JA Announces Winners of Design Competition

Jewelers of America has announced the winners of its 17th annual Affiliate Design Competition, held during the JA New York Show, Jan. 21-23. The competition features jewelry designed by JA members that have won design contests sponsored by JA’s regional affiliates throughout 2006. The contest entries were displayed and judged at the JA booth at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

Twenty-three designs competed for the top prizes in four categories: $1,000 and under; $1,001-$3,000; $3,001 and over; and a Buyer’s Choice Award. Designers from Arkansas, New Mexico, and South Dakota took home the first place prizes in each category. A panel of industry experts judged entries on craftsmanship, marketability, practicality/wearability and overall design. JA New York attendees determined the fourth honor, the Buyers’ Choice Award, with a separate ballot.

This year, show attendees agreed with the judging panel, choosing the first place winner in the “$1,000 and Under” category–a geometric multi-stone pendant–to receive the Buyer’s Choice Award as well.

The winners of the 17th annual JA Affiliate Design Competition are:

First Place, Category I ($1,000 and Under) and Buyer’s Choice Award David Holloway, Swift’s Jewelry, Fayetteville, Ark., representing Arkansas Jewelers Association. Pendant in 14-karat yellow and white gold, with amethyst trillion, tanzanite, and 16 diamonds.

First Place, Category II ($1,001 – $3,000) Marcus Gillihan, Shelton Jewelers, Albuquerque, N.M., representing New Mexico Jewelers Association. Ring in 14K white gold with tourmaline and diamonds.

First Place, Category III ($3,001 and Over) Gerard Faini, Faini Designs Jewelry Studio, Sioux Falls, SD Representing Nebraska/South Dakota Jewelers Association Ring in 18-karat white and yellow gold, with natural fancy yellow diamond oval center stone and diamond side stones.

“The contestants in this year’s affiliate design competition exemplify the talent and fine jewelry craftsmanship that JA’s membership produces,” says JA Chairman John Cohen. “Together with our affiliates we congratulate all of the contestants on their award-winning designs.”

JA awards the winners with an engraved trophy and a framed certificate. Categories are determined by the cost of materials used. The JA Affiliate Design Competition is open only to JA members and their employees. Any JA member interested in participating in next year’s competition must first enter the design competition held by their state or regional JA affiliate this year. For more information, visit www.jewelers.org or call 800-223-0673.