Precious Gem

There is no artist like Mother Nature. The gnarled texture of a tree, vibrant red of a rose and rushing sound of a waterfall are but few examples of her masterpieces. Some of her works of art, like precious stones, are so rare they have been coveted as trinkets and jewelry since man’s earliest days—both for their gorgeous visual appeal and their healing qualities.

imageStone, as in marble and granite, has long been the family business for Frank Marasco’s forbearers. But in 2011, he had an epiphany about the potential of rarified stones they had not been working with, like sapphire and amethyst. “Stones carry an energy, especially these,” he said, citing the spiritual and healing characteristics of certain stones. This realization collided with his personal drive to develop a luxury brand “like a Versace or a Gucci” and Zicana was born.

“I saw these stones somewhere…and I absolutely fell in love with them and I just needed to open a gallery to exhibit them.” As a result, Zicana doubles as a gallery and a brand. The gallery functions as an exhibit space where visitors can view oversized panels of stunning gemstones or petrified wood that have been carefully sliced (almost paper thin) to mosaic together and be lit from behind. Jewelry and furniture embellished by the same materials also fill the space. As a showroom, this is where clients meet with Frank and the Zicana team to develop architectural elements for their homes such as countertops, backdrops for waterfalls, bars or focal points (as well as the furniture and jewelry). The experience is very similar to visiting a SoHo loft circa 1980s to consult an art handler about a commissioned painting or sculpture.

Marasco says it’s more than this, too. “To me, it’s spiritual,” he says, referencing the way the stones captivate. The inherent beauty of the colors, veins, crystallization and shapes convey movement, connecting people to the pieces in a visceral way. “Stones do carry an energy and the energy is really strong. It pulls people in…[and] different colors do have a different impact on people. It is art and it has to do with mood. And sometimes, based on your mood,” the colors you are attracted to can change.

Marasco works with the Zicana line “from A to Z.” He designs, cuts, shapes, installs and sells the stones. Next up he will explore a women’s accessory line and then fashion. Frank will marry his love of art and design by working with artists to create patterns inspired by the colors, shapes and visual qualities of the stones.

Marasco is motivated by stone as a lifestyle, not just an element. “I have a strong vision… It’s not meant for everyone. This is made for a particular clientele. Someone who’s looking for something custom, someone who’s looking for something special… It’s one of a kind. There’s nothing like it.”