JA Names Winners of Design Competition

Jewelers of America named the winners of its 18th annual Affiliate Design Competition, held during the JA New York Show, March 9-11. Designers from Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin took home first place prizes in four categories: $1,000 and under; $1,001-$3,000; $3,001 and over; and a Buyer’s Choice Award.

The Affiliate Design Competition features unique jewelry that has won design contests sponsored by JA’s regional affiliates throughout 2007. This year, JA expanded the competition by allowing submissions from member jewelers whose affiliate organization did not hold a local competition.

A panel of industry experts judged the 30 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, the designers displayed an inclination for innovative designs. Many pieces involved movement and complex construction, while others emphasized elaborate detail, like the winner of the $3,001 and over category: a necklace and earrings set with hundreds of pave diamonds in a flowing leaf design.

“Jewelers of America is pleased to recognize the talents of regional jewelers, whose designs demonstrate the remarkable jewelry available from our members nationwide,” said JA chairman John Green of Lux Bond and Green. “We congratulate all of the contestants on their award-winning designs.”

The winners of the 18th annual JA Affiliate Design Competition are (Photos by Alfredo Parraga):

First Place, Category I ($1,000 & Under)
Steven Kistner, Steven Paul Designs, Delafield, Wisc.
Representing Wisconsin Jewelers Association
Gentleman’s ring in 14k white gold, with 12 trapezoidal pieces—nine that move—inlayed with black onyx and diamonds totaling .44 carats.

First Place, Category II ($1,001 – $3,000)
Joel Wiland, J. David Jewelry, Broken Arrow, Okla.
Representing Oklahoma Jewelers Association
Large blue topaz pendant on white-gold omega chain, the topaz is set over a selection of trilliant and round diamonds.

First Place, Category III ($3,001 and Over)
Ziad H. Noshie, Almaza Jewelers, Houston
Representing Texas Jewelers Association
Necklace and earrings in 18k white gold, with more than 600 pavé-set diamonds in total and 11 freshwater pearls.

Buyer’s Choice Award
Dale Hurt, Gold-N-Designs, Lee’s Summit, Mo.
Missouri Jewelers & Watchmakers Association
Platinum and 18k yellow gold pendant with tanzanite, pink tourmaline, opal doublet and diamonds.

JA awards the winners with an engraved trophy and a framed certificate.