The 2001 AGTA Spectrum Awards: Spectacle of Design

The winners of the 18th annual AGTA Spectrum Awards for Natural Colored Gemstone Design and 6th annual PGI Platinum Honors Competitions will be on display at the AGTA Tucson GemFair from Jan. 31 through Feb. 5, at the Tucson Convention Center. Out of 326 entries, 31 Spectrum Awards (including Honorable Mentions and Manufacturing Honors) were given, along with 15 Platinum Honors.

The AGTA Spectrum Awards are judged in five divisions based on the suggested retail value of the pieces. Division I is for jewelry valued at over $10,000; Division II ranges from $5001 to $10,000; and Divisions 3, 4, and 5, are for entries valued at $2,501 to $5,000, $1,001 to $2,500, and up to $1,000, respectively. Jewelry designs also are judged in manufacturing and platinum categories. Platinum Guild International (PGI) sponsors the Platinum Honors division of the Spectrum Awards. There is also an international division for the top three divisions. This year marks the beginning of a new category called ‘Theme,’ which will change each year. This year’s theme celebrates AGTA’s 20th anniversary.

Entries predict trends. This year’s AGTA Spectrum Awards entries showed some interesting, though mostly predictable, patterns. Of the pieces submitted into competition, 46% were rings, and 33% were necklaces. Brooches, at 11%, came in third, beating out fourth-place earrings, which accounted for 6% of entries.

Green was the color of the competition, with more than 80 entries highlighting green gems. Pink and blue had just over 50 each, and purple, with 32 gems, was the fourth most-popular color.

Tourmaline, an affordable gem available in a variety of colors and sizes, was the overwhelming choice of designers, doubling the number of the second place-and extremely popular-pearl entries. Emeralds, garnets, and sapphires were close behind pearls in the number of entries.

In the metals categories, platinum showed up in just over 44% of the competing pieces. White was the most popular color, but by only a few percentage points, with white entries at 50%, and yellow gold entries at 47%. Rose gold and green gold made up the remaining 2% and 1%, respectively. Multicolored metal jewelry designs also were popular, appearing in 44% of all jewelry entered.

Roughly 25% of the jewelry entered into competition was from California and New York. Arizona ranked third, and more than a dozen other states as well as Canada were represented.

What it’s all about. The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) promotes natural colored gems, pearls, and cultured pearls. The Spectrum Awards Competition acknowledges the achievements of North American and international jewelry designers in their use of naturally colored gems.