Check Out the Winners of the Rio Grande 2018 Saul Bell Design Awards

Rio Grande has announced the winners of its 18th annual Saul Bell Design Award competition.

The winning pieces beat out hundreds of international submissions and faced two rounds of judging.

“In the 17 years I’ve been with Rio Grande, it’s been an honor to see so many talented designers rise to the challenge of creating awe-inspiring pieces and to hear their stories of creation,” said Rio Grande creative director Jamie Gros in a statement.

Here are the winning pieces and collections.

Best of Show: 

Origami, Window With a View collection, by Sophia Hu; Las Vegas


Sophia Hu, Origami Window With a View collection
Sophia Hu’s Origami, Window With a View collection

First Place: 
Mata Hari, by Garen Garibian, Los Angeles
Second Place: Freedom, by Rosario Garcia; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.


Garen Garibian, Mata Hari
Garen Garibian’s Mata Hari brooch 

Silver/Argentium Silver:
First Place: Itado, by Matthieu Cheminée; Montreal
Second Place: Koral, by Caroline Rivière; Longueuil, Canada


Matthieu Cheminée, Itado, Canada
Matthieu Cheminée’s Itado bracelet

First Place: Leaping Tree Frog, by Carina Wong; Hong Kong
Second Place: The Dragonfly, by Sinork Agdere; Los Angeles


Leaping Tree Frog ring Carina Wong
Carina Wong’s Leaping Tree Frog ring 

Hollowware/Art Objects:
First Place: Cheap Thrills, by Jason Baide; Bozeman, Mont.
Second Place: Fantasy Coach, by Leonardo Maldonado; Delray Beach, Fla.

Jason Baide, Cheap Thrills
Jason Baide’s Cheap Thrills

Alternative Metals/Materials:
First Place: Head in the Clouds, by Gabri Schumacher; Schoonhoven, Netherlands
Second Place: Orchid Neckpiece, by E. Douglas Wunder; Kutztown, Pa.


Head in the Clouds ring Gabri Schumacher
Gabri Schumacher’s Head in the Clouds ring 


Jewelry Collection, Couture/Fine:
First Place: Rocky Mountains Memories, by Wolfgang Vaatz; Rio Rico, Ariz.
Second Place: Knightsteel, by Zoltan David; Bee Cave, Texas



Rocky Mountains Memories bracelet Wolfgang Vaatz
Wolfgang Vaatz’s Rocky Mountains Memories bracelet


Jewelry Collection, Fashion/Bridge:

First Place: The Wave Collection, by Kwabena Abeney; Burnaby, Canada
Second Place: Dreamweaver, by Elizabeth Sabol; Pittsburgh

Wave Collection Kwabena Abeney
Kwabena Abeney’s Wave Collection 

Emerging Jewelry Artist, 22 Years of Age and Younger:
First Place: Courage, by Hoi Yi Lai; Toronto
Second Place: Goya, by Taron Rueger; Parker, Colo.


Courage ring Hoi Yi Lai
Hoi Yi Lai’s Courage ring 

Emerging Jewelry Artist, 18 Years of Age and Younger:
First Place: Waterfall, by Peyton Rogers; Fort Worth, Texas
Second Place: Fairy Necklace, by Caroline Senyszyn; Fort Worth, Texas



Waterfall necklace Peyton Rogers
Peyton Rogers’ Waterfall necklace

For designs from finalists and a list of the competition’s judges, visit

Top: Leaping Tree Frog ring by Carina Wong

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JCK Magazine Editor