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Live From Baselworld: Mikimoto’s (Sold) One-of-a-Kind Pearl Necklace

The multitude of “Sold” signs in the display windows at Mikimoto during the Baselworld fair struck a bittersweet chord with patrons. On one hand, the plastic place card–size placards were a bit of a distraction—even though the brand tried to tuck them slightly behind displays. But on the bright side, all denoted jewels sold on the first day of the show, a point that clearly delighted one of the young associates in the booth who couldn’t conceal her Cheshire Cat smile every time I pointed one out. In total, Mikimoto had sold about seven special pieces midway through day 1.

Sold sign at Mikimoto Baselworld 2012

As usual, the brand put its most spectacular pieces in the front windows for passersby to ogle. This year, there were four red carpet– or royalty-worthy styles with retail prices ranging from $175,000 to $450,000. In fact, two of the seven one-off sales sat in these windows; one of them is shown below.

This princess-inspired masterpiece has seven long strands that drape across the body and eight choker-length numbers, all featuring 1,490 akoya pearls ranging in size from 6.5 mm to 9.5 mm. It took Mikimoto six months to collect all the pearls, and then another six months to make it. And for the real geeky beaders out there, the necklace is strung on 40 meters or 44 yards of silk (or 20 threaded Beadalon cards!). Says the brand: “The designers wanted to achieve a look that emulated refined beauty through graceful draping and dazzling luster from every angle.”

The sale price was $350,000.

One-of-a-kind akoya pearl necklace from Mikimoto new at Baselworld 2012

A princess-inspired necklace features 1,490 akoya pearls ranging in size from 6.5 mm to 9.5 mm; $350,000 (sold on the first day of Baselworld 2012)

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