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AGTA announces 2018 Spectrum Awards winners

The results are in for the 2018 American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) Spectrum Awards, and new voices and new materials are at the fore.

“We had a wave of new designers and first-time entrants this year—young people with fresh perspectives who were willing to embrace creative risk in their work,” said Douglas Hucker, CEO of AGTA. “Over a dozen of our awards will be presented to first-time winners!”

Hucker also added there was a noticeable uptick in the variety of materials used in this year’s entries and winning pieces.

“We saw an increase in loose gemstones in all of the categories in the Cutting Edge division, and that diversity was evidenced in the absolute cornucopia of colour and variety in the jewellery divisions,” he said.

This year’s judges were Darryl Alexander (Alexander’s Jewelers), Randy Coffin (Coffin & Trout Jewellers), Andre Hahn (Vielle Jewelers), Pieter Hye (Pieter Andries Jewelers), and Dallas Prince (Dallas Prince & Company). The panel evaluated each of the more than 400 submissions based on beauty and wearability, innovation, material use, consumer appeal, and quality of gemstones and workmanship. The pieces’ ability to positively represent natural coloured gemstones was also considered.

Winners will be celebrated at an awards gala at Arizona’s Tucson Convention Center on February 9. This ceremony is an annual part of AGTA GemFair Tucson, which runs from February 5 to 10.

Read on for a complete list of this year’s winners.

Best of Show

Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem – Platinum and 18-karat yellow gold ring featuring a 7.16-carat untreated Russian emerald accented with diamonds

Best Use of Colour

Ricardo Basta, E. Eichberg – 18-karat yellow gold ‘Phoenix Rising’ necklace featuring Mandarin garnets (28.04 ctw) accented with Paraiba tourmalines (1.55 ctw), sapphires (4.68 ctw), rubies (3.17 ctw), fire opals (1.35 ctw), tsavorite garnets (0.02 ctw), and a 0.77-carat turquoise

Best Use of Pearls

Avi Raz, A & Z Pearls – Necklace featuring 15- to 18-mm (0.6- to 0.7-in.) multicoloured natural baroque freshwater pearls accented with 14-karat rose, yellow, and rhodium-plated gold beads

Best Use of Platinum and Colour

Deirdre Featherstone, Featherstone Design – Platinum ‘Wonder Woman’ cuff featuring aquamarines (4.54 ctw), tanzanites (2.44 ctw), blue zircons (1.60 ctw), lavender spinels (0.46 ctw), tourmalines (0.68 ctw), and star-set diamonds (2.64 ctw)

Best Use of Platinum Crown

John Haynes, Schmitt Jewelers – Platinum ‘Solar Blossom’ ring featuring a 14.73-carat orange zircon accented with tsavorite garnets (0.67 ctw) and diamonds (0.65 ctw)

Fashion Forward

Patrick King, Jewelsmith – 14-karat white and rose gold pendant featuring a 13.31-carat sapphire accented with more sapphires (0.98 ctw) and diamonds (2.91 ctw)

Bridal Wear

First Place

Zoltan David – 18- and 22-karat rose gold necklace featuring a 46.12-carat opal accented with a 3.60-carat round opal and blue sapphires (2.40 ctw)

Second Place

Ricardo Basta, E. Eichberg – Platinum ‘Take the Plunge’ ring featuring a 21.86-carat oval tanzanite cabochon accented with diamonds (2.13 ctw)

Third Place

Niveet Nagpal, Somewhere in the Rainbow – Platinum and black rhodium ‘Hi, I’m Alex—And You Are?’ ring featuring a 6.12-carat alexandrite cabochon accented with alexandrite and diamond melee

Honourable Mention

Heath London, Heath London Jewelry – 18-karat gold and aluminum earrings featuring Tahitian, freshwater, and akoya cultured pearls accented with a 0.40-carat aquamarine, 0.40-carat pink sapphire, and diamonds (0.60 ctw)

Manufacturing Honours

Niveet Nagpal, Omi Privé – 18-karat rose gold ring featuring three Padparadscha sapphires (7.17 ctw) accented with diamonds (0.88 ctw)

Platinum Honours

Michael Endlich, Pavé Fine Jewelry – Platinum ‘Green Valley’ ring featuring a 1.22-carat tsavorite garnet accented with diamonds (0.13 ctw)

Entry Platinum Innovation

Michael Jakubowski, Gem Fanatic – Platinum ring featuring a 3.88-carat grey cushion-cut spinel accented with diamonds (1.03 ctw)

WJA Gem Diva Award

Beatrix Laura Jewels, B & W Jewels – Platinum earrings featuring triangular aquamarines (7.37 ctw) accented with trapezoid- and shield-cut diamonds (3.47 ctw)

Business/Day Wear

First Place

Erica Courtney – 18-karat yellow gold ‘Emerald City’ necklace featuring a 105.99-carat, pear-shaped emerald accented with diamonds (4.42 ctw)

Second Place

Niveet Nagpal, Omi Privé – Platinum and 18-karat rose gold pendant featuring a 9.39-carat pear-shaped black opal accented with Paraiba tourmalines (0.90 ctw) and a 0.25-carat pear-shaped diamond

Third Place

Beatrix Laura Jewels, B & W Jewels – 18-karat white gold reversible earrings featuring pink sapphires (2.71 ctw) and diamonds (3.84 ctw)

Honourable Mention

Bella Campbell, Campbellian Collection/BHI – 18-karat white gold ‘Phoenix Feathers’ earrings featuring Mexican fire opals (2.19 ctw) accented with rubies (4.93 ctw) and diamonds (0.56 ctw)

Manufacturing Honours

Michael Tope, Raintree – Platinum and 18-karat rose gold ring featuring a 3.74-carat aquamarine accented with a 0.241-carat ruby

Platinum Honours

John Ford, Lightning Ridge Collection by John Ford – Platinum necklace featuring a 10.67-carat black opal accented with diamonds (1.07 ctw)

Entry Platinum Innovation

Joseph A. Murawski, Joden World Resources – Platinum earrings featuring round brilliant-cut diamonds (1.44 ctw) surrounded by 10-mm round black onyx

WJA Gem Diva Award

Belle Brooke Barer, Belle Brooke – 18-karat royal yellow gold pendant featuring a 3.74-carat, pear-shaped indicolite tourmaline accented with diamonds (0.18 ctw)

Classical

First Place

Niveet Nagpal, Omi Privé – Platinum ring featuring a 10.23-carat cuprian tourmaline accented with diamonds (2.57 ctw), Paraiba tourmalines (1.54 ctw), and a 0.01-carat alexandrite

Second Place and Best of Show

Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem – Platinum and 18-karat yellow gold ring featuring a 7.16-carat untreated Russian emerald accented with diamonds

Third Place

Swapna Pinnamaneni, Dream Choice Jewelry – 18-karat yellow gold ‘The Dancer’ brooch featuring a 2.75-carat tanzanite accented with yellow diamonds (2.75 ctw), rubies (14.36 ctw), and white diamonds (1.41 ctw)

Honourable Mention

John Ford, Lightning Ridge Collection by John Ford – Platinum necklace featuring black opal cabochons (38.43 ctw) accented with sapphires (0.95 ctw), tsavorite garnets (0.95 ctw), and diamonds (6.76 ctw)

Manufacturing Honours and WJA Gem Diva Award

Lindsay Jane, Lindsay Jane Designs – Platinum ring featuring a 6.78-carat bicoloured sapphire accented with French-cut diamonds (1.84 ctw), brilliant-cut diamonds (0.44 ctw), and more sapphires (0.06 ctw)

Platinum Honours

Benjamin Javaheri, Uneek Jewelry – Platinum ring featuring a 6.53-carat oval blue sapphire accented with diamonds (1.39 ctw)

Evening Wear

First Place

Gross & Currens, David Gross Group – Platinum ring featuring a 20.26-carat cushion-cut unheated yellow sapphire accented with diamonds (3.60 ctw)

Second Place

Susan Helmich, Somewhere in the Rainbow – 18-karat white and yellow gold ‘Le Dauphin’ necklace featuring a 101.85-carat aquamarine accented with diamonds (1.34 ctw)

Third Place

Zoltan David, Somewhere in the Rainbow – Platinum and palladium ‘Candy on Ice’ necklace featuring rubellite tourmalines (83 ctw) accented with diamonds (5.97 ctw)

Honourable Mention

Erica Courtney – 18-karat yellow gold ‘Shakti’ pendant featuring a 28.6-carat chrysoberyl accented with Paraiba tourmalines (1.96 ctw), tsavorite garnets (2.43 ctw), and canary tourmalines (1.75 ctw)

Honourable Mention

Helen Kim Currens, J.W. Currens – Platinum ‘Remember’ ring featuring a 9.25-carat square moonstone cabochon accented with moonstones (2.85 ctw), multi-cut diamonds (7.20 ctw), opals (0.47 ctw), and tanzanites (0.51 ctw)

Manufacturing Honours

Erica Courtney – 18-karat yellow gold ‘Hera’ earrings featuring tanzanites (5.01 ctw) accented with chrome tourmalines (7.97 ctw), Paraiba tourmalines (0.63 ctw), and diamonds (2.10 ctw)

Platinum Honours

Paul Klecka, Somewhere in the Rainbow – Platinum ‘Coco Verde’ two-finger ring featuring a 66.03-carat specialty-cut lemon citrine accented with diamonds (6.30 ctw)

Entry Platinum Innovation

Jacob Wosinski, Jacob Raymond Custom Jewelry – Platinum ring featuring a 2.11-carat blue sapphire accented with more blue sapphires (0.03 ctw)

WJA Gem Diva Award

Gina Ferranti, GiGi Ferranti – 18-karat rose and white gold ‘Cleopatra-Geometric’ ring featuring a 1.55-carat emerald accented with emeralds (0.53 ctw), purple sapphires (3.03 ctw), and diamonds (0.72 ctw)

Men’s Wear

First Place

Zoltan David – Steel and 24-karat gold ring featuring a 25.53-carat blue zircon

Second Place

Mark Schneider, Mark Schneider Design – Platinum and 18-karat yellow gold cufflinks featuring hand-carved rock crystal quartz and mother-of-pearl moons (53.06 ctw) accented with blue sapphire cabochons (1.76 ctw) and yellow and white diamond melee (0.66 ctw)

Third Place

Pheap Lorn-Canossi, Phenomenon Jewels – 14-karat white gold and 18-karat yellow gold ‘Take Me Away to Paradise’ ring featuring a 15-carat green tourmaline accented with diamonds (0.87 ctw), alexandrites, and sapphires (3.22 ctw)

Honourable Mention

Klaus Kutter, A Jour Jewelry – 18-karat rose and white gold cufflinks featuring moonstones (13.08 ctw) accented with sapphires (2.50 ctw), tsavorite garnets (1.80 ctw), and onyx

Manufacturing Honours

Adam Neeley, Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry – Platinum and 18-karat yellow gold ‘Halryon’ ring featuring a 19.14-carat zircon accented with diamonds (1.23 ctw)

Platinum Honours

Niveet Nagpal, Omi Privé – Platinum cufflinks featuring blue sapphires (2.15 ctw) and diamonds (1.02 ctw)

Cutting Edge

All Other Faceted

First Place

Mikola Kukharuk, Nomad’s – 80.25-carat oval tsavorite garnet

Second Place

Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem – 6.58-carat untreated Brazilian Paraiba tourmaline

Third Place

Christopher Wolfsberg, Foxtail Gallery – 44.19-carat octagonal modified brilliant-cut tanzanite

Honourable Mention

Jose Rocha, Jewelry Television – 46.75-carat round, Portuguese-cut Spanish sphalerite

Carving

First Place

Dalan Hargrave, GemStarz Jewelry – ‘Frog Prince,’ featuring sunstone (160 ctw) accented with sapphires, diamonds, opals, black jade, green jade, chalcedony, calcite, and 14-karat yellow gold

Second Place

Swapna Pinnamaneni, Dream Choice Jewelry – 1080.5-carat citrine carving titled ‘Ganesha’

Third Place

Dalan Hargrave, GemStarz Jewelry – 110-carat amethyst carving titled ‘Amethstine Chapel’

Classic Gemstone

First Place

Kenneth Blount, 100% Natural – 91.36-carat unheated yellow Ceylon sapphire

Second Place

Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem – 5.24-carat untreated Colombian emerald

Third Place

Allen Kleiman, A. Kleiman & Co. – 21.04-carat oval unheated Sri Lankan blue sapphire

Innovative Faceting

First Place

Mark Gronlund – 96.3-carat round spiral brilliant-cut blue topaz

Second Place

Dalan Hargrave, GemStarz Jewelry – 21.27-carat specialty-cut tourmaline

Third Place

John Dyer, Somewhere in the Rainbow – 37.30-carat sunstone titled ‘Colourful Cascade’

Honourable Mention

Christopher Wolfsberg, Nirinjan – 25.45-carat octagonal concave-cut sunstone labradorite

Objects of Art

First Place

Nicolai Medvedev, Impressions in Stone – Intarsia box with vaulted lid, made with malachite, turquoise, malachite/azurite, sugelite, lapis lazuli, opal, cultured pearl, emeralds, and diamonds

Second Place

Somewhere in the Rainbow – ‘Go Fly a Kite,’ featuring a 175.01-carat green-yellow beryl in 18-karat yellow gold accented with a 0.26-carat diamond

Third Place

Somewhere in the Rainbow – Agate wild boar with black onyx eye and white chalcedony tusks, titled ‘Grey Matter’

Pairs and Suites

First Place

Stephen M. Avery – Pair of indicolite tourmalines (41.45 ctw)

Second Place

Sean P. Sweeney, Razzcal Enterprises – Suite of 30 green tourmalines (116.57 ctw) titled ‘Boxing Day Pocket’

Third Place

Mikola Kukharuk, Nomad’s – Matched pair of round bicoloured tourmalines (19.74 ctw)

Honourable Mention

Alexander Arnoldi, Arnoldi International – Suite of three bicoloured emerald-cut green tourmalines (148.46 ctw)

Phenomenal

First Place

Joel Price – 34.63-carat oval harlequin opal

Second Place

Robyn Dufty, DuftyWeis Opals – 60.20-carat boulder opal cabochon

Third Place

Robert Shapiro – 7.30-carat boulder opal

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