On October 25 in lower Manhattan, the media got its first look at entries for this year’s American Gem Trade Association Spectrum and Cutting Edge Awards. The annual event, now in its 27th year, is a much-anticipated affair, considering that many entrants—not just winners—often receive recognition in trade and consumer press, and can earn placement opportunities in editorial photo shoots and in television and film spots, thanks to stylists who also attend the press day.
The American Gem Trade Association received 450 entries this year versus 420 in 2009; about 35 had never before entered the competition. According to Doug Hucker, AGTA president, trends among entries this year included blackened metals, black diamonds, diamond slices, and fewer moonstones than last year. “The overall quality of entries was up, and pieces in the men’s division were also a lot nicer,” he told JCK.
After last year’s event, which earned some Spectrum participants media spots in Brides Magazine and on the television show America’s Got Talent, Hucker was confident about the opportunities that would be available for this year’s competitors. “The Spectrum Awards are a vehicle for helping some to launch their careers,” he said.
The competition was held October 23-24, in New York City at a penthouse studio in Greenwich Village. Judges for the 2011 competition included Tanya Dukes of Elite Traveler magazine, Jennifer Gandia of Greenwich Jewelers, Glenn Lehrer of Lehrer Designs, Mallary Marks of Mallary Marks, Inc., and Robin Rotenier of Rotenier, Ltd.
This year’s AGTA Spectrum Awards presentation will take place during the 2011 AGTA GemFair Tucson to be held February 1–6 at the Tucson Convention Center.
Spectrum Award Winners
* First Place, Niveet Nagpal, Omi Gems, Inc.
Platinum and 18k yellow gold ring featuring a 5.55 ct. oval tsavorite garnet accented with .71 cts. t.w. fancy yellow diamonds.
* Second Place, Guilherme Ferreira, Vielle Jewelers, LLC
An 18k yellow gold, palladium, and titanium ring featuring a 3.14 ct. yellow tourmaline accented with .74 cts. t.w. fancy-colored diamonds.
* Third Place, Michael Endlich, Pave Fine Jewelry
Platinum ring featuring a 10.08 ct. cushion-cut spinel accented with 1.09 cts. t.w. diamond baguettes.
* Honorable Mention, Ryan Roberts, Ryan Roberts, Ltd.
Ring in 18k white gold featuring a 3.02 ct. pink diamond, 29.5 cts. t.w. colorless diamonds, and 24.50 ctw. t.w. pink and brown diamonds.
* Platinum Honors, Yehouda Saketkhou, Yael Designs
Platinum Triad ring featuring a 6.34 ct. unheated blue sapphire accented with 1.03 colorless diamonds.
* Entry Innovation (Under $2,500 retail) Platinum Honors, Robert Pelliccia, J.R. Dunn Jewelers
Platinum ring featuring a 1.37 ct. round blue sapphire accented with .46 cts. t.w. diamonds and .28 cts. t.w. blue sapphires.
* Manufacturing Honors, Neda Benham, Diamonds For A Cure
Ring in 18K rose gold with a 3.80 ct. emerald-shaped, rough-cut pink diamond and .88 cts. t.w. round diamonds.
* First Place and Best of Show, Todd Reed, Todd Reed, Inc.
Palladium cuff bracelet featuring a 22.40 ct. Aquamarine accented with 6.90 cts. t.w. grey diamonds and 2.20 cts. t.w. colorless diamonds.
* Second Place and Fashion Forward, Gregore Morin, Gregore Joailliers
Earrings in 18k white and yellow gold featuring 22 ct. lemon chrysoprase accented with 2.38 cts. t.w. garnets.
* Third Place and Best Use of Color, Martin Key, Martin Key Co.
Frame ring in 22k yellow gold featuring a 1.50 ct. blue tourmaline accented with 1.82 cts. t.w. Mexican fire opal baguettes.
* Honorable Mention, Eva Cheng, Elite Import
Pendant/brooch in 18k rose gold featuring a freeform rose quartz set with a .70 ct. round diamond and accented with 1.20 cts. t.w. diamonds.
* Platinum Entry Innovation (Under $2,000 retail) Honors, Maria Canale, Richard Krementz Gemstones
Platinum Wave pendant featuring a 2.18 ct. Paraiba tourmaline accented with 3.72 cts. t.w. diamonds.
* Platinum Entry Innovation (Under $2,000 retail) Honors, Ron Lodholz, Stonehaven Jewelry Gallery
Platinum ring featuring a 1.41 ct. aquamarine accented with .06 cts. t.w. diamonds.
* Manufacturing Honors, Alan Friedman, Alan Friedman
Ring in 14k white and rose gold featuring a 12.59 ct. emerald-cut aquamarine.
* First Place, Samuel Getz, Samuel Getz Designs
Platinum and 18k yellow gold necklace featuring 68.77 cts. t.w. yellow sapphires, 24.34 cts. t.w. blue sapphires, 24.20 cts. t.w. red spinels, and 22.38 cts. t.w. diamonds.
* Second Place, Sean Ryan, Schmitt Jewelers
Just Peachy ring in 18k white and rose gold featuring a 4.50 ct. oval padparadscha sapphire accented with 1.13 cts. t.w. colorless micro pave diamonds.
* Third Place, Patricia Van Wagoner, Beija Flor
Necklace in 22k yellow gold featuring a 17.17 ct. rhodochrosite briolette and a 3.58 ct. rhodochrosite kite accented with .45 cts. t.w. Paraiba tourmalines.
* Honorable Mention, Frederic Sage, Frederic Sage
Modern Deco 18k white gold cufflinks featuring 4.48 cts. t.w. seafoam green tourmalines and .56 cts. t.w. diamonds.
* Platinum Honors, Christopher Olson, Molina Fine Jewelers
Platinum Temple of the Sacred Heart ring featuring a 10.05 ct. oval untreated ruby accented with 7.18 cts. t.w. colorless diamonds and .22 cts. t.w. rubies.
* Manufacturing Honors, Christopher Duquet, Christopher Duquet Fine Jewelry Design
Ring in 14k white gold featuring a 12.5mm South Sea black pearl.
* First Place, Cynthia Renee Zava, Cynthia Renee Zava
Palladium necklace featuring a suite of 75.89 cts. t.w. green tourmalines.
* Second Place, Evelyn Clothier, Evelyn Clothier Jewelry
Earrings in 18k yellow gold featuring 50.95 cts. t.w. aquamarine briolettes accented with 9.29 cts. t.w diamonds.
* Third Place, Samuel Getz, Samuel Getz Designs
Ring in 18k white gold featuring a 43.05 ct. spherical black opal accented with 2.70 cts. t.w. tsavorite garnets, 2.51 cts. t.w. blue sapphires, 1.53 cts. t.w. iolites,.71 cts. t.w. Paraiba tourmalines, and .63 cts. t.w. diamonds.
* Honorable Mention, Erica Courtney, Erica Courtney
Earrings in 18k yellow gold featuring 77.99 cts. t.w. tanzanites and 3.38 cts. t.w. diamonds.
* Platinum Honors, Ralph Wobito, Zultanite Gems, LLC
Platinum earrings featuring 25.15 cts. t.w. zultanite (Diaspore) briolettes accented with .95 cts. t.w. colorless diamonds.
* Manufacturing Honors, Laura Jackowski-Dickson, LJD Designs
Cuff in 18k white gold featuring two 14.8 mm and 11.3 mm South Sea cultured pearls and four freshwater pink cultured pearls accented with diamonds.
* First Place, Mark Lauer, Mark Michael Designs
Cufflinks in 18k yellow gold featuring jasper agate and lapis lazuli composite accented with 2mm spessartite garnets and sapphires.
* Second Place, Eddie Sakamoto, Schmitt Jewelers
Platinum Suspense ring featuring a 14.49 ct. blue star sapphire accented with 3.60 cts. diamond baguettes.
* Third Place, Ron Lodholz, Stonehaven Jewelry Gallery
Cufflinks in 18k yellow and rose gold featuring 10.96 cts. t.w. cone-cut garnets with platinum suspensions.
* Honorable Mention, Michael Endlich, Pave Fine Jewelry
Ring in 22k yellow gold featuring an 8.01 ct. purple star Sapphire cabochon.
* Platinum Honors, Alan Friedman, Alan Friedman
Platinum ring with a 6.62 ct. cushion-cut purple spinel.
* Manufacturing Honors, Oliver Smith, Oliver Smith Jeweler
Sterling silver and rose gold ring featuring Madagascar ocean jasper.
Cutting Edge Awards
Classic Cut Gemstones
* First Place, Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem Corp.: 8.04 ct. pigeon blood ruby
* Second Place, Sailesh Lakhi, Lakhi Impex, Inc.: 43.42 ct. cushion-shape, step-cut blue sapphire.
* Third Place, Allen Kleiman, A. Kleiman & Co.: 6.66 ct. cushion-cut pink sapphire.
* Honorable Mention, Gonen Abrahami, ABC Gems: 4.93 ct. emerald-cut emerald.
All Other Faceted
* First Place, Ruben Bindra, B & B Fine Gems: 9.59 ct. trillion-cut red spinel.
* Second Place, Ruben Bindra, B & B Fine Gems: 32.58 ct. oval-shape tsavorite garnet.
* Third Place, Ben Kho, Kho International, Inc.: 12.91 ct. princess-cut rhodochrosite.
* Honorable Mention, Ben Kho, Kho International, Inc.: 15.28 ct. ct. oval-cut imperial topaz.
* Honorable Mention, Jeffrey Bilgore, Jeffrey Bilgore, LLC: 49.24 ct. Asscher-cut aquamarine.
* First Place, Robyn Dufty, DuftyWeis Opals, Inc.: 36.73 ct. Mexican fire opal cabochon.
* Second Place, Allen Kleiman, A. Kleiman & Co.: Pair of 3.25 cts. t.w. oval alexandrites.
* Third Place, Jeffrey Bilgore, Jeffrey Bilgore, LLC: 15.0 ct. oval cat’s eye chrysoberyl.
Pairs & Suites
* First Place, Clay Zava, Zava Mastercuts: suite of 127.40 cts. t.w. pastel Cuprian tourmalines.
* Second Place, Allen Kleiman, A. Kleiman & Co.: 15-piece, 68.75 cts. t.w. round blue sapphire necklace layout.
* Third Place, Hemant Phophaliya, AG Color, Inc.: pair of pear-shaped 41.62 cts. t.w. cabochon tanzanites.
* Honorable Mention, Darrell Jang, Darrell Jang: Aspen-shaped leaves cut from a 15.09 ct. peridot and a 11.15 ct. heliodor
* First Place, Jeff L. White, J.L. White Fine Gemstones: 48.83 ct. square, cushion-cut morganite.
* Second Place, John Dyer, John Dyer & Co.: 14.43 ct. cushion-cut pink tourmaline.
* Third Place, Ben Kho, Kho International, Inc.: 13.78 ct. sunburst-cut sphalerite.
* Honorable Mention, Ben Kho, Kho International, Inc.: 50.20 ct. kaleidoscope-cut Kunzite.
* First Place, Joseph August Voss, Joseph August Voss: 220.30 ct. crystal quartz carving.
* Second Place, John Dyer, John Dyer & Co.: 62.64 ct. Golden Reflections beryl.
* Third Place, Naomi Sarna, Naomi Sarna Designs: carved white opal sculpture (149 grams).
* First Place, Thomas Trozzo, Trozzo: 66.48 ct. square, dimple, concaved, scissor-cut aquamarine.
* Second Place, John Dyer, John Dyer & Co.: 50.92 ct. trillion custom-cut morganite.
* Third Place, John Dyer, John Dyer & Co.: 9.50 ct. Umbalite garnet.
Objects of Art
* First Place, Gregore Morin, Gregore Joailliers
Kokeshi Princess featuring 83.98 cts. t.w. white opal, 36.29 cts. t.w. Basinite, 2.91 cts. t.w. rubellite tourmalines, and .72 cts. t.w. diamonds with 18k white gold and platinum on a base of silver, brass and wood.
* Second Place and Best Use of Pearls, Llyn L. Strelau, Jewels by Design
Sculpture titled Who Are You featuring two-tone gold and silver with freshwater baroque, South Sea keshi, and akoya seed pearls, and, .25 cts. t.w. demantoid garnets, .20 ct. ruby, and .03 ct. cognac diamonds on a 242 cts. t.w. crystal Quartz base.
* Third Place, Tigran Lementsyan, Repair Restoration Center
Dandelion featuring quartz and .36 cts. t.w. diamonds with silver, 18k yellow gold and gold-plated leaves.
* Honorable Mention, Darryl Alexander, Alexander’s Jewelers
Got Paint? Featuring opalized wood with a sterling frame in a black marble base. The paint is sugalite, mookite, turquoise and onyx, with a quartz dish and sterling tube with coral. The brushes are onyx, agate, hematite, quartz, and multiple woods.