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Press Release – OBAMA ’09 INAUGURAL JEWELRY

Super Bowl Ring Manufacturer Given The Nod To Create One-Of-A-Kind Keepsakes for Obama Supporters

Diamond Cutters International, DCI, was commissioned to create two separate themed inaugural jewelry collections and a commemorative sterling silver coin. The Our Time™ collection charts Obama’s incredible journey to the highest office in the land. The Promise™ collection is a reminder for us not to forget the commitments we made to each other and to remember where we have been and where we are going.

Our Time™ (The Presidential Pearl Collection) In 1961, two seemingly insignificant events happened at the same time; the birth of Barack Obama and black Tahitian Pearls. Off the Lagoons of Bora Bora, a Frenchman by the name of Jean-Marie Dormand was aware that some of the most exotic black oysters, with beautiful iridescent shells, could be found. The only problem was it was very rare to find a pearl in them. It seemed the lips of the shells were so secure, it was rare that any intruder could enter its fortress and form the nacre that becomes the pearl. With the help of a Japanese pearl oyster technician, Jean-Marie was able to replicate the success of white cultured pearls of almost five decades earlier. Through the union of man and nature, black Tahitian pearls were created.

At first, the Tahitian black pearls were not accepted even though their color pallet is created from white, cream, yellow brown and black hues of the interior of the mother of pearl. For a black Tahitian pearl to be created, it must be a melting pot of all the colors to create its unique tone, texture and hue. By 1972, the worldwide market for black Tahitian pearls totaled only $4,000.00. But that would change. By 1996, the Tahitian pearl market finally exploded on the scene with $152 million in worldwide sales. Interestingly enough, it was the same year Barack Obama was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1996, succeeding State Senator Alice Palmer as Senator from Illinois’ 13th District.

Pearls start with a grain of sand. A grain of sand must undertake a perilous journey if it is to become a pearl. If it encounters the wind, it is blown off course. If it encounters the tide, it will be left underwater. Every once in a while, a grain of sand will infiltrate and penetrate an oyster. An environment seemingly perfect, the oyster will see the grain of sand as an intruder and will attack it! Over time, the oyster will take the mother of pearl coating that lines its shell and use it to smother the grain of sand. By battling the grain of sand over time, the oyster is actually making the grain of sand stronger, tougher, harder, larger, and, yes, more beautiful!

Barack Obama’s story parallels the perilous journey of the grain of sand that becomes a stunningly beautiful Tahitian Pearl. It must be willing to go from just being one moment in time to a time for all moments, a time for change, a time for us—Our Time™.

The Promise™

On June 14, 1777, the first Flag Act was passed to establish an official flag for our new nation. “Resolved that the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white, that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.” Two hundred and thirty one years later, we stand at the dawn of a new morning.

The Promise™ is a gentle reminder not to forget the lessons of the past and the promises of change for our future. Red and white stripes are ever present representing the rolling fields of our countryside extending from where we stand now to The Promise™ of our future. On the horizon, the sun rises on a transparent sky with new hopes, new dreams, new visions, rising with it.

It is a personal commitment we make by wearing it and for others to know that we must never be a country divided but a country that stands united. It underscores that “we are a country of the people and for the people.” The Promise™ reminds us that we each have a personal responsibility to carry our fair share of the load. We are all in this together—one community, one nation!

This image was originally designed by a talented team of graphic designers of Sender LLC from Chicago for Barack Obama at the onset of his Democratic nomination bid. DCI transformed it into a limited edition jewelry collection, The Promise™. It also introduces a new method of custom cutting for consumer jewelry, allowing colored gemstone stones to be used in a large surface area instead of enamel—which will eventually deteriorate. This new method allows owners to keep this commemorative piece for generations to come. The blue transparent sky was hand created from a slab of the gemstone blue spinel and the red stripes were constructed from red corundum also known as ruby. Smaller pieces of both gemstones were liquefied at 2050 degrees Celsius and then cooled into one large slab with a total weight of over eight carats. DCI used lasers to precision cut the gems into their shapes. Each spinel and ruby interlock with each other and were hand-polished to fit precisely into place. After the metal cools from its cast, a benchman uses lasers to trim the metal and overlays it over the gems. This collection comes in several difference forms for both men and women: cufflinks, pendants, or lapel pins.

The Promise of Our Time™ The collection combines the essence of both previous collections in to an heirloom coin. These coins will serve as a daily reminder of this milestone. The minted coin weighs one troy ounce of solid .999 sterling silver.

DCI, founded by Fred Cuellar, is well-recognized for manufacturing championship rings for professional sports teams (i.e. New York Yankees, Houston Rockets, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, etc.), writing the best selling book “How To Buy A Diamond”, and designing custom jewelry for celebrities, royalty and tycoons. Our Time™ pearl collection, The Promise™, and The Promise of Our Time™ are our way to commemorate this historical milestone in our nation’s history.