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AGTA 2013 Spectrum & Cutting Edge Awards Winners Announced

By Jennifer Heebner, Senior Editor
Posted on October 23, 2012
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James Currens' Best of Show ruby, diamond, and platinum ring
James Currens’ Best of Show ruby, diamond, and platinum ring

The winners of the 29th edition of the American Gem Trade Association Spectrum & Cutting Edge Awards were announced Oct. 22. Winning Spectrum jewelry selections were named in six categories: Bridal Jewelry, Business Day Wear, Classical Jewelry, Evening Wear, Classical, and Men’s, as well as Best of Category selections, Platinum Honors (sponsored by Platinum Guild International), Palladium Prestige Awards (sponsored by Palladium Alliance International), WJA Gem Diva Awards (sponsored by the Women’s Jewelry Association), Manufacturing Honors, and Fashion Forward Honors. Winning stones in the Cutting Edge Awards were recognized in the categories of Classic Cut Gemstones, Phenomenal Gemstones, Pairs & Suites, Innovative Faceting, Carving, and Objects of Art. The Dallas-based AGTA is a 31-year-old nonprofit, dedicated to serving the natural colored gemstone and cultured pearl industries.

According to AGTA president Doug Hucker, the group received 498 entries this year versus 454 in 2011 and 450 in 2010. He credits the increase, at least in part, to a new cooperation with WJA, which sponsored Gem Diva awards in four categories (all female participants in the Spectrum Awards were eligible for this category by selecting the Gem Diva check-box on entry forms). Trends spotted included drusy, animals and bugs, rough materials, period-inspired and contemporarily crafted pieces, and, ruby, emerald, and sapphire submissions.

“There were a lot more modern looks in the jewelry this year,” Hucker told JCK. “And all the animals in the competition—insects, pandas, peacocks, and grasshoppers—were appealing to a lot of the editors.”

Hucker was most impressed with the quality of and amount of work artists incorporated into their designs. “I think this is because the competition itself is maturing,” he observed.

The press, including representatives from trade and consumer media, got a firsthand look at all entries—not just winners—on Oct. 22 at a penthouse studio in New York City’s Greenwich Village. (In this way, all entrants earn recognition and placement opportunities in editorial photo shoots and television and film spots.) Meanwhile, the judging itself took place over the weekend of Oct. 20–21. Judges included Candace Edelman of Alex Sepkus, Jennifer Heebner of JCK magazine, fine jewelry buyer Abby Huhtanen of Bergdorf Goodman, lapidarist Kiwon Jang, and designer Kimberly McDonald.

Spectrum entries are evaluated on overall beauty, wearability, design innovation, effective use of materials, quality of gemstones, quality of workmanship, consumer appeal, and the potential to generate positive publicity for natural colored gemstones. Cutting Edge Awards honor excellence and creativity in the lapidary arts, including natural colored gemstones and cultured pearls, carvings, and other gem materials.

Award winners will be celebrated during the AGTA Dinner Dance and Awards Gala on Feb. 9, 2013, in Tucson, Ariz., during the 2013 AGTA GemFair Tucson, which takes place Feb. 5–10.

For more information on the awards or the gala, call 800-972-1162 or visit agta.org. For inquiries regarding the Awards, contact Adam Graham at adam@agta.org or 800-972-1162.

Editor’s Note: Images below were all that were available at press time.

Spectrum Awards

Best of Category Winners

James Currens ATA Spectrum Award Winner Best of Show ruby, diamond, and platinum ring

Best of Show
James Currens, J.W. Currens Inc.
Platinum Lava ring featuring a 12.99 ct. ruby cabochon with 1.47 cts. t.w. marquise-cut diamonds, and 7.40 cts. t.w. melee

Erica Courtney Best Use of Color gold earrings with opal, apatite, and tsavorite garnet

Best Use of Color
Erica Courtney, Erica Courtney
18k yellow gold earrings featuring 36.70 cts. t.w. opals, 5.92 cts. t.w. apatite, and 1.76 cts. t.w. tsavorite garnets

Deidre Featherstone Best Use of Platinum and Color earrings

Best Use of Platinum and Color
Deirdre Featherstone, Featherstone Design
Platinum Shangri-La earrings featuring 15.86 cts. t.w. opals, 48.54 cts. t.w. tanzanite cabochon drops, 2.16 cts. t.w. purple and blue sapphires, 4.53 cts. t.w. tourmalines, 0.29 ct. t.w. tsavorite garnets, 0.86 ct. t.w. diamonds, and turquoise briolettes

Cynthia Renee Best Use of Palladium and Color

Best Use of Palladium and Color
Cynthia Renee, Cynthia Renee Inc.
Palladium and stainless steel Owl Queen brooch featuring a carved petrified palm owl, mother-of-pearl, a 42.57 ct. t.w. green tourmaline crystal, and 0.16 ct. t.w. diamonds

Baggins Best Use of Pearls

Best Use of Pearls
Anil Maloo, Baggins Inc.
Earrings in 14k white gold with 8.5 mm akoya pearls, 9 mm white South Sea pearls, 10 mm–11mm Tahitian pearls, and 2.42 cts. t.w. diamonds

Jennifer Dawes Fashion Forward Award

Fashion Forward
Jennifer Dawes, Dawes Design
Necklace in 18k yellow gold with 14.45 cts. t.w. aquamarines, 7.45 cts. t.w. emeralds, and 1 ct. t.w. diamonds

 

Bridal Wear

Robert Pelliccia Bridal Wear First Place

Bridal Wear, 1st Place
Robert Pelliccia, J.R. Dunn Jewelers
Ring in platinum with a 4.08 ct. pink sapphire with 0.34 ct. t.w. half moon-cut diamonds and 0.56 ct. t.w. round diamonds

Bridal Wear, 2nd Place
Bella Campbell, Campbellian
Earrings in 18k white gold with 13 cts. t.w. royal blue moonstones and 2 cts. t.w. diamonds

Bridal Wear, 3rd Place
Giraux Fine Jewelry, Giraux Fine Jewelry
Rain Drop earrings in 18k white gold with featuring 4.29 ct. t.w. pink spinels and 1.55 cts. t.w. heart-, marquise-, and cushion-shape diamonds

Bridal Wear, Platinum Honors
Deirdre Featherstone, Featherstone Design
Scheherazade earrings in platinum with baroque silver and white Tahitian pearls and 2.21 cts. t.w. diamonds

Bridal Wear, Entry Platinum Innovation
Jake Wosinski, William Travis Jewelry
Hand-engraved ring in platinum with a 1.25 ct. t.w. round blue sapphire and 0.04 ct. t.w. diamonds

Bridal Wear, Palladium Prestige Award
Darryl Alexander, Alexander’s Jewelers
Purple Passion ring in palladium with a 14 mm pink freshwater pearl, purple sapphires, and diamonds

Bridal Wear, Gem Diva
Pamela Froman, Pamela Froman Fine Jewelry
Ice Princess cuff in palladium with 15 cts. t.w. rainbow moonstones and 3.01 cts. t.w. diamonds

Bridal Wear, Manufacturing Honors
Giraux Fine Jewelry, Giraux Fine Jewelry
Rain Drop earrings in 18k white gold with 4.29 cts. t.w. pink spinels and 1.55 cts. t.w. heart-, marquise-, and cushion-shape diamonds

Bridal Wear, Honorable Mention
Darryl Alexander, Alexander’s Jewelers
Purple Passion ring in palladium with a 14 mm pink freshwater pearl, purple sapphires, and diamonds.

 

Business/Day Wear

Gregore Morin Business/Day First Place pink opal plum blossom earrings in gold

Business/Day Wear, 1st Place
Gregore Morin, Gregore Joailliers
Earrings in 18k white gold with 8.6 cts. t.w. pink opal Japanese plum blossoms and 0.87 ct. t.w. black and colorless diamonds

Business/Day Wear, 2nd Place
Gregore Morin, Gregore Joailliers
Ring in 18k white gold and black ruthenium with an opal, 0.09 ct. t.w. diamonds, and 1.01 cts. t.w. spessartite garnets

Business/Day Wear, 3rd Place
Gregore Morin, Gregore Joailliers
Lady Leaf earrings in 18k white gold with 53 cts. t.w. jade leaf drops, 5.5 cts. t.w. opal, 0.45 ct. t.w. black diamond-accented ladybugs, and 0.36 ct. t.w. colorless diamonds

Business/Day Wear, Platinum Honors
Alishan Halebian, Alishan
Pin/pendant in platinum with a 12.5 mm Tahitian pearl, 2.40 cts. t.w. chrome diopside, and 0.60 ct. t.w. diamonds

Business/Day Wear, Entry Platinum Innovation
Mark Schneider, Mark Schneider Design
Earrings in platinum with eight freshwater pearls and 0.30 ct. t.w. diamonds

Business/Day Wear, Palladium Prestige Award
Steph Farber, LeRoy Jewelers
Pendant in palladium with blue chalcedony, quartz carving, 16 1.2 mm sapphires, and 60 1 mm–1.3 mm diamonds

Business/Day Wear, Gem Diva
Caroline Chartouni, Caroline C
Earrings in 18k pink gold with 56.37 cts. t.w. rose quartz drops and 1.99 cts. t.w. diamonds

Business/Day Wear, Manufacturing Honors
Adeleh Petochi, Eclat Jewels
Cuff in 18k rose gold with 118.13 cts. t.w. amethyst cabochons and 5.39 cts. t.w. diamonds

Business/Day Wear, Honorable Mention
Devta Doolan, Devta Doolan Jewelry
Pendant necklace in 22k yellow gold with a 36 ct. t.w. marquise-cut jade cabochon and 8.50 cts. t.w. rose-cut black diamonds

 

Classical

James Currens ATA Spectrum Award Winner Best of Show ruby, 
diamond, and platinum ring

Classical, 1st Place
James Currens, J.W. Currens, Inc.
Lava ring in platinum with a 12.99 ct. ruby cabochon, 1.47 cts. t.w. marquise-cut diamonds, and 7.40 cts. t.w. diamond melee

Classical, 2nd Place
Gigi Vivian Fitzmorris, The Gigi Collection
Bug pin in 18k yellow gold and black rhodium with black Tahitian pearl, 6 cts. t.w. paraiba tourmalines, 6 cts. t.w. diamonds, 3.51 cts. t.w. blue sapphires, and 0.95 ct. t.w. tsavorite garnets

Classical, 3rd Place
Lilly Fitzgerald, Lilly Fitzgerald Goldsmith
Link chain necklace in 22k yellow gold with labradorite cylinders

Classical, Platinum Honors
Maria Canale, Richard Krementz Gemstones
Ring in platinum with a 3.22 ct. t.w. antique-cut alexandrite and 2.91 cts. t.w. diamonds

Classical, Entry Platinum Innovation
Joe Worley, Joe Worley Designs
Art Nouveau pendant in platinum with a 0.97 ct. t.w. pear-shape spessartite garnet, 0.20 ct. t.w. sunstone, 0.11 ct. t.w. garnets, and 0.11 ct. t.w. diamonds

Classical, Palladium Prestige Award
Cynthia Renee, Cynthia Renee Inc.
Ring in palladium with 9.63 cts. t.w. oval-cut tsavorite garnet trio

Classical, Gem Diva
Dallas Prince, Dallas Prince Designs
Twilight Blush earrings in 14k rose gold with 30.18 cts. t.w. cushion-cut morganites, 0.72 ct. t.w. colorless diamonds, and 1.60 cts. t.w. black diamonds

Classical, Manufacturing Honors
Monica Rich Kosann, Monica Rich Kosann
Secret ring in 18k yellow gold with a 3.19 ct. t.w. cushion-cut color-change alexandrite and diamond accents

Classical, Honorable Mention
Cynthia Bach, Cynthia Bach, Inc.
Peacock brooch in 18k gold and platinum with a 73.50 ct. t.w. carved labradorite, coral, tanzanites, paraiba tourmaline, and multicolored diamonds

Classical, Honorable Mention
Monica Rich Kosann, Monica Rich Kosann
Secret ring in 18k yellow gold with a 3.19 ct. t.w. cushion-cut color-change alexandrite and diamond accents

 

Evening Wear

Baggins Best Use of Pearls

Evening Wear, 1st Place
Anil Maloo, Baggins Inc.
Earrings in 14k white gold with 8.5 mm akoya pearls, 9 mm white South Sea pearls, 10 mm–11 mm Tahitian pearls, and 2.42 cts. t.w. diamonds

Evening Wear, 2nd Place
Parul Kuki Seth, Parulina
Two Finger Glam ring in 18k yellow gold with 19.62 cts. t.w. emerald cabochons and 9.54 cts. t.w. round emeralds

Evening Wear, 3rd Place
Frank Caballero, Frank Caballero
Cocktail ring in 18k white gold with black rhodium and a 47.28 ct. oval-cut peridot cabochon ad 3.26 cts. t.w. diamonds

Evening Wear, Platinum Honors
Cara Becker Lichtenstein, My Blue Heaven
Pendant/brooch in platinum and black enamel with a 41.90 ct. t.w. black opal and 4.55 cts. t.w. round brilliant diamonds

Evening Wear, Palladium Prestige Award
Elizabeth Garvin, Elizabeth Garvin Fine
Spiral cocktail ring in palladium with a 35.50 ct. t.w. rose quartz cabochon and 0.25 ct. t.w. colorless diamond melee

Evening Wear, Gem Diva
Annie Fensterstock, Annie Fensterstock
Cuff in blackened sterling silver and 22k yellow gold with 11.91 cts. t.w. white and fancy-colored diamonds and 7.30 cts. t.w. sapphires

Evening Wear, Manufacturing Honors
Brent Malgarin, Elegant Gems Ltd.
Earrings in 18k yellow gold with 14.87 cts. t.w. multicolored sphalerite and 0.42 ct. t.w. diamonds

Evening Wear, Honorable Mention
Leon Mege, Leon Mege Inc.
Ring in platinum with a 13.67 ct. t.w. purple sapphire, 3.35 cts. t.w. diamonds, and a 0.10 ct. t.w. ruby cabochon

Evening Wear, Honorable Mention
Caesar Azzam, Caesar’s Designs
Printemps ring in 18k rose gold with a 2.05 ct. t.w. pink tourmaline, 1.63 cts. t.w. tsavorite garnets, and 2.5 mm white pearls

 

Men’s Wear

Naomi Sarna baroque pearl and colored sapphire cufflinks Men's Wear First Place

Men’s Wear, 1st Place
Naomi Sarna, Naomi Sarna Designs
Cufflinks in platinum with baroque pearls and multicolored sapphires

Men’s Wear, 2nd Place
Daniel Allen, C. Kirk Root Designs
Ring in 18k white gold with 1.45 cts. t.w. alexandrites

Men’s Wear, 3rd Place
Mark Schneider, Somewhere in the Rainbow
Cufflinks in palladium with pink rough-cut diamonds, a 1.94 ct. t.w. and a 2.13 ct. t.w. flower-cut color-change garnet, and 3.13 cts. t.w. colorless diamonds

Men’s Wear, Platinum Honors
Andrew Costen, Costen Catbalue
Meteoric Sapphire ring in platinum with a 34.50 ct. t.w. Gibeon meteorite and 4.03 ct. t.w. trillion-cut blue sapphire

Men’s Wear, Palladium Prestige Award
Mark Schneider, Somewhere in the Rainbow
Cufflinks in palladium with pink rough-cut diamonds, a 1.94 ct. t.w. and a 2.13 ct. t.w. flower-cut color-change garnet, and 3.13 cts. t.w. colorless diamonds

Men’s Wear, Manufacturing Honors
Jack Bigio, Basser & Bigio LLC
Cufflinks in 22k yellow gold with 20 cts. t.w. Brazilian paraiba tourmaline cabochons

 

Cutting Edge Awards

Stephen Kotlowski First Place Classic Cut Gemstones magenta sapphire

Classic Cut Gemstones


Classic Gemstones, 1st Place
Stephen Kotlowski, Uniquely K Custom Gem’s
3.46 ct. t.w. magenta custom-mixed oval/marquise sapphire

Classic Gemstones, 2nd Place
Ray Zajicek, Equatorian Imports
3.08 ct. t.w. round natural Colombian emerald

Classic Gemstones, 3rd Place
Sailesh Lakhi, Sparkles and Colors USA Inc.
21.91 ct. t.w. oval blue sapphire from Sri Lanka

Classic Gemstone, Honorable Mention
Sailesh Lakhi, Sparkles and Colors USA Inc.
70.08 ct. t.w. unheated oval yellow sapphire

 

All Other Faceted Stones

Ben Kho All Other Faceted Gemstones rhodochrosite

All Other Faceted Gemstones, 1st Place
Ben Kho, Kho International Inc.
16.02 ct. t.w. fancy trillion rhodochrosite

All Other Faceted Gemstones, 2nd Place
John Dyer, John Dyer & Co.
7.89 ct. t.w. radiant-cut, marquise-shaped imperial topaz

All Other Faceted Gemstones, 3rd Place
Lisa Elser, Custom Cut Gems Co.
14.24 ct. t.w. oval red tourmaline

 

Phenomenal Gemstones

Naomi Sarna First Place Phenomenal Gemstones fossil clam opal

Phenomenal, 1st Place
Naomi Sarna, Naomi Sarna Designs
8.80 ct. t.w. fossil clam opal

Phenomenal, 2nd Place
Barbara Lawrence, Barbara Lawrence, Fine Gemstones
9.84 ct. t.w. oval rainbow “moonstone” labradorite

Phenomenal, 3rd Place
Robyn Dufty, DuftyWeis Opals Inc.
41.20 ct. t.w. Mexican fire opal titled The Rose

Phenomenal, Honorable Mention
Stephen Kotlowski, Uniquely K Custom Gems
5.94 ct. t.w. oval color-change natural sapphire

 

Pairs and Suites

Nandu Nichani First Place Pairs and Suites moonstones

Pairs & Suites, 1st Place
Nandu Nichani, Temple Trading Co.
Graduated necklace, earring, and ring suite of blue moonstones in 137.50 cts. t.w. pear- and heart-shape cabochons

Pairs & Suites, 2nd Place
Allen Kleiman, A. Kleiman & Co.
Suite of 91.58 cts. t.w. of 16 unheated pear-shape and oval yellow sapphires

Pairs & Suites, 3rd Place
Aivan Pham, Somewhere in the Rainbow
Dionysus Tears, 236.33 cts. t.w. of 24-piece African amethyst suite and pairs

 

Innovative Faceting

Jean-Noel Soni Innovative Faceting First Place tourmaline

Innovative Faceting, 1st Place
Jean-Noel Soni, Top Notch Faceting
7.7 ct. t.w. pink and gold bicolored West African tourmaline

Innovative Faceting, 2nd Place
Richard Homer, Gems by Design Inc.
36.74 ct. t.w. antique, cushion-cut topaz

Innovative Faceting, 3rd Place
Darryl Alexander, Nirinjan
94.5 ct. t.w. Out of This World diamond-shape negative and bubble-faceted multicolored sunstone

Innovative Faceting, Honorable Mention
Larry Woods, Jewels From the Woods
74.59 ct. t.w. specialty-cut golden beryl

 

Carving

Naomi Sarna First Place Carving tanzanite

Carving, 1st Place
Naomi Sarna, Naomi Sarna Designs
L’Heure Bleu 725 ct. t.w. tanzanite carving on a sterling silver base

Carving, 2nd Place
Naomi Sarna, Naomi Sarna Designs
Carved blue topaz on a sterling silver base

Carving, 3rd Place
Darryl Alexander, Nirinjan
Out of This World 43.81 ct. t.w. carved and faceted multicolored sunstone

 

Objects of Art

Greore Morin First Place Objects of Art opal Aiko Japanese Kokeshi sculpture

Objects of Art, 1st Place
Gregore Morin, Gregore Joailliers
Aiko Japanese Kokeshi sculpture with a 256 ct. t.w. green opal, coral, ferro-horn blende, and diamonds set in platinum atop a silver base

Objects of Art, 2nd Place
Mark Schneider, Mark Schneider Design
Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream Bar featuring a 340 ct. t.w. natural quartz covered with sterling silver with a brown patina with a brushed and engraved 18k yellow gold stick

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