This year marks the sixth annual JCK Jewelers’ Choice Awards, and it could be the most exciting yet. With nearly 400 entries—“25 percent more than last year,” says JCK publisher Mark Smelzer—retail viewers and voters have a lot to look at in the online voting guide. Judging started this week, and lasts through Dec. 31. Here are a few of my favorite pieces.
Diamond Jewelry Under $2,500
Tasha R, LLC ring; $2,129
I love mother-of-pearl—and blue gold (used here) that looks like mother-of-pearl! The cool cutout effect gives it an edge, and the contrast of the colorless diamonds lend it a contemporary classic styling.
Diamond Jewelry $2,501–$10,000
True Knots ring; $3,200
It’s a bow; who doesn’t love bows? So sweet and feminine, but styled in a low profile that could easily be worn every day.
Colored Stone Jewelry Under $2,500
Zeghani by Simon ring; $1,200
I love the setting here: It looks like the maker wound a spool of gold wire around the top of a shank until it turned into a primitive, Saturn-inspired basket on which this amethyst is nestled. The tiny diamond accents give it a little extra oomph.
Colored Stone Jewelry $2,501–$10,000
Vanna K. ring; $6,000
The zig-zag effect of the mounting here reminds me of natural crystals, as does the unusual, angular cut of the center stone. Very cool.
Colored Stone Jewelry Over $10,000
Omi Privé Chameleon Pin; $125,000
If I hadn’t seen this piece in person, I’m not sure I would be able to love it as much as I do. Company owner Niveet Nagpal, a board member on the AGTA Spectrum Awards committee, wore this natural alexandrite-laden number on a jacket during this year’s judging. He showed me the color change of the stones under light, and it’s a remarkable sight. His company has a happy habit of acquiring some spectacular alexandrite specimens.
Platinum Jewelry Over $10,000
Demarco Jewelry ring; $31,185
This is decadent; not only is the semi-mount made in platinum, but it’s loaded up with melee—even on the inside! Diamonds set on the shank interior? Well, if you’re among the 1 percent, this is one way to (sort of) show it. I liken this move of setting stones on ring interiors to wearing cashmere socks and real fur–lined garments and putting silk sheets on your bed; nobody but you will know you own these over-the-top luxurious items, but you’ve got the money to buy them, so why not? Good for you, rich person!
Silver Jewelry Under $500
This is more my speed, pocketbook-wise, and it’s super cute: a circle-motif cuff with negative space set with black drusy. I like it, plain and simple!
Silver Jewelry $501–$1,000
Belle Étoile makes some really fun, festive styles at fabulous prices. The mix of colors and shapes is appealing and harmonious, and it could easily be the statement accessory in an outfit.
Hera earrings; $1,595
JCK shot these earrings on a model in a recent issue, and I’m borderline obsessed with them. I love long earrings (I often wear my hair in a no-nonsense updo), and I am a fan of white metals and marquise shapes, so I may add these to my personal collection one day.
Mixed Metal Jewelry Over $1,000
Phillip Gavriel bracelet; $2,000
This massive bracelet is beautifully made and such a gorgeous statement for any outfit, whether you’re a nature lover or not. And for a familiar Balinese silver aesthetic, it holds its own as a unique piece.
Contemporary Metal Jewelry Over $1,000
William Henry knife; $8,700
I do not own knives beyond what’s in the cutlery drawer in our kitchen, but if I did collect them, I’d have to have one of these. With the inlays and nature stories going on from handle to blade’s end, William Henry knives are an incredible work of art. (Plus, my inner mischief-maker desperately wants to see a knife win the grand JCA title one year to see how we style that in a cover shoot.)
Fashion Jewelry Under $500
Lauren G Adams ring; $215
This is a fun little ring with warm cocoa colors, and would make a lovely addition to fashion jewelry departments everywhere.
Best Earring Design Under $2,500
Angélique de Paris earrings; $930
Birds carved into mother-of-pearl—just so elegant and graceful; let them take flight on your ears.
Best Ring Design Over $10,000
Igliz F. ring; $15,700
I met this company at JCK Las Vegas this year, and the enamel work is gorgeous!!! Just breathtaking handiwork, and this piece is a good example of it.
Best Necklace Design Over $10,000
Rahaminov Diamonds necklace; $36,000
This pear-shape Paraiba stone is just dreamy, and a departure from the firm’s typically all-diamond offerings. It’s beautiful and memorable and should be in the jewelry box of a Rahaminov collector.
Bridal Jewelry Under $2,500
Stuller Inc. ring; $2,125
This antique-inspired semi-mount is a lovely showcase for an oval-shape stone, and a fresh interpretation of a vintage look.