DIVA Awards Honor Best and Brightest

The seventh annual DIVA Awards were presented recently during a special awards ceremony in Las Vegas. Established by the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) to showcase the work of up-and-coming women in the jewelry business and to foster their talent with monetary prizes, the competition accepts only renderings as entries. This allows all designers to compete, regardless of financial status. The competition is open to women in the United States, with or without formal jewelry or design training.

The 2003 competition—with the theme “Diva Las Vegas”—drew more than 50 entries, and the WJA awarded $3,750 in cash prizes to the winners.

The first-place trophy and $2,500 cash prize went to Aiko Iwashita Massoud of Burbank, Calif., for her “White Leather Bracelet.” This Elvis-like jewel was created in leather and 18k yellow gold with diamond, tanzanite, amethyst, red spinel, and tsavorite

Second place and a $1,000 cash prize went to Keiko Mita of Forest Hills, N.Y., for her “Best Bet” necklace. The design spins on a bearing system, and a roulette wheel serves as the motif. Materials used included 18k yellow/white gold, leather cords, diamond, ruby, emerald, black diamond, and onyx.

Anita Dickey’s “Show Girl” earrings won third place and $250 in prize money. Materials for the right earring included approximately 1 ct. of emerald-cut ruby, approximately 2 cts. black diamonds, and red feathers. The left earring included a 1 ct. (approx.) heart-shaped ruby, approximately 2 cts. of three-point black diamonds, and red feathers. Both earrings were crafted of 18k gold with black rhodium.

The judging panel was made up of five judges who met at GIA in Carlsbad and combed through the entries looking for the most talented designers.

The 2003 sponsors of the DIVA Awards event were the OroArezzo International Jewelry Exhibition, Federal Express, Diamond Promotional Service, and Gemological Institute of America. The winning trophies for the 2003 DIVA honorees were created by Chippenhook, and photos for the 2003 DIVA Awards were taken by Erica and Harold Van Pelt.

For information visit www.womensjewelry.org, or call (973) 575-7190.