Here Are the Winners of JA’s 2020 CASE Awards for Jewelry Design



For the fourth consecutive year in a row, I have served as a judge in Jewelers of America’s CASE Awards jewelry design competition. The annual event recognizes JA members who exhibit creativity, artistry, style, and superb execution in a range of price-point categories. Winners were announced live during yesterday’s Jewelers of America Virtual National Convention. Exactly a week ago, I joined judges Terry Chandler, Diamond Council of America; Deirdre Featherstone, Featherstone Design; Amanda Gizzi, Jewelers of America; Michelle Graff, National Jeweler; Cheryl Kremkow, Gem Obsessed; and Steve Velasquez, Madison Jewelers in evaluating our top picks from the more than 100 submissions to arrive at the lineup presented below.

Naturally, things were a little bit different this year, in that we reviewed the submissions and voted on our top choices digitally (the judging was blind as it always is) and then gathered via a GoToMeeting videoconference to collectively discuss the top contenders in each category.

Case Award judges
The 2020 CASE Award judges during the videoconference. (I’m on the far right—no, I didn’t shower that day. Yes, I’m aware that I am in desperate need of a haircut and highlights.)

Usually this is all done in person, and we have the chance to touch, turn over, and try on the pieces as part of the process. Not being able to do that this year was a challenge, but it was still pretty easy for us to separate the really primo wheat from the chaff.

A new category, Suppliers (otherwise known as independent designers who provide retailers with original jewelry works to sell), was introduced to 2020 edition of the competition as well. This year, two JCK editor favorites are among the winners: Lori Friedman of Loriann Jewelry and Eve Streicker of Original Eve Designs. (Streicker is also the Women’s Jewelry Association New York Metro chapter president.)

Some inside scoop: There was a robust discussion about the Retailer $5,001 to $10,000 category and whether it should be the ring that won or a pair of really well done gold and diamond earrings. We judges were split down the middle, but eventually all were able to agree that the rarity of the fancy-cut rosé-colored padparadscha sapphire, and the design choices that were made to amplify its femininity (framing the marquise-cut stone in a lacy collar of mixed-cut diamonds, effectively transforming it into a kind of neo-Victorian valentine) made it a unique but universally appealing expression of modern romance, whether it’s destined to become someone’s engagement ring or a treasured piece of personal jewelry.

See below for the full list of winning designs—let us know what you think in the comments!

 Retailers

Up to $2,000

Almaza rutilated quartz pendant
Necklace with 30.47 ct. rutilated quartz and 0.21 ct. t.w. diamonds in 18k yellow gold $1,995; Ziad H. Noshie at Almaza Jewelers

$2,001 to $5,000

Brody Designs carved opal pendant
Pendant with 15.86 ct. carved Australian opal in 14k white gold, $3,800; Mike Anderson at Brody Designs

$5,001 to $10,000

Greenwich St Jewelers sapphire ring
Ring with 1.33 ct. marquise-cut padparadscha sapphire with 1.12 cts. t.w. round diamonds, $8,900; Mary Herouvis at Greenwich St. Jewelers

$10,001 to $50,000

Pictured at top: Bracelet with 14.24 ct. trillion-cut tanzanite and 6.07 cts. t.w. diamonds in platinum, $48,000; David Gardner at David Gardner’s Jewelers

 

Suppliers

Up to $2,000

Loriann Jewelry earrings
Stud earrings with Ethiopian opal, tanzanite, green sapphires, and diamonds in 14k gold $1,250; Loriann Jewelry

$2,001 to $5,000

Ring with golden South Sea golden pearls, fancy yellow and white brilliant-cut diamonds, and green garnets in 18k white gold, $5,000;
Ring with golden South Sea golden pearls, fancy yellow and white brilliant-cut diamonds, and green garnets in 18k white gold, $5,000; Jack Ferrero

$5,001 to $10,000

Original Eve tourmaline bracelet
Jungle bracelet with 31.7 ct. green tourmaline in matte satin finish 18k recycled gold, $8,200; Original Eve Designs

$10,001 to $50,000

Ferrero NY ring
New York ring with ruby and 1.5 cts. t.w. white brilliant-cut diamonds in 18k white and yellow gold, $20,00; Jack Ferrero

 

Top: The 2020 CASE Awards were sponsored by Synchrony and Jewelers Mutual Insurance Group. The awards competition is open only to employees of JA member companies. Visit the Winner’s Photo Gallery here. All winners receive a customized CASE Awards trophy and national and local media coverage.

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All That Glitters writer