The Mikimoto Sample Sale is a Pearl Jam

17 January 2013

A shocking number of jewelry fans braved one of the longest waits in the history of sample sales, waiting in two sets of lines that moved at a snail’s pace before they were able to gain entry to the Mikimoto Sample Sale, also known as the “Employee Sale.” The average wait to enter the sale was two and a half to three hours, and I endured just that. Lucky for all of us the line resided indoors, but it was incredibly frustrating to discover that they were only allowing two people in every ten minutes. Security expects the long wait to remain through Friday, given the small showroom that only holds a dozen shoppers at a time.

Perhaps I was naïve to assume the crowd would be manageable at this historic designer’s sale. Mikimito is not only known for his high quality luxury pearls, but he also essentially launched the entire pearl industry in the 1890’s. He is the Walt Disney of pearls. Regardless if that analogy makes sense or not, Mikimoto invented the cultured pearl, which is a pearl created under controlled circumstances. This is the technique that nearly all jewelers use today. For those science nerds out there, a cultured pearl is raised mimicking the natural birth of a pearl through raising the oyster and implanting the nucleus.

OK fashionistas, I hear you. Enough of me being a nerd and get to the good stuff. After a very long albeit warm two and a half hour wait, I was finally allowed in to the already picked from showroom on the 4th floor of 680 5th Avenue. Please note, all bags and coats must be checked in an unmonitored area, so be sure not to bring any valuables. Cell phones are not allowed in the sale. If you are caught, it will be assumed you are taking photos and your phone will be confiscated. Which brings me to my next revelations that sadly, absolutely no photos were allowed. Sorry shoppers.

The sale reductions are indicated by colored dots. The following are the price deductions:

Red Dot: 50% off
Blue Dot: 60% off
Green Dot: 65% off
Yellow Dot: 70% off
Light Blue Dot: 75% off

To begin, I started with browsing two cases in the right rear of the display cases, which feature Mikimoto’s Blue Lagoon line. For those seeking a good deal, perhaps it is best to end as the Blue Lagoon line offers wallet friendly prices. Reading these price tags followed by the others may induce stress. A pair of classic pearl studs will run you only $68 (orig. $170), while a single pearl pendant hanging beautifully on a sterling silver chain will only cost $104 (orig. $260). Another ideal option from the Blue Lagoon line is their classic multiple strand pearl necklace ($1,040, orig. $2,600).

Now for the big leagues. The main attraction of the sale was certainly the collection of traditional strands and I must say, I died over Mikimito’s signature gold bow clasp. This eye catching clasp seriously makes the already gorgeous necklace that much more appealing. Lusted after strands included the Black South Sea Strand ($5,200, orig. $13,000), the Classic Strand ($917, orig. $2,620), Golden South Sea Strand ($12,250, orig. $35,000) and the stunning Freyja White South Sea Strand choker ($57,750, orig. $165,000).

Mikimoto single pearl pendant hanging beautifully on a sterling silver chain will only cost $104 (orig. $260)
Mikimoto classic pearl studs will run you only $68 (orig. $170)
Mikimoto Black South Sea Strand ($5,200, orig. $13,000)
Mikimoto Classic Strand ($917, orig. $2,620)
Mikimoto Golden South Sea Strand ($12,250, orig. $35,000)
Mikimoto Freyja White South Sea Strand choker ($57,750, orig. $165,000)

I fell in love with the single pearl pendants, many of which were accented with diamond chips. The rule of thumb here seemed to be the simpler, the better as the crazier the design, the less appealing they became. An absolutely beautiful Black South Sea Pendant was $323 (orig. $850).

There was a large selection of jewelry with heart accents, as well as a great deal of modern pieces. Considering pearls are a classic affair, I wasn’t too thrilled with these collections as some came off as tacky, rather than being an eye-catching piece.

The ring and earring section was being ignored as I was browsing. The rings, which are tucked into the left corner, featured a nice variety of black south sea pearls and classic pearls with diamonds. A number of hanging pearl earrings were on hand, but be sure to focus on the classic studs, which are available for as low as $122.59 (orig. $350), as well as the studs with a single diamond accent ($343, orig. $980). Also being tried on was the pearl and diamond embellished hoops, which were 70% off ($1,200, orig. $4,000).

If you are a lover of pearls, a mother of pearl, or a girl with a pearl earring (anything else?) and in the market for some new additions to your jewelry box, then this is the sale for you. Hopefully the wait will decrease as the days go on, but if you are not a fan of hanging out in line nor have two hours to spare in your day, you may have a serious anxiety attack as you twiddle your thumbs in anticipation of being let in to the Mikimoto Sample Sale. Word to the wise: Bring a good book.

Absolutely no photos were allowed at the Mikimoto Sample Sale
all bags and coats must be checked in an unmonitored area, so be sure not to bring any valuables

WHEN: 1/16 – 1/18; W (11-7), Th-F (10-7)

WHERE: 680 Fifth Avenue
between 53rd & 54th Streets
4th Floor

By Caitlin Colford

Daily Sales Email, or Subscribed to our RSS Feed? Don't miss a Sale!

Posted by Caitlin Colford at 09:01 AM
CITY LIFESTYLE , Opinions , SALES , Sample Sale Reviews |

3 thoughts on “The Mikimoto Sample Sale is a Pearl Jam

  • January 26, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Love pearls, but do they have to be Mikimoto?

  • January 26, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    If you have the money, go for it. They are not just pearls, they are Mikimoto pearls. If you take care of them you’ll have them for a long time. Remember, don’t spray perfume on them and avoid scratches.

  • December 25, 2015 at 6:38 am

    I bought pearls and earrings, at a consignment store,I would like to know if it still the real thing.


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