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Finalists and Judges Announced for 2018 Saul Bell Design Award




(Press Releases) Rio Grande, the organizer of the Saul Bell Design Award, announces the 45 finalists of the 2018 Saul Bell Design Award competition, as well as the two panels of experts tasked with judging the finalists’ work. 

Now in its 18th year, this international competition challenges designers to pick up their tools and make their mark on the jewelry industry. Since launching in 2001, the Saul Bell Design Award has become one of the most sought-after honors for jewelers and metalsmiths worldwide. Finalists must produce art that is not only beautiful, but technically impeccable.

The judges of the Saul Bell Design Award competition are also of the highest caliber and bring a broad range of perspectives from across the jewelry industry. They are accomplished and respected bench jewelers and designers, innovators and educators at leading industry organizations, and experts in their craft. 

There are nine categories in the 2018 competition: Gold/Platinum, Silver/Argentium Silver, Enamel, Hollowware/Art Objects, Alternative Metals/Materials, Emerging Jewelry Artist (two tiers) and Jewelry Collection (two tiers). The Emerging Jewelry Artist category encompasses two age ranges: 18 years old and younger (high school age) or 22 years old and younger (college age) as of Oct. 26, 2017.

New to the 2018 competition are two “Collection” categories, which invite designers to make a cohesive set of wearable pieces (such as a coordinated necklace, bracelet and pair of earrings). Jewelers can compete in one of two Jewelry Collection subcategories: Couture/Fine, representing luxury jewelry made with precious materials, or Fashion/Bridge, representing trend-setting jewelry made with semi-precious and/or alternative materials.

“In the 16 years I’ve been with Rio Grande, it’s been an honor to see so many talented designers rise to the challenge of creating awe-inspiring pieces and to hear their stories of creation,” says Creative Director Jamie Gros. “The new Jewelry Collection categories add yet another level of opportunity and expression.”


In this international competition, finalists were selected from hundreds of entries, hailing from more than 20 countries. Winners will be announced at an awards dinner to be held on May 20, 2018, in Albuquerque, NM. Photos of each entry are available at

2018 Finalists


  • “Mata Hari” by Garen Garibian (Los Angeles, CA, USA)
  • “Lotus in the Pond (Renaissance)” by Kajal SherchanRai (Hong Kong)
  • “Freedom” by Rosario Garcia (Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA)
  • “Meteor Engagement Ring Set” by Greg Neeley (Georgetown, TX, USA)
  • “Irony” by Ruben Zhitnik (Mayfield Heights, OH, USA)

Silver/Argentium Silver

  • “Venus of Willendorf” by Paul Bundarin (Jackson Heights, NY, USA)
  • “Itado” by Matthieu Cheminée (Montreal, QC, Canada)
  • “Khephir” by Travis Martin (Milwaukie, OR, USA)
  • “Koral” by Caroline Riviere (Longueuil, QC, Canada)
  • “Worldview” by Allison Ice (Chesterfield, MO, USA)


  • “North American Owls” by Jill Tower (Irvine, CA, USA)
  • “Leaping Tree Frog” by Carina Wong (Hong Kong)
  • “The Wisteria Bower” by Kelly Morgen (San Rafael, CA, USA)
  • “The Dragonfly” by Sinork Agdere (Los Angeles, CA, USA)
  • “Testa” by Gill Cordiner (Perth, Western Australia, Australia)

Hollowware/Art Objects

  • “A Little Nonsense” by Janet Huddie (Crownsville, MD, USA)
  • “Fan Club” by Susan Coddon (Atlanta, GA, USA)
  • “Soumbedioune” by Matthieu Cheminée (Montreal, QC, Canada)
  • “Cheap Thrills” by Jason Baide (Bozeman, MT, USA)
  • “Fantasy Coach” by Leonardo Maldonado (Delray Beach, FL, USA)

Alternative Metals/Materials

  • “Ipomoea” by Elysha Roberts (Vineyard Haven, MA, USA)
  • “Green Dragon” by Ricardo Basta (Los Angeles, CA, USA)
  • “Head in the Clouds” by Gabri Schumacher (Schoonhoven, Netherlands)
  • “Orchid Neckpiece” by E. Douglas Wunder (Kutztown, PA, USA)
  • “Art D’Eco—Motif Pendant” by David Alvarado (Los Angeles, CA, USA)

Jewelry Collection Couture/Fine

  • “Rocky Mountains Memories” by Wolfgang Vaatz (Rio Rico, AZ, USA)
  • “Knightsteel” by Zoltan David (Bee Cave, TX, USA)
  • “Art D’Eco (Decoratif d’ Ecologie)–Decorative Ecological Art” by David Alvarado (Los Angeles, CA, USA)
  • “Precious Time” by Kathleen Hubley (Pointe-Claire, QC, Canada)
  • “The White Daisy Set” by Pavit Gujral (Chandiagrh, India)

Jewelry Collection Fashion/Bridge

  • “Origami – Window with a View collection” by Sophia Hu (Las Vegas, NV, USA) 
  • “Dreamweaver” by Elizabeth Sabol (Pittsburgh, PA, USA)
  • “The Wave Collection” by Kwabena Abeney (Burnaby, BC, Canada)
  • “Vortex” by Leonid Krykhtin (London, UK)
  • “Lava Pearl Series” by Dawn Teasdale (Winnipeg, MB, Canada)

Emerging Jewelry Artist 18 Years of Age or Younger

  • “Waterfall” by Peyton Rogers (Fort Worth, TX, USA)
  • “Discrete Extravagance” by Augustin Gregory (Beau Bassin, Plaine Wilhems, Mauritius)
  • “Think About It” by Rowan Zinn (Fort Worth, TX, USA)
  • “Fairy Necklace” by Caroline Senyszyn (Fort Worth, TX, USA)
  • “Tangential Rings” by Emma Petrovich (Wellesley, MA, USA)

Emerging Jewelry Artist 22 Years of Age or Younger

  • “The Unseen Seen” by Cecilia Zhu (Providence, RI, USA)
  • “Goya” by Taron Rueger (Parker, CO, USA)
  • “Courage” by Hoi Yi Lai (Markham, ON, Canada)
  • “We Must Carry the Weight” by Tyler Kane (Brooklyn, NY, USA)
  • “Balance” by Cassidy Terry (Rockville Centre, NY, USA)

2018 Judges

Judge bios and photos are available at


Final Round

  • Jeanette Caines—goldsmith, educator and owner of Jewelry Arts Inc.
  • Paula Crevoshay—designer and owner of Crevoshay
  • Jose Hess—master goldsmith, gemologist, designer and educator
  • Lee Krombholz—third-generation designer and owner of Krombholz Jewelers
  • Alan Revere—goldsmith and founder of Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts

First Round

  • Mark Guerin—jeweler and co-owner of Harris Jewelers & Gemologists
  • Elizabeth Kirk—jeweler and designer
  • Rémy Rotenier—designer and renowned jewelry illustrator
  • John Sartin—jeweler, designer and Rio Jewelry Tech Team member
  • Robin Waynee—Saul Bell Design Award-winning jeweler and designer



Celebrate Your Retirement with Wilkerson

For nearly three decades, Suzanne and Tom Arnold ran a successful business at Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Va. But the time came when the Arnolds wanted to do some of the things you put off while you’ve got a business to run. “We decided it was time to retire,” says Suzanne, who claims the couple knew how to open a store, how to run a store but “didn’t know how to close a store.” So, they hired Wilkerson to do it for them. When she called, Suzanne says Wilkerson offered every option for the sale she could have hoped for. Better still, “the sale exceeded our financial goals like crazy,” she says. And customers came, not only to take advantage of the going-out-of-business buys and mark-downs, but to wish a bon voyage to the beloved proprietors of a neighborhood institution. “People were celebrating our retirement, and that was so special,” says says.

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