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AGTA Announces Spectrum Awards Judges

The deadline for mail-in entries is June 28.




(PRESS RELEASE) DALLAS, TX – The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) announces its panel of judges for the 2019 AGTA Spectrum Awards. This year’s judges are:

  • John L. Carter, Retailer, Jack Lewis Jewelers
  • Paula Crevoshay, Designer, Mellika Company, Inc. / Crevoshay
  • Myriam Galli, Manufacturer, Gemveto
  • Brett Kosnar, Lapidary, Kosnar Gem Co.
  • Naomi Sarna, Designer/Lapidary, Naomi Sarna Designs

The AGTA Spectrum Awards is a premier colored gemstone and cultured pearl jewelry design competition with categories in Bridal Wear, Business Day Wear, Classical, Evening Wear and Men’s Wear. AGTA Spectrum Awards also features the Platinum Honors sponsored by Platinum Guild International and the Gem DIVA Awards sponsored by the Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA). The AGTA Cutting Edge Awards honors loose colored gemstones in everything from Classic Gemstones to one-of-a-kind Carvings, Pairs and Suites to Objects of Art. The competition is open to U.S. and Canadian designers and cutters.

“We are again very excited about the caliber of individuals that will be judging this year’s competition. Each of them bring years of experience and outstanding expertise to their role; several of them are themselves past participants and winners of AGTA Spectrum Awards,” said Douglas K. Hucker, AGTA CEO. “We know from past experience that the chemistry between the judges is vitally important and when you are working with consummate professionals, the results reflect that.”

Meet the 2019 AGTA Spectrum Awards Judges


Paula Crevoshay, Mellika Company, Inc. / Crevoshay

Some great artists show a flash of genius and are gone, some show us a new vision and spend the rest of their careers repeating themselves and a few, the very greatest, continue to explore and reinvent themselves year after year taking their work and their audience to ever greater heights, enriching the broader culture in the process. Paula Crevoshay is widely recognized to be among the very few in the latter group.

From the very beginning Crevoshay has applied Fine Art Principles to jewelry design. In addition to Fine Art, Crevoshay studied Anthropology, especially symbolism, and you will note in her very modern expression of artistic archetypes echoes of cultures past.

Today Crevoshay enjoys the patronage of art connoisseurs and avid jewelry collectors the world over. Her work has been exhibited in museums in the United States, France and India and is on display at the Gemological Institute of America, Carnegie Museum of Natural History and in the National Gem Collection at the Smithsonian where it continues to surprise and delight new people every year.

John L. Carter, Jack Lewis Jewelers

John Carter began his jewelry career at Jack Lewis Jewelers, as a junior in high school where he stayed all through his college years, as well. Upon his graduation from Illinois State University with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing, he departed his hometown and Jack Lewis, as a traveling sales representative with Maurice Lacroix Swiss watches. Carter returned to Jack Lewis in 2002 as a partner and a ten-year plan to purchase the store. He accomplished this task in 8 and a half years and officially took the reins in 2011.

Through the years, Carter has been eager to innovate especially as it applies to shaping the 90- year-old store that he grew up in and loves. The store’s social media has been the vehicle that has gained the attention of Central Illinois customers, as well as respected jewelry industry leaders. He continues to set Jack Lewis apart through the store’s employees, creative messages, and unique product assortment.

Today, Carter is very active within the industry and his community. He is particularly proud of his role on the Board of Directors for The American Gem Society, where he currently serves as President.

Naomi Sarna, Naomi Sarna Designs

Naomi’s earliest memory is working with her hands; this has been the focus of her entire life, studying the beautiful line and making it come true with the work of her hands. Her interest in nature and what comes out of the Earth was sparked at a young age. She became familiar with minerals and gems while exploring mines in Montana with her grandfather who sold miners’ equipment.

Naomi has made a point of connecting with her work from the source. She has traveled the world searching for gems, some of her most wonderful memories include going to Tanzania to the tanzanite mines and developing a relationship with the Maasai.

Naomi is the winner many prestigious awards, both nationally and internationally. Amongst these are twenty-three of Spectrum Awards in both Gem Carving and Jewelry, including “Best Use of Color”, three consecutive “Best Use of Pearls”, two “WJA Gem DIVA” and the first awarded “AGTA Buyer’s Choice Award”. Naomi is also the recipient of a Bronze and a Silver Metal from the Zi Gang Bei Jade Carving Association in Suzhou, China.

Her work is represented in the Permanent Collection of the Smithsonian Institution and is worn by high-ranking American government officials, as well as royalty. Her work has also been displayed in books and museums around the country including the Carnegie Museums in Pittsburgh and Headley-Whittney Museum in Lexington, Kentucky.

Today, Naomi is based in New York City. Her jewelry incorporates unusual natural pearls, colored pearls, and her own gem carvings. Her work is known for its meticulous fit and finish. Her carvings are of a unique design indicative of her interest in the way things flow and fold, inspired by water and fabric as she continues her study of the beautiful line.

She is deeply grateful to the AGTA for being the foundation for the development of her career.

Myriam Galli, Gemveto

Mimi Galli was born into jewelry and has been involved in the industry for the past 31 years.

Her mother and stepfather, Jean and Irene Vitau, founded Gemveto Jewelry Co, Inc., 55 years ago and Mimi has been a part of the company for the last 31 years, involved in all aspects of the business.

Started out in the administrative end and working closely with the stone buyer to learn about gemstone and diamonds, Mimi now does all product development, sales and marketing, and color gemstone purchases. Her parents instilled in her the knowledge and deep appreciation for fine, high quality jewelry and the importance of very fine craftsmanship and materials. As a young child she would come to the office and “play” with stones or sit and watch different aspects of manufacturing in the Gemveto atelier.

Her father, Maurice Galli, was a renowned jewelry designer, who worked for the big New York houses,

Tiffany, Van Cleef & Arpel, David Webb and Harry Winston. He also taught jewelry design at F.I.T. and published three jewelry design books. As a little girl, Mimi would visit her father at work and he would sit her down with paper and colored pencils or paints so she could designs her own jewelry. Mimi inherited from her father a keen eye for color and design. Her passion is finding unusual gemstones and creating design around interesting gemstone color combinations and working closely with Gemveto’s talented model makers and craftsman to create unique pieces.

Mimi proudly served on the board of the Women’s Jewelry Association in the early days, where she had the privilege of working with amazing, accomplished industry women.

Brett Kosnar, Kosnar Gem Co.

Brett Kosnar has been in the gem industry for his entire life. Starting with a family-owned business that specialized in world class mineral specimens, he became enchanted with the world of gems from a young age. The family was in the heart of the mineral industry and had a mineral named for them, Kosnarite. He then worked in the mining industry, bringing rock out of the Earth, giving him a greater understanding and appreciation of this world. That knowledge led him to becoming a self-taught faceter and gemstone artist in his teen years, discovering how to shape what the world had to offer. With his study of minerals, Brett was interested in working with the rare and unique stones that weren’t often used for jewelry. These unique gems were not well known to jewelers and he found himself in need of a jewelry artist with the drive and knowledge to work with these stone. Subsequently, he knew he would be the one to create these rare pieces, and began an apprenticeship under a master goldsmith. Those skills would build the foundation for a passionate lifelong career.

Every year, Brett’s passion for the vast world of gems has expanded, driving him to hone his skills at both the stone and metal arts. He has developed new techniques for the faceting of soft stones, which has set a new industry standard. His particular skill with Fluorite and Rhodochrosite has set him apart for the rare gem stone industry. He recently has added an AGTA Cutting Edge Award to his accomplishments. Most recently, he had the privilege to take his first lapidary class under Dalan Hargrave and expand his skills further than they had ever been.


Brett now owns and operates his own business with his wife, and fellow faceter. Together, they labor to create spectacular gems every day and push the boundaries of gemstone artistry. He also gives talks on the world of gemstones and what beauty lies beneath the Earth. Brett’s devotion to the discovery and creation of gemstones, and the gemstone industry as a whole, is hardly to be rivaled.

The deadline for mail-in entries is June 28th; the New York Drop-off for Spectrum entries is Tuesday, July 9th at the offices of Intercolor USA, 48 W. 48th St., Ste. 800, New York. For more information regarding the 2019 AGTA Spectrum Awards, please contact Lauren Hewlett at 800-972-1162 or visit



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International Jewelry London Announces New Leading Lights Awards Shortlist

The winners will be announced at the UK’s leading jewelry trade event, Olympia, Kensington 1-3 September 2019.




(PRESS RELEASE) LONDON — International Jewelry London (IJL), the global meeting place for the jewelry industry, has announced the shortlist for its Leading Lights Awards, a new feature initiative for IJL 2019, created to celebrate the innovation, craftsmanship, design and distribution of fashion forward talent across the globe.

IJL has teamed up with the respected publication, Jewelry Outlook, to offer the opportunity of gaining recognition for contributions to a forward-looking global jewelry industry.

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There are eight categories, with entries submitted by organizations or individuals themselves, or nominated by a third party. The winners will be announced in a special ceremony at IJL 2019.

Katie Morris, events director, International Jewelry London (IJL) said: “IJL is very excited to launch this new set of awards for IJL 2019. We know there is a huge amount of innovation, creativity, and outstanding educators in the industry and we want to recognize these as movers and shakers, future proofers and stars of their sector. As with many industries, jewelry and watches as verticals are experiencing new challenges and opportunities and showcasing those who are embracing change and innovating through it is vital if we’re to inspire the next generation of jewelers and keep the industry performing at its optimum. A huge congratulations to everyone on this fantastic shortlist!”

David Brough, Editor of Jewelry Outlook, said: “The quality of the applicants was extremely high. We look forward very much to the announcement of the winners at IJL.”

The Shortlist are:

Best Use of Technology

  • De Beers Group Industry Services
  • Everledger
  • PureJewels

Fashion Fusion

  • Kastur Jewels
  • LeSter Jewelry
  • SoftDream by Laura Galasso

Course Provider

  • Birmingham City University School of Jewelry
  • British Academy of Jewelry
  • De Beers Group Institute of Diamonds

International Jeweler of the Year

  • Isabella Liu
  • ORA Pearls
  • Lucy Quartermaine

Best Bright Young Gem

  • Aurelie Dellasanta
  • Isla Gilham
  • Lingjun Sun

Best Fine Jeweler

  • Clogau
  • Domino Jewelry
  • Raw Pearls

Blogger Award

  • Preeta Agarwal Workroom –
  • IJL is an unrivaled opportunity for the international jewelry trade to network and find out about the latest industry trends and market developments which will help retailers and suppliers make the right commercial decisions.

For buyers, the show is the once-in-a-year chance to shop for the widest range of gems, jewelry, packaging and services, and to find out about the most topical issues in the industry. IJL also offers buyers the largest variety of gemstones under one roof in Britain today.

IJL is sponsored by the NAJ and supported by the GIA, Gem-A, The Houlden Group, The Company of Master Jewelers, and the Goldsmiths Craft and Design Council.

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Thailand’s Leading Gems and Jewelry Bodies to Take Part in Bharat Diamond Week

Bharat Diamond Bourse signs agreements with major Thai Gem and Jewelry Association for October 14-16 polished diamond sales week.




(PRESS RELEASE) MUMBAI, INDIA – The Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Thailand’s leading gems and jewelry associations for participation in the Bharat Diamond Week (BDW) which takes place at the bourse from October 14 to 16.

BDB President Anoop Mehta and Vice-President Mehul Shah signed the agreement with Thai Gem & Jewelry Traders Association President Porntiva Nakasai, and the Gems, Jewelry & Precious Metal Confederation of Thailand (GJPCT) President Somchai Phornchindarak.

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The signing ceremony followed a highly successful visit to the Shanghai Diamond Exchange (SDE) by Mr Mehta and Mr Shah where SDE member companies and the exchange’s leadership heard about the benefits of participating in the Bharat Diamond Week.

“The agreements signed with the professional organizations from Thailand are the latest step in ensuring we have an excellent number of visitors to the Bharat Diamond Week,” said Mr Mehta. “I am delighted that our friends and colleagues from Thailand, who we know so well, will be taking part in the BDW.”

Mr Shah, who is responsible for the Bharat Diamond Week and organized the two successful polished diamond events held last year, said: “It is very important that we work with organizations from across the diamond and jewelry world. Our aim is to raise visitor numbers at every show and to learn from the previous event how to be even more successful for the benefit of our small and medium-size company members. Visitors will be able to source literally every type of diamond both at the Diamond Week and from our other 3,000 Bharat Diamond Bourse member companies.

“Close to 90% of all the world’s polished diamonds are manufactured in India, so the variety of goods on offer is vast. In addition, the show falls just before the Diwali festival and shutdown, so many manufacturers will be offering excellent deals on their polished goods.

Mr Anoop Mehta signing the agreement with Gems, Jewelry & Precious Metal Confederation of Thailand (GJPCT) President Somchai Phornchindarak.

“Furthermore, due to the uncertainty of the situation in Hong Kong due to civil unrest with the September Gem and Jewelry Show just weeks away, we believe it is likely that many companies that need to source diamonds will decide to come here instead. The Bharat Diamond Week will act as a perfect venue for companies to source their diamond demands,” said Shah.

The number of companies and individuals who have registered for the show is already far ahead of those for the two previous shows. And, as with the two shows held last year, the BDB will provide selected buyers with complimentary hotel accommodation, with around 150 complementary hotel rooms for foreign buyers. Priority will be given to visitors who are members of bourses affiliated to the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), but all members of the diamond trade across the world are welcome to participate.

Each Indian company that wins the right to display at the Bharat Diamond Week is entitled to one booth. Since trading in synthetic or lab-grown diamonds.

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Bergman, VanderLinden, Fischer & Geolat Join Zillion’s Jewelry Innovation Council

Members have chaired industry boards and organizations.




(PRESS RELEASE) Zillion, the jewelry insurer that offers 1-Click insurance at point of sale, has formed the Zillion Jewelry Innovation Council with venerable jewelry industry leaders Phyllis Bergman, Ronnie VanderLinden, Jeff Fischer and Patti Geolat, as its founding members. Members have served on, and in most cases chaired, industry boards and organizations such as the Jewelers Board of Trade, American Gem Society, 24 Karat Club of NY, Women’s Jewelers Assoc., U.S. Jewelry Council, and the World Diamond Council.

The purpose of Zillion’s Jewelry Innovation Council is to bring industry experts together to discuss opportunities and overcome challenges to providing more transparency and value-added services to the jewelry industry. With its primary focus on better serving the end customer, the council seeks to help the industry create differentiation and better experiences for consumers.

“We are excited about the approach Zillion has taken to provide increased transparency to customers” said Ronnie VanderLinden, president of Diamond Manufacturers & Importers of America. “The industry is ready to expand consumer education, and provide new solutions to an ever changing customer”.

“Council members are interested in promoting the industry they love and to create customer delight in partnership with jewelers and industry stakeholders,” said Adam Black, co-founder and managing director of Zillion. “We are aligned and overjoyed to be in partnership with four industry experts who have dedicated their careers to bettering the jewelry industry.” Phyllis Bergman, former CEO of Mercury Ring added, “We have always been at the forefront of change, and we look to continue our efforts to exceed customer expectations”.

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