2008 Private Preview: Titan Treasures

  • Francis Mertens titanium and diamond cuffs appointed with tanzanites.
<< Back to Robb Report, October 2007

Francis Mertens contends that

you cannot create truly innovative designs if you try to make them from

traditional precious metals. "Gold and platinum are heavy and thus limiting in

what you can make," says Mertens, a former trucking entrepreneur who five

years ago opened his first diamond jewelry workshop in his native Antwerp,

Belgium. Instead of gold or platinum, Mertens prefers titanium, but before he

could incorporate the metal into his designs, he had Airbus engineers teach him

how to work with it.

Last spring, Mertens presented his first titanium designs to

buyers at Bergdorf Goodman; the retailer will launch the Francis Mertens jewelry

collection in its Fifth Avenue store in November. Mertens spent four years

assembling the collection, which comprises voluminous and surprisingly

lightweight diamond-studded hoops and three-dimensional floral earrings,

brooches, and necklaces. He also developed a rhodium treatment that transforms

the inherently gray appearance of the titanium with a finish that mimics white,

yellow, or pink gold.

"Until now jewelry was very flat," says Mertens. "Titanium

gives you the ability to create three-dimensional, sculptural designs that are

still light, feminine, and stylish."

Francis Mertens, available at Bergdorf Goodman, 212.872.2578,


From Around the Web...
Photo by Lisa Charles Watson; Styling by Charles W. Bumgardner
Each of the six snowflakes in the series can be worn as a brooch, a necklace, or a bracelet…
Photo by Sotheby’s
Some of the most extraordinary examples have sold for nearly $10 million at auction…
The special lady in your life deserves equally special jewelry, which we’ve curated for the...
Eleuteri’s NYC boutique offers the largest brands in Italian jewelry and the best-kept secrets…
These luminous creations add a ray of springtime sunshine to any winter ensemble…
Snake motifs have slithered their way into the collections of world-renowned jewelry designers…
The cushion-shaped Fancy Vivid Pink diamond is set in a ring surrounded by pavé diamonds…
These swaying, mesmerizing tassel designs will leave you transfixed…
The 272-page coffee-table book features imagery almost as glamorous as the gems themselves…
Make a haunting impression with ghastly pieces from MB&F, Sylva & Cie., De Grisogono and...