1998 Spectrum Awards Colorful Winners

The 1998 Spectrum Award Competition, sponsored by the American Gem Trade Association, drew more than 300 entries. A panel of three judges narrowed the field to 18 winners and seven honorable mentions.

The contest was open to jewelry designs featuring natural colored gemstones and created in calendar year 1997. Entries were judged on overall beauty and wearability, innovative design, effective use of materials, quality of gemstones and workmanship, potential to generate positive natural colored gemstone publicity and broad consumer appeal.

Awards were given in five price divisions. This year, an international division was added for designers located outside North America. Best of Show and Best of Color awards also were given. And the Platinum Guild International USA repeated its Platinum Honors portion of the competition. Awarded were 11 prizes to the best designs meeting the Spectrum rules as well as its own criteria: 75% of the metal used must be 90% or 95% platinum.

Some design trends suggested by Spectrum entries:

  • Vibrant mixed colors.

  • A variety of mixed metals, including combinations of yellow, white, rose, green and red gold as well as platinum. The latter was used in 41% of entries.

  • Popular gemstones included tourmaline, used in 30% of entries, sapphire (25%) and garnet (23%). Pearl, amethyst and tanzanite were next, with each used in 15% of designs.

  • Rings accounted for 42% of entries; pendants came in second.

Here are the winners.

Division I

(over $10,000 suggested retail value)

First: Mark Schneider, Schneider Design Studio, Long Beach, Calif. Second: Mia Brattan, Lindsay + Brattan, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada. Third: Paul Gross, Designer Gold, Hanover, N.H.

Division II

($5,001-$10,000 retail)

First: Glen J. Engelbrecht, G.J. Designs, Sarasota, Fla., who also won the Best of Color award. Second: Bradley D. Weber, Weber Goldsmith Gallery, Wailea, Hi. Third: Zoltan David, Zoltan David, Austin, Tex.

Division III

($2,501-$5,000 retail)

Karl Feer, Gemstar Jewelers Inc., New York, N.Y., who also won the Best of Show Award. Second: Michael Wyckoff, Montanari Fine Art Jewelers, Kansas City, Mo. Third: Kevin Pope, Napa Valley Jewelers, Napa, Calif.

Division IV

($1,001-$2,500 retail)

First: Linda K. McGill, Jewelsmith Inc., Durham, N.C. Second: Britt Anderson, Britt Anderson Designs, Effington, Ill. Third: Jimmy Eriksson, J. Eriksson Jewelers, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Division V

(Up to $1,000 retail)

First: Jane Bohan, Jane Bohan Inc., New York, N.Y. Second: Robert Hallett, Robert Hallett Goldsmiths Inc., Oakmont, Pa. Third: Robert Leser, Robert Leser Designs, a Division of Leser Enterprises Ltd., New York, N.Y.

First prize in the International Division went to Tom Munsteiner of Stipshausen, Germany. His fire opal ring is shown on the cover of this issue.

This year’s judges were Carol Besler, editor of Canadian Jeweller; Richard Kimball of Richard H. Kimball Designs Inc.; and Scott Sedlacek of Ben Bridge, Jeweler. The winning designs will be displayed at AGTA’s GemFair in Tucson, Feb. 4-9; their designers will be honored at the AGTA Awards Gala on Feb. 4.

1998 Platinum Honors

Designs incorporating sufficient platinum qualified for PGI’s Platinum Honors. Eleven winners were chosen from the 119 eligible entries:

Division I: Robert Benowitz, Ben-Dannie Inc., Los Angeles, Calif.; Mark Loren, Mark Loren Designs, Ft. Meyers, Fla.; Mary Ann Andrews, Mary Ann’s Unique Jewels Inc., Erlanger, Ky.

Division II: Howard Donsky, Jeffrey Howard Inc., Dallas, Tex.; Joseph Montanari, Montanari Fine Art Jewelers; Mirjam Butz-Brown, Mirjam Butz & Brown Jewelers, San Diego, Calif.

Division III: Ernesto Sahagun, Ernesto Sahagun Designs, Tustin, Calif.; Llyn Strelau, Jewels by Design, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Division IV: Jack Demerjian, J Demere Designs, J.D.M. Inc., Livonia, Mich.; Lisa Barends, Jack Seibert Jewelers, Columbus, Ohio.

Division V: Mike Kelley, NT Ferro Jewelers, Woodstock, Vt.

Judges were Whitney Sieleff, editor-in-chief of National Jeweler; Ellen Lacy, owner of Lacy & Co.; and Lisa Labrado, manager of public relations and special events for PGI.