Haute Ambassador :: Martin Katz

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Only 22 years ago, a gem deal in Brazil turned into a discovery that set the jewelry industry on fire. On that day in 1989, miner Heitor Dimas Barbosa emptied a bag full of bright blue crystals to show incredulous gem dealer Marcelo Bernardes. Scattered across the table was Paraiba tourmaline, a resplendent semi-precious stone of rare makeup and a brilliant turquoise hue.

 The beauty of Paraiba also lies in its versatility: women will incorporate it in their everyday outfits, using the show-stopping stone to liven up any ensemble.

Immediately, the stone’s vibrancy captivated both men and it continues to have that effect on gem lovers and novices alike. Personally, Paraiba caught my attention in the early 1990s. I was drawn not only to the newness of the stone but to its name and the vibrant bluish-green color. The entrancing turquoise shade of Paraiba is owed to copper, an element that has never been found in a gemstone before. The interplay between the two elements yields a mélange of fascinating colors–sea foam green, turquoise and pastel blue.

As soon as Paraiba was introduced to the public, it became one of the most highly coveted and hungrily sought-after stones. Soon enough it started garnering higher prices than its precious gemstone counterparts, making it one of the more expensive stones on the market.

Paraiba has been my favorite semi-precious stone to work with and I try to buy every great one that I come across. In the past, I have designed numerous pieces of jewelry with the rare faceted gemstone as the centerpiece and each was received with unanimous delight. Clients familiar with the unique stone typically stop cold in front of showcases containing Paraiba. They inquire if it is indeed the rare gem and want to hold it in their hands.

I’m revisiting my passion for Paraiba with a new collection highlighting the gem. For the last three years I have focused on collecting cabochon Paraiba in all sizes. My new designs feature dozens of Paraiba cabochons in them—all of which are absolutely striking to behold. It is a truly cheerful color to see and to wear.

This spring, Paraiba will be the hottest, most popular stone (or its color will at the very least). The bright stone will adorn the fingers, wrists, ears and necks of celebrities on the red carpet and models on the runway. Dresses and other accessories will debut in this color as well. The beauty of Paraiba also lies in its versatility: women will incorporate it in their everyday outfits, using the show-stopping stone to liven up any ensemble. In fact, Paraiba is the perfect gemstone to wear from day to night: pair it with spring and summer whites for a crisp look and use it to illuminate dark evening attire.

Now is the time to invest in Paraiba tourmaline, as it is only rising in popularity and exclusivity. An electric jewel deserving nothing less than the spotlight, Paraiba may be new to most but it is certainly here to stay.

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