AGTA Shows Its Colors

Winners of the 2003 American Gem Trade Association Spectrum Award competition will be feted this month at a gala awards ceremony during the AGTA GemFair in Tucson, Ariz. The competition, now in its 19th year, honors outstanding jewelry design incorporating colored gemstones.

The awards are judged in five fashion categories—Evening, Business/Day, Casual, Bridal, and Men’s—as well as two other divisions of the competition, Manufacturing Honors and Platinum Honors. The Manufacturing Honors prize is awarded to a design that combines an elegant use of natural colored gemstones with construction techniques that can be used by mainstream manufacturers. The Platinum Honors prize, sponsored by the Platinum Guild International, is awarded to the designer of a piece composed of at least 75% platinum.

Pieces are judged anonymously over the course of several days, with several elimination rounds before final judging. Points are awarded for both technical merit and promotional merit. Technical merit includes effective use of materials, overall beauty and wearability, innovation in design, quality of gem materials, and quality of workmanship. Promotional considerations include a high potential to generate positive publicity for gemstones of natural origin and broad-based consumer appeal. The gemstones themselves are evaluated for overall quality and rarity as well as lapidary technique.

This year’s panel of judges included Glen Engelbrecht of G.J. Designs, William Holman of Holman Designs, Alfredo Molina of Molina Fine Jewelers, Tania Riddell of Modern Bride, and Thomas Trozzo of Trozzo. Platinum Honors judges included Jeffrey Matthews, Jeffrey Matthews Design Inc., and Lee Duren of Stuart Moore Gallery.

The AGTA 2003 Cutting Edge Awards also will be presented in Tucson, at a separate ceremony. These awards honor outstanding lapidary work in colored gemstones, in categories including classic gemstone, faceting, carving, combination, and pairs and suites.