WJA Announces Diva Awards Winners

The Women’s Jewelry Association announced the winners of its 12th Annual DIVA Awards design competition at a press conference held yesterday in the Platinum Pavilion.
For the second year in a row, Platinum Guild International has sponsored the competition. This year’s theme, “The Platinum Wedding,” featured five categories, including one for natural colored diamonds set in platinum, sponsored by the Natural Color Diamond Association.
PGI is a WJA “Pillar of Distinction” sponsor, along with Jewelers Mutual Insurance, and David Yurman.

“We are very honored again this year to partner with PGI and are delighted to see the response from international designers working in Platinum,” says Michelle Orman, WJA vice president, events, and president of Lup. “Expanding the categories has created some stunning, diverse Platinum DIVA designs for the wedding party.”
The winners and Honorable Mentions in the five featured five categories are:

1. Everyday Bridal Ring Trio Suite category, under $5,000 retail—Lisa Krikawa, Tucson, Ariz., for “Delicate Leaf” wedding set (pictured), in platinum and diamonds. The set was inspired by ancient rites, futuristic forms, machines, and tools. “The look is enhanced by secret compartments, windows, and doors,” says Krikawa. “I aim for each piece to be interesting from the front, back, or inside, and with these details I lure the viewer or wearer in. I like to enhance the work with machine-like qualities, which are reminiscent of bio-mechanical engineering.” 

Honorable Mention: Evelyn Huang, of evelynH. Jewelry Inc., Los Angeles, and Patricia Pepe Clark, Design Decision, Bellmore, N.Y.

2. DIVA Bridal Suite, over $5,000 retail—Jill MacKay, of Jill MacKay, Pittsburgh, for Platinum Roses Wedding Trio. The set, with diamond center stone and accents, is romantic and bold at the same time. It’s fit for a DIVA and her intended, says MacKay. “Jewelry design and creativity aren’t just the way I make a living; for me it is a wonderful way of life and of being in the world.” MacKay, who is self-taught, was once known as the jewelry designer for the daytime drama The Guiding Light and produced work for TV’s Star Trek: The Next Generation. “This opened many doors for me,” she says. “Currently I design and manufacture my own line of sterling jewelry, findings and components.”

Honorary Mention: Jill Zvaigzne, Newport, Ky., (a designer for I.B. Goodman Co. and her own line of fashion jewelry, Ze), and Evelyn Huang.

3. Platinum Jewels for the Bridal Party, under $5,000 retail—Carley McGee, Fort Myers, Fla., for Helios Pendant, in platinum, diamonds, and rock crystal. “The traditional symbolism of the ring is expanded through this piece” McGee says. “Helios’s translucency symbolizes openness, clarity, and transparency—each of which, through placement near the heart, are enhanced in the wearer.” McGee, G.G., AJA, has been designing custom jewels for nearly a decade and has won two Spectrum awards. 

Honorable Mention: Judy Meli, Judy Evans Designs, Scottsdale, Ariz., and Sheryl Lai, Sheryl Lai Design Inc., Los Angeles.

4. Platinum Jewels for the Bridal Party, over $5,000 retail—Erica Courtney, Erica Courtney, Los Angeles. Her platinum and diamond Tulip necklace is a signature Erica Courtney piece. “This necklace brings out an elegant and glamorous look that can be worn by an array of brides,” says the award-winning designer, whose work is often seen on Hollywood glitterati. “The Tulip necklace allows brides to feel drop-dead gorgeous on their big day without being overshadowed.”

Honorable Mention: Amy Liu, New York, and Brooke Poller, New York.

5. Colorful Engagements and Weddings in Platinum—Joana Miranda, Joana Miranda Studio, Glendale, Wis., for Pink Diamond Trellis. The lace-quality of the platinum pendant is a perfect complement to today’s ethereal wedding gowns, says the designer. “The pink diamonds are not only rare but incredibly feminine. The strength of the platinum reflects the endurance of love.” Miranda, who holds the AJP degree from GIA as well as a GIA Design Certificate, has her own jewelry business where she sells handmade fine metal and gemstone jewelry. She’s also a full-time violist with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

Honorable Mention: Yoko Ogawa, a freelance jewelry designer from Tokyo, and Isha Katoria, Titan Industries, Bangalore, India.

A number of suppliers generously sponsored two DIVA designs: Lieberfarb Inc. created Jill MacKay’s Platinum Roses wedding ring suite. Joana Miranda’s natural colored diamond and platinum pendant was helped into creation by Paul Klecka with his CAD/CAM modeling, Mann Design for the milling, Techform Advanced Casting Technology for the casting, and Mercury Ring Corp. for the finishing. The pink diamonds were supplied by Pink Luxury, a division of Rare and Precious of Vancouver.

A celebratory cocktail party for WJA members, nonmembers, and the winners will take place Monday at the TAO restaurant in the Venetian from 6 to 8 p.m. Members and industry tastemakers will enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and a raffle.
Tickets to Monday’s DIVA event at TAO are available at the door or at the WJA booth (L45).

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