2012 AGTA Spectrum & Cutting Edge Award Winners Announced

The media got a look at winners and other entries into the 2012 American Gem Trade Association Spectrum and Cutting Edge Awards Oct. 24 in lower Manhattan. The annual event, now in its 28th year, helps many entrants—not just winners—earn recognition in trade and consumer press, and placement opportunities in editorial photo shoots, not to mention television and film spots.

The American Gem Trade Association received 454 entries this year—a slight increase from 2010’s 450. According to AGTA president Doug Hucker, trends among this year’s entries included Ethiopian opal, red stones, and less oxidized metal and rough diamond petals. “In Hong Kong, there was a lot of red, too,” he observes. “From red spinel to tourmaline, to quality ruby—either estate or Windsor rubies—red is hot.” Also of note: an increase in the number of two-finger rings.

The competition itself was held over the weekend of October 22–23 in New York City at a penthouse studio in Greenwich Village. Judges for the 2011 competition included Klaus Burgel, master goldsmith; Sylvain Chervin of Carvin French; Cindy Edelstein of the Jewelers Resource Bureau; Patricia Faber of Aaron Faber Gallery; and Clay Zava of Zava Master Cuts.

Award winners will be feted during the AGTA Dinner Dance and Awards Gala on Feb. 4 in Tucson, Ariz., during the 2012 AGTA GemFair Tucson, which runs Jan. 31–Feb. 5.

A list of winners follows; more photos will be published as they become available.

Spectrum Awards

Best of Category Winners

Best of Show: Todd Reed, Todd Reed Inc.

Palladium and 22k yellow gold locket featuring blue moonstones, grey diamonds (24.51 cts. t.w.), blue sapphires (17.34 cts. t.w.) and white diamonds (5.10 cts. t.w.) opening to reveal a 76.03 ct. moldavite Buddha

 

Best Use of Color: Deirdre Featherstone, Featherstone Design

Platinum earrings featuring removable opal enhancers (15.64 cts. t.w.) accented with blue zircons (3.27 cts. t.w.), tanzanites (3.53 cts. t.w.), Paraiba tourmalines (0.40 cts. t.w.) and diamonds (5.79 cts. t.w.)

 

Best Use of Platinum and Color: Michael Endlich, Pavé Fine Jewelry

Platinum ring featuring a 19.05 ct. cushion-cut aquamarine with pavé-set diamonds (0.41 ct. t.w.)

 

Best Use of Palladium & Color: Dennis de Jonghe, Dennis de Jonghe

Palladium pendant featuring a 16.39 ct. aquamarine accented with a 2.09 ct. moonstone, diamonds (0.26 ct. t.w.), and pearls

 

Best Use of Pearls: Anil Maloo, Baggins Inc

18k white gold and black rhodium-plated earrings encrusted with light cognac diamonds (8.16 cts. t.w.) and 13.3 mm cultured South Seas pearls

 

Fashion Forward: Belle Brooke Barer, Belle Brooke Designs Inc.

Oxidized sterling necklace featuring an approximately 30 ct. blue chalcedony cabochon accented with diamonds (0.55 ct. t.w.)

 

 

Category Winners:

Bridal Wear

Bridal Wear – 1st Place: Maria Canale, Richard Krementz Gemstones

Lace ring in platinum with a 4.10 ct. blue sapphire accented with diamonds (0.77 ct. t.w.)

 

Bridal Wear – 2nd Place: Erica Courtney, Erica Courtney

Earrings in 18k yellow gold with diaspore (2.99 cts. t.w.), demantoid garnets (2.71 cts. t.w.), and diamonds (2.81 cts. t.w.)

 

Bridal Wear – 3rd Place: Craig Slavens, AuRTWORK Jewelry

Pendant in platinum and 18k yellow gold featuring a 3.92 ct. rose-cut black diamond accented with black and white diamond melee (0.52 ct. t.w.) on an 18k white gold chain set with black and white diamonds (0.71 ct. t.w.)

 

Bridal Wear – Platinum Honors: James Currens, J.W. Currens Inc.

Ring in platinum with a 16.80 ct. Sugarloaf ruby accented with diamonds (4.54 cts. t.w.)

 

Bridal Wear – Entry Platinum Innovation: Mark Schneider, Mark Schneider Design

Ring in platinum with a 1.81 ct. round blue sapphire accented with white diamonds (0.14 ct. t.w.)

 

Bridal Wear – Palladium Prestige Award: Mirjam Butz-Brown, Adorn Gallery

Earrings in palladium and 14k yellow gold featuring quartz and mother-of-pearl accented with diamonds (0.16 ct. t.w.) with detachable mirror-cut amethyst drops (21.50 cts. t.w.)

 

Bridal Wear – Manufacturing Honors: Mark Schneider, Mark Schneider Design

Earrings in platinum with 12 mm black Tahitian pearls and 8 mm cultured freshwater pearls accented with white diamonds (0.99 ct. t.w.) and black diamonds (0.53 ct. t.w.)

 

Bridal Wear – Honorable Mention: Leonard McCue, L.A.M. Goldsmiths

Hearts and Arrows ring in platinum with a 19 ct. pear-shape moonstone accented with diamonds (2.37 cts. t.w.)

 

Bridal Wear – Honorable Mention: Yehouda Saketkhou, Yael Designs

Baroness earrings in 18k white gold feature trillion-cut tanzanites (10.15 cts. t.w.) accented with diamonds (5.29 cts. t.w.)

 

 

Business/Day Wear

Business/Day Wear – 1st Place: Belle Brooke Barer, Belle Brooke Designs Inc.

Necklace in oxidized sterling featuring an approximately 30 ct. blue chalcedony cabochon accented with diamonds (0.55 ct. t.w.)

 

Business/Day Wear – 2nd Place: Michele Mercaldo, Michele Mercaldo Contemporary Jewelry

Ring in palladium featuring a 2.64 ct. pink sapphire accented with diamonds (0.17 ct. t.w.)

 

Business/Day Wear – 3rd Place: Heather Moore, Heather B. Moore Inc.

Necklace in 14k yellow gold dubbed “I Love You More Than the Moon, the Stars and the Sun” featuring a 54.70 ct. rubellite tourmaline cabochon accented with diamonds (3.50 cts. t.w.)

 

Business/Day Wear – Platinum Honors: Leon Mege, Leon Mege Inc.

Ring in platinum featuring a 16.76 ct. Paraiba tourmaline cabochon accented with antique cushion-cut diamonds and diamond melee (3.10 cts. t.w.)

 

Business/Day Wear – Entry Platinum Innovation: Susan Drake, Spectrum Art & Jewelry

Ring in platinum and yellow gold featuring a 1.08 ct. emerald-cut red spinel accented with diamonds (0.18 ct. t.w.)

 

Business/Day Wear – Palladium Prestige Award: Dawn Muscio, D. Muscio Designs

Isis ring in palladium and 14k rose gold featuring a 19.98 ct. buff-top chrysocolla accented with peridots (0.36 ct. t.w.) and diamonds (0.11 ct. t.w.)

 

Business/Day Wear – Manufacturing Honors: Norman Turgeon, Turgeon-Raine Jewellers

Earrings in 18k rose gold featuring Passion Flower–cut amethysts (6.92 cts. t.w.) accented with chrome tourmalines (0.34 ct. t.w.) and diamonds (0.40 ct. t.w.)

 

Business/Day Wear – Honorable Mention: Pamela Froman, Pamela Froman Fine Jewelry

Crushed Frame ring in 18k yellow and pink gold ring featuring a 14.11 ct. opal accented with diamond pavé (0.32 ct. t.w.)

 

Business/Day Wear – Honorable Mention: Sylva Yepremian, Sylva & Cie.

Necklace in 18k yellow gold featuring a cross pendant of trapiche emeralds (54.65 cts. t.w.) accented with diamonds (2.5 cts. t.w.)

 

 

Classical

Classical – 1st Place: James Currens, J.W. Currens Inc.

Ring in platinum featuring a 14.25 ct. unheated ruby cabochon accented with diamonds (7.97 cts. t.w.)

 

Classical – 2nd Place: Ashok Sancheti, Pioneer Gems

Earrings in platinum featuring emerald cabochon drops (18.45 cts. t.w.) accented with emeralds (18.21 cts. t.w.) and diamonds (4.81 cts. t.w.)

 

Classical – 3rd Place: Jeffrey Bilgore, Jeffrey Bilgore LLC

Pendant in platinum featuring an 11.80 ct. pear-shape morganite accented with fancy-colored and white diamonds (7.09 cts. t.w.)

 

Classical – Platinum Honors: Erica Courtney, Erica Courtney

Ring in platinum featuring an 11.19 ct. Imperial pink topaz accented with diamonds

 

Classical – Entry Platinum Innovation: Steph Farber, LeRoy Jewelers

Waterfall pendant in platinum featuring a 16.9 ct. carved rutilated quartz and three rainbow moonstones accented with diamonds (0.25 ct. t.w.)

 

Classical – Palladium Prestige Award: Dennis de Jonghe, Dennis de Jonghe

Ring in palladium featuring a 16.5 mm white South Seas pearl accented with round diamonds (0.71 ct. t.w.)

 

Classical – Manufacturing Honors: Ricardo Basta, E. Eichberg Inc.

Eternity bands in tri-color 18k yellow gold and platinum featuring rubies (0.34 ct. t.w.), tsavorite garnets (0.28 ct. t.w.), and sapphires (0.21 ct. t.w.)

 

Classical – Honorable Mention: Frank Caballero, Frank Caballero

Rring in 18k white and yellow gold featuring a 9.11 ct. round Madeira citrine accented with white round diamonds (0.62 ct. t.w.)

 

Classical – Honorable Mention: Christo Kiffer, Sissy’s Log Cabin

Art Deco ring in platinum featuring a 4.84 ct. oval black opal cabochon accented with emeralds (1 ct. t.w.), blue sapphire melee (0.88 ct. t.w.), and diamonds (0.93 ct. t.w.)

 

 

Evening Wear

Evening Wear – 1st Place: Ion Ionescu, Ionescu Design Inc.

Pillow for Dreaming ring in palladium and black rhodium featuring a 36 ct. carved labradorite accented with Paraiba tourmalines (1.50 cts. t.w.)

 

Evening Wear – 2nd Place: Adam Neeley, Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry

Ring in 14k black rhodium-plated white gold featuring an 11.54 ct. peridot accented with blue sapphires (12.01 cts. t.w.)

 

Evening Wear – 3rd Place: Robert Pelliccia, J.R. Dunn Jewelers

Dangle earrings in 18k white gold featuring natural blue jade accented with sapphires (6.76 cts. t.w.) and diamonds (1.18 cts. t.w.)

 

Evening Wear – Platinum Honors: Evelyn Clothier, Evelyn Clothier Jeweler

Butterfly brooch in platinum featuring brown diamond slices (104.42 cts. t.w.) accented with a 5.06 ct. brown diamond and white diamonds (3.04 cts. t.w.)

 

Evening Wear – Palladium Prestige Award: Naomi Sarna, Naomi Sarna Designs

Ring in palladium featuring a 35 ct. carved topaz accented with diamonds (0.63 ct. t.w.)

 

Evening Wear – Manufacturing Honors: Yehouda Saketkhou, Yael Designs

Lave Ring in 18k white gold featuring a 5.49 ct. Mexican fire opal accented with diamonds (0.90 ct. t.w.)

 

Evening Wear – Honorable Mention: Colette Steckel, Colette Jewelry

Pendant in 18k blackened yellow gold featuring a 6.03 ct. blue checkerboard moonstone accented with diamonds (3.59 ct. t.w.)

 

Evening Wear – Honorable Mention: Michael Hezar, Michael John IMAGE

Bracelet in 18k white gold featuring aquamarines (37 cts. t.w.) and diamonds (9.75 cts. t.w.)

 

Evening Wear – Honorable Mention: Lawrence Gordon, Aspire Designs Ltd.

Ring in 18k white gold featuring a 17.62 ct. moonstone cabochon accented with blue sapphires (2.28 cts. t.w.) and diamonds (1.59 cts. t.w.)

 

 

Men’s Wear

Men’s Wear – 1st Place: Mark Schneider, Mark Schneider Design

Engraved ring in platinum featuring channel-set ruby melee (0.59 ct. t.w.) and yellow diamonds (0.115 ct. t.w.)

 

Men’s Wear – 2nd Place: Ryan Roberts, Ryan Roberts Ltd.

Ring in 18k yellow gold and platinum featuring a 6.42 ct. Indicolite tourmaline and a 0.59 ct. tsavorite garnet accented with diamonds (0.19 ct. t.w.)

 

Men’s Wear – 3rd Place: Llyn Strelau, Jewels by Design

Green Arrow cufflinks in 19k white gold featuring bezel-set black onyx and Gibeon meteorite carvings centered by tsavorite garnets (0.90 ct. t.w.) and accented with black diamonds (0.15 ct. t.w.)

 

Men’s Wear – Platinum Honors: Mark Schneider, Mark Schneider Design

Ring in platinum featuring a 15 ct. shield-cut rubellite tourmaline accented with white diamonds (0.90 ct. t.w.) and yellow diamonds (0.22 ct. t.w.)

 

Men’s Wear – Palladium Prestige Award: Evelyn Huang, evelynH. Jewelry Inc.

Zultan ring in palladium featuring a 12.54 ct. color-change diaspore accented with radiant-cut diamonds (0.43 ct. t.w.)

 

Men’s Wear – Manufacturing Honors: Ashleigh Branstetter, Ashleigh Branstetter

Cufflinks in sterling silver featuring 10 mm grey Tahitian pearls and round blue sapphires (1.34 cts. t.w.)

 

Men’s Wear – Honorable Mention: Link Wachler, Link Wachler Designs

Eye to Eye ring in silver and 14k rose gold featuring fish and worm motifs and a 4.5 mm pearl accented with sapphires (0.38 ct. t.w.), rubies (0.22 ct. t.w.), and emeralds (0.07 ct. t.w.)

 

Men’s Wear – Honorable Mention: Matt Conable, William Henry

Pocketknife with wave damascus blade in carved 22k yellow gold over sterling silver and inlaid with fossil walrus Ivory accented with rubies on the button lock and thumb stud

 

 

Cutting Edge Awards

Classic Cut Gemstones

Classic Gemstones – 1st Place: Allen Kleiman, A. Kleiman & Co.

30.04 ct. unheated oval yellow sapphire

 

Classic Gemstones – 2nd Place: Phillip Youngman, Richard Krementz Gemstones

7.66 ct. cushion-cut blue sapphire

 

Classic Gemstones – 3rd Place: Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem Corp.

6.07 ct. unheated ruby

 

Classic Gemstone – Honorable Mention: Richard Krementz Gemstones, Richard Krementz Gemstones

19.18 ct. antique-cut yellow sapphire

 

Classic Gemstone – Honorable Mention: Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem Corp.

8.06 ct. oval Padparadscha sapphire

 

All Other Faceted Gemstones – 1st Place: Allen Kleiman, A. Kleiman & Co.

10.07 ct. oval purple spinel

 

All Other Faceted Gemstones – 2nd Place: Roger L. Dery, Spectral Gems Inc.

8.77 ct. trillion, step-cut Merelani mint garnet

 

All Other Faceted Gemstones – 3rd Place: Phillip Youngman, Richard Krementz Gemstones

15.20 ct. cushion-cut sphene

 

All Other Faceted Gemstones  – Honorable Mention: Ben Kho, Kho International Inc.

18.80 ct. round Portuguese-cut rhodochrosite

 

 

Phenomenal Gemstones

Phenomenal – 1st Place: Robyn Dufty, DuftyWeis Opals Inc.

27.30 ct. black opal cat’s eye

 

Phenomenal – 2nd Place: Sailesh Lakhi, Sparkles and Colors Inc.

17 ct. oval moonstone cabochon

 

Phenomenal – 3rd Place: Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem Corp.

8.51 ct. oval alexandrite

 

 

Pairs & Suites

Pairs & Suites – 1st Place: Allen Kleiman, A. Kleiman & Co.

Pair of oval red spinels (22.28 cts. t.w.)

 

Pairs & Suites – 2nd Place: Allen Kleiman, A. Kleiman & Co.

Cushion-cut mint tourmaline suite (158.74 cts. t.w.)

 

Pairs & Suites – 3rd Place: Aivan Pham, Commercial Mineral

Somewhere in the Rainbow, My Fair Lady pair of fan-cut rubellite tourmalines (26.75 cts. t.w.)

 

Pairs & Suites – Honorable Mention: Aivan Pham, Commercial Mineral

Somewhere in the Rainbow, Razzle Dazzle graduated suite of Asscher-cut rubellite tourmalines (26.74 cts. t.w.)

 

 

Innovative Faceting

Innovative Faceting – 1st Place: Dalan Hargrave, Geogem-USA

30 ct. Hugs and Kisses morganite

 

Innovative Faceting – 2nd Place: John Dyer, John Dyer & Co.

63.57 ct. Super Citrine featuring flat facets and micro-grooving for brilliance

 

Innovative Faceting – 3rd Place: Darrell Jang, Darrell Jang

9–10 ct. elongated octagon and concave-cut tourmaline

 

Innovative Faceting – Honorable Mention: Richard P. Homer, Gems by Design Inc.

30.95 ct. rutilated quartz with a single natural needle in the center

 

Innovative Faceting – Honorable Mention: Darryl Alexander, Sunstone Butte Mining Co.

Sea Foam and Sunset 70 ct. bubble-cut sunstone

 

 

Carving

Carving – 1st Place: Naomi Sarna, Naomi Sarna Designs

368.50 ct. carved amethyst

 

Carving – 2nd Place: Darryl Alexander, Alexander’s Jewelers

Immortal Flight carved agate feather