Our questions are answered! On Monday you'll remember that we asked you to write in your questions for jewelry designer Martin Katz, and we got some amazing ones. Below is the Q & A with Martin and also a slideshow of some of our faves from his collections.
1. How did you get started in the jewelry business?
It's funny, but I started selling pucca shells and liquid silver jewelry to the sorority girls at Indiana University. For the next couple of years I grew that business while getting my degree, and upon graduation, I drove cross country to LA and took an assistant salesman position at California's finest jewelry store. There, I spent the next eight years learning about high-end vintage and contemporary designed jewelry.
2. What inspires you to create jewelry?
I have a special admiration for Art Deco fashions and jewelry from the 30s and 40s.
3. How should a couple go about choosing an engagement ring?
Naturally start with a jeweler you trust to get the best value as well as an honest opinion and guidance. For me, the color and cut of the stone are more important than clarity, but you shouldn't let one element get too far from the others. And stay away from extremely low clarity stones because those will be less brilliant and have less value no matter how nicely-cut the diamond.
4. What's the best way to take care of diamond jewelry?
If you mean cleaning it, just use any basic ammonia-based cleaner. Whatever you do, don't use toothpaste!
5. (from a reader) My engagement ring is a very simple, classic three-stone (round brilliants) platinum ring. I want to find a wedding band that enhances the glitter of the stones, but the only option I've seen is a plain band. I want something a bit more detailed so it coordinates, not competes, with the ring, and something I could wear alone that still provides some interest. What do you suggest?
Depending on your personal taste, a simple diamond eternity band using small round diamonds of about .10 pts. each will work quite well with your three-stone ring. You can add other stackable bands, even colored stone bands, to it when you wear it without your engagement ring and create a fashionable look as well.
6. (from a reader) My engagement ring is an emerald cut diamond in a basket cage setting. I don't think I can wear my wedding band on the same finger because the setting extends at the base. Do you prefer the wedding band and engagement ring to be worn together? I find those bands that dip to fit the diamond a little odd. What are your thoughts?
I agree with you: I don't like "notched out" wedding rings. They look like a puzzle, and I've never seen a world-class jewelry house make that style. If you'd like, you can remount your stone so that the basket has a little "martini glass" tapered shape to it as it angles in under the diamond. Then when you wear it, the band will nestle a little closer and look more natural.
All images courtesy of Martin Katz