AGTA Announces 2020 Spectrum Award Winners

The American Gem Trade Association has announced the winners of its 2020 Spectrum Awards. Live judging took place over the weekend at the AGTA headquarters in Dallas, in a variety of spacious rooms, each fitted with protective fixtures (like plexiglass screens), with the AGTA rigorously adhering to all health and safety guidelines related to the pandemic.

Judges Michael Johnson, Eiseman Jewels; Monica Kitt, the Arkenstone Ltd.; Clare Adams Kittle, Clare Adams Kittle Company; Chris Pampillonia, Pampillonia Designs; and Ray Zajicek, Equatorian Imports Inc. reviewed 412 entries across multiple categories to arrive at a winning lineup.

Including the Best in Show winner: a remarkable pair of spessartite garnets.

AGTA Best of Show spessartite garnets
Pair of pear-shape spessartite garnets (90.48 cts. t.w.); David Nassi, 100% Natural Ltd.

Other winners announced include Best Use of Pearls (Brenda Smith) and Best Use of Color (Rosa Van Parys), both pictured below.

Brenda Smith ring
Black Lace ring with 16.5 mm cultured pearl accented with pink and lavender sapphires and diamonds in 18k rose gold; Brenda Smith Jewelry


Rosa Van Parys necklace
Links necklace with a 14.9 mm black Tahitian cultured pearl, multicolored sapphires, tsavorite garnets, aquamarines, amethysts, and multicolored diamonds in 18k gold, price on request; Rosa Van Parys

“This year’s event was a little different than the past few years,” said Douglas K. Hucker, AGTA CEO, in the official announcement. “A few months ago, we had to decide if we could make Spectrum happen. We made many personal phone calls to past entrants to gauge interest, and they overwhelmingly wanted to participate.”

With a more than 20% increase in entries this year and many first-time entrants, the 2020 AGTA Spectrum Awards appeared to be a much-needed outlet for designers. “The foundation of this industry is creativity, even during these trying times,” said Hucker.

During the quarantine period and its resultant travel restrictions, entrants found they had extra time to devote to their submissions, Hucker told JCK in a recent conversation. And since so many of the trade shows were canceled immediately following the Tucson Gem Shows, many entrants had one-of-a-kind pieces at the ready to submit—pieces that might otherwise have been snatched up by a buyer at one of the spring or summer shows.

This year, Spectrum debuted two new categories: North American Mined Gemstones in the Cutting Edge competition (which turned out to be that sector’s largest category) and Best of Single Entries (entrants who only submitted one piece into the competition were all eligible for this distinction, with one winner each named for gemstones and finished jewelry).

Check the AGTA website for the full list of winners.

An interactive virtual press preview follows this announcement, and will allow media to view all the submissions, choose their favorites for Spectrum’s annual editor’s choice award, and access informative video content produced to highlight the winners.


Top: Winner of the Fashion Forward category: The Lady Gaga Metropolitan Gala earrings with 10.10 cts. t.w. pear-shape rubellites, 2.31 cts. t.w. aquamarines, and diamonds in 22k and 18k yellow gold, price on request; designed by Peter Schmid

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Amy Elliott

JCK Contributing Editor

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