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El Paso jewelry designer Susan Eisen recently won the award for “2021 Best in Show” with a contemporary yellow gold, ametrine, and diamond pendant she designed and crafted in her store.

CPAA U.S. Winners of 2021 International Pearl Design Competition

President’s Trophy Winner

DNA Interchangeable earrings from Tariq Riaz of Tariq Riaz LLC. The DNA earrings are made in 18k rose gold and are inspired by the DNA silhouette. The removable drop part of the earrings features 96 hand-twisted wires set in 24 turntable bases to ensure the pair turn freely and change patterns. Some 100 Akoya pearls that are 4–4.5 mm are set on the gold wires, while one pair of stud earrings features 3.33 cts. t.w. emerald beads and 16 keshi pearls that are 2–5 mm in size. A second pair of studs features 6 mm Akoya pearls and 1.15 cts. t.w. turquoise beads.

CPAA U.S. Winners of 2021 International Pearl Design Competition

Luster Award Winner

Nest earrings by Barbara Heinrich. The earrings are made in 18k yellow gold and feature two 11–12 mm high-luster freshwater keshi pearls and 0.22 ct. t.w. diamonds. The dimensions are 23 mm x 24 mm x 8 mm. Heinrich wanted to capture the spontaneity and lightness of the pencil lines in her sketch of the earrings, so she forged the gold wire in a way that mimicked the looseness of the drawing, giving the finished earrings a light look and feel.

CPAA U.S. Winners of 2021 International Pearl Design Competition

Luster Award Winner

Loie ring by Anne Baker. The ring is made in 18k yellow gold and features an 11 mm white South Sea pearl and a 10 mm Tahitian pearl with 0.80 ct. t.w. of VS-clarity diamonds. Loie is inspired by the iconic Serpentine dance photos of American actress Loïe Fuller. The design of this Moi et Toi ring highlights the beauty in contrasts.

CPAA U.S. Winners of 2021 International Pearl Design Competition

Orient Award Winner

Coin Pearl Amazon ring by Eve Streicker of Original Eve. This 18k recycled yellow gold ring features a coin-shape freshwater pearl with a sharp luster and rose overtones. The pearl’s U-shape form captures light and creates a rainbow effect, making this ring a one-of-a-kind beauty that allows the pearl to seemingly float on the hand. The sculptural band curves for comfort and tapers to counterbalance the pearl, while the prongs are leaf shape, a motif that is present throughout the Original Eve Amazon Collection. The freshwater pearl is 16.6 mm x 18.7 mm.

CPAA U.S. Winners of 2021 International Pearl Design Competition

Orient Award Winner

The Pearl Blossom ring by Anne Baker. The ring is made in 20k rose gold and features a 13 mm pink freshwater pearl with 0.77 ct. t.w. pink sapphires. The design is inspired by both the radiance of the sun and the playful joy of sunflowers. The sapphires complement the unique beauty of the pearl, which takes center stage and radiates like soft sunlight.

CPAA U.S. Winners of 2021 International Pearl Design Competition

Visionary Award for Classic Styles Winner

Corner Pearl Nacre ring by Melanie Georgacopoulos. The ring is made in 18k rose gold and has a 13 mm lavender freshwater pearl and custom-cut lavender mother-of-pearl. The mother-of-pearl perfectly matches the color of the pearl as if returning the pearl to its oyster. The piece acts as a miniature sculpture with jewelry elements and is beautiful both as an object and a jewel on the hand.

CPAA U.S. Winners of 2021 International Pearl Design Competition

Wedding Day Pearls Winner

Exposed Pearl Nacre bangle by Melanie Georgacopoulos. This sculptural bangle is made in 18k white gold with white mother-of-pearl and a matching color 13 mm white South Sea pearl. The Nacre collection, of which this piece belongs, is important as it ties back to Melanie’s background in sculpture. The bangle stands alone as an enticing object yet can also be worn effortlessly on the wrist.

CPAA U.S. Winners of 2021 International Pearl Design Competition

Wedding Day Pearls Winner

Celine 3.0” Tahitian Pearl Dagger earrings by Rosa van Parys. The hoops and removable Dagger drops are made in 18k white and black gold and feature a pair of silver-blue AA quality 9 mm Tahitian pearls with 2.94 cts. t.w. diamonds. The daggers are inspired by icicles created in winter and have been designed for the style-forward woman. Balance, symmetry, and composition are all driving factors behind the brand’s point of view, allowing pieces to be unique, elegant, edgy, statement-worthy, and able to be worn in both casual and upscale scenarios. Dagger drops can also be worn as pendants with other necklaces in the collection.

CPAA U.S. Winners of 2021 International Pearl Design Competition

Fashion Award

Pearl Swag bracelet by Imperial Pearl. The bracelet is made in 14k yellow gold and features Akoya pearls ranging in size from 5.5 mm to 6.5 mm with 1.545 cts. t.w. diamonds. The inspiration speaks to the design sensibility of today’s woman, which includes softness, femininity, and layers, as the cuff gives the illusion of multiple bracelets. The juxtaposition of structured rows of fixed pearls, the solid framework of gold and diamonds, and a movable pearl swag that contrasts steadiness and fluid movement, illustrates how these two qualities can beautifully commingle on the wrist of the tenacious but sensitive woman.

CPAA U.S. Winners of 2021 International Pearl Design Competition

Spotlight Award Winner

Blue Wave ring by Paul Klecka. The ring is made in sterling silver and 950 platinum and features a baroque natural-color blue Akoya pearl and diamonds. The design inspiration is that of a solitary blue pearl riding the gentle waves of softly polished silver that caress the hand, riding over one finger, around the next, and continuing over the last finger. Clusters of diamonds in platinum form the crests of the wave as they curl back to salute the pearl, balanced on the breaking edge of the wave forms. The neutral colors of silver and platinum and their undulating forms allow the pearl to be the compelling focus of the ring.

CPAA U.S. Winners of 2021 International Pearl Design Competition

Spotlight Award Winner

Blue Akoya Pearl necklace with pendants by Lauren Chisholm. Necklace in 14k and 18k yellow gold and knotted silk has 7.5 mm–7.9 mm natural-color blue Akoyas, a cream-color Akoya, a 10.4–10.6 mm natural-color blue Akoya and a 11.2–13.3 mm white South Sea pearl as charm pendants, hand-carved starburst motifs, and a charm holder clasp. The easy-to-wear design highlights the luminous strand of blue Akoya pearls, while the starburst symbol represents joy and light. The clasp snaps open and closed, allowing charms to be added as desired.

CPAA U.S. Winners of 2021 International Pearl Design Competition

Popularity Award winner

Marie Fauvel Lebourgeois of LEBOURGEOIS for her bijOO convertible pearl ring. Her piece secured the most ‘likes’—250—amongst all finalists posted.

Platinum Design DNA Awards Winners

The first place winner was Celine Dussaud. Celine states, “my work is based on elements from nature, visually deconstructed and reconstructed as a means of abstraction.”

Platinum Design DNA Awards Winners

Second place went to Aditi Sabavala. Aditi writes that her “current work explores the idea of linking the different stages of growth in [her] life to those of plants.”

Platinum Design DNA Awards Winners

Third place winner, Maria Baquerizo, states that her “earrings are inspired by Lianas, which are originally from the Amazonian jungle in Ecuador, [her] home country.”

2020 AGTA Spectrum Awards Winners

Phenomenal – 1st Place

David Nassi, 100% Natural, Ltd. – 16.06 ct. untreated Vietnamese star Ruby cabochon.

2020 AGTA Spectrum Awards Winners

Objects of Art – 1st Place

Paula Crevoshay, Mellika Company, Inc./ Crevoshay – “Garden of Delight Mystery Box” made of Lapis Lazuli, Opal, Sugilite, Malachite, Turquoise and more. The hummingbirds, branch, and columbine feature multicolored Sapphires, Amethysts, Spinels, tsavorite Garnets, Opal, and Diamonds.

2020 AGTA Spectrum Awards Winners

North American Mined Gemstones – 1st Place (TIE)

Edward Wilsek, Wilsek & Co – 35.43 ct. oval faceted spessartite Garnet from Virginia.

2020 AGTA Spectrum Awards Winners

North American Mined Gemstones – 1st Place (TIE)

David Nassi, 100% Natural, Ltd. – 0.80 ct. shield-shaped untreated red Beryl from Utah.

2020 AGTA Spectrum Awards Winners

Innovative Faceting – 1st Place

Thomas Trozzo, Trozzo – 70 ct. freeform faceted and carved Ametrine.

2020 AGTA Spectrum Awards Winners

Classic Gemstone – 1st Place
David Nassi, 100% Natural, Ltd. – 12.99 ct. untreated vibrant pink Ceylon Sapphire.

2020 AGTA Spectrum Awards Winners

Carving – 1st Place

Yanqing Zhang Asdurian, Yanqing Asdurian – Jadeite snail carving.

2020 AGTA Spectrum Awards Winners

All Other Cut Gemstones – 1st Place

Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem Corp. – 21.81 ct. brilliant-cut pear-shaped Paraiba Tourmaline.

2020 AGTA Spectrum Awards Winners

Men’s Wear – 1st Place and Platinum Honors

Jeremy Dunn, Dunn & Co. – Platinum cufflinks featuring Asscher-cut pyrope/spessartite Garnets (5.83 ctw.) and blue
Sapphire melee (1.35 ctw.).

2020 AGTA Spectrum Awards Winners

Evening Wear – 1st Place

Michael Tope, Raintree, LLC – 18K yellow and rose gold and platinum “Casatheia” ring featuring an 8.40 ct. rubellite
Tourmaline paired with a 2.33 ct. blue Sapphire accented with Chrysoprase, Montana Sapphires (1.68 ctw.), Diamonds
(.40 ctw.), and a pear-cut Turquoise.

2020 AGTA Spectrum Awards Winners

Classical – 1st Place

Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem Corp. – Platinum ring featuring a 14.28 ct. oval blue Sri Lankan Sapphire accented with
Diamonds.

2020 AGTA Spectrum Awards Winners

Business/Day Wear – 1st Place, Platinum Honors, and Platinum Innovation

Nikki Swift, Nicole Mera LLC – Platinum ring featuring pink and lavender pear-shaped Spinels (2.49 ctw.) accented with
Diamonds (1.26 ctw.).

2020 AGTA Spectrum Awards Winners

Bridal Wear – 1st Place and Manufacturing Honors

Niveet Nagpal, Omi Prive – Platinum ring featuring a 3.38 ct. oval Emerald accented with Diamond epaulets (1.00 ctw.).

In the 2020 MJSA Vision Awards, Brenda Smith of Brenda Smith Jewelry in Woodstock, Georgia, was honored for “Ode to Notre Dame,” an 18k green gold necklace featuring a 41.28 ct. apatite center stone accented by green tsavorites (1.66 ctw) and natural diamonds (1.14 ctw) (Honorable Mention for Custom Design Distinction).

David Dorian of Dorian Jewelers, Watertown, Massachusetts, was hored for this repurposed 14k Art Deco ring featuring a 2 ct. radiant-cut diamond center stone and two pear-shaped sapphires in the 2020 MJSA Vision Awards (Honorable Mention for Custom Design Distinction).

Adam Neeley of Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry, Laguna Beach, CA, was honored in the 2020 MJSA Vision Awards for “Moon Glow,” a cuff featuring a 29.5 ctw suite of rainbow moonstones (Honorable Mention for Laser Distinction).

Sophia Hu was honored in the 2020 MJSA Vision Awards for “Wreath,” a brooch/pendant with interwoven 18k and Argentium wires (Honorable Mention for Laser Distinction).

The “Reverie” bracelet by Ashley Pollack, who is studying at both SUNY New Paltz and the Gemological Institute of America, was recognized in the 2020 MJSA Vision Awards. Pollack cut each link of this hinged bracelet from a sheet of sterling, then added decoration through keum-boo, the ancient Korean technique that fuses 24k foil to another surface (usually silver). After scoring, bending, and soldering the links, she attached them with Argentium posts. This flexible bracelet won Second Place in the Future of the Industry category.

The “Befitting” ring by Kyra Martin, a graduating student at George Brown University in Toronto, was recognized in the 2020 MJSA Vision Awards. Martin designed this ring as part of her thesis collection, the pieces in which aim to accentuate the natural lines and curves of the body—in this case, those of the hand and fingers. Made of 18k gold wire, it features a red zircon and a Padparadscha sapphire as accents. The ring won First Place in the Future of the Industry category for student work.

Rough Montana Sapphire and Diamond Dangle Earrings by Karin Jacobson of Karin Jacobson Jewelry Design in Minneapolis were honored in the 2020 MJSA Vision Awards. These earrings were made entirely of responsibly sourced materials: recycled 18k gold, 22k gold, and oxidized sterling; recycled GI-SI diamonds (0.15 ctw); and rough Montana-sourced sapphires (10.09 ctw) that haven’t been cut. Jacobson’s responsible practices extend throughout her operation: She uses food-grade citric acid for pickle, recycles packaging for both jewelry boxes and shipping containers, and ensures her caster uses recycled casting shot. Her efforts won First Place for Responsible Practices Distinction.

The 51 ct. “Floating” Ametrine Solitaire Ring by Frieder Lauer, who owns a jewelry design atelier in Houston, was recognized in the 2020 MJSA Vision Awards. This custom piece features a massive ametrine, to which renowned carver John Dyer applied his trademarked “Starbrite” cut. Lauer’s client instructed that the “stone . . . really needs to just ‘float.’” Through a combination of CAD/CAM, laser work, and ingenuity (the setting capitalizes on a unique pattern of grooves in the ametrine’s pavilion), the designer achieved that effect. This ring won First Place in both the Custom Design Distinction and the Colored Stone Distinction categories.

“Van Gogh’s Sunflower Earrings” by Larissa Moraes were honored in the 2020 MJSA Vision Awards. Another Van Gogh homage, this time featuring citrines (in various shades) and yellow diamonds to represent the sunflowers, these earrings earned Second Place in the Professional Excellence, 1-3 Years in Business category as well as an Honorable Mention for Colored Stone Distinction.

“Van Gogh’s Gladioli Necklace” by Larissa Moraes, a studio artist in Brasilia, Brazil, was recognized in the 2020 MJSA Vision Awards. Inspired by the Dutch artist’s “Vase with Gladioli and Chinese Asters,” this necklace uses light citrine, ruby and morganite gems to mimic the flowers in the painting. Moraes chose an articulated collar to aid in movement and fit. The necklace won First Place in the Professional Excellence, 1-3 Years in Business category.

“Chrysanthemum Fold” by Karin Jacobson of Karin Jacobson Jewelry Design in Minneapolis was recognized in the 2020 MJSA Vision Awards. Featuring the designer’s signature “origami” style of folded metalwork, these earrings feature recycled metals (gold and oxidized sterling), Harmony recycled GI–SI diamonds (0.10 ctw), and 9 mm Tahitian black pearl drops. It won Second Place in the Professional Excellence, 4+ Years in Business category.

“Blooming Cage” by Sophia Hu of 6SHADOWS in Las Vegas was honored in the 2020 MJSA Vision Awards. Hu created this piece by interweaving thin (24-26 gauge) 18k and Argentium wires, deftly using a laser to weld them together and achieve a sophisticated “blooming” pattern. She added diamonds and rubies for accent and depth. This piece won First Place in the Professional Excellence, 4+ Years in Business and the Laser Distinction categories.

At the International Opal Jewellery Design Awards, the Prestige Professional Jewellery award went to “Medusa’s Sting” by Paloma Sanchez for The National Opal Collection. The prize, donated by Down to Earth Opals Pty Ltd, was a beautiful double sided Lightning Ridge 27.77 carat, crystal opal, valued at approximately $5,400.

This 30.19 ct. untreated cushion-cut Tanzanian red spinel from David Nassi of 100% Natural, Ltd. was named “Best of Show” as well as the first-place winner in the “All Other Cut Gemstones” category at the AGTA Spectum Awards on August 6, 2019.

These 18K yellow and white gold cufflinks featuring sapphires (3.09 ctw.) accented with diamonds (2.36 ctw.) and tsavorite garnets (1.37 ctw.) from David White of Aucoin Hart Jewelers won the AGTA Spectrum Award for “Best Use of Color” on August 6, 2019.

Chris Faber of Stuller Inc. won “Best Use of Pearls” for these 18K rose and white gold cufflinks featuring 12-15mm South Sea cultured pearls accented with black diamonds (5.69 ctw.) and rubies at the AGTA Spectrum Awards on August 6, 2019.

Roland Krainz of Krainz Creations took home the prize for “Best Use of Platinum and Color” at the AGTA Spectrum Awards for his platinum “Emergence” cuff bracelet featuring sapphires (9.23 ctw.), emeralds (1.41 ctw.), rubies (1.08 ctw.) and diamonds (1.17 ctw.) set on a stingray cuff.

Heena Shah of Valani won “Best Use of Platinum Crown” at the AGTA Spectrum Awards for this platinum “Nova” ring featuring 7.17 ct. hexagon emerald accented with kite-shaped emeralds (.98 ctw.) and diamonds (2.63 ctw.).

Adam Neeley of Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry earned AGTA Spectrum’s “Fashion Forward” award for this purple titanium, 14K white gold and green VeraGold “Aria” earrings featuring indicolite tourmalines (41.45 ctw.) accented with tsavorite garnets (3.34 ctw.) and diamonds (2.42 ctw.).

This 18K white gold bracelet featuring rainbow moonstones (20.00 ctw.), blue sapphires (2.0 ctw.) and diamonds (2.51 ctw.) won first place in the “Bridal Wear” category for Bella Campbell of Campbellian Collection/BHI at the AGTA Spectrum Awards.

Ricardo Basta of E. Eichberg, Inc. took home top honors in the category of “Business/Day Wear” at the AGTA Spectrum Awards for this 18K yellow gold “Karma Chameleon” ring featuring a 15.27 ct. barrel facet top tourmaline accented with sapphires (1.58 ctw.), tsavorite garnets (1.46 ctw.), rubies (.28 ctw.) and spessartite garnets (.02 ctw.).

Jeffrey Bilgore of Jeffrey Bilgore, LLC won first prize in the “Classical” category at the AGTA Spectrum Awards for this platinum bracelet featuring a 3.00 ct. Russian demantoid garnet accented with Russian demantoid garnets (12.20 ctw.) and diamonds (4.18 ctw.).

David White of Aucoin Hart Jewelers earned top honors in the “Men’s Wear” category of the AGTA Spectrum Awards for these 18K yellow and white gold cufflinks featuring sapphires (3.09 ctw.) accented with diamonds (2.36 ctw.) and tsavorite garnets (1.37 ctw.).

In the “Carving” category of the AGTA Cutting Edge Awards, announced August 6, 2019, Meg Berry of Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society won first place for this 69.0 ct. carved rubellite tourmaline, titled “Himalaya Rose.”

“Best of Show” winner David Nassi of 100% Natural, Ltd. won an additional first prize in the “Classic Gemstone” category of the AGTA Cutting Edge Awards for this 7.34 ct. untreated emerald-cut Zambian emerald.

Mark Gronlund took home first place in the “Innovative Faceting” category of the AGTA Cutting Edge Awards for this 119.65 ct. specialty-cut aquamarine, titled “Beyond.”

In the “Objects of Art” category of the AGTA Cutting Edge Awards, Logan Cutshall of Hunt Country Jewelers won first place for this 18K white, yellow and rose gold “Treasure Hunt” pendant featuring a 180 ct. rough aquamarine accented with heliodor, aquamarine, opals, emeralds, rubies, sapphires, spinels and andalusite.

Ben Kho of Kho International, Ltd. earned first place in the “Pairs and Suites” category of the AGTA Cutting Edge Awards for this suite of princess-cut multicolored beryl (181.44 ctw.).

John Ford of Lightning Ridge Collection by John Ford won first place in the “Phenomal” category of the AGTA Cutting Edge Awards for this 6.90 ct. black opal, titled “Lucky #7.”

This glamorous Flex cuff by Assael in New York City was selected as winner in the new Spotlight Award for Akoya Pearls (U.S. Division) category at the 9th Annual International Pearl Design Competition from the Cultured Pearl Association of America. The cuff was made in 18k gold by way of the anticlastic raising technique for flexibility and has akoya pearls.

These classic KC Designs earrings won one of this year’s Centurion Design awards. It’s a 14K gold and diamond arc earrings with leaf design. MSRP: $1725

These Rivoli earrings by Adam Neeley of Adam Neeley Designs in Laguna Beach, CA, won the President’s Trophy (U.S. Division) at the 9th Annual International Pearl Design Competition (IPDC), held by the Cultured Pearl Association of America (CPAA) and announced on November 1. The earrings were made using 14k, 18k, and 22k gold with golden South Sea pearls, cream-to-white akoya pearls, and diamonds. The piece was also named the winner in the Wedding Day Pearls category.

The Day-to-Night pendant necklace by Hisano Shepherd of Little h Jewelry in Los Angeles won the Luster Award (U.S. Division) at the 9th Annual International Pearl Design Competition (IPDC), held by the Cultured Pearl Association of America (CPAA) and announced on November 1. This winning piece represents the evolution of a best-selling pearl jewelry design and bears a covetable and marketable concept with wide appeal for the marketplace. The design is made in 14k gold with sliced and carved Tahitian pearls and black and colorless diamonds.

Winning the Orient Award (U.S. Division) at the 9th Annual International Pearl Design Competition, this Orbit pendant by Timo Krapf of Timo Krapf Jewelry in Pittsford, NY is made in platinum with a Tahitian pearl and cord and inspired by anticlastic raising. The awards were held by the Cultured Pearl Association of America (CPAA) and announced on November 1.

The bold, eye-catching Time is Now Convertible Skull necklace by Jennifer Pusenkoff of Jennifer Pusenkoff Designs in Essexville, MI won the Visionary Award for Classic Styles (U.S. Division) at the 9th Annual International Pearl Design Competition (IPDC), held by the Cultured Pearl Association of America (CPAA) and announced on November 1. The piece features Tahitian pearls, a white South Sea pearl, a white freshwater pearl, a carved howlite skull, diamonds, and 18k gold components. The piece transforms for wear in many different ways.

These eerily beautiful Sea Star earrings by Mary Kay and Patrick Mohs of Patrick Mohs Jewelry in Wayzata, MN were honored with the Fashion Award (U.S. Division) at the 9th Annual International Pearl Design Competition (IPDC), held by the Cultured Pearl Association of America (CPAA) and announced on November 1. The design was created in 18k gold with golden South Sea pearls and diamond accents.

Susan Eisen Wins “Best in Show” at Texas Jewelers Association Design Competition … Plus Other Competition Honorees

Susan Eisen Wins “Best in Show” at Texas Jewelers Association Design Competition … Plus Other Competition Honorees

El Paso jewelry designer Susan Eisen recently won the award for “2021 Best in Show” with a contemporary yellow gold, ametrine, and diamond pendant she designed and crafted in her store.