American Vision Award Winners Announced

Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America (MJSA) recently announced the winners of the 12th annual MJSA American Vision Award (AVA) design competition. Four professional jewelry designers and two students took top honors out of a field of more than 45 entries.

In the professional category, Todd Reed of Todd Reed Metal Artist, Boulder, Colo., won first place for his “Necklace 2002,” which incorporated 18k, 22k, sterling silver, and natural diamond cubes. Each cube was hand fabricated and forged with a patina and brushed finish.

Second place in the professional category went to Avi Raz of A&Z Pearls Inc., Los Angeles, for her “Nicolette: Queen of the Can-Can.” Handcrafted in 18k yellow gold, the dancer’s wardrobe comprises a freshwater pearl with .65 ct. t.w. diamonds and 2.7 cts. t.w. rubies, with 18k gold and black enamel dancing shoes.

In the student category, Denise Ruiz of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) won first place with her “Interchangeable Ring.” Composed of 22k and 18k yellow, white, and rose metals, each interchangeable post was made with bezel-set tanzanite and rubies.

GIA student Rayoung Kim’s “Winter Wonderland” brooch and earrings set took second place in the student category. The piece consisted of an 18k white gold frame and branches with cabochon white opals in bezel settings, with enamel work in the bottom portion of the brooch.

In addition, awards in the professional platinum category are given to designers whose pieces include a minimum of 75% platinum (either 90% or 95%). Ricardo Basta Eichberg of E. Eichberg Jewelers Inc., Beverly Hills, Calif., received first-place honors for his handmade platinum and 18k gold Star of David. Bordered by Ceylon-blue sapphires, the piece also consists of yellow sapphires and white diamonds. Gloria Stewart of London Gold in Scottsdale, Ariz., took second place with her .52-ct. marquise diamond and platinum ring. Suspended above 15 round peridots, one of the diamond tips is balanced against a wall with hot-pink trilliant tourmaline, and 35 round blue sapphires are arranged along the edge of the peridots and down the side of the ring.

First- and second-place winners receive the AVA trophy made of Swarovski crystal. The professional division winners receive $1,500 for first place, $750 for second place; student winners receive a $500 scholarship for first place or a $250 scholarship for second place, along with a subscription to AJM magazine. The prizes were awarded during Behind the Design: Designer Day 2003, held March 1 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City.

The 2003 AVA competition was sponsored by the Platinum Guild International, Swarovski Crystal Components Ltd., the MJSA Education Foundation, and AJM magazine.