2016 AGTA Spectrum and Cutting Edge Award Winners Announced



The American Gem Trade Association announced the winners of its annual Spectrum and Cutting Edge awards on Oct. 26.

This year marks the 32nd annual contest. Judging occurred on Oct. 24 and 25 in New York City, and adjudicators included Ronald W. Arends of Aires Jewelers; Stephen M. Avery of Stephen M. Avery; Deirdre Featherstone of Featherstone Design; Lauren Kulchinsky-Levison of Mayfair Rocks; and Aron Suna of Suna Bros.

Some 492 entries were submitted, one of the largest totals in the history of the competition.

AGTA CEO Douglas K. Hucker told JCK that he was pleased to see a number of new names enter pieces into the competition. A new category sponsorship courtesy of the Silver Promotion Service also helped to spike silver entries. “We never used to get more than a dozen, but this year we had 40 silver entries,” Hucker explained, and at least 50 percent of those were combined with gold. Other competition trends included fewer rough-cut stones and increased combinations of colors thanks to industry’s close watch of fashion color news (think Pantone’s Color of the Year).

“Designers are not haphazardly putting colors together,” he added. “They are creating complementary and analogous combinations and pieces of jewelry that reflect what’s coming off the racks in clothing.”

Awards are judged on the basis of overall beauty, wearability, innovative design and use of materials, quality of gemstones and workmanship, and broad-based consumer appeal with the potential to generate positive publicity for natural colored gemstones. Winners are stated below by category, and pictures available at press time are shown.  

(All photos by Sandro Photography)

Best of Show

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Suite of 58.07 cts. t.w. Paraiba tourmalines carved into nautilus shells by Allen Kleiman of A. Kleiman & Co.

Best Use of Color

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Earrings in 18k yellow gold with 17.05 cts. t.w. blue-green tourmalines and 4.14 cts. t.w. emeralds by Bella Campbell of Campbellian Collection

Best Use of Pearls

Strand of freshwater baroque cultured pearls with 18k white gold, diamonds, and a freshwater baroque cultured pearl pendant by Naomi Sarna of Naomi Sarna Designs

Best Use of Platinum and Color

Symphony of Colour bracelet in platinum with a 4.88 ct. yellow zircon, a 4.68 ct. Indicolite tourmaline, a 3.85 ct. green tourmaline, a 3.52 ct. rubellite tourmaline, and 0.7 ct. t.w. diamonds by Andrew Costen of Costen Catbalue

Best Use of Silver and Color

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Pendant necklace in oxidized silver and gold with 4.74 ct. brown diamond and 0.4 ct. t.w. rose-cut diamonds by William Travis Kukovich of William Travis Jewelry

Fashion Forward

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Wheel of Light Numinous pendant necklace with 24k gold, 825 ct. quartz, Paraiba tourmaline, hauyn, ruby, spessartite garnet, golden rutilated quartz, and fire agate beads by Brian Cook of Nature’s Geometry

 

Spectrum Award Winners

Bridal Wear

First Place

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Ring in platinum and 18k gold wth a 3.55 ct. round purple spinel and 0.86 ct. t.w. diamonds by Tony Nemyer of Grimball Jewelers

Second Place

Earrings in 18k white gold with blue topaz, mint tourmaline, and diamonds with interchangeable dangles by Laurence Bruyninckx of Laurence Bruyninckx

Third Place

Earrings in 18k white gold with 12.07 cts. t.w. Paraiba tourmalines and 10.62 cts. t.w. diamonds by Caroline Chartouni of Caroline C

Platinum Innovation

Sweetness ring in platinum with 1.65 ct. lavender oval-cut sapphire with 0.06 ct. t.w. diamonds by Michael Endlich of Pavé Fine Jewelry

WJA Gem Diva Award

Champagne Bubble wedding ring in platinum with 5.54 ct. blue cabochon-cut sapphire with 2.58 cts. t.w. diamonds and 1 ct. t.w. blue sapphires by Erica Courtney of Erica Courtney

Manufacturing Honors

Ring in 14k white and rose gold with 2.58 ct. unheated pink sapphire and 0.81 ct. t.w. white and pink diamonds by Michael Jakubowski of Gem Fanatic

Platinum Honors

Chartres ring in platinum with 4.65 ct. blue zircon and 0.73 ct. t.w. diamonds by Kathryn Kinev of Jewel Creations, Inc.

Savor Silver Award

Cufflinks in silver with 12 x 13 mm sliced Tahitian baroque pearls and 2 cts. t.w. black diamonds by Hisano Shepherd of Little h

Business/Day Wear

First Place 

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Enchanted Frog ring in 18k gold with carnelian, tsavorite garnets, and diamonds by Ricardo Basta of E. Eichberg

Second Place

Earrings in 18k white gold with 31.18 cts. t.w. rock crystal quartz, 11.34 cts. t.w. rubellite tourmalines, and 0.91 ct. t.w. diamonds by Heath London of Heath London

Third Place

Ring in 18k yellow gold with 16.1 ct. imperial topaz accented with 0.56 ct. t.w. diamonds by Kim Hurlbert-Sarosi of Sarosi by Timeless Gems

Platinum Innovation

Rival ring in platinum with 1.1 cts. t.w. pear-shape blue sapphires and 0.27 ct. t.w. diamonds by Heena Chheda-Shah of Valani

WJA Gem Diva Award

Betwixt and Between ring in 18k yellow gold with a South Sea cultured pearl and diamonds by Gurmit Kaur Campbell

Honorable Mention

Rajasthani Dreams earrings in 18k yellow gold with 24.51 cts. t.w. Paraiba tourmalines, 16.2 cts. t.w. pink tourmalines, and 0.34 ct. t.w. diamonds by Heath London of Heath London

Manufacturing Honors 

Ring in platinum with an 18 mm pear-shape topaz by Stuller

Platinum Honors

Moon Beam ring in platinum with 3.58 ct. moonstone and 0.3 ct. t.w. diamonds by Michael Endlich of Pavé Fine Jewelry

Savor Silver Award

Cyclone cuff in oxidized sterling silver and 18k yellow gold with asymmetrical mirror cuts of aquamarine and heliodor by Elizabeth Garvin of Elizabeth Garvin Fine

 

Classical

First Place

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Necklace in platinum with 12.63 mm and 15.22 mm natural pearls, 4.64 ct. blue zircon, and 1.05 cts. t.w. diamonds by Brent Malgarin of Elegant Gems

Second Place

Ring in platinum with 6.26 ct. padparadscha sapphire, 0.31 cts. t.w. orange and pink sapphires, and 1.01 cts. t.w. diamonds by Lindsay Jane of Ambassador Gems

Third Place

Ring in platinum with 3.24 ct. alexandrite and 1.11 cts. t.w. diamonds by Gil International

Platinum Innovation

Platinum and 18k yellow gold

Big Sky pendant in platinum and 18k yellow gold with carved black jade and 5.63 ct. free-form faceted sapphire and 1.06 cts. t.w. diamonds by Lorenzo Chavez of GeoGem-USA

WJA Gem Diva Award

Petal brooch in 18k white gold with white, yellow, pink, brown, and green diamonds with amethysts and multicolored sapphires by Naomi Sarna of Naomi Sarna Designs

Honorable Mention

Aura earrings in 18k gold with 12.69 cts. t.w. pear-shape rubellite and 0.86 ct. t.w. diamonds by Josette Patterson of Mark Patterson

Platinum Honors

Fleur de Lis pendant/pin in platinum with unheated 2.66 ct. oval blue sapphire by Wick & Greene Jewelers

Savor Silver Award

Ring in oxidized silver and 18k yellow gold with 14.36 ct. prehnite cabochon by William Travis Kukovich of William Travis Jewelry

 

Evening Wear

First Place

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RockStar2 pendant necklace in platinum and 24k gold with 37.31 ct. color-shift blue zircon and 1.95 cts. t.w. diamonds by Claudia Kretchmer for Somewhere in the Rainbow

Second Place

Ring in 18k rose gold with 10.41 ct. rubellite tourmaline, 0.23 ct. t.w. diamonds, and rubies by Ricardo Basta of E. Eichberg

Third Place

Ring in platinum with 17.76 ct. bicolor tourmaline with pink sapphires, Paraiba tourmalines, and diamonds by Randy Coffin for Somewhere in the Rainbow

WJA Gem Diva Award

Tempest Sculptural Duster ring in oxidized sterling silver with yellow sapphires by Lisa Linhardt of Linhardt Design

Honorable Mention

Victoria bracelet in 18k rose gold with 16.06 ct. purple-pink tourmaline with diamonds and purple tourmalines by Alexia Connellan of Alexia Connellan

Manufacturing Honors

Necklace in 18k yellow and white gold with 10.75 ct. trillion-cut tanzanite, 27.8 cts. t.w. tanzanites, and diamonds by Troels D. Larsen of Troels Larsen Jewelry

Platinum Honors

Ice-Ice Baby bracelet in platinum with 24.15 ct. tanzanite with 6.5 cts. t.w. diamonds by Eddie Sakamoto for Somewhere in the Rainbow

Savor Silver Award

Ring in silver with 16.6 ct. blue topaz and 0.7 ct. t.w. diamonds by Priyanka Murthy of Arya Esha

 

Men’s Wear

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First Place

Ring in platinum and 18k yellow gold with 5.42 ct. peridot, 3.66 cts. t.w. spessartite garnets, 0.75 ct. t.w. tsavorite garnets, colorless diamonds, and 0.16 ct. yellow diamond by Mark Schneider of Mark Schneider Design

Second Place

Paddle Your Own Canoe reversible cufflinks in 18k yellow and 19k white gold with carved black onyx and rock crystal with black and white South Sea keshi pearls and diamonds by Llyn L. Strelau of Jewels by Design

Third Place

Ring in silver with 7.98 ct. free-form fire opal with tsavorite garnets and colored and colorless diamonds by Mark Schneider of Mark Schneider Design

Manufacturing Honors

Ring in 18k yellow gold and platinum with 7.29 ct. unheated Sri Lankan color-change violet-blue sapphire with diamonds by Craig Slavens of Studio 247 Fine Jewelry

Platinum Honors

Cobra ring in platinum and 18k white gold with alexandrites by David Hines of Nvit Blanche

Savor Silver Award

Ring in oxidized silver and 18k yellow and rose gold with 20.98 ct. golden sapphire by William Travis Kukovich of William Travis Jewelry

 

Cutting Edge

All Other Faceted

First Place

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A 21.96 ct. multifaceted cushion-cut imperial topaz by John Dyer of John Dyer & Co.

Second Place

A 40.58 ct. round checkerboard-cut tanzanite by Hemant Phophaliya of A G Color Inc.

Third Place

A 42.39 ct. cut-corner octagon-shape tourmaline by Darrell Jang of Darrell Jang  

 

Carving

First Place

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Suite of 58.07 cts. t.w. Paraiba tourmalines carved into nautilus shells by Allen Kleiman of A. Kleiman & Co.

Second Place

Soul Angel 48.86 ct. opal carving by Glenn Lehrer of Lehrer Designs

Third Place

A 67.11 ct. carved unheated Burmese sapphire by Rodney Rahmani of Brilliant Stars

Honorable Mention

Georgia’s Dream 53.57 ct. transparent gem silica chrysocolla carving by Glenn Lehrer of Lehrer Designs

 

Classic Gemstones

First Place

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An 8.06 ct. unheated Burmese sapphire by Joseph Ambalu of Amba Gem Corp.

Second Place

A 22.73 ct. unheated yellow sapphire from Sri Lanka by David Nassi of 100% Natural Ltd.

Third Place

A 13.28 ct. unheated Burmese royal blue sapphire by Sailesh Lakhi of Sparkles and Colors USA

 

Innovative Faceting

First Place

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Celestial City 63.63 ct. sunstone carving by Dalan Hargrave for Sunstone Butte

Second Place

A 22.45 ct. herringbone-cut tourmaline by Dalan Hargrave for B. Harju Jewelry

Third Place

New Era 120.98 ct. tanzanite with inverse facets by John Dyer of John Dyer & Co.

 

Objects of Art

First Place

Hanging Panda with mother-of-pearl, 18k rose gold, and silver with 3.89 cts. t.w. black and white diamonds, and 0.28 ct. t.w. tsavorite by Ziad H. Noshie of Almaza Jewelers

Second Place

Perfume bottle with 109.61 ct. colorless topaz and 36.78 cts. t.w. diaspore by Ralph Wobito of Wobito Gems

 

Pairs & Suites

First Place

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Pair of unheated oval morganites from Madagascar by Allen Kleiman of A. Kleiman & Co.

Second Place

Suite of vintage pear-cut 50.26 cts. t.w. grossular mint garnets by Mikola Kukharuk of Nomad’s

Third Place

Pair of matched 84.63 cts. t.w. pear-shape opals by Ajay Bansal of Best In Gems

 

Phenomenal

First Place

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Pair of 33.4 cts. t.w. black opals by Robert Shapiro of Robert Shapiro

Second Place

A 14.93 ct. moonstone by Sailesh Lakhi of Sparkles and Colors USA

Third Place

A 5.29 ct. green-blue color-shift sapphire by Steve Wallner of Westview Gems

Awards will be presented at the 2016 AGTA Spectrum Awards gala on Feb. 6, 2016, during the AGTA GemFair Tucson, held Feb. 2–7 at the Tucson Convention Center in Tucson, Ariz.