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Ballerina-carved green beryl wins Spectrum’s Best of Show

The results are in for the 2022 American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) Spectrum Awards, and new voices and unusual materials are at the fore.

“We had a number of first-time multi-award winners, and they were ecstatic upon hearing the news,” says the association’s CEO, John Ford, a 10-time Spectrum and Cutting Edge Award winner.

Trend-wise, this year’s entries included more tourmalines and spinel, yellow gold jewellery, and step-cut gemstones, while kornerupine and dumortierite were among the rarest and most unusual gems. Overall, the total number of entries was nearly 10 per cent higher this year as compared to last year, AGTA reports.

This year’s judges were Susan Harrison (Jewelry Emporium), Derek Katzenbach (Katzenbach Designs), Sharon Khazzam (Sharon Khazzam Studio), Carter Malouf (Carter Malouf Private Jeweler), and Mark Patterson (Mark Patterson Fine Jewelry). The panel evaluated each of the submissions based on beauty and wearability, innovation, material use, consumer appeal, and quality of gemstones and workmanship.

“Calling all the award winners was one of the most gratifying experiences I’ve had with AGTA,” says Kimberly Collins, president of the association’s board of directors. “There were so many tears of excitement, which reminded me of the impact a Spectrum or Cutting Edge Award can have on an individual and the momentum of his or her career.”

“Our team is excited to grow the competition and continue casting spotlights on well-deserving jewelers and cutters,” Ford adds.

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

Best of Show

Dalan Hargrave, GemStarz Jewelry – 210.55-carat ballerina carving in green beryl

Best Use of Colour

Robert Galustian, Robert Guild Jewelry Corp. – 18-karat blonde gold QEII earrings, featuring two cushion-cut mint green tourmalines (21.54 ctw) accented with two matching pair keystone-cut yellow sapphires, calf-cut kornerupines, 72 round amethysts, 66 round diamonds, and six marquise-cut green tourmalines

Best Use of Pearl

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Laurie Reid, LFR Studios – 22-karat yellow gold ring, featuring a 13.2-mm cultured Golden South Sea pearl

Fashion Forward

Jeffrey Bilgore, Jeffrey Bilgore, LLC – 18-karat yellow gold and black ceramic ring, featuring a 4.03-carat natural fancy deep yellow diamond accented with 15 tsavorite garnets (0.17 ctw)

Best of Single Entries (Cutting Edge)

Robert Knupfer, Knupfer International Gems, Inc. – Pair of blue/green briolette drop tourmalines (75.57 ctw)

Best of Single Entries (Spectrum)

Buddy Austin, Third Eye Assembly – 18-karat yellow gold, platinum, 22-karat rose and green gold, 24-karat yellow gold, and 18-karat white gold ‘Underworld’ ring, featuring a 1.62-carat black opal, accented with tsavorite garnet, sapphire, and diamond

Best Use of Platinum and Colour

Mary van der Aa, Mary van der Aa – Platinum ‘Aria’ ring, featuring a 2.10-carat demantoid garnet accented with blue zircons (3.0 ctw) and diamonds

Best Use of Platinum Crown

Brenda Smith, Brenda Smith Jewelry – Platinum hand-fabricated ring, featuring a 6.54-carat trillion-cut Tanzanite accented with round diamonds (1.25 ctw)

Bridal Wear

First Place

Gabriel Angulo, Pompos Jewelry Corporation – Platinum ring, featuring a 2.55-carat rectangular emerald-cut Colombian emerald accented with 24 round emeralds (0.31 ctw), 22 custom-cut baguette diamonds (2.77 ctw), and 62 round brilliant diamonds (0.22 ctw)

Business/Day Wear

First Place

Zoltan David, Zoltan David – High-polished steel, iridescent blue and purple steel, platinum, 18-karat, and 24-karat gold inlay ‘Into the Mystic’ cuff bracelet, featuring round and marquise-shaped tsavorites (5.60 ctw) accented with blue sapphires (0.48 ctw) and diamonds (1.20 ctw)

Classical

First Place

Gabriel Angulo, Pompos Jewelry Corporation – Platinum ring, featuring a 6.29-carat blue Ceylon sapphire accented with 14 custom-cut baguette diamonds (2.27 ctw), 10 princess-cut sapphires (1.79 ctw), 30 round sapphires (0.44 ctw), and 58 round brilliant diamonds (0.29 ctw)

Evening Wear

First Place

Jeffrey Bilgore, Jeffrey Bilgore, LLC – 18-karat yellow gold and black ceramic ring, featuring a 4.03-carat natural fancy deep yellow diamond accented with 15 tsavorite garnets (0.17 ctw)

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Men’s Wear

First Place

Zoltan David, Somewhere In The Rainbow – Knight steel and 24-karat yellow gold ‘The Kings Ring,’ featuring a 29.09-carat purple-red cabochon tourmaline accented with 10 red spinels (0.15 ctw), diamonds (0.02 ctw), and patent inlay bead gold

Editor’s Choice – Spectrum

Ian Delucca, Khobe Delucca – 18-karat yellow gold and ruthenium plated Art Deco ring, featuring blue emerald-cut tourmaline (4.84 ctw), round tourmaline (0.38 ctw.), and diamonds (0.42 ctw)

Editor’s Choice (Cutting Edge)

Jaimeen Shah, Prima Gems USA – Suite of 23 multi-coloured, Portuguese-cut zircons (228.64 ctw)

Cutting Edge

Classic Gemstones

First Place

Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem Corp. – 4.43-carat no oil emerald-cut Colombian emerald

All Other Cut Gemstones

First Place

Ben Kho, Kho International, Ltd. – 32.50-carat sunburst-cut kunzite

Carving

First Place

Dalan Hargrave, GemStarz Jewelry – 210.55-carat ballerina carving in green beryl

Innovative Faceting

First Place

John Dyer, Somewhere in the Rainbow – 147.96-carat orange golden citrine titled, ‘Crescendo’

North American Mined Gemstones

First Place

Ben Kho, Kho International, Ltd. – 11.46-carat antique cushion-cut rhodochrosite from Colorado

Objects of Art

First Place

Dalan Hargrave, GemStarz Jewelry – 900-carat ametrine, accented with citrine and chrome diopside essence bottle

Honourable Mention

Llyn L. Strelau, Jewels by Design – Bronze and 18-karat green, red, and white gold ‘Life in the Jungle’ carved Labradorite chameleon, with petrified wood, quartz, agate, Labradorite, spinel, pearls, tsavorite garnets, sapphires, rubies, and diamonds

Pairs and Suites

First Place

Robert Knupfer, Knupfer International Gems, Inc. – Pair of blue/green briolette drop tourmalines (75.57 ctw)

Phenomenal

First Place

Desmond Chan, Gem Arts International – 14.90-carat hot pink to purple colour-change modified round brilliant pyrope garnet titled, ‘Cosmic Kaleidoscope’

For a complete list of this year’s winners, click here.

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