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Last year’s Honeysuckle “encouraged us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor,” according to a Pantone Color Institute media release, but this year’s Tangerine Tango promises to provide “the energy boost we need to recharge and move forward.”

Pantone determines its selection through research in the entertainment, arts, fashion, and textiles industries. This year’s influences come from couturiers like Nanette Lepore and Adrienne Vittadini as well as paint shades, pillows, and even cosmetics, including the 2012 launch of SEPHORA + PANTONE UNIVERSE, a cosmetics homage to the colors of the year.

For jewelers, Tangerine Tango means displaying a range of orange offerings—carnelian, citrine, fire opal, and more—but also displaying non-tangerine colors to complement, according to Douglas K. Hucker, CEO of the American Gem Trade Association. “Think of what you can put in your inventory that will work with tangerine,” he says. “That’s called color blocking.”

Coincidentally, fashion-forward merchant, Marissa Collections, in Naples, Fla., had just placed a juicy-looking mandarin garnet ring from Tamara Comolli in a recent Town & Country print ad when JCK called her to discuss the color. Employees who double as stylists at the store advise clients to accessorize stones like fire opal with neutrals but also navy blue, red, and purple. “We like Tangerine Tango popping with these colors,” says Jennifer McCurry, GG and jewelry buyer. “Going into spring, it’s all about blocks of color,” she adds.

Meanwhile, colleague and assistant buyer for ready-to-wear Nicole Erickson relies on the Pantone Color of the Year when shopping for inventory. “At the beginning of each season, we always keep the Pantone colors in mind, and this year, tangerine was the most frequently bought color for spring,” she observes of purchases like shift dresses and blazers.

Both coworkers agree that Tangerine Tango can be considered a neutral when paired with other vibrant colors. “Our edgier clients will pair multiple brights together while those who prefer to go more subtle will wear it with beige,” says Erickson.
“It’s not so much having the right colors but about accessorizing inventory,” says Hucker.
Tips for Jewelers to Merchandise Tangerine Tango

Have a photo of the color in your store and share it with staff.

Keep color swatches or a color wheel in store to determine complementary shades.

Think about accessorizing Tangerine Tango with other strong colors—called color blocking—like navy blue or red, to best accent the season’s newest clothes and accessories.

Chat up younger staffers who’re fashion savvy; they are a wealth of information on how to dress season-appropriate.

Google ‘Tangerine Tango’ to see examples of how it’s worn, and search for it on sites like,, and, for visual inspiration and ideas to share in store.