2008 Private Preview: Titan Treasures

<< 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,

www­.bergdorfgoodman.com

The historically inspired necklace is part of Boucheron’s new Bleu de Jodhpur collection…
The London jeweler employs rare fossilized wood to create her pieces…
Fresh designs take direction from a stage and screen icon…
The Floridian Lapidary favors bold stones with minimal metal embellishments to distract from them…
The exquisitely enigmatic gem shows its range in new designs…
A timeless gem is refreshed with extraordinary hues…
The New York–based jeweler prides himself on his nontraditional approach to jewelry design…
Photo by Emanuele Marietti
A fresh wave of jewelry elegantly emulates coastal flora and fauna…
A new jewelry collection reveals African roots with refined designs…
New butterfly designs from some of the world’s most esteemed jewelers take flight for summer…