Investing in Barbie? A new index reveals most expensive dolls
Earliest Barbies from the late 50s and early 60s are the most valuable, and have shown the greatest value increases over the past 10 years, says a new index launched by justCollecting
 
If you are bored up with investing in stocks, properties, diamonds and luxury cars, here is another option for investors. According to a new index, the 1959-made doll is worth $9,000 in top condition - just ahead of the blonde version of Barbie #1 at $8,250.
 
According to JustCollecting.com, a picture-sharing community for collectors that launched the Barbie index, the brunette version of Barbie provided the best investment since 2005 - up 6.6% a year on average.
 
A justCollecting spokesperson said: "It's the earliest Barbies from the late 50s and early 60s that are the most valuable, and which have shown the greatest value increases over the past 10 years. It's a battle of hairdos at the top. There were twice as many blonde #1s and #2s as brunettes, yet the brunettes are only marginally more valuable. Why? Because more people want to own the blonde versions, as they are seen as the archetypal Barbie hair colour."
 
"In 1967 Mattel encouraged owners to part exchange their old Barbies for one of the new 'Twist N Turn' varieties. That makes pre-1967 dolls especially rare today," justCollecting said in a release.
 
Some of the more infamous Barbies are also valuable, due to their notoriety and the fact they were quickly pulled from the shelves. Pregnant Midge, complete with tiny baby, is worth $100, while Growing Up Skipper, whose breasts grow with a twist of her arm, has a $150 valuation.
 
Most valuable Barbies in the justCollecting Barbie Index
1. Barbie #1 Brunette (1959): $9,000
2. Barbie #1 Blonde (1959): $8,250
3. Barbie #2 Brunette (1959): $8,000 
4. Barbie #2 Blonde (1959): $7,500
5. Roman Holiday Outfit (1959): $5,000
 
Best performing Barbies 2005-2015
1.  Barbie #1 Brunette (1959): up 6.6% per annum to $9,000
2.  Barbie #1 Blonde (1959): up 6.3% pa to $8,250
3. Barbie #2 Brunette (1959): up 5.9% pa to $8,000 
4. Barbie #2 Blonde (1959): up 5.8% pa to $7,500
5. Peaches N Cream (1959): up 5.8% pa to $175
 
Other notable Barbie prices
Ken #1 Brownette (1961): $60
Growing Up Skipper (1975): $150
Pregnant Midge (2002): $100
 
Barbie has been an important part of the toy fashion doll market for over fifty years, and has been the subject of numerous controversies and lawsuits, often involving parody of the doll and her lifestyle.
 
Barbie is a fashion doll manufactured by the American toy-company Mattel, Inc. and launched in March 1959. American businesswoman Ruth Handler is credited with the creation of the doll using a German doll called Bild Lilli as her inspiration.
 
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  • Gold sales to rise 25 percent on Akshaya Tritiya
    To usher in good luck in their lives on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya, buyers have already started trickling in various jewellery shops on Tuesday and retailers expect sales to be higher by 25 percent over a usual day.
     
    Akshaya Tritiya is a holy day for Hindus and Jains and is believed to bring good luck and success. It is considered to be an auspicious day to bring home gold.
     
    "We have been hard-selling Akshaya Tritiya since a week as many customers prefer to buy their favourite ornaments ahead of the auspicious day to avoid crowd and last-minute rush," Deepak Jain of Dhanalakshmi Jewellers in Bangalore told IANS.
     
    Many customers, however, will collect the ordered ornaments on Tuesday.
     
    Pankaj Parekh, vice-chairman, Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council told IANS that sales are expected to be higher across the country as in March the import of yellow metal was on the higher side.
     
    According to reports India's gold imports more than doubled to 125 tonnes in March from 60 tonnes in the same period a year ago.
     
    "More than belief, it's a sentiment among the Hindus to buy gold and silver ornaments on this day for personal use or gift them to their near and dear as a means of blessing or to wish them prosperity through the year," Jain said.
     
    "More and more people are now buying gold on Akshaya Tritiya day in Chennai which is a good sign for the industry," Jayantilal Challani, president, the Madras Jewellers and Diamond Merchants Association, told IANS.
     
    "This year there are couple positive points for the trade to expect atleast 15 percent sales growth as compared to last year's Akshaya Tritiya. The gold prices have come down this year. There is a difference of around Rs.2,200 per sovereign this year as compared to last year's price," Challani added.
     
    In the national capital gold price was hovering around Rs.27,000 per 10 grams on Tuesday. "We expect normal sales today (Tuesday) as people are not very confident of the price. In the last six to eight months price has varied between Rs.26,000-27,000 per 10 grams. People will again start buying if prices fall sharply or rise," Rahul Gupta, director, P.P. Jewellers told IANS.
     
    He mentioned that gold price has hovered around Rs.26,000 per 10 grams for quite some time and now it will only go up.
     
    "Secondly more shops have come up here which has led to the expectation that there would be newer jewellery designs. This year jewellery shops are not offering free pick-up and drop facilities unlike in 2014. Some jewellers offer free silver articles equal to the weight of gold purchased," Challani added.
     
    Leading gold and jewellery showrooms in Bangalore, including Navarathan, Bheema, Lalithaa, Titan, Krishnaiah Chetty, Gitanjali Jewels, D'damas, Joyalukkas and Nakshatra are luring customers with attractive discounts and freebies.
     
    "We are offering 20 percent discount on purchase of gold items between Rs.10,000 and Rs.50,000 and 25 percent discount on purchase of Rs.50,000 and above," a sales executive of Gitanjali Jewels told IANS.
     
    With diamonds becoming popular among the trend, upwardly mobile and youth, many retail outlets selling the sparkling items are offering free gold coins of 2-5gm or 25g silver coin or item for purchase of 1 carat diamond.
     
    Jewellers reported brisk sale in gold jewellery in Mumbai on the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya.
     
    "Pure gold biscuits are priced at Rs.27,999 per 10 grams while 22 carat gold jewellery is going at Rs.26,500. By noon, our members have reported very encouraging trends as sales continue to be brisk," Mumbai Jewellers Federation President Rakesh Shetty said.
     
    "Prices are stable for the past 10 days at Rs.26,950 for 24 carat variety. We expect very good sales this time, compared to last time when prices had gone up to Rs.30,000-Rs.31,000," Prayas Dugar, director, Indian Gem and Jewellery Creation, told IANS.
     
    "This year, there can be an increase on volume by 15 to 20 percent on account of Akshay Tritiya and we are expecting good demand on the jewellery segment, rather than gold and silver coins. People are focusing more on fancy and ornamental jewellery rather than the traditional ones," he added.
     
    He said the preference was for small gold jewellery like rings, earrings and chains, with some opting for bangles and heavy chains, too, and occasional pure gold biscuits also being sold.
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