American Pearl Company Awards Designers

Sculptural pieces depicting the human form won over the judges in this year’s American Pearl Company design awards. Each grand prize winner in the contest’s two categories portrayed the human body in precious materials.

The winner in the Discovery Division, for entries with a value of less than $1,000, was Leigh Wulle of Excelsior Design, St. Louis, Mo., for the “Seductress” brooch. The piece featured a contemporary woman wearing an American cultured Dome Pearl hat and carrying an American fancy shape cultured triangle pearl purse. The body was created in 18k yellow and white gold, and her outfit was trimmed in diamonds.

In the Inspiration Division, for pieces with a value of more than $1,000, the winners were Avi Raz and Peggy Croft of A&Z Pearls in Los Angeles. Their “Lone Eagle” pendant featured a Native American wearing a headdress adorned with four American natural pearl wings, an amulet of keshi pearl and cabochon ruby, and an 18k yellow gold headband set with diamonds.

Other winners in the Discovery Division: second place, Roger DeFouw, Sarasota, Fla.; third place, Thomas C. Dailing, Stevens Point, Wis.; and Award of Excellence winners Darryl Alexander of Alexander’s Jewelry in Gilbert, Ariz.; Stephen Wright of Wright & Company in Indianapolis, Ind.; and Susan Schaaf Carey of Stevens Jewelers in Skokie, Ill. In the Inspiration Division, second place went to Ziad Noshie of Almaza Jewelers in Houston, third place went to Dailing, and the Awards of Excellence were given to Gloria Stewart of London Gold in Phoenix and Amy Hudon of Hudon Studios in Somers, Conn.

The American Pearl Company contest, featuring only American natural or cultured pearls, attracted nearly 70 entries. The winners were chosen by a panel of five jewelry designers who judged the pieces on creativity, originality, quality, and beauty. Winning entries were displayed at The JCK Show-Las Vegas.