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Emily Kuvin Wins MJSA Responsibly Sourced Design Challenge

The winner was chosen at the end of the year through an online poll open to the entire industry.




uly 2020 Emily Kuvin

(PRESS RELEASE) Emily Kuvin, a New York City–based jewelry designer who specializes in 14k and sterling pieces with clean lines and classic structures, recently took top prize in MJSA’s 2020 Responsibly Sourced Design Challenge.


Emily Kuvin

The trade alliance dedicated to professional success in jewelry making and design, MJSA annually invites designers to create custom renderings based on a fictional scenario published in the organization’s monthly magazine, MJSA Journal. This year, nine designers participated in the Challenge, rendering jewelry that reflected the background and interests of the “client” in the story, a mother and college professor whose children want to commemorate her becoming a U.S. citizen. The designs also had to incorporate several responsibly sourced stones from the Challenge’s sponsor, Columbia Gem House of Vancouver, Washington.

The winner was chosen at the end of the year through an online poll open to the entire industry.

Kuvin’s design aesthetic came through in her winning entry, a 14k yellow mesh necklace featuring a large 26 x 24 mm Mexican mabe pearl as a center stone, accented with mixed-color sapphire melee from Montana.

The “pearl represents Maria’s Mexican heritage and birth family and anchors the piece, just as her strength anchors her family,” Kuvin explained. “The sapphires to the left of the pearl are her three children…while the nine sapphires joyously emanating to the right stand for the love, beauty, excitement, and knowledge Maria puts forth into family and the world.


“The mesh represents a fishing net to honor Maria’s hometown and how her father made his livelihood,” she added. “It also symbolizes the wide net that Maria has cast to encompass the personal and professional opportunities so far in her life.”

Although she has been designing jewelry since high school, Kuvin’s career path includes jobs as a TV news anchor, reporter, and legal counsel (she has degrees in both law and journalism). She now runs her own studio, Emily Kuvin Jewelry in New York City.

In addition to Kuvin, the designers who participated in this year’s Challenge were Nanz Aalund of Nanz Aalund Art Jewelry in Poulsbo, Washington; Tammy Denmark of On U Designs in Kalispell, Montana; Sabrina Hoffman of Dally and Toil in Centralia, Washington; Emily Dubinsky of Emily Emmet Inc. in New York City; Niki Grandics of Enji Studio Jewelry in San Diego; Meredith Young of Meredith Young Jewelry in Park City, Utah; Betsy Cross of Betsy & Iya in Portland, Oregon; and Amy Smetana of Eye Candy by Amy in Chicago.

The sponsor, Columbia Gem House, has been building a mine-to-market supply chain for ethical gems for more than four decades, and it has worked with governments, nonprofits, miners, and cutters to ensure safe workplaces, fair wages, ethical sourcing, and environmentally responsible mining.

For more information about the Challenge and to view the work of all nine designers, go to




Wilkerson Testimonials | Zadok Master Jewelers

Stick to the Program — And Watch Your Sales Grow

When Zadok Master Jewelers in Houston, Texas, decided to move to a new location (they’d been in the same one for the 45 years they’d been in business), they called Wilkerson to run a moving sale. The results, says seventh-generation jeweler Jonathan Zadok, were “off the charts” in terms of traffic and sales. Why? They took Wilkerson’s advice and stuck to the company’s marketing program, which included sign twirlers — something Jonathan Zadok had never used before. He says a number of very wealthy customers came in because of them. “They said, ‘I loved your sign twirlers and here’s my credit card for $20,000.’ There’s no way we could have done that on our own,” says Zadok. “Without Wilkerson, the sale never, ever would have come close to what it did.”

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