Something in the universe would definitely be amiss if everyone—judges, press, and industry members at large—agreed on the winners of the annual American Gem Trade Association Spectrum and Cutting Edge awards, which were announced yesterday. (See our news section tomorrow for a complete list of winners.) But in keeping with tradition, uniform opinions on winners did not occur. In fact, I was shocked at some of the judges’ choices (full disclosure: I was a judge on the WJA Diva portion, not the main competition). I even think a couple of the styles were positively robbed of recognition.
My judging team for the WJA Diva portion of the awards, front, clockwise: Cindy Edelstein of the Jeweler’s Resource Bureau, Myriam Gumuchian of Gumuchian, yours truly, and Stephanie Albertson of Stephanie Albertson
Here are my five fave pieces from the awards along with opinions on what I think each should have won.
Ring in platinum with a 37 ct. star sapphire cabochon with round sapphires and baguette-cut diamonds by J. Issac of Status Collection & Co., firstname.lastname@example.org. I think this piece should have taken Best in Show.
Denali ring in platinum with a 10.57 ct. sugarloaf-cut emerald and diamonds by Heena Chheda-Shah of Valani, email@example.com. I think this should have taken top honors in the Classical division.
Snake ring in 18k gold with enamel, a 2 ct. yellow diamond, and sapphire and diamond accents by Juan Da Silva, JDS, firstname.lastname@example.org. This piece should have gotten a nod for Evening Wear.
Tempest sculptural duster ring in oxidized sterling silver with yellow sapphires by Lisa Linhardt of Linhardt Design. This piece took the Evening Wear Gem Diva Award, and I think it should have take the Fashion Forward award. My team affectionately dubbed it the Autograph ring because it looks like a piece that Rihanna should wear when inking her name for fans.
Byzantine ring in 18k gold with a 25.42 ct. color-change diaspora with mint tourmalines and diamonds by Erica Courtney. I wanted this to win in Classical because the stones are so yummy and there are so many elegant classical elements in the ring, yet it’s still so contemporary.
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