The Every Ten Years Fiesta Collector: Ooh, Marigold

75th Anniversary Marigold Fiesta

When I turned 21, I started collecting Fiesta, also known as Fiestaware in some circles, but to the true collector (and according to Wiki), it’s just Fiesta. It’s dinnerware — plates, bowls, mugs, cups, serving dishes and, more recently, bakeware.

I had always wanted to start my own Fiesta collection. Growing up in Western Pennsylvania, my parents’ farm was 8.9 miles from the Newell, WV home of the Homer Laughlin China Company. My parents didn’t really collect it, though they had a few pieces. My grandma didn’t really like it, and I still maintain it’s because the dinnerware became popular during the Depression. Most who lived the Depression aren’t quick to embrace things that came of it. Whatever the case, my parents and grandparents helped me start my collection of Plum Fiesta when I was 21-years-old.

Or, in other words, 10 years ago.

I loved my Plum Fiesta. And then a couple of years later, I met the man I would marry. It’s not that he didn’t like the Plum color (which is purple for those of you who view colors in singular groups and not shades of), he just didn’t care one way or the other. The Plum Fiesta moved into our first apartment with us and followed us to our first home. Most recently, it followed us to our second home which, prior to unpacking the kitchen boxes, I was afraid the wide plates wouldn’t fit on the shelf. They do.

Even before we bought this house, I knew I would do my next kitchen and dining room in gray, white and yellow. I’ve been lusting after the color combination for quite some time. Once I started a Pinterest board, there was no going back. I imagined grand plans of refinishing the hutch that my Grandpa built in the 70’s in a bright, bold yellow. I saw chevron yellow and white curtains. I saw fun artwork in various shades of yellow.

I did not see Plum dishes.

Alas, it is my lucky year all around. Not only did we buy a new house in which we are slowly making the kitchen and dining room look like the dreams of my pins, but Fiesta released a new color this year — Marigold. It’s the 75th Anniversary color. It’s lovely. Absolutely lovely.

75th Anniversary Marigold Fiesta

Problem? It retires 75 weeks after it was released, meaning that production ends in September 2012. I never do things the easy way, do I?

75th Anniversary Marigold Fiesta

I had been wanting to change colors of Fiesta for awhile. I had repainted my kitchen at the old house a lovely brown at one point and considered going with Chocolate Fiesta. I never moved on that idea, and I’m glad. Once I fell for my yellow, white and gray color scheme, everything kind of fell into place. A random sale made me choose between two shades of yellow Fiesta: Sunflower (light, “country” yellow) and Marigold (slightly more orange undertones and much, much brighter) sight unseen (minus some flickr searching). It arrived and, oh, I fell in love. Now I’m in a mad rush to get eight place settings and as much of the serving ware and accessories as I can possibly find between now and then.

75th Anniversary Marigold Fiesta


I purchased two five-piece place settings (cup and saucer > coffee mug) and the famous Fiesta pitcher recently. Then I put everyone on notice: I am officially collecting Marigold Fiesta. In fact, after the discussion I had with my grandma, she got in her car and drove to the factory to pick me up a spoon rest, salt and pepper shakers, a platter, a butter dish and a gravy boat. Those are actually Christmas presents, but she couldn’t buy them and not tell me because I would have picked them up myself. Grandma is smart, even if she thinks Fiesta is too heavy. (As an aside to that, I broke one piece in ten years. ONE!) For my birthday, my mother-in-law gifted me with a lovely oval serving bowl. I seem to be coming along nicely.

75th Anniversary Marigold Fiesta

Next weekend I’m meeting some of my Pittsburgh friends for lunch and to raid visit the Factory Outlet Store in West Virginia. I’m mainly concerned with place settings and bigger serving pieces at this point.

As far as the Plum goes, I’ve been packing away place settings and sending them to the basement as I get new ones. Right now, I have Plum and Marigold side by side in the cabinets, which is very royal and regal and almost quite Mardis Gras! (Just add some Shamrock.)

Plum and Marigold

I can’t get rid of my Plum. It’s a part of me. And, to be honest, if I only change dinnerware once every ten years, I’m doing pretty darn well — according to both my grandmother and my mother-in-law! The Plum will be pulled out for use when I feel like it, just like my never officially released Sugar Plum Fairy comes out for Christmas and still will, even in a yellow, gray and white dining room. (Remind me to blog that one some day. Should be a hit!)

75th Anniversary Marigold Fiesta

As Plum retires (in our house) and Marigold takes its place, I’m quite pleased with the way our kitchen and dining room are coming along. We still have work to do: the cabinets need refinished, the hutch needs refinished, we do eventually want to replace the floors with laminate and I have absolutely nothing on the walls yet. But things are coming along — slowly… as new houses do. I must say though, that I love my new curtains and my new Marigold Fiesta so very, very much. Tell me they weren’t made for each other:

75th Anniversary Marigold Fiesta

Ten years ago I started with Plum. I had no idea that ten years later I would be switching to a color that didn’t exist at the time. I also had no idea I’d be living in a house with one husband, two sons and no pets. Of course, ten years ago I made the really bad hair dye decision of black and my favorite color was pink. I think it’s safe to say that I’m a slightly different person now.

75th Anniversary Marigold Fiesta

I still don’t know how to use an iron… so that’s the same. But that’s why I married a man in the military, I suppose! I wonder what color will strike my fancy in ten years. Or if I’ll know how to iron yet.

Do you collect Fiesta? What colors do you have? Or want?

PS: The Factory website has been redesigned. Amazon links are through the Affiliates program.


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28 Replies to “The Every Ten Years Fiesta Collector: Ooh, Marigold”

  1. I just recently started collecting. Our family has opted for a rainbow with each child picking their own favorite color for a place setting. My 5 year old daughter is not-so-patiently waiting for the release of Flamingo in June. I just picked up my first Marigold piece and love it. Thanks for the anniversary tip, I’ll have to pick up a place setting before it’s gone.

    1. I also love the rainbow — though my Grandma HATES the rainbow (even though she had a rainbow wedding … which might have something to do with it). I love people choosing their own color. Though, I think we’d have a lot of green in our rainbow! LOL You should blog it!

    1. Sometimes I just sit and look at them. :) I have a post coming about those as well, but not immediately. I will be ordering valances for the garage and back doors to match the one over the sink, so I want them all in (from the same lady on Etsy) before I write them. Then I have to figure out how to best photograph them… Hmm.

  2. I have never been a fan of Fiesta. Not sure why. I just switched from my grandmother’s Franciscan Desert Rose dishes she gave me in college. Although my kitchen is going to be repainted yellow which I never thought would happen in a million years.

    1. My grandma has said that she’s going to pass me some of her fine dishes, but I am afraid I would break them just by looking at them. I dropped a plate yesterday while washing it — no breakage! ;)

  3. Don’t put the plum away! The marigold and plum combination at the dinner table would be just lovely! You are doing the walls neutral so mixing these two colors would really pop. I have (now don’t laugh) sunflower, cobalt, red, peacock, and shamrock. My serving wear is mostly peacock and shamrock. But Jenna, I’m headed to amazon to order Marigold. I just love it!

    I’ll take a picture of my cabinet for you. I use the red and blue for patriotic holidays, the green and yellow for spring, red and yellow for fall (see I need Marigold) red and green for christmas… oh yes, you brat, i’m going to have to buy a few marigold pieces! :)

    1. I love you even more, Karen! That said — if I’m going to use anything as a pop color, it’s probably going to be peacock. I bought some towels in that color and my new apron is white, yellow and a lighter shade of the peacock. So, that might be my little-bit-of accent color. But who knows what I’ll come home with this weekend! LOL

      1. peacock and plum AND marigold…. so pretty :) make some place settings with mixing the colors and see what you think! i’m sure you could sell your plum though, fiesta fans are diehards :)

  4. The Marigold is so cheerful and love your photos. If you have storage space, just keep the Plum. Then again, I do the whole mix and match thing and have no two place settings of the same color, I just stay in sort of the citrus hues. Which makes me think I should go get me some Marigold, too.

  5. I don’t collect Fiesta (I’ve got Pfzaltzgraff in my china cabinet instead), but I know what you mean. Of course I managed to pick a soon-to-be discontinued pattern when I wanted if for my wedding china, but my parents are smart shoppers and just bought out the outlet store and gave it to me as a Christmas present when my wedding got cancelled. Outlet stores plus sales? Yes, please I’ll take some more of those.

    My ex’s mom had 6 china cabinets and would rotate her patterns seasonally, so two colors in ten years? You’re doing super.

    One of my close friends is looking to pick green (I need to check on the exact shade) Fiesta as her wedding china, so I’m thrilled to hear it’s so durable. (She’s a little clumsy).

  6. You might want to consider coming to Newell in June when they have Tent Sale… prices are really awesome, and there will be Marigold in the Tents!

    1. Oooh, when is the Tent Sale in June? We’re gone that last week, but we’re otherwise pretty free and open! Thanks for the big tip! My mom and dad brought me some great pieces today! Then we went hunting in the pottery places around me (central Ohio) and I found some retired colors that I want badly. The pearl grey would go lovely in my gray, white and yellow kitchen!

  7. love fiesta – i have everycolor & sometimes there are some combo’s you wouldn’t think would look good together but they do.

    There are a bunch of fiesta fanatics & we often call the rainbow look – “the exploded clown”

    make a trip to the factory for lots of choices

    1. HA! That’s fantastic! The exploded clown. I think my grandma will like that term for the rainbow.

      I love hitting the factory, though I found some great retired colors at some local (Central OH) places today. FUN!

  8. I love Fiesta – we have a large collection of Cobalt – I had a blue and white kitchen in an old 1920s pier and beam house when we were first married and the dishes were perfect. Now we have green counter tops and the dishes don’t quite match, but I don’t care. I still love them!

    We have a few local antique stores that sell vintage Fiesta and I’ve started picking up pieces here and there to accent mine.

    ps – I just realized your blog is gray and yellow just like your kitchen and dining room

  9. You are rocking our colors. We were Spartans purple & gold and our fav college is UW (purple & gold). We went to Eastern Washington U, which is killer colors of red, black and white and took the national football league for their league, but isn’t a top bowl school.

    We’d be eclecticly mixing those colors in my cabinets lol GO DAWGS! It’s been difficult for us to switch to crimson & gold for the kids since we grew up town next door lol I’d love to buy your plum ware :)

  10. I always enjoy hearing about other collectors. Definitely keep your plum close by. I think plum and marigold would be marvelous together! Beautiful contrast! Also, if you love gray, you could add the pearl gray to your collection, produced from 1999-2001. Happy collecting!

    1. I’ve been eyeing some pearl gray pieces at one of our local pottery places. They have a lovely platter just sitting there, waiting for me! heh

  11. I’ve been recently collecting as well….I have had some great finds and have been doing lots of research and have been able to date most of my items for the most part…I have come across two items that are too difficult to date or price…one is a white “cereal” bowl with four stripes or bands each in a different Fiestaware color…I’m pretty sure it’s 80’s but the colors are throwing me off as to the decade it came from…my second item is a tom and jerry mug in yellow…I might have been tricked but I just had a very strong feeling about it….my two concerns are this…it has no label but I know that when fiesta first started they didn’t use labels so in that case if there is no label how else do I identify it as fiesta? the other is I have other mugs that I do believe are from the 80’s with rings around the lid and they are bigger in size than the yellow I just found…the yellow is smaller and as no rings on lid…I tried to use other people’s posting of supposedly “original” 1936 Fiestaware items and they seem to be very very similar to my yellow one…but mine without label…any help or advice? Please email me and I can send pics…thank you!!!!

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