Purple Reign – My Business with Prince and Paisley Park

Jewelry fit for a Prince

Jewelry fit for a Prince

My introduction to Prince was at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco on May 23rd 1986. It was his Parade, Hit n Run Tour. Generous friends had purchased third row seats and invited me to the concert.

Prince at the Warfield, 1986

1986 Prince Parade Hit and Run Tour, Warfield Theatre, San Francisco.

Twelve years later, in 1998, I made the business connection via my shop at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. For over 30 years, I’ve had a shop at the Maryland Fair. In the fall of 1998, Steve Parkes who worked with Prince came to the Festival and purchased my Wave Ear Cuff in sterling silver. When he returned to Paisley Park, the Artist, formerly know as Prince, took note of the ear cuff he was wearing and sent him back to my shop to purchase samples of my other ear cuff designs. My Maryland manager gave him one each of my ear cuff and ear wrap designs to take back to show to the Artist. The following weekend, he returned again to buy the few ear cuff designs that I had ready made in gold. In 1998, I was one of a very few ear cuff designers and my web site was number one on Google if you searched Ear Cuffs.

In January of the following year, Paisley Park called me and ordered several hundred of the Moon Face Ear Wrap both in sterling silver and in Vermille (gold plate.) They also ordered 100 sterling silver wave ear cuffs.  This was a very large order for me at the time and the Marty Magic casting shop, in the Santa Cruz mountains, went into high gear. The order was time sensitive because Paisley Park was placing a full page ad in Wired Magazine, featuring both his Symbol Pendant and my ear cuff designs and I needed to guarantee fulfillment of the order.

Crescent Moon Ear Wrap

Crescent Moon Ear Wrap

Wave Ear Cuff

Wave Ear Cuff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the next several years, I made many versions of the Moon Ear Wrap for Prince and his band.  Both Prince and the members of his band wore pairs of these onstage. I also made several sets for Prince personally, cast in solid 14K gold and set with diamonds. Apparently Prince would occasionally forget their value and would toss them into the audience so the solid gold and diamond moon ear wrap orders soon ceased :)

http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2016/03/prince-auction

It must have been in 1999 when I had a conversation with one of Prince’s assistants to discuss various custom ear wrap designs for Prince. In discussing possible themes, among other ideas, she mentioned dolphins. I already had a Dolphin Ear Wrap in my line and Paisley Park ordered several pairs of these. In Prince’s 2000 New Year’s concert video, Rave Un2 the Year, 2000, Prince is wearing a pair of my Dolphin Ear Wraps. In the  August, 2000 Prince Calendar, Prince is wearing a pair of my Crescent Moon Face Ear Wraps.

Rave Un2 the year 2000 - Dolphin Ear Wraps

Rave Un2 the year 2000 – Dolphin Ear Wraps

By 2000, I was not only making Prince’s Moon ear wraps but I was making his Symbol Pendant and Symbol Key Ring in pewter to sell on their NPG web site, at concerts and at private events. My dealings were mostly with Mayte Garcia, his first wife and subsequently with Manuel Testolini, his second wife. Between them and numerous assistants to the Artist, I exchanged hundreds of e-mails. I never personally communicated with Prince but for a brief period of time I had the phone number to their personal residence in Toronto and a soft spoken male would answer the phone before passing on the call.

NPG Prince Symbol Pendant Pewter

NPG Prince Symbol Pendant Pewter

In 2002, Paisley Park requested that I create a simplified version of my Crescent Moon Ear Wrap. I removed the moon face and the star and configured it so that seven graduated CZ’s could be set along the curvature of the crescent. This is the Ear Wrap that Prince wore from 2002 until his death on April 21, 2016.  As a professional courtesy, during his lifetime, I offered this version only to Prince although I had many requests for this ear wrap design.

Crescent Moon Ear Wrap with CZ's

Crescent Moon Ear Wrap with CZ’s

 

 

 

Prince Crescent Ear Wrap Specs

Prince Crescent Ear Wrap Specs

Prince Love Symbol Specs

Prince Love Symbol Specs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2004 was a big year for Prince and subsequently a busy year for Marty Magic. Prince was featured on the April cover of Entertainment Weekly wearing the Crescent Ear Wrap embellished with diamonds. In May, Prince was on the cover of Rolling Stones Magazine wearing the same diamond encrusted, Crescent Ear Wraps.

Prince Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stones Magazine

Prince Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stones Magazine

In May of 2004 the NBA voted Kevin Garnett the MVP (most valuable player) award. Prince and Kevin were good friends so Manuela commissioned me to design and create a gold and diamond MVP Pendant for Prince to give to Kevin. In June of 2004, Paisley Park comped me 6 tickets to the Prince Concert at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California. I hand delivered the MVP pendant to Manuela at the concert and she graciously thanked both me and my husband and made a point to acknowledge John and Alisha who at the time were 12 and 19 respectively. She thanked them for their contribution in packaging the many Love Symbol Pendants that Paisley Park had ordered in the past. (When a batch of 500 – 1000 Symbol Pendants were finished, they still needed to be chained and inserted into a zip lock bag. I would rent a couple of movies and hire both John and Alisha to help me package the order.)

In June of 2004, Prince was inaugurated into the Hall of Fame and Manuela commissioned me to create a gold and diamond  pendant for her to wear to the award ceremony.

I never officially met Prince but I designed all of his ear wraps and was instrumental in producing much of the jewelry that he wore and sold under the Paisley Park, NPG label. I provided Pewter Symbol Pendant, his sterling silver Rose Symbol Pendant, 3121 Pendants, NPG Pendants and Love Symbol Pendants….and more…..

Marty Prince Crescent Ear Wraps

Marty with Prince Crescent Ear Wraps

A Heart Full of Love Symbols

A Heart Full of Love Symbols

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43 Responses to Purple Reign – My Business with Prince and Paisley Park

  1. Lisa Papania says:

    I hope you will consider selling his crescent ear wraps too.
    I would love to buy a pair.

    Thank you

  2. Becky says:

    I love ear wraps & am a very devout Prince fan. I remember when he first began sporting those ear wraps. By sheer coincidence, I absolutely love moons & dolphins as well! I would love a few sets of what he had– that is, if you ever release them.
    Please keep me informed. I wouldn’t mind at all looking at your other merchandise as well! Thank you so much!
    Best Regards!

  3. Elizabeth Flower says:

    This is a great story and I fully enjoyed reading it. The way paths cross can feel like magic – in this case, “Marty Magic”. You bejeweled Prince and provided the souvenirs his fans would treasure. This was a true artist to artist exchange. The fact that others in his circle made the connection in no way diminishes the connection. Prince has departed the stage but his music and film play on. I am glad you got the chance to be rewarded personally with concert tickets. I am sure his fans love the work you did and will purchase more now in tribute to Prince. Bravo, Marty, for your artistry and your magic*!

    • marty says:

      Thanks for the thoughtful reply. Hope to connect personally again. So happy that our “boys” are both thriving!

  4. Christina D. Vega'Lewis says:

    This man has touched so many people far and wide. Your beautiful and artistic style is equally as unique and beautiful as he was and his work. My family and I have deep ties into the music industry and like you, while we never had the opportunity to talk to him directly we still shared a bond. I am anxiously waiting for the moon wraps to be posted and will be rushing to buy a pair myself as well. My father imaged himself after prince his whole youth and this artist passing has also had its impact on us because of my father. We lost my father 1 year ago on almost the exact same date and possibly in the same way as prince. Your work is magical and really special. This tribute means so much to me because of these bonds and the years of Prince concerts, after parties, our musical background and history and memories my family share of the purple one.

  5. OHANA FITNESS says:

    • What an honor!
    • You were recognized by Prince and that speaks volumes for your work.
    • Amazing.

  6. Diane Deatrick says:

    Would love to put in order for the crescent ear wrap. If you could let me know how to go about that . It is wonderful you got the privilege to work for him.

    • marty says:

      Hi Diane, Thank you for your order! I saw a note that you wanted the Crescent in time for Mother’s Day but creating these will take 4-5 weeks.

  7. Linda Levine says:

    Hi ……….I am so glad I stumbled upon your page. I loved Prince and I am so happy I did get to see him many moons ago during his Purple Reign Tour. Its on the top 5 of my all-time concerts and was so hoping like I am sure so many others to see him once again as well as my all time favorite David Bowie luckily I got to see him many times.

    I am very interested in knowing if you still have the symbol necklace for sale? How cool that you are the artist that provided him with all your fabulous works of art and they are beautiful.Could you provide me information on how to move forward with making a purchase if they are still available and for how much . thanks :)

    • marty says:

      We’re happy that you found my web site but sorry that you are having trouble logging into PayPal. We just did a test order and PayPal seems to be working just fine on my website. I suggest you try again or choose to pay with a credit card. PayPal is our credit card processor as well. Here is the link to where you can purchase my jewelry designs worn by Prince. http://www.martymagic.com/prince-jewelry/

  8. Bennie Matthews says:

    I might be wrong but wasn’t there ‘Crescent Ear Wrap – gold’ for sale a few days ago?
    What I’m wondering is if the ‘silver’ one same with prince’s acutal apparel.

    In the same manner, I thought you did the ‘NPG’ pendant along with the
    famous ‘symbol’ one. To my eyes, prince (or his bandmates) wore the gold-type
    one encrusted with sorta Swarovksi crystals other rather than the simple pewter, right?

    I hope those are available pretty soon as well.
    If needed as limited special order only, I’d like to pay for it as much as I could.

    • marty says:

      I sold out of my three reserve Moon Crescent Ear Wraps in gold plate vermille last week. This design in gold vermille is now available by special order.
      http://www.martymagic.com/crescent-moon-ear-wrap-vermille/
      Prince and his bandmates all wore pairs of this design. Some were embellished with CZ’s. The ear wraps were always cast in solid sterling silver, gold plated or cast in solid 14K gold. The ear wraps were never available in pewter. Pewter is a soft metal and not appropriate for these designs.

  9. Sophia says:

    Hi Marty,
    You are amazing! What a beautiful story. Since I was a child I always wanted to know who made his beautiful jewelry and especially his ear cuffs. I’ve been searching for years for them and never could figure out where he got them. I see you have them for sale, but do you have any that are priced lower for people who really can’t afford the $479? I know it’s worth more than that, but I honestly can’t afford that price (i’m currently unemployed) and I sincerely wish that I could. I’m not trying to give you a sob story truly. But if you have the crescent ear wrap and ever decide to sell it for less, please let me know. I want to wear it always in remembrance of him and his non conforming uniqueness. Bless you Sophia

  10. Pingback: Prince Love Symbol Cufflinks - Marty Magic BlogMarty Magic Blog

    • marty says:

      The Pewter Symbol Pendants and Sterling Silver Rose Pendants that were previously for sale were ones that I created prior to Prince’s death and had on reserve for Paisley Park. I will not be creating more at this time however all of the ear cuffs and ear wraps that Price wore are available for sale on my web site.

      http://www.martymagic.com/prince-jewelry/
      Should I make more, I would announce it on my FB page so you might want to “Like”
      https://www.facebook.com/MartyMagicJewelry/

      Best Regards,
      Marty of Marty Magic

  11. Bennie Matthews says:

    Hi again, Marty

    Do you happen to have any plan to make Prince symbol pendant with CZ’s ? If I remember correctly, he always wore the gold or silver sylbom pendant encrusted
    with CZ’s. And the same goes to ‘NPG’ pendant encrusted with CZ’s which Prince &
    his entourage often wore around early to mid 2000’s. Presumably, a proper
    ‘NPG’ pendant in style would be sold well along with other princey jewelry.

    ★Maybe like these imitation ☞
    http://www.thisisopus.com/images/opuses/prince/number-one/no1-diamonds.jpg
    http://d111vui60acwyt.cloudfront.net/product_photos/1768660/npg_symbol_w.crystals_original.jpg

    It would be way expensive than the ordinary pewter one, but the one with CZ’s should
    surely be classy & wonderful look. Could you be so kind to take sorta limited
    special order for it in the future? Hope my wish come true.

    • marty says:

      Hello Bennie, At this point, I am only selling the reserve pewter pendants that I had previously made for Prince. I am almost sold out of these. I will continue to make the ear wraps that Prince wore since the ear wraps are all my designs. Unfortunately, It would be beautiful but I would not feel comfortable making his symbol with CZ’s.

      • Emma Fairfield says:

        Hi Marty

        will you be making anymore symbol pedants?

        Emma

        • marty says:

          Hello Emma, No…the ones I had made for Paisley Park and had on reserve are now sold out. All of the ear cuffs and ear wraps that Prince wore will continue to be available.

  12. Connie B Mosley says:

    I was fortunate to have started my journey with Prince at Cow Palace in 1984. I still have the shirts I got at that show :)
    I worked for a local band and met a fellow who loved my band as I did love his..ha! He sent me your Symbol pendant and I wear it to this day. I sent him lots of GD cd’s.
    Can’t wait to wear the flower symbol I just ordered. Wish it were gold tone however.
    Possible?
    Love your jewelry and did manage to get some nice pieces from the NPG club.
    Thanks for your talent!!
    Connie

    • marty says:

      Hi Connie, Unfortunately, I am not offering the Rose Symbol Pendant in gold plate. I am not making more and I am almost sold out of the few of this design that I had on reserve for Paisley Park.

  13. helen loffler says:

    hello Mary

    i just posted on your facebook .. would u make the symbol cufflings into earings.. if so i would love a pair.. im in Australia.
    Your work is beautiful & love that u got to work on stuff for Pince.

    Regards Helen

    • marty says:

      Hello Helen, The only Prince Symbols that I was offering were the ones that I made previous to Prince’s death. I had a number of his Pewter Symbols pre made and on reserve for Paisley Park before he passed. I am now sold out of these and will not be making more or making symbol earrings. Sorry to disappoint. I will continue to offer all of the ear wrap designs that Prince wore and that I created.

  14. Audrey Johnson says:

    Marty-
    Thanks for writing this article. Are the symbol pendants still available?

  15. Diana says:

    Marty, will you be making more love Symbol pendants , and if so how much?! I would LOVE to have one made by someone who actually made them for Prince himself. Gorgeous work!

    • marty says:

      No…the ones I had made for Paisley Park and had on reserve are now sold out. However, all of the ear wraps that I made for Prince are available for sale on my web site.

  16. Susan Fort says:

    Will you be making anymore Love Symbols, either in pewter or gold? Or initials? Plain or with CZs or diamonds? Thank you.

    • marty says:

      The Pewter Symbol Pendants and Sterling Silver Rose Pendants that were previously for sale were ones that I created prior to Prince’s death and had on reserve for Paisley Park. I will not be creating more at this time however all of the ear cuffs and ear wraps that Price wore are available for sale on my web site.

      http://www.martymagic.com/prince-jewelry/
      Should I make more, I would announce it on my FB page so you might want to “Like”
      https://www.facebook.com/MartyMagicJewelry/

      Best Regards,
      Marty of Marty Magic

  17. M. Sanders says:

    Marty,

    I, like many others, am a huge Prince fan, and have been so extremely sad for the past month or so. I became a fan in the very early 80s, before he started to get so very famous – recognizing the genius and sheer magic of his music – and him! Is there a possibility that you might make some more of the symbol pendants – or other symbol charms. I would love to have one. I noticed on your website that they are sold out , and am wondering if you will be creating more? Maybe sterling or another metal?? Congratulations to you for doing such beautiful work.

    • marty says:

      Hello M. Sanders,
      The Pewter Symbol Pendants and Sterling Silver Rose Pendants that were previously for sale were ones that I created prior to Prince’s death and had on reserve for Paisley Park. I will not be creating other versions at this time however all of the ear cuffs and ear wraps that Price wore are available for sale on my web site.

      http://www.martymagic.com/prince-jewelry/
      Should I make more, I would announce it on my FB page so you might want to “Like”
      https://www.facebook.com/MartyMagicJewelry/

      Best Regards,
      Marty of Marty Magic

  18. Alden Hall says:

    I would love a set of the symbol cufflinks (with or without the CZ).
    Thanks

    • marty says:

      Hi Alden,
      The Pewter Symbol Pendants and Sterling Silver Rose Pendants that were previously for sale were ones that I created prior to Prince’s death and had on reserve for Paisley Park. I will not be creating other versions of his Symbol more this time however all of the ear cuffs and ear wraps that Price wore are available for sale on my web site.

      http://www.martymagic.com/prince-jewelry/
      Should I make more, I would announce it on my FB page so you might want to “Like”
      https://www.facebook.com/MartyMagicJewelry/

      Best Regards,
      Marty of Marty Magic

  19. Jane says:

    I saw a picture of a heart shaped brooch? Composed of TAFKAP symbols. Was this your design & if so, is it available got purchase?

    • marty says:

      Hello Jane,
      I would love to see the heart shaped brooch that you refer to composed of TAFKAP. Unfortunately, it was not one of the designs that I created. Best Regards, Marty of Marty Magic

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