American Vision Awards

MJSA presents jewelry design awards toprofessional and aspiring designers

Six jewelry designers won honors in the 1997 American Vision Award competition, sponsored by the Manufacturing Jewelers and Silversmiths of America Inc.

“The art of design is in transforming ideas into a look and feel,” says James F. Marquart, MJSA’s president and chief executive officer. “MJSA’s American Vision Award showcases the best ideas of today’s professional designers and aspiring students. Today’s winners are giving us the American vision of tomorrow’s trends.”

Judges were Peter Brams of Peter Brams Designs Ltd., New York, N.Y.; Hedda T. Schupak of JCK magazine, Radnor, Pa.; and Whitney Sielaff of National Jeweler magazine. The judges evaluated 34 renderings for their originality, creativity, presentation, effective use of materials, wearability and perceived ability to be manufactured and sold.

Professional category

Susan Sarantos of Susan Sarantos Jewelry Design/Goldsmith, Newport, R.I., won top honors in the professional category for a circular brooch of 18k yellow gold with a disc of black onyx set with white and black cul-tured pearls and a diamond in the center. The top section of the brooch revolves and clicks into three positions to expose all the white cultured pearls, all the black cultured pearls or a combination of both. The judges were impressed with the movement and construction of the piece.

Tammy Kohl of Takohl Design Ltd., Chicago, Ill., won second place for “The Takohl Treasure Ring,” an 18k white gold ring set with pavé rubies. A patent-pending hidden latch opens the ring to reveal an engraved message or buried gemstones.

Chris Dekermenjian of Mold 2000, Arleta, Cal., won an honorable mention for his “Handkerchief Cross” pendant. The pendant features an 18k yellow gold cross on a .950 platinum background that has a ruffled handkerchief look.

Student category

Students from the Gemological Institute of America won all three top awards in the student category.

Kermit Foster of Freer, Tex., won first place for a gold and silver necklace depicting a nude bathing in a waterfall while a tiger reclines in the foreground. The judges were impressed by his interpretation of nature using precious metals in an innovative way.

Hee-Jon Park of Los Angeles, Cal., won second place for a free-form bracelet featuring a flush-set sapphire and 18k gold and platinum. The platinum has a crackled appearance.

Mun-Jung Choi of Great Neck, N.Y., received an honorable mention for a platinum and yellow gold bracelet.

  1. This brooch by Susan Sarantos, Newport, R.I., won top honors in the professional category. The top section revolves to reveal white cultured pearls, black cultured pearls or a combination of both.

  2. A free-form 18k and platinum bracelet with a flush-set sapphire won second place in the student category for Hee-Jon Park, Los Angeles, Cal.

  3. Mun-Jung Choi, Great Neck, N.Y., received an honorable mention in the student category for this platinum and yellow gold bracelet.

  4. Chris Dekermenjian, Arleta, Cal., won an honorable mention in the professional category for a pendant featuring an 18k cross on a platinum background with a ruffled handkerchief look.

  5. Kermit Foster, Freer, Tex., won first place in the student category for a gold and silver necklace depicting a nude bathing in a waterfall while a tiger reclines in the foreground.

  6. A hidden latch opens a ring by Tammy Kohl, Chicago, Ill., to reveal an engraved message or buried gemstones. Kohl won second place in the professional category.