Orange is Having a Moment: Think Diamonds, Balloons, and Pumpkin Pie

Jeff Koon's Balloon Dog
Balloon Dog, Jeff Koons

Unless you’ve been sleeping under a boulder lately, you have no doubt heard of (or are hooked on) the Netflix drama-comedy set in a prison, “Orange is the New Black.” Even if you don’t subscribe to this particular brand of orange pop culture, the color orange is seeping into your consciousness whether you know it or not. Last week, jewelry history was made at Christie’s Geneva when a 14.82-carat Fancy Vivid Orange Diamond known as “The Orange”  sold for a world-record $2.4 million per carat. Late the same night, at Christie’s New York, “Balloon Dog (Orange),” a sculpture by Jeff Koons, broke the record for “most expensive work by a living artist sold at auction” ($58.4 million). To celebrate the color connection the New York auctioneer started the bidding for the orange dog at $35 million, the exact same price the orange stone had fetched in Geneva. Woof.

The Orange - world record price per carat achieved at the Christie's Magnificent Jewels Sale
The Orange
Photo Courtesy of Christie’s

Orange diamonds are exceedingly rare and have always been sought after by collectors. But if you can’t afford Fancy Color Diamonds, consider adding a splash of orange to your jewelry wardrobe with orange sapphire, citrine, topaz, fire opal, or coral. These stones are often set with turquoise, orange’s opposite on the color wheel, and this Howard Johnson color combination has long been a staple of the Palm Beach set. (The late designer Lilly Pulitzer, who was based in Palm Beach, was famous for her sherbet-colored clothes and jewelry; look for her vintage pieces at auctions and estate sales near you.)

Kenneth Jay Lane Coral and Turquoise Cabochon Bracelet
Kenneth Jay Lane Coral and Turquoise Cabochon Bracelet
at gilt.com $189

Here’s a theory: At the end of 2011, the color gurus at the Pantone Color Institute named “Tangerine Tango” the Color of the Year for 2012. Since then, orange has emerged stronger than ever on runways, in jewelry designers’ showrooms, and in the pages of glossy fashion magazines. Orange is a classic that will never go out of style. The next best thing to receiving a Tiffany blue box is one in Hermès orange, all tied up with their signature brown ribbon.

Had your fill of this power color? Not so fast. Just in time for Turkey Day, The New York Times reports that pumpkin-flavored products are on track to have their biggest sales year ever, despite the fact that there is little or no pumpkin in the pumpkin flavoring! It seems that consumers are actually responding to the orangey-colored cinnamon, nutmeg and clove additives that are normally associated with pumpkin pie.

Happy Thanksgiving…
from all your friends at OBJ!

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