14 Favorite Jewelry Designs From the 2019 AGTA Spectrum Awards

What a pleasure to return to the American Gem Trade Association’s (AGTA) Spectrum Awards editor preview earlier this week. Held in a sun-drenched West Village venue in New York City, it’s always a sure thing for discovering fresh talent and tracking colored gemstone trends, as well as reconnecting with colleagues.

JCK recapped the competition winners yesterday, and, just like last year, I’ve put together a selection of my favorites from the 2019 edition.

I’ll start with this ode to emerald cuts—aquamarines, diamonds, emeralds—in this platinum necklace by Beatrix Laura Jessner below.


Beatrix Laura Jewels necklace
Necklace with 23.89 ct. aquamarine accented with emeralds, aquamarines, and diamonds in platinum, price on request; Beatrix Laura Jessner, B & W Jewels

Blue—as in dreamy swimming pool aquamarines, luminous opals, and the most vivid zircons and minty Paraiba tourmaline—stood out as the favored color across all submission categories. Clearly the color is only gaining momentum and remains in demand. Very good to know for the upcoming holiday season—and can we bring back zircon as a go-to for December’s birthstone? I, for one, would be into that.

AGTA blue rings
Clockwise, from left: Orbit ring with 16.88 ct. blue zircon accented with diamonds and Paraiba tourmaline in platinum, Catherine Fitzgibbon, Coffin & Trout; My Blue Heaven ring with 8.06 ct. aquamarine and diamond accents in 14k white gold, Dallas Prince; and ring with 7.65 ct. cushion-cut blue zircon accented with blue diamonds in 18k white gold, Llyn Strong. All prices on request.

I’m sure I’ve seen the gemstone wulfenite before, but its appearance in the Gregore Morin earrings below seemed like a very novel choice indeed. A little research reveals that the stone is also loaded with healing, restorative properties that can aid in female reproductive health. Good to know.




Gregore Morin earrings
Earrings with aquaprase, wulfenite, and spectrolite in 18k yellow gold, price on request; Gregore Morin, Gregore & Jennifer-Rabe

What an unexpected delight to see designer Suzy Landa’s submission of a belt buckle made of Australian boulder opal (which instantly elevated my pink cotton eyelet dress).

Suzy Landa opal belt buckle
Belt buckle with pear-shape boulder opal in sterling silver and 18k yellow gold, price on request; Suzy Landa

And I’m pretty sure every editor in attendance took the opportunity to try on Omi Privé’s magnificent padparadscha sapphire and diamond ring (earlier immortalized by JCK‘s Brittany Siminitz here), to marvel at is incredible strawberry-tinted color, the exact shade of your favorite rosé wine (Wolffer Estate’s Summer in a Bottle is mine).

Omi Prive ring
Ring with 5.01 ct. unheated cushion-cut Madagascar padparadscha sapphire accented with diamonds and a 0.01 ct. alexandrite in 18k rose gold and platinum, price on request; Omi Privé

See more of my favorites below.

Featherstone Design earrings
Hermitage earrings with 36.3 cts. t.w. chrysoprase briolettes, 10.1 cts. t.w. opals, and 5.23 cts. t.w. yellow and white diamonds in 18k yellow gold and platinum, price on request; Featherstone Design
Zoltan David ruby ring
Ruby Flight ring with a 2.45 ct. oval ruby accented with rubies and diamonds in platinum, 18k, and 24k yellow gold, price on request; Zoltan David
Erica Courtney earrings
Something Opal, Something Blue earrings with crystal opals, Peruvian opals, blue zircons, Paraiba tourmaline, and diamonds in 18k yellow gold, price on request; Erica Courtney
Designs by Evy butterfly brooch
Ice Butterfly pin/pendant made with carved white jadeite accented with emeralds, diamonds, tourmaline, and a freshwater baroque pearl in 18k white gold, price on request; Evy Edelman, Designs by Evy
Ricardo Basta Ring
Karma Chameleon ring with a 15.27 ct. barrel-facet-top tourmaline accented with sapphires, tsavorite, rubies, and spessartite garnets in 18k yellow gold, price on request; Ricardo Basta, E. Eichorn
K Brunini yellow beryl ring
Antler Ring with a 9.5 ct. yellow beryl center stone accented with diamonds in 18k yellow gold, K. Brunini


Top: Brooch with 56.18 ct. hexagonal aquamarine cabochon surrounded by 27.87 cts. t.w. kunzites and 0.84 ct. t.w. diamonds in platinum, price on request; Myles Mindham, Mindham Fine Jewellery

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Amy Elliott

JCK Contributing Editor

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