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American Gem Trade Association Announces 2016 Summer AGTA Spectrum Awards Winners

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(Press Release)
DALLAS, TX – The American Gem Trade Association has announced the winners of the 2016 AGTA Spectrum Awards, held in New York on July 23-24. The judges for the competition this year were the following: Gail Brett-Levine of National Association of Jewelry Appraisers; Diane Garmendia of 33 Jewels at El Paseo; Jay Mednikow of J.H. Mednikow & Co., Inc.; Victor Velyan of Victor-Christy Studios; and Lew Wackler of Lew Wackler Gem Co.

"What a spectacular collection of winners," says Douglas K. Hucker, AGTA’s CEO. "The AGTA Spectrum Awards always showcases the best, most innovative and the most exciting evolutions in the design and colored gemstone industry, and this year was certainly no exception. Unquestionably the quality of the gemstones and metals in the craftsmanship was elevated this year in all of the entries we received, and that was evident in the choices our expert judges made."

The winners of the 2016 Summer AGTA Spectrum Awards are as follows:

Best of Show

  • Best of Show
    Ruben Bindra, B & B Fine Gems – Suite of round, brilliant Russian demantoid garnets (24.67 ctw.).
  • Best Use of Color
    Derek Katzenbach, Katzenbach Designs – 14K white gold ring featuring a 4.97 ct. bicolored tourmaline accented with tsavorite garnets, tourmalines and diamonds (.69 ctw.).
  • Best Use of Pearls
    Judy Evans, Oliver & Espig Gallery of Fine Arts – Platinum pendant featuring a 13.44mm golden South Sea cultured pearl accented with diamonds.
  • Best Use of Platinum and Color
    Kathy Kinev, Jewel Creations, Inc. – Platinum "St. Chapelle" ring featuring rubies, sapphires, tsavorite garnets and blue and white diamonds.
  • Fashion Forward
    Lorenzo Chavez, Geogem-USA – Platinum and 18K yellow and rose gold "Gift from the Abyss" pendant featuring a 124.73 ct. carved Kunzite accented with blue zircons and diamonds (.82 ctw.).

Bridal Wear

  • Bridal Wear – 1st Place and Platinum Honors
    Ricardo Basta, E. Eichberg, Inc. – Platinum "Royal Blue" ring featuring a 12.00 ct. blue sapphire accented with diamonds (2.59 ctw.). The ring features a detachable 18K yellow gold "Quilt" jacket featuring turquoise accented with diamonds (.43 ctw.) and tsavorite Garnets (.16 ctw.).
  • Bridal Wear – 2nd Place
    Alexia Connellan, Alexia Connellan Luxury Jewelry – Platinum "Regency Earrings" featuring mint tourmalines (8.63 ctw.) accented with diamonds (2.50 ctw.).
  • Bridal Wear – 3rd Place
    Caroline Chartouni, Caroline C – 18K white gold earrings featuring red spinels accented with diamonds.
  • Bridal Wear – Honorable Mention
    Jessica Neiwert, Jessica Nei – 18K rose gold "Snow Blossom" convertible earrings featuring lavender chalcedony (13.50 ctw.) accented with moonstones (1.66 ctw.), pink sapphires (.41 ctw.), amethysts (.29 ctw.) and diamonds (.54 ctw.).
  • Bridal Wear – Honorable Mention
    Samuel Sulimanov, Samuel Sylvio Designs – 18K white gold earrings featuring Paraiba tourmalines (3.0 ctw.) accented with Paraiba tourmaline melee (.68 ctw.) and diamonds.
  • Bridal Wear – Manufacturing Honors
    Dennis de Jonghe, deJonghe Original Jewelry – Platinum ring featuring a 2.20 ct. aquamarine accented with diamonds (0.40 ctw.).
  • Bridal Wear – GEM DIVA Award
    Heena Chheda Shah, Real Gems, Inc. – 18K white gold "Rosalyn" earrings featuring eight pear-shaped emeralds (15.89 ctw.) accented with fancy and round diamonds (3.49 ctw.).

Business/Day Wear

  • Business/Day Wear – 1st Place
    Ricardo Basta, E. Eichberg, Inc. – 18K yellow gold and platinum "Honey" ring featuring a 13.58 ct. heliodor accented with sapphires (.82 ctw.) and diamonds (.96 ctw.).
  • Business/Day Wear – 2nd Place
    T. Foster & Co, Fine Jewelers, T. Foster & Co, Fine Jewelers – 18K yellow gold and platinum ring featuring a 22.93 ct. orange sapphire accented with diamonds.
  • Business/Day Wear – 3rd Place
    Zoltan David, Zoltan David, LLC – Palladium and 22K yellow gold ring featuring a 4.12 ct. danburite accented with blue sapphires (.42 ctw.).
  • Business/Day Wear – Honorable Mention
    Shuang Feng, Fon Shon Jewellery Art & Design – 14K white gold with 18K rose gold plating ring featuring an oval morganite accented with diamonds.
  • Business/Day Wear – Honorable Mention
    Patrick King, Jewelsmith – 14K white and yellow gold pendant featuring a 31.94 ct. lemon quartz accented with a 2.96 ct. opal and diamonds (.15 ctw.).
  • Business/Day Wear – Manufacturing Honors
    Llyn Strong, llyn strong fine art jewelry – 18K yellow gold earrings featuring bezel-set rubies (1.56 ctw).
  • Business/Day Wear – Platinum Honors
    John Ford, Lightning Ridge Collection by John Ford – Platinum "Mirror" ring featuring a 3.65 ct. black opal accented with diamonds (.69 ctw.).
  • Business/Day Wear – Entry Platinum Innovation
    Jill Maurer, Jill Maurer – Platinum "Verge" ring featuring an 11.19 ct. golden zircon accented with natural colored diamonds (1.23 ctw.).
  • Business/Day Wear – GEM DIVA Award
    Naomi Sarna, Naomi Sarna Designs – 18K palladium white gold "Confetti Heart" ring featuring multicolored diamonds, sapphires, rubies and amethysts.

Classical

  • Classical – 1st Place
    Niveet Nagpal, Omi Gems Inc. – 18K rose gold ring featuring a 4.01 ct. cushion-cut pink spinel accented with spinel melee (.52 ctw.), diamond melee (.82 ctw.) and a .01 ct. Alexandrite.
  • Classical – 2nd Place
    Niveet Nagpal, Omi Gems Inc. – Platinum and black rhodium ring featuring three Alexandrites (6.99 ctw.) accented with Alexandrite melee (1.64 ctw.) and diamonds (.91 ctw.).
  • Classical – 3rd Place
    Alexia Connellan, Alexia Connellan Luxury Jewelry – 18K rose gold "Spiral Earrings" featuring morganites (9.50 ctw.) accented with Akoya cultured pearls (8.02 ctw.), sapphires (1.08 ctw.) and diamonds (.85 ctw.).
  • Classical – Honorable Mention and Entry Platinum Innovation
    Lindsay Jane, Lindsay Jane Designs – Platinum ring featuring a 7.77 ct. moonstone accented with purple and blue sapphires (0.97 ctw.) and diamonds (0.52 ctw.).
  • Classical – Honorable Mention and GEM DIVA Award
    Heena Chheda Shah, Real Gems, Inc. – 18K white gold "Bridget" ring featuring a 3.08 ct. oval ruby accented with round rubies (.31 ctw.) and round and pear
    diamonds (3.87 ctw.).
  • Classical – Manufacturing Honors
    Dominique Israileff, ASBA USA, INC. – 14K rose gold pendant featuring a 13mm Tahitian cultured pearl accented with diamonds (.37 ctw.).
  • Classical – Platinum Honors
    Zoltan David, Zoltan David, LLC – Platinum pendant featuring a 35.63 ct. marquis moonstone cabochon set in blue patina bronze on a strand of cabochon moonstones (18.20 ctw.) and diamonds (1.20 ctw.).

Evening Wear

  • Evening Wear – 1st Place
    David Gross, David Gross Group – Platinum necklace featuring 21 unheated Mozambique rubies (29.33 ctw.) accented with diamonds (21.61 ctw.).
  • Evening Wear – 2nd Place
    Phillip Dismuke, Jewelsmith – 18K yellow gold and platinum ring featuring a 13.53 ct. black opal accented with sapphires (1.01 ctw.) and diamonds (.07 ctw.).
  • Evening Wear – 3rd Place
    Robert Pelliccia, J.R. Dunn Jewelers – 18K yellow and white gold pendant featuring a 23.94 ct. boulder opal accented with blue and pink sapphires (.58 ctw.) and diamonds (.92 ctw.) on a black diamond bead necklace.
  • Evening Wear – Honorable Mention
    Erica Courtney, Erica Courtney, Inc. – 18K yellow gold "Easter Egg" ring featuring a 7.46 ct. Paraiba tourmaline accented with Paraiba tourmalines (1.09 ctw.) and diamonds (2.45 ctw.).
  • Evening Wear – Honorable Mention
    Sinork Agdere, Lord Jewelry – 18K yellow gold and platinum "Ballerina" ring featuring a 65.0 ct. specialty-cut lemon citrine accented with diamonds and enamel.
  • Evening Wear – Manufacturing Honors
    Llyn Strong, llyn strong fine art jewelry – 18K rose gold "Calla Lily" ring featuring a 5.17 ct. rose-cut green tourmaline accented with diamonds (0.03 ctw).
  • Evening Wear – Platinum Honors
    John Ford, Lightning Ridge Collection by John Ford – Platinum "Electric Blue" necklace featuring black opal (197 ctw.) accented with diamonds (6.27 ctw.).
  • Evening Wear – GEM DIVA Award
    Alexia Connellan, Alexia Connellan Luxury Jewelry – Platinum "The Fringe Earrings" featuring bicolored tourmalines (20.32 ctw.) accented with diamonds (1.50 ctw.).

Men’s Wear

  • Men’s Wear – 1st Place and Platinum Honors
    Mark Schneider, Mark Schneider Design – Platinum and 18K yellow gold ring featuring a 8.76 ct. Maw Sit Sit accented with black, white and yellow diamonds (2.27 ctw.) and tsavorite garnets (.93 ctw.).
  • Men’s Wear – 2nd Place
    William Travis, William Travis Jewelry – Silver and 18K yellow gold ring a featuring 17.67 ct. carved lapis lazuli scarab beetle accented with orange sapphires (.96 ctw.).
  • Men’s Wear – 3rd Place
    Craig Slavens, Studio 247 Fine Jewelry – Carbon fiber, platinum and 18K rose gold ring featuring a 4.52 ct. unheated Padparadscha sapphire accented with diamonds (.39 ctw.).
  • Men’s Wear – Honorable Mention and Entry Platinum Innovation
    William Travis, William Travis Jewelry – Platinum band featuring blue sapphires (.54 ctw.), cognac Diamonds (.18 ctw.) and colorless diamonds (.18 ctw.).

All Other Faceted

  • All Other Faceted – 1st Place
    Jeffrey R. Hapeman, Earth’s Treasury LLC – 42.47 ct. brilliant square cushion specialty-cut Apatite.
  • All Other Faceted – 2nd Place
    Mikola Kukharuk, Nomad’s – 12.44 ct. square cushion tsavorite garnet.
  • All Other Faceted – 3rd Place
    Ambassador Gems, Ambassador Gems – 24.12 ct. cushion-cut blue zircon.
  • All Other Faceted – Honorable Mention
    Hemant Phophaliya, A G Color Inc. – 48.62 ct. sugarloaf tanzanite.

Carving

  • Carving – 1st Place
    Naomi Sarna, Naomi Sarna Designs – Hand-carved ametrine (297 ctw.).
  • Carving – 2nd Place
    John Dyer, John Dyer & Co. – Aquamarine carving titled ‘Sydney Symphony" (53.63 ctw.).
  • Carving – 3rd Place
    Meg Berry, Mega Gem – 21.70 ct. pyrope garnet titled "Rooster."
  • Carving – Honorable Mention
    Naomi Sarna, Naomi Sarna Designs – Rutilated quartz carving (1375 ctw.).

Classic Gemstone

  • Classic Gemstone – 1st Place
    Ruben Bindra, B & B Fine Gems – 10.11 ct. Sri Lankan cushion-cut orange sapphire.
  • Classic Gemstone – 2nd Place
    Allen Kleiman, A. Kleiman & Co. – 20.03 ct. unheated emerald-cut yellow sapphire.
  • Classic Gemstone – 3rd Place
    Allen Kleiman, A. Kleiman & Co. – 15.01 ct. emerald-cut blue sapphire.
  • Classic Gemstone – Honorable Mention
    Ruben Bindra, B & B Fine Gems – 7.22 ct. cushion-cut Padparadscha sapphire.

Innovative Faceting

  • Innovative Faceting – 1st Place
    John Dyer, John Dyer & Co. – 80.29 ct. specialty-cut ametrine.
  • Innovative Faceting – 2nd Place
    John Dyer, John Dyer & Co. – 175.37 ct. deep concave cushion-cut morganite titled "Mozambique Sunset."
  • Innovative Faceting – 3rd Place
    Ryan Joseph Anderson, Ryan Joseph Gems – 89.41 ct. amethyst, titled "Efflorescence."
  • Innovative Faceting – Honorable Mention
    Glenn Wm. Lehrer, Lehrer Designs, Inc. – 30.79 ct. danburite and a 1.03 ct. Ruby titled "KaleidosCut." When placed together, they create an 8-pointed star in the danburite.

Objects of Art

  • Objects of Art – Honorable Mention
    Brenda Smith, Brenda Smith Jewelry – "Light My Fire" object of art featuring opalized wood (250 ctw.) accented with a hand-carved 75.0 ct. sunstone flame, 40.0 ct. hand-carved Mexican fire opal and diamonds (.20 ctw.).
  • Objects of Art – Honorable Mention
    Neda Behnam, Samuel B. Collection – 18K yellow gold "Stallion" statue featuring champagne diamonds (7.81 ctw.) accented with tsavorite garnets and mother-of-pearl on an onyx base.

Pairs & Suites

  • Pairs & Suites – 1st Place and Best of Show
    Ruben Bindra, B & B Fine Gems – Suite of round, brilliant Russian demantoid garnets (24.67 ctw.).
  • Pairs & Suites – 2nd Place
    Allen Kleiman, A. Kleiman & Co. – Suite of pear-shaped unheated Mozambique rubies (18.77 ctw.).
  • Pairs & Suites – 3rd Place
    Ben Kho, Kho International, Ltd. – Suite of round rhodochrosite (17.26 ctw.).
  • Pairs & Suites – Honorable Mention
    Allen Kleiman, A. Kleiman & Co. – Earring suite of oval pink and purple (unheated) sapphires (17.23 ctw.).

Phenomenal

  • Phenomenal – 1st Place
    Gil, Gil Int’l – 5.56 ct. untreated Alexandrite.
  • Phenomenal – 2nd Place
    Robert Shapiro, Robert Shapiro – 10.05 ct. oval boulder opal.
  • Phenomenal – 3rd Place
    Manu Nichani, Blue Moon Ent. – 19.07 ct. royal blue rectangular, cushion-cut moonstone.
  • Phenomenal – Honorable Mention
    Robyn Dufty, DuftyWeis Opals, Inc. – 103.80 ct. cabochon boulder opal.

 

This year’s AGTA Spectrum Awards will be presented during the 2017 AGTA GemFair Tucson to be held Jan. 31 – Feb. 5 at the Tucson Convention Center in Tucson, AZ. Winning entries will be displayed during the show and AGTA Spectrum Awards recipients will be recognized during the AGTA Spectrum Awards Gala on Saturday, Feb. 4. Tickets for the gala are $100, and cocktail attire is encouraged.

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For more information regarding the 2017 AGTA GemFair Tucson or the AGTA Spectrum Awards Gala, call (800) 972-1162 or visit agta.org. For more information regarding the AGTA Spectrum Awards competition, contact Megan Whitmire at [email protected] or (800) 972-1162.

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