5 More Pieces From the AGTA Spectrum Awards I Loved (in no Particular Order)

Despite some disappointments in the AGTA Spectrum Awards’ winners’ circle, there were still more than a few fabulous pieces to enthuse over. Here are five more styles I found irresistible and why.

The Petal brooch in 18k white gold with colored diamonds, amethysts, and multicolored sapphires by Naomi Sarna of Naomi Sarna took the WJA Gem Diva Award in the Classical Division


(Courtesy Naomi Sarna)

Coincidentally, I had just seen Sarna at a WJA event the week before, and she told me that she was now open to wholesale accounts (for years she sold only to private clients, so expect a profile on the blog soon). Sarna has won a long list of awards for her superior cutting skills, and her finished jewels channel the same ocean-wave-like effects of the signature style of her stone handiwork. The color combination on this piece is lovely and so is her easy-to-identify aesthetic.


A silver ring with black rhodium, 30.7 ct. fire agate, mother-of-pearl, and tsavorite garnets from Jennifer Morin took a WJA Gem Diva Award Honorable Mention in the Business/Day Wear category.


Jennifer and her husband Gregore are no strangers to the Spectrum Awards, having racked up an enviable sum between them for their exotic and imaginative pieces of wearable art. This ring was familiar to me when I saw it, no doubt because it had Jennifer’s signature moody-yet-refined stamp. I love her choice of dark, relatively inexpensive materials that are gently highlighted by tiny green garnets and all together comprise a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.


Bee ring in 14k yellow gold with a 2.26 ct. pear-shape orange-yellow unheated diamond with more diamonds and a ruby accent by Robert Martinez of Teel’s Jewelry.


Could this little bee be any cuter? The honeycomb pattern is crisp, and you can see milgrain accents bespeckling the little guy’s bod. This ring didn’t take any official honors, but I heard many an editor admiring it on press day. Teel’s is a retail store in Los Gatos, Calif., not a wholesale design house like most of the entrants (one of the cool components of this contest is that designers and retailers alike compete), so kudos to Teel’s for this national recognition! Give that bench jeweler a raise.


Choker in 18k rose gold with 149.5 cts. t.w. kunzite crystals and diamonds is by Adeler Jewelers.


You don’t see a lot of kunzite in jewelry, and you see even fewer kunzite crystals. This is one cool choker, and the rose gold helps drive home this sweet pink story! The piece didn’t win any AGTA awards, but is still a winning look in my mind. Adeler is a store in Great Falls, Va., that started wholesaling a couple of years ago.


A Caterpillar brooch in 18k gold with a 2.58 ct. unheated shield-cut padparadscha Sri Lankan sapphire is from Rodney Rahmani of Brilliant Stars.


Thank goodness I saw this clever brooch before I saw the Brilliant Stars’ website, because I would have never known the firm could turn out such neat pieces based on the more common goods on its site. Time for an upgrade/redesign—your jewelry deserves it! This cool critter is downright adorable, and though it didn’t earn any judges’ nods, it’s still memorable and worthy of some honor (coolest bug jewel, perhaps?). Rahmani did take third place in the Cutting Edge Awards Carving category for a big Burmese sapphire, though, so that’s one more piece he’ll need to make room for online when upgrading his site.

The Style 360 blog is your editorial source for the newest jewelry trends, market analysis, trade show insights designer profiles, and more.

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