2011 Torch Award Winners Announced

The first annual Torch Awards competition, launched by the
Southern Jewelry Travelers Association to showcase and recognize the design
talents of bench jewelers/designers across the country, was held during the March
2011 Atlanta Jewelry Show. 

The winners include:

People’s Choice Award

Johnny Johnson
Edward Johns Jewelers
Marietta, Ga.

Sterling silver, 14k yellow gold, rutilated quartz, and diamond two-finger

First Place

Richard Melancon
Melancon Jewelers
Abbeville, La. 

Free-form cross made to be worn four ways and is crafted from white and
yellow diamonds.

Second Place

Jennifer Whitekiller
Naifeh Fine Jewelry
Oklahoma City, Okla.

18k white gold and showcase diamonds, pink sapphires and Tahitian

Third Place

Keith Hipp
Ellis Jewelers
Lexington, N.C.

14k white gold, tanzanite and diamond lady’s ring

“We wanted to find a way to share these beautiful designs
with an even broader industry audience. The Atlanta Jewelry Show venue truly
sets the stage for the exposure a national competition can offer to the
winners, as well as the state associations,” said Carol Young, executive
director of SJTA, said in a statement

The new competition invited all state jewelers associations
to submit winners of their own individual 2010 design contests to compete
nationally during the March show where attending buyers voted on the winning

For more information on the 2012 Torch Awards, its
application process, and submission deadlines, email
cyoung@atlantajewelryshow.com or lbrown@atlantajewelryshow.com.

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