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From Brazil to Bangkok, tracking four fantastic internationally intriguing jewelersFrancis Mertens IDH TitaniumHome Base: Antwerp, Belgium; 32-3222-9300; idhtitanium.comYears in Business: 10Known for: Voluminous, delicate ­jewels made from gem-studded titanium in an alchemic combination of colorsSold to: Clients in Paris, London, New York City, and Dubai, United Arab EmiratesTitanium, the high-tech metal that is as light as aluminum yet stronger than steel, breaks every major rule of luxury. No rarer than the beach sand from which it is extracted, it lacks the weight and intrinsic value of gold or platinum and does not evoke any cultural traditions, except perhaps for workers in aerospace, high-tech medicine, and dentistry, fields in which it has found a niche. Yet Belgium’s Francis Mertens of IDH Titanium is using the metal to redefine the outer reaches of the fine ­jewelry universe
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