Best of the Best 2012: Jewelry: Colored Gemstones: Martin Katz

When Beverly Hills designer Martin Katz meets with a gem dealer, he typically asks, "What do you have that is weird and different?" Rather than seeking traditional sapphires, diamonds, and rubies, Katz looks for unique colors and shapes, which he uses to create pieces that are coveted more for their glamour than for ostentation. This year, for example, he set a 2.56-carat ruby slightly off center in this alluring diamond ring, and he placed a cascade of tumbled red spinel stones amid white diamonds in this gold bracelet covered in blackened rhodium (prices upon request). "The black enhances the cherry red and gives the piece an edgy look," Katz says. Indeed, his ability to uncover great colored gemstones and show them off in elegant, contemporary designs is what makes him a Best of the Best winner. (310.276.7200, www.martinkatz.com)

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