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AGTA Announces Spectrum Awards Judges

The deadline for mail-in entries is June 28.

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(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
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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.

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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 www.agta.org/spectrum.

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Diamond Empowerment Fund Now Doing Business As Diamonds Do Good

The change will be celebrated at DDG’s signature event June 1 in Las Vegas.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK – Seizing on the simplicity, significance and resonance of its “Diamonds Do Good” tagline, the Diamond Empowerment Fund announced that it will evolve its business name to Diamonds Do Good. In keeping with the change, the non-profit organization has reimagined its logo and will be doing the same to its signature Las Vegas event held on the eve of the opening of the JCK Show.

Inspired by Nelson Mandela in 2007, over the past 12+ years the Diamond Empowerment Fund’s mission has supported programs that develop and empower people in diamond communities around the world. In recent years, its mission expanded to exemplify and tell the stories of the good that natural diamonds do for people in the communities where they’re mined, cut, polished, and sold. Those stories have resonated with consumers and the trade alike: consumers have a better image of the natural diamond industry, and are more interested in purchasing a natural diamond after reading the ‘do good’ stories hosted on diamondsdogood.com. Likewise, members of the industry now identify their own sustainability programs under the ‘do good’ banner and use #diamondsdogood in their social media outreach, further building on the message and ensuring that diamonds continue to be a source of sustained economic development around the world.

Having created and trademarked the Diamonds Do Good name in 2014, the organization will now identify itself under this moniker moving forward, and has rebranded itself with a fresh, new look to mark this evolution. It will be celebrated at DDG’s signature event June 1 in Las Vegas, as a reimagined evening and experience that draws the industry’s top global leaders.

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Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair to Be back in February 2020

Respond by February 14th, 2019 to get special free privilege for Trade Missions.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Apart from showcasing extravagant collections of jewelry and offering an international trading platform twice a year, the Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair has become a place where trust is established, and where business partners have turned into friends from long years of trading.

With quality products from manufacturers, traders and designers, lasting relations could be enhanced at the 65th edition of the Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair from February 25 to 29, 2020 in Bangkok, Thailand.

For the pre-registration form, click here. Email the form back at ttclausa@att.net or FAX: 323 466 1559.

Respond by February 14th, 2019 to get special free privilege for Trade Missions.

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Jewelers Mutual Donates $500,000 to Three Organizations in Charitable Campaign for 2019

The amounts donated to these organizations were based on votes by the company’s personal jewelry policyholders.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEENAH, WI — In honor of Giving Tuesday, Jewelers Mutual Group announced the culmination of its charitable campaign for 2019, resulting in $500,000 in donations to three deserving organizations. Funds were distributed this week to Feeding America, the Kids In Need Foundation and Special Olympics. The amounts donated to these organizations were based on votes by the company’s personal jewelry policyholders.

“It is important to have our policyholders be a part of our give back efforts because we share a mutual passion to help others in need. By encouraging them to vote, they made their voices heard, and were able to support the causes they are passionate about,” said Scott Murphy, Jewelers Mutual president and CEO. “Together, we really can do more, and we’re thrilled with the interest, engagement and the results this campaign has received both locally and on a national level.”

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More than 40,000 votes were made by Jewelers Mutual policyholders during the five-month voting period. Based on policyholder votes, Feeding America received $178,300, Kids In Need Foundation received $169,500, and Special Olympics received $147,200. Donations will also be made to Canadian organizations with similar missions.

How policyholders’ votes and corresponding Jewelers Mutual donations impacted the three organizations:

  • Feeding America
    The donation of $178,300 helps provide at least 1,783,000 meals.*
  • Kids In Need Foundation
    The donation of $169,395 supplies over 820 classrooms and 21,000 under-served students with supplies and resources. Additionally, Jewelers Mutual became the first national sponsor of GiftATeacher.org, a program which funds and provides enough school supplies to supply an entire classroom for a full semester.
  • Special Olympics
    The donation of $147,200 by Jewelers Mutual helped train approximately 2,450 Special Olympics athletes and provide a significant and life changing impact for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Jewelers Mutual encourages and supports its employees to be socially responsible and involved in their community. In addition to the dollars being donated, employees volunteered their time to assist all three organizations in 2019– sorting meals and stocking food for Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, a member of the Feeding America network; taking part in the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics; and, packing and distributing 2,000 backpacks for the Kids In Need Foundation.

Jewelers Mutual looks forward to continuing its philanthropic pursuits in 2020 to support charitable organizations important to its employees and policyholders. For more information on how Jewelers Mutual gives back, visit JewelersMutual.com/social-responsibility and check out this video and infographic highlighting the past year.

*$1 helps provide at least 10 meals secured by Feeding America on behalf of local member food banks.

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