By Jennifer Heebner
As “Barbie” hits $1 billion at the box office, the jewelry industry, too, has some celebrating to do. That’s because dealers and designers are getting calls for pretty pink gems, timeless Pearls, and inspired jewelry that speak to some of Barbie’s most iconic looks.
Some dealers say that pink was already trending well ahead of the film’s July 21 release. For Dudley Blauwet of the eponymous firm, pinks sold well at AGTA GemFairTM Las Vegas within the JCK Las Vegas show, held in early June. Tourmaline, pink Sapphire, and Spinel were hot ticket items that continue to move this summer along with pink star Rubies and padparadscha Sapphires. Blauwet is expecting more pink business to pick up in mid- to late-August when clients return from vacations. “A lot of New York offices shut down in early August,” he says.
Hot Pink Sellers
Kimberly Collins of Kimberly Collins Colored Gems posted pink Spinels on social media a week ahead of the movie’s release, and the gems garnered oodles of attention. In fact, they whetted appetites because when the movie premiered, pink requests poured in. Collins sent out 3.01 ct. and 2.55 ct. pink Sapphires last week, James Alger has shipped out nearly 10 pink stones in the past week, and Carl Larson of Pala International has fielded about 20 requests to date, all for larger stones.
“That’s a noticeable sum,” he says. And as he inked his replies to yours truly for this article, someone messaged him for two more pink gems in 20 mm by 20 mm cushion shapes—Kunzites which ultimately sold. “The Barbie wave is here,” he confirms.
Ann Barker of Barker & Co. sees it, too. A high-profile jewelry designer asked her to send a trio of big pink gem options—from 20–30 cts. A flurry of other sales included 1 ct. round pink Tourmaline, 1.5 ct. pinkish-purple Sapphire, and a 3 ct. cushion-cut pink Tourmaline.
A dealer with some unusual pink options? Robert Strouf Novak of Novak Gems & Jewelry. “I have a lot of pinks, especially color-change pink Diaspores and color-change pink Dragon Garnets,” he says.
And while Eric Yen of Yen’s Jewelry & Accessories has gotten calls for some pink cultured freshwater Pearl studs, he hasn’t yet gotten calls for triple white strands à la what lead “Barbie” actress Margot Robbie wore to the London premiere. If those calls should come, though, he’s armed with strands of large white cultured freshwater Edison Pearls to make looks-for-less versions of Robbie’s South Sea strands.
And about those Pearls—they’re from Assael.
Barbie’s Assael Pearls
Assael’s Peggy Grosz revealed in a call this week that her team worked with stylist Andrew Mukamal to bring key Barbie accessories to life. According to Grosz, Mukamal sent her cartoon-like images of Barbie in iconic outfits including 1960s Enchanted Evening Barbie, 1960 Solo in the Spotlight Barbie, 1964 Sparkling Pink Barbie, and 2015 Pink and Fabulous Barbie in pink and white polka dots, among others.
Assael’s jewelry could be seen on Robbie in Enchanted Evening, Sparkling, and Pink and Fabulous. In the first, Robbie wore a spectacular custom-fitted trio of white cultured South Sea Pearl necklaces ranging in size from 13–16 mm, each with a Diamond-studded ball clasp. In the second outfit, Robbie wore a pair of white cultured South Sea Pearl stud earrings, and in the third ensemble Robbie wore custom cultured white South Sea Pearl drop earrings ranging in size from 9–16 mm and a bracelet of 15.4–16.6 mm golden cultured South Sea Pearls.
“The three separate strands had to fit just right so they would stay in place on her slender 11-inch neck,” says Grosz, who sent a trusted team member to fit Robbie for the Pearls. “We brought three necklaces to the fitting and marked off how many Pearls to remove so it would fit perfectly. You must have a spectacular inventory of Pearls to match and graduate the sizes, and the Pearls have to be moved around and restrung to achieve just the right lengths. We were so thrilled to see how gorgeous she was in those Pearls and in that Vivienne Westwood dress! Andrew was a wonderfully professional stylist to work with, and there could not be a more beautiful and elegant actress than Margot.”
And a fitting field trip took place for the brand; Assael closed for a day so everyone could see the film together.
As far as the jewels, they’re back and remaining in place and won’t be sold for a while longer. Requests for similar looks are mounting; to date the brand has upwards of seven calls for white South Sea trios, though in different sizes. “Assael will be offering a limited number of triplet necklaces to clients in the months ahead,” Grosz adds.
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