By Åse Anderson
Los Angeles-based Martin Katz has designed a new collection of one-of-a-kind jewels starring gleaming-blue Paraiba tourmalines.
From pretty drop earrings and stunning cabochon cocktail rings to a statement Paraiba tourmaline necklace and bangle, each piece in the collection features vividly colorful examples of Brazilian Paraiba tourmalines.
"I bought my first Paraiba tourmaline - an important stone, blue without too much of that veil of green - in 2002," says Katz. "but I first started hearing about a mine in Brazil producing tourmalines fetching really high prices back in 1999."
Once demand for the greeny-blue coloured gemstone escalated, the mine's supply dwindled rapidly and the scarcity of the Paraiba tourmaline turned it into an even more precious commodity. With an extraordinary luminous glow, Paraiba tourmalines owe their variety of colors - from neon blue to turquoise and emerald green - to the presence of copper. While the intense hue only become apparent once the stone has been cut, it is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful colored gemstones in the world, and the price of one carat can easily run into five figures.
Martin Katz set up his eponymous brand in 1988 and counts celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, Sandra Bullock and Jessica Biel among his clients. Inspired by his love for vintage jewelry and passion for coloured gemstones, it is not only the world of jewellery making that has benefited from his design prowess. Martin has also created bejeweled Ray-Ban sunglasses, a $5 million diamond bra for Victoria's Secret and, last year, he designed a penthouse suite at the New York Palace Hotel.
The new Paraiba collection of Martin Katz jewelry will be available at the designer's salon in Beverly Hills and at Bergdorf Goodman in New York this spring.