QVC, Smithsonian partnering on jewelry line: Licensing deal brings museum treasures to TV shopping fans

The following article appears courtesy of National Jeweler

Smithsonian Institute pieces like these Marie Antoinette Earrings, will be among those inspiring the new line on QVC. The earrings, a gift from Louis XVI, were taken from the French queen after she was arrested while attempting to flee the French Revolution. Photo credit: Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institute

Washington–In what may seem like an unusual pairing, multichannel retailer QVC is teaming up with the Smithsonian Institute to create a line of fashion jewelry inspired by the museum’s collection of iconic pieces.

In a news release issued Friday, the Washington, D.C.-based Smithsonian, the world’s largest museum and research complex, announced it was entering into a licensing agreement with QVC to offer a jewelry collection based on objects in the National Gem and Mineral Collection, which is part of the National Museum of Natural History. The QVC-Smithsonian collection is expected to launch this fall.

The National Gem and Mineral Collection contains more than 375,000 individual specimens, and counts among its ranks world-famous pieces such as the blue Hope Diamond and the Marie Antoinette Earrings, as well as a research and mineral collection used by scientists around the world, the release states.

The line with QVC will include earrings, rings, bracelets, pins and brooches, as well as replicas of pieces in the museum’s collection.

A QVC spokeswoman told National Jeweler that gemstones such as alexandrite, garnet, topaz and tourmaline would be used in the collection, with price points starting at $85.

“The Smithsonian is delighted to work with QVC, a proven leader in multi-media retailing,” Carol LeBlanc, director of consumer products for Smithsonian Enterprises, said in the release. “Together, we will create jewelry that is not only fashionable but also serves to educate the public about the Smithsonian and the jewelry, gems and minerals found in its collections.”

The partnership marks the first time the Smithsonian has entered into a relationship with a retailer to sell high-quality jewelry based on the museum’s collection.

“We are thrilled to team up with the Smithsonian to offer our customers jewelry inspired by one of its largest attractions–the National Gem and Mineral Collection,” Debra Puzio, QVC’s director of merchandising, said in the release. “Millions of people visit the museum each year, admiring its beautiful and rare jewelry and gemstone collection. Now our customers can share these national treasures in a very personal way as we give them access to owning jewelry based on items of great historical significance.”  


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