gem’s crystal lattice under intense pressure. While all diamonds form under pressure, even more force turns once-clear diamonds colorful. A slight extra squeeze turns a diamond pink, and a hard squash turns it brown."

“By using laser beams smaller than the width of a human hair on rocks supplied by Rio Tinto, we found Argyle to be 1.3 billion years old, which is 100 million years older than previously thought, meaning it would likely have formed as a result of an ancient supercontinent breaking apart,” Dr. Olierook said.

Olierook identified Argyle as the point where the Kimberley region and the rest of northern Australia smashed together.

"And that sort of collision creates a damaged area or ‘scar’ in the land that will never fully heal," he added. "While the continent that would become Australia didn’t break up, the area where Argyle is situated was stretched, including along the scar, which created gaps in the Earth’s crust for magma to shoot up through to the surface, bringing with it pink diamonds."

Having identified the special ingredients that create pink and red diamonds, Dr. Olierook and his team believe it will be be possible — yet still very challenging — to find the "next Argyle" in the global hunt for new deposits.

“Most diamond deposits have been found in the middle of ancient continents because their host volcanoes tend to be exposed at the surface for explorers to find,” Dr. Olierook said. "Argyle is at the suture of two of these ancient continents, and these edges are often covered by sand and soil, leaving the possibility that similar pink diamond-bearing volcanoes still sit undiscovered, including in Australia.”

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

Credit: Photo by Murray Rayner, Rio Tinto.
September 20th, 2023
The largest internally flawless fancy vivid blue diamond ever to appear at auction is set to headline Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva on November 7. Weighing an astounding 17.61 carats, the perfectly symmetrical pear-shaped "Bleu Royal" carries a presale estimate of $35 million to $50 million.


If it achieves the high estimate, the "Bleu Royal" will take its place just behind the record-setting 14.62-carat “Oppenheimer Blue” (Christie's 2016, $57.5 million) and the 15.10-carat “De Beers Blue” (Sotheby's 2022, $57.47 million).

Christie's noted that Bleu Royal has been part of an important private collection for the past 50 years and that this is the first time the stone has been offered at auction.

“This is a true miracle of nature,” commended Rahul Kadakia, International Head of Christie’s Jewels. “Over our 257-year history, Christie’s has had the privilege of offering the world’s rarest gems at auction, and Bleu Royal continues this tradition. We are proud to offer collectors the opportunity to own a diamond fit for royalty.”

Blue diamonds larger than 10 carats are exceptionally rare. It is believed that only five have ever come to auction and two will be offered this fall: The "Bleu Royal" and the 11.28-carat “Infinite Blue,” which will be the subject of a single-lot event at Sotheby’s Hong Kong on October 5. The cut-cornered rectangular mixed-cut fancy vivid blue stunner has a pre-sale estimate of $26 million to $37 million.

Christie's explained that, due to collector demand and an increasingly limited supply, prices for top-quality colored diamonds have increased exponentially in recent years.

Blue diamonds are considered one of the rarest colors of all diamonds. A fabulous fluke of nature, a blue diamond owes its color to the random presence of boron within the diamond’s carbon structure. The Infinite Blue is categorized as a Type IIb diamond, a quality level that includes less than 0.5% of all diamonds.

Scientists believe that blue diamonds form about 400 miles below the surface, four times deeper than about 99 percent of all other diamonds.

Credits: Image courtesy of Christie's.
September 19th, 2023
The real-life love story of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall has been celebrated as one of the great romances of Hollywood’s Golden Age. The couple met in 1944 on the set of To Have and Have Not, and despite an age difference of 25 years, they fell madly in love.


On Friday, the heart-shaped locket on which Bogart proclaimed his love for Bacall sold for $57,150 at Los Angeles-based Julien’s Auctions. The winning bid was nearly three times the auction house’s pre-sale high estimate of $20,000.


Julien’s noted that the gold locket, which is set with a faceted heart-shaped simulated garnet, is inscribed with the phrase, “Baby / here’s my heart / Bogie.” The piece measures 1 inch x 2 inches, weighs 20 grams and opens to reveal two photo compartments.


It’s not clear whether Bogart gifted this piece before or after the couple exchanged vows in May of 1945. The 45-year-old Bogart was already a Hollywood headliner at the time, having starred in The Maltese Falcon (1941) and Casablanca (1942). The up-and-coming model-turned-actress was just 20 years old.

Naysayers predicted that the relationship would be short-lived, but they were wrong. Bacall and Bogart would go on to celebrate a 12-year storybook marriage — one that would be cut short only after he succumbed to cancer in 1957.

In her memoir, Bacall wrote, "No one has ever written a romance better than we lived it."


Also featured at Julien’s Auctions Hollywood Legends & Royalty sale were the couple’s matching 14-karat gold wedding bands. Described as "articulated curb link bands," the pair was sold as a single lot and fetched $190,500 — just shy of the pre-sale high estimate of $200,000. His ring is size 9 and hers is size 7.25. Both are 7 mm wide.

In all, the A-list couple starred in four movies together, including the aforementioned To Have or Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), Dark Passage (1947) and Key Largo (1948).  

Credits: Jewelry images via Julien’s Auctions. Bogart and Bacall photo by National Motion Picture Council, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.
September 15th, 2023
Welcome to Music Friday when we often bring you classic songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today we flash back to the summer of 1965 — a time of hippies, bell bottoms, flower power and a chart-topping duo named Sonny & Cher singing “I Got You Babe.”


In this love song about a young couple willing to challenge societal norms, Cher famously assures Sonny, “So let them say your hair’s too long / ‘Cause I don’t care, with you I can’t go wrong.” In the jewelry reference, Sonny serenades, “I got flowers in the spring. I got you to wear my ring.”

Written by Sonny Bono, “I Got You Babe” was the duo’s biggest single and signature song. It ascended to #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and charted in 18 countries, including Singapore, Switzerland and Zimbabwe.

Sonny revealed in a 1966 interview that the song was inspired by first-hand experiences.

“I know what it is like to be kicked around because you dress differently,” Sonny told Musical Express. “I know what it is like to see the girl you love hurt because a hotel refuses you admission because of your dress. I know what it is like to have that one person stand by you. There are a lot of other people who have experienced these things and I’m trying to put our feelings into words for everyone.”

Despite being named one of the greatest duets of all times by both Billboard and Rolling Stone magazines, “I Got You Babe” was nearly thrown on the scrap heap.

Apparently, Ahmet Ertegun, the head of Atco Records, didn’t really care for the song, and was planning to relegate it to the “B” side of Sonny & Cher’s single, “It’s Gonna Rain.”

Even Cher admitted that she was hardly enthusiastic when she sang it for the first time. Sonny agreed to change the key in the bridge to suit Cher’s range and then she loved it.

Sonny was sure they had a hit, but Ertegun was still not convinced. Sonny pitched the song to the program director of Los Angeles radio station KHJ. He made a deal that allowed the station to have the song exclusively if they played it once an hour.

The station’s listeners couldn’t get enough of “I Got You Babe” and Ertegun finally agreed to publish it as the “A” side.

“I Got You Babe” had a key role in the 1993 movie, Groundhog Day, as Bill Murray, playing an arrogant TV weatherman, finds himself reliving February 2 in a perpetual time loop. Every morning at exactly six o’clock Murray wakes to the clock-radio playing the Sonny & Cher ditty.

Check out the video of Sonny & Cher performing “I Got You Babe.” The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along…

“I Got You Babe”
Written by Sonny Bono. Performed by Sonny & Cher.

Cher: They say we’re young and we don’t know
We won’t find out until we grow
Sonny: Well I don’t know if all that’s true
‘Cause you got me, and baby I got you

Sonny: Babe
BOTH: I got you babe, I got you babe

Cher: They say our love won’t pay the rent
Before it’s earned, our money’s all been spent
Sonny: I guess that’s so, we don’t have a pot
But at least I’m sure of all the things we got

Sonny: Babe
BOTH: I got you babe, I got you babe

Sonny: I got flowers in the spring, I got you to wear my ring
Cher: And when I’m sad, you’re a clown
And if I get scared, you’re always around
Cher: So let them say your hair’s too long
‘Cause I don’t care, with you I can’t go wrong
Sonny: Then put your little hand in mine
There ain’t no hill or mountain we can’t climb

Sonny: Babe
BOTH: I got you babe I got you babe

Sonny: I got you to hold my hand
Cher: I got you to understand
Sonny: I got you to walk with me
Cher: I got you to talk with me
Sonny: I got you to kiss goodnight
Cher: I got you to hold me tight
Sonny: I got you, I won’t let go
Cher: I got you to love me so

BOTH: I got you babe
I got you babe
I got you babe
I got you babe
I got you babe

Credit: Image by CBS Television, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.