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Thursday, August 10, 2017

The 2017 Spectrum and Cutting Edge Award Winners

Mikola Kukharuk of Nomad’s with a pair of neon blue tourmalines (53.56 ctw.)

The AGTA Spectrum and Cutting Edge Awards is already the most important and prestigious colored gemstone competition in the world. According to Douglas K. Hucker, CEO of the American Gem Trade Association, which sponsors the annual event, this year’s group of approximately 500 entries shows that the competition just gets better.

“It is evident that the entrants take this competition very seriously,” Hucker said.

The Spectrum Awards, which honors the best in jewelry design using colored gemstones, usually gets the lion’s share of the publicity. However, this year it is the Cutting Edge Awards that stood out with it’s the rare gemstones, and the craft and artistry of the lapidaries. For example, the Best of Show was a pair of neon blue tourmalines and two pieces by gem artist, Naomi Sarna, which won overall awards. In the Objects of Art category there were three exceptional finalists with the winner creating a working kaleidoscope using gems to create the patterns inside.

Below are the best gems and jewels from a very competitive field.

Overall winners of Spectrum and Cutting Edge Awards

Best of Show (top photo)
Mikola Kukharuk of Nomad’s with a pair of neon blue tourmalines (53.56 ctw.).

Best Use of Color



Naomi Sarna of Naomi Sarna Designs with 18k and 24k yellow and 18k white gold maple leaf earrings featuring multicolored diamonds, sapphires and garnets.

Best Use of Pearls



Naomi Sarna of Naomi Sarna Designs with freshwater cultured pearls strung with sunstone beads with an 18k yellow gold and black rhodium clasp set with white, pink and green diamonds.

Best Use of Platinum and Color



Eddie Sakamoto of Somewhere in the Rainbow with platinum “Dancing Waves” neck collar featuring a 57-carat aquamarine accented with diamonds (8.0 ctw.).

Fashion Forward


Ardeshir Dabestani of Asha Gallery, Ltd. with 18k white and yellow gold “Solar Flare” back-drop necklace featuring a 436-carat citrine accented with aquamarines (44.50 ctw.), yellow beryls (87.30 ctw.) and diamonds (23.54ctw.).


AGTA Cutting Edge Award Winners

All Other Faceted


First Place: Brett Kosnar of Beija Flor Wholesale with a 24.26-carat round, Portuguese-cut rhodochrosite.

Second Place: Ruben Bindra of B & B Fine Gems with a 6.49-carat square East African natural tsavorite garnet.

Third Place: Hemant Phophaliya of A G Color, Inc. with a 22.15-carat fancy-shaped tanzanite, “Superman.”

Carving


First Place: Meg Berry of Pala International with a 625-carat chyrsocolla with druzy quartz carving, titled “Metamorphosis.”

Second Place: Dalan Hargrave of GemStarz Jewelry with a freestyle carved sunstone chameleon named “Henry.”

Third Place: John Dyer of John Dyer & Co. with a 115.71-carat morganite carving, titled “Joyful Morganite.”


Classic Gemstone


First Place: David Nassi of 100% Natural, Ltd. with a 15.30-carat unheated Ceylon pink sapphire.

Second Place: Allen Kleiman of A. Kleiman & Co. with a 38.48-carat unheated oval Madagascan blue sapphire.

Third Place: Joseph Ambalu of Amba Gem Corp. with a 5.80-carat untreated Colombian step-cut emerald.


Innovative Faceting


First Place: Christopher Wolfsbergwith a 32.75-carat specialty-cut quartz with chrysoprase and opal.

Second Place: John Dyer of John Dyer & Co. with a 21.58-carat red spinel hexagon.

Third Place: John Dyer of John Dyer & Co. with a 63.86-carat specialty-cut tourmaline.


Objects of Art


A view inside the “Colors of Maine” kaleidoscope by Derek Katzenbach of Katzenbach Designs with the images made of multicolored Maine tourmalines and Maine quartz lenses

First Place: Derek Katzenbach of Katzenbach Designs with “Colors of Maine” kaleidoscope featuring multicolored Maine tourmalines (71.74 ctw.) and Maine quartz lenses (24.92 ctw.) set in 18k yellow and white gold.

Second Place: Susan Helmich of “Somewhere in the Rainbow” with a “Straight on to Neverland” pendulum and brooch featuring a 14.01-carat rubellite tourmaline, an 8.94-carat rubellite tourmaline, a 4.08-carat indicolite tourmaline, a 13.8mm golden cultured pearl and diamonds (5.24 ctw.) on a carved frosted quartz base.

Third Place: Liam Powers of Liam Powers Jewelry, LLC with a sterling silver and multi-karat gold chalice featuring diamonds, alexandrites, sapphires, moldavites and phenakites.


Pairs & Suites

First Place and Best of Show (top photo): Mikola Kukharuk of Nomad’s with a pair of neon blue tourmalines (53.56 ctw.).

Second Place: Hemant Phophaliya, A G Color, Inc. with a pair of fancy pear-shaped tanzanites (49.38 ctw.).

Third Place:  Robyn Dufty, DuftyWeis Opals, Inc. with a pair of black opals (17.61 ctw.), titled “Tears of the Gods.”


Phenomenal (gemstones with special optical properties)


First Place: Joel Price with a 100.66-carat harlequin pattern black opal.

Second Place: Joseph Ambalu of Amba Gem Corp. with a 7.31-carat emerald-cut Brazilian alexandrite.

Third Place: Robert Shapiro with a 7.60-carat boulder opal.


AGTA Spectrum Award Winners

Bridal Wear


First Place: Ricardo Basta of E. Eichberg, Inc. with an 18k white gold and rhodium “Double the Love” ring featuring a 12.62-carat heart-shaped blue zircon accented with a 0.75-carat heart-shaped diamond and diamond pave.

Second Place: Lindsay Jane of Lindsay Jane Designs with platinum “Butterfly” earrings featuring detachable drops of boulder oopal (39.92 ctw.) accented with zoisites (2.10 ctw.), diamonds (1.02 ctw.) and Paraiba tourmalines (0.10 ctw.).

Third Place: Judy Evans of Oliver & Espig Gallery of Fine Arts with a platinum and 18k yellow gold ring featuring a 15.3mm South Sea golden cultured pearl accented with white diamonds (1.17 ctw.) and yellow diamonds (1.12 ctw.).


Business/Day Wear


First Place: Adam Neeley of Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry with an 18k rose and 14k rose and white gold “Cosmos” pendant featuring a 24.06-carat specialty-cut morganite accented with diamonds (3.14 ctw.).

Second Place: Llyn Strong, llyn strong fine art jewelry  with a lapis lazuli necklace (155.0 ctw.) featuring an 18k yellow gold clasp and a 30.90 ct. boulder opal accented with black diamonds, tsavorite garnets, rubies and sapphires.

Third Place: Mimi Favre of Mimi Favre Studio with platinum “Waterdrop” earrings featuring detachable Tanzanite drops (25.50ctw.) on Sapphire studs (1.75 ctw.) with white Sapphires (0.58 ctw.).


Classical


First Place: Allen Kleiman of A. Kleiman & Co. with platinum and 18k pink gold earrings featuring unheated oval pink sapphires (36.65 ctw.) accented with diamonds (5.09 ctw.).

Second Place: Niveet Nagpal of Omi Prive  with a platinum and black rhodium ring featuring a 20.03-carat cushion-cut blue sapphire accented with blue sapphires, baguette diamonds and round diamonds.

Third Place: Oscar Heyman platinum ring featuring a 32.30-carat Cat’s-Eye Chrysoberyl.


Evening Wear

First Place and Best Use of Platinum and Color (pictured above): Eddie Sakamoto of Somewhere in the Rainbow with the platinum “Dancing Waves” neck collar featuring a 57-carat aquamarine accented with diamonds (8.0 ctw.).

Second Place and Best Use of Color (pictured above): Naomi Sarna of Naomi Sarna Designs with 18k and 24k yellow and 18k white gold maple leaf earrings featuring multicolored diamonds, sapphires and garnets.

Third Place: Caroline Chartouni of Caroline C with a platinum ring featuring an 8.09-carat oval pink sapphire accented with round and pear pink sapphires (9.84 ctw.) and diamonds (8.67 ctw.).


Men's Wear


First Place: Ricardo Basta, E. Eichberg, Inc. an 18k yellow gold with black rhodium “Estrella” ring featuring a 7.50-carat starburst trapiche sapphire accented with black diamonds and yellow Sapphire melee.

Second Place: Peter Schmid, French Designer Jeweler with an 18k rose gold and platinum ring featuring a 15.74-carat garnet accented with a pink diamonds, green diamonds and white diamonds.

Third Place: Dawn Muscio of D. Muscio Designs with an 18k yellow gold and stainless steel ring featuring a 4.39-carat  emerald-cut green tourmaline accented with amethysts and diamonds. 

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