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INSTORE Design Awards 2018 – Colored Gemstones

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1ST PLACE: K. BRUNINI

Skipping Stones necklace from the Eating Watermelon in a Black Forest collection in blackened sterling silver and 18K white gold with watermelon tourmaline slices (608 TCW) and lavender pink diamonds (0.30 TCW)

$111,625

Who needs farm-to-table? That’s the question asked and answered by designer Katey Brunini with her new Eating Watermelon in a Black Forest collection, which honors the rebirth of Germany’s Black Forest (which was deforested in the 19th century) as well as the work of Hildegard of Bingen, the 11th century abbess who is regarded as the founder of scientific natural history in Germany.

While it sounds like a lot, Brunini says the inspiration for this particular piece is almost primal: “the happiness of eating a cool piece of watermelon on a hot summer day in the woods.” The unique bi-color watermelon tourmaline slices are cradled in blackened silver with diamonds, recalling “the breathtaking beauty and harmony of nature as experienced while ‘forest bathing’ (or shinrin-yoku as it’s called in Japanese),” says Brunini.

WHAT THE JUDGES SAY

Liza Urla: Breathtaking combination of watermelon tourmaline and pink diamonds in this necklace. I love its unusual and rather enticing name, “Eating Watermelon in the Black Forest” from the Skipping Stones collection. I would love to see this necklace on, and if you know me, you know I love trying jewelry on, as a jewel truly shows itself only when on. A product shot does not do justice to this artistic jewelry creation!

Julie Horowitz Jackson: Chic, elegant, alternative use of color and oxidation. I love the attention to detail in the charming trail at the back. Aptly named miraculous suite of matched stones. Just gorgeous. EH: This is such a happy necklace and such a standout statement piece. I especially like the use of the pink diamonds as accents.

Regina Sigman: This necklace defies description. The stones are mesmerizing. Colors and shapes that make it very special!

 

 

2ND PLACE: Oscar Heyman

Platinum bracelet with 11 oval Lightning Ridge black opals (20.94 TCW), 25 marquise emeralds (5.49 TCW) and 48 round diamonds (3.66 TCW)

$280,000

WHAT THE JUDGES SAY

Jennifer Gandia: I’d wear this beauty with a black tank, a pair of jeans and a pair of heels — a clean palette to show off the fireworks in those opals and a casual outfit to show everyone that a good high/low mix also works with jewelry! JJ: A cacophony of color in some of my favorite stones! I could simply get lost in those opals.

Ellen Hertz: I think this bracelet is so, so beautiful. Diamonds, opals, emeralds … what is there not to like?!? It is elegant, it is feminine, it is just gorgeous.

Regina Sigman: I absolutely adore opals of all types. These Lightning Ridge black opals make me want to weather the storm on that ridge. Set against the emeralds and diamonds, they are enchanting. I also love the “zig-zag” pattern of the stones.

Liza Urla: You will not disagree with me If I call it art and a dream jewel for every jewelry lover. Opal history — its unfortunate reputation stemming from the 19th century novel as an evil stone that brings bad luck — is long forgotten, and from now, on it should be a lucky stone!

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3RD PLACE: LITTLE H

Amethyst Grotto pendant in 14K yellow gold and diamond bale with light-to-dark color reclaimed amethysts set inside hollowed-out freshwater soufflé pearl and accented by white freshwater seed pearls

$3,874

WHAT THE JUDGES SAY

Julie Horowitz Jackson: The process of Little H’s work is mind-blowing. It’s an ingenious and unexpected use of stones and textures. Microcosmic in design, I want to dive right through the center of this piece and see what’s on the other side.

Regina Sigman: This Little H pearl beauty is giant in its statement. The “open cave-like” quality of the pearl with amethyst and tiny pearls accents is a work of art.

 

HONORABLE MENTION: LORIANN JEWELRY

Organique collection earrings with exclusively cut faceted Ethiopian opal layered with faceted orange sapphires, amethyst and diamonds set in 14K yellow gold

$3,800

HONORABLE MENTION: K8 JEWELRY

Precious Time pendulum earrings in 18K white and rose gold with picky red spinel and Paraiba tourmalines

$8,500

HONORABLE MENTION: PAGE SARGISSON

XVIII Rainbow Drop earrings with multi-color sapphires (8.10 TCW) and tsavorite (1.45 TCW) in various 18K gold settings: handcarved, bezel and pronged

$7,300

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].

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