AGTA Announces Gem of a Winner at Spectrum Awards

A pair of pear-shaped spessartite garnets took top honors at the 2020 AGTA Spectrum Awards™ in October, an annual competition that honors designers and lapidaries whose work uses natural colored gemstones and cultured pearls in exciting, new fine jewelry designs. 

Now in its 35th year, the Spectrum Awards, hosted by the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA), are considered the most respected creative competition of the colored gemstone and cultured pearl industry.

Due to coronavirus restrictions this year, there was concern that the competition would have to be canceled. However, the AGTA reached out to past entrants to gauge interest, and they overwhelmingly wanted to participate. An expert panel of judges also agreed to dedicate their time. The AGTA put social distancing and personal protective equipment measures in place and had a 20 percent increase in entries this year and many first-time entrants.

The competition turned out to be a much-needed outlet for jewelry designers: “The foundation of this industry is creativity, even during these trying times,” said AGTA CEO Douglas K. Hucker. “It’s a privilege to be able to provide an outlet for that creativity.”

The AGTA Spectrum Awards have traditionally been divided into five categories—Bridal Wear, Business/Day Wear, Classical, Evening Wear and Men’s Wear—as well as a “Best Of” category. Each entry is evaluated on overall beauty and wearability, innovative design, effective use of materials, quality of gemstones, quality of workmanship, broad-based consumer appeal and potential to generate positive publicity for natural colored gemstones. (There’s also a special division of the awards called the AGTA Cutting Edge Awards™, which are dedicated exclusively to the lapidary arts and will be covered separately.)

 

Ring featuring a 20.65-carat autumn-colored tourmaline accented with ombré sapphires totaling 5.65 carats set in 18-karat rose gold that’s been E-coated to showcase the gemstones by Matthew Trent, Matthew Trent.
This ring by Matthew Trent won the Editor's Choice Award. It features a 20.65-carat tourmaline accented with ombré sapphires set in E-coated 18-karat rose gold.

 

Within each category, there are additional honors given by jewelry industry associations. For instance, in 1997, Platinum Guild International (PGI) introduced the Platinum Honors award, which recognizes the outstanding use of platinum in colored gemstone and/or cultured pearl jewelry. In addition, it also bestows the Platinum Innovation award in the Bridal Wear, Business/Day Wear and Evening Wear categories for entries with a value under $3,500, excluding the main gemstone. PGI also awards two Best Of awards: Best Use of Platinum and Color and Best Use of Platinum Crown.

The Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) debuted in 2013 the WJA Gem DIVA™ Award in the Bridal Wear, Business/Day Wear, Classical and Evening Wear categories. All women who enter the AGTA Spectrum Awards competition are eligible for this category.

Manufacturing Honors recognizes outstanding use of colored gemstones and cultured pearls in jewelry appropriate to be manufactured in production quantities, while Fashion Forward Honors in the Best Of category recognizes the outstanding use of colored gemstone and/or cultured pearl in artful, trend-setting jewelry. 

A new award debuted this year in the Best Of category entitled Best of Single Entry for all entrants who only submitted one piece to the competition.

The panel of expert judges this year included: Chris Pampillonia, Pampillonia Designs; Clare Adams Kittle, Clare Adams Kittle Company; Michael Johnson, Eiseman Jewels; Monica Kitt, Arkenstone, Ltd.; and Ray Zajicek, Equatorian Imports.

The 2020 AGTA Spectrum Awards winners in the Best Of category, as well as from each of the five categories are as follows:

BEST OF WINNERS

Best of Show

Pair of spessartite garnets totaling 90.48 carats by David Nassi, 100% Natural Ltd.

Pair of spessartite garnets totaling 90.48 carats by David Nassi, 100% Natural Ltd.

Best Use of Color

“Link” necklace featuring a 14.9 mm black Tahitian cultured pearl accented with amethysts, aquamarines, multicolored diamonds, multicolored sapphires and tsavorite garnets set in 18-karat yellow gold by Rosa Van Parys, Rosa Van Parys Jewelry.

“Link” necklace featuring a 14.9 mm black Tahitian cultured pearl accented with amethysts, aquamarines, multicolored diamonds, multicolored sapphires and tsavorite garnets set in 18-karat yellow gold by Rosa Van Parys, Rosa Van Parys Jewelry.

Best Use of Pearls

“Black Lace” ring featuring a 16.5 mm cultured pearl accented with pink and lavender sapphires totaling 2.86 carats and diamonds totaling 0.06 carat set in 18-karat rose gold by Brenda Smith, Brenda Smith Jewelry.

“Black Lace” ring featuring a 16.5 mm cultured pearl accented with pink and lavender sapphires totaling 2.86 carats and diamonds totaling 0.06 carat set in 18-karat rose gold by Brenda Smith, Brenda Smith Jewelry.

Fashion Forward Honors

“Lady Gaga Metropolitan Gala” earrings featuring pear-shaped rubellite tourmalines totaling 10.10 carats and aquamarines totaling 2.31 carats accented by diamonds and set in 22-karat and 18-karat yellow gold by Peter Schmid, French Designer Jeweler.

“Lady Gaga Metropolitan Gala” earrings featuring pear-shaped rubellite tourmalines totaling 10.10 carats and aquamarines totaling 2.31 carats accented by diamonds and set in 22-karat and 18-karat yellow gold by Peter Schmid, French Designer Jeweler.

Best Use of Platinum and Color

“Dark Knight” ring featuring a 9.81-carat black opal accented with blue sapphires totaling 5.06 carats, tsavorite garnets totaling 2.56 carats and diamonds totaling 0.28 carat set in platinum and 18-karat yellow gold by Adam Neeley, Somewhere In The Rainbow.

“Dark Knight” ring featuring a 9.81-carat black opal accented with blue sapphires totaling 5.06 carats, tsavorite garnets totaling 2.56 carats and diamonds totaling 0.28 carat set in platinum and 18-karat yellow gold by Adam Neeley, Somewhere In The Rainbow.

Best Use of Platinum Crown

Ring featuring an 18.65-carat cushion-shaped indicolite tourmaline accented with blue and pink sapphires set in platinum by Kathrin Schoenke, KNS Platinum Solutions.

Ring featuring an 18.65-carat cushion-shaped indicolite tourmaline accented with blue and pink sapphires set in platinum by Kathrin Schoenke, KNS Platinum Solutions.

Best of Single Entry

Pendant featuring a 3.39-carat oval-shaped pink sapphire surrounded by matched pear-shaped alexandrites totaling 3.36 carats and accented with diamonds totaling 0.54 carat set in platinum by Sean Olufson, Olufson Designs.

Pendant featuring a 3.39-carat oval-shaped pink sapphire surrounded by matched pear-shaped alexandrites totaling 3.36 carats and accented with diamonds totaling 0.54 carat set in platinum by Sean Olufson, Olufson Designs.

 

Editor’s Choice

Ring (top) featuring a 20.65-carat autumn-colored tourmaline accented with ombré sapphires totaling 5.65 carats set in 18-karat rose gold that’s been E-coated to showcase the gemstones by Matthew Trent, Matthew Trent.

AGTA SPECTRUM AWARDS WINNERS

BRIDAL WEAR

Whether gracing the bridesmaids or adorning the bride herself, this category captures every look for walking down the aisle.

Bridal Wear – 1st Place and Manufacturing Honors

Ring featuring a 3.38-carat oval-shaped emerald accented with diamond epaulets totaling 1.00 carat set in platinum by Niveet Nagpal, Omi Privé.

Ring featuring a 3.38-carat oval-shaped emerald accented with diamond epaulets totaling 1.00 carat set in platinum by Niveet Nagpal, Omi Privé.

Bridal Wear – 2nd Place and Platinum Honors

“The Vision” ring featuring an 11.58-carat cushion-shaped blue sapphire accented with diamonds totaling 0.68 carat set in platinum by Benjamin Javaheri, Uneek Jewelry, Inc.

“The Vision” ring featuring an 11.58-carat cushion-shaped blue sapphire accented with diamonds totaling 0.68 carat set in platinum by Benjamin Javaheri, Uneek Jewelry, Inc.

Bridal Wear – 3rd Place

Ring featuring a 7.23-carat cushion-shaped pink sapphire accented with diamonds set in platinum by Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem Corp.

Ring featuring a 7.23-carat cushion-shaped pink sapphire accented with diamonds set in platinum by Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem Corp.

Bridal Wear – Honorable Mention

Ring featuring a 2.21-carat oval-shaped grandidierite accented with alexandrites totaling 1.18 carats and diamonds totaling 0.34 carat set in platinum by Niveet Nagpal, Omi Privé.

Ring featuring a 2.21-carat oval-shaped grandidierite accented with alexandrites totaling 1.18 carats and diamonds totaling 0.34 carat set in platinum by Niveet Nagpal, Omi Privé.

Bridal Wear – Platinum Innovation

Ring featuring a 1.39-carat radiant-cut mint-green Maine tourmaline set in platinum by Jacob Wosinski, Jacob Raymond Custom Jewelry.

Ring featuring a 1.39-carat radiant-cut mint-green Maine tourmaline set in platinum by Jacob Wosinski, Jacob Raymond Custom Jewelry.

Bridal Wear – WJA Gem DIVA Award

Halo ring featuring a 1.49-carat bicolored Australian sapphire accented with multicolored sapphire melee totaling 0.78  carat and diamonds totaling 0.23 carat set in 18-karat yellow and white gold by Kathleen Kerr, FTJCo (Fair Trade Jewellery Co.)

Halo ring featuring a 1.49-carat bicolored Australian sapphire accented with multicolored sapphire melee totaling 0.78  carat and diamonds totaling 0.23 carat set in 18-karat yellow and white gold by Kathleen Kerr, FTJCo (Fair Trade Jewellery Co.)

BUSINESS/DAY WEAR

Stylish, practical jewelry perfectly suited for work and for play. Entries possess simple elegance for a woman on the move.

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

Ring featuring pink and lavender pear-shaped spinels totaling 2.49 carats accented with diamonds totaling 1.26 carats set in platinum by Nikki Swift, Nicole Mera LLC.

Ring featuring pink and lavender pear-shaped spinels totaling 2.49 carats accented with diamonds totaling 1.26 carats set in platinum by Nikki Swift, Nicole Mera LLC.

Business/Day Wear – 2nd Place

“Time” pendant featuring a 19.54-carat fantasy-cut round citrine accented with blue and purple steel and 18-karat and 24-karat yellow gold by Zoltan David, Zoltan David.

“Time” pendant featuring a 19.54-carat fantasy-cut round citrine accented with blue and purple steel and 18-karat and 24-karat yellow gold by Zoltan David, Zoltan David.

Business/Day Wear – 3rd Place

Earrings featuring chalcedony quartz cubes totaling 41.46 carats set in 14-karat white gold by Phillip Dismuke, Jewelsmith, Inc.

Earrings featuring chalcedony quartz cubes totaling 41.46 carats set in 14-karat white gold by Phillip Dismuke, Jewelsmith, Inc.

Business/Day Wear – Honorable Mention

Bar pin featuring pink tourmalines and tanzanites totaling 4.96 carats accented with diamonds totaling 0.72 carat set in 14-karat gold by Jon Barry DiNola, Yardley Jewelers.

Bar pin featuring pink tourmalines and tanzanites totaling 4.96 carats accented with diamonds totaling 0.72 carat set in 14-karat gold by Jon Barry DiNola, Yardley Jewelers.

Business/Day Wear – Manufacturing Honors

Earrings featuring round emeralds totaling 0.16 carat and diamonds totaling 0.20 carat set in 18-karat yellow gold by Timothy W Foster, T. Foster & Company.

Earrings featuring round emeralds totaling 0.16 carat and diamonds totaling 0.20 carat set in 18-karat yellow gold by Timothy W Foster, T. Foster & Company.

Business/Day Wear – WJA Gem DIVA Award

Necklace featuring a pear-shaped cultured freshwater pearl accented with sapphires and diamonds set in 18-karat recycled yellow gold by Eve Streicker, Original Eve.

Necklace featuring a pear-shaped cultured freshwater pearl accented with sapphires and diamonds set in 18-karat recycled yellow gold by Eve Streicker, Original Eve.

CLASSICAL

This category represents timeless style. Whether a string of pearls or an elegant pendant, Classical entries strike the balance of traditional feel with a modern twist.

Classical – 1st Place

Ring featuring a 14.28-carat oval-shaped blue Sri Lankan sapphire accented with diamonds set in platinum by Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem Corp.

Ring featuring a 14.28-carat oval-shaped blue Sri Lankan sapphire accented with diamonds set in platinum by Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem Corp.

Classical – 2nd Place and Classical – Platinum Honors

Ring featuring a 10.10-carat oval-shaped pink sapphire accented with diamonds totaling 1.36 carats, pink sapphires totaling 0.72 carat and alexandrites totaling 0.01 carat set in platinum by Niveet Nagpal, Omi Privé.

Ring featuring a 10.10-carat oval-shaped pink sapphire accented with diamonds totaling 1.36 carats, pink sapphires totaling 0.72 carat and alexandrites totaling 0.01 carat set in platinum by Niveet Nagpal, Omi Privé.

Classical – 3rd Place

Earrings featuring pear-shaped morganites totaling 19.92 carats accented with diamonds totaling 1.95 carats set in 18-karat rose and white gold by Craig Slavens, Luxe Fine Jewelry.

Earrings featuring pear-shaped morganites totaling 19.92 carats accented with diamonds totaling 1.95 carats set in 18-karat rose and white gold by Craig Slavens, Luxe Fine Jewelry.

Classical – Honorable Mention

Ring featuring a 2.39-carat untreated blue tourmaline and a 1.03-carat fancy yellow diamond accented with round- and bullet-cut diamonds totaling 1.14 carats set in 18-karat white and yellow gold by Raja Mehta, A. G. Gems, Inc. 

Ring featuring a 2.39-carat untreated blue tourmaline and a 1.03-carat fancy yellow diamond accented with round- and bullet-cut diamonds totaling 1.14 carats set in 18-karat white and yellow gold by Raja Mehta, A. G. Gems, Inc.

Classical – Manufacturing Honors

Ring featuring three untreated emerald-cut Colombian emeralds totaling 2.48 carats accented with diamonds set in platinum and 18-karat yellow gold by Oren Nhaissi, EMCO Gem, Inc.

Ring featuring three untreated emerald-cut Colombian emeralds totaling 2.48 carats accented with diamonds set in platinum and 18-karat yellow gold by Oren Nhaissi, EMCO Gem, Inc.

Classical – WJA Gem DIVA Award

“Brown-Eyed Susan” pendant featuring a 5.30-carat orange Montana sapphire accented with orange and yellow sapphires totaling 8.69 carats and black and cognac diamonds totaling 1.98 carats set in 18-karat yellow gold by Paula Crevoshay, Mellika Company, Inc./ Crevoshay.

“Brown-Eyed Susan” pendant featuring a 5.30-carat orange Montana sapphire accented with orange and yellow sapphires totaling 8.69 carats and black and cognac diamonds totaling 1.98 carats set in 18-karat yellow gold by Paula Crevoshay, Mellika Company, Inc./ Crevoshay.

EVENING WEAR

Pieces in this category fall nothing short of spectacular. Entries can range from red carpet fabulous to stunningly chic—and all must have exceptional color.

Evening Wear – 1st Place

“Casatheia” ring featuring an 8.40-carat rubellite tourmaline paired with a 2.33-carat blue sapphire accented with chrysoprase, Montana sapphires totaling 1.68 carats, diamonds totaling 0.40 carat and a pear-shaped turquoise set in platinum, 18-karat yellow gold and rose gold by Michael Tope, Raintree, LLC.

“Casatheia” ring featuring an 8.40-carat rubellite tourmaline paired with a 2.33-carat blue sapphire accented with chrysoprase, Montana sapphires totaling 1.68 carats, diamonds totaling 0.40 carat and a pear-shaped turquoise set in platinum, 18-karat yellow gold and rose gold by Michael Tope, Raintree, LLC.

Evening Wear – 2nd Place

“The Queen’s Ring” featuring an 18.55-carat Mahenge spinel accented with diamonds totaling 1.63 carats and spinel melee totaling 0.68 carat set in platinum and 18-karat yellow gold by Zoltan David, Somewhere In The Rainbow.

“The Queen’s Ring” featuring an 18.55-carat Mahenge spinel accented with diamonds totaling 1.63 carats and spinel melee totaling 0.68 carat set in platinum and 18-karat yellow gold by Zoltan David, Somewhere In The Rainbow.

Evening Wear – 3rd Place

“Chameleon” ring featuring a 3.55-carat rhodolite garnet and a 2.10-carat peridot accented with tsavorite garnets totaling 1.88 carats, pink sapphires totaling 0.70 carat and diamonds totaling 2.07 carats set in 18-karat white and rose gold by Tariq Riaz, Tariq Riaz LLC. The ring features a mechanism that switches the center gem.

“Chameleon” ring featuring a 3.55-carat rhodolite garnet and a 2.10-carat peridot accented with tsavorite garnets totaling 1.88 carats, pink sapphires totaling 0.70 carat and diamonds totaling 2.07 carats set in 18-karat white and rose gold by Tariq Riaz, Tariq Riaz LLC. The ring features a mechanism that switches the center gem.

Evening Wear – Honorable Mention

A platinum, 18-karat yellow gold, sterling silver, bronze and Brazilian rosewood “Bespoken” cuff featuring a 123.40-carat green beryl accented with cognac diamonds totaling 3.52 carats and white diamonds totaling 2.50 carats by Eddie Sakamoto, Somewhere In The Rainbow.

A platinum, 18-karat yellow gold, sterling silver, bronze and Brazilian rosewood “Bespoken” cuff featuring a 123.40-carat green beryl accented with cognac diamonds totaling 3.52 carats and white diamonds totaling 2.50 carats by Eddie Sakamoto, Somewhere In The Rainbow.

Evening Wear – Manufacturing Honors

Expandable ring featuring pink rhodolite garnets totaling 5.01 carats set in 18-karat rose and white gold by Tariq Riaz, Tariq Riaz LLC.

Expandable ring featuring pink rhodolite garnets totaling 5.01 carats set in 18-karat rose and white gold by Tariq Riaz, Tariq Riaz LLC.

Evening Wear – Platinum Honors

Ring featuring a 3-carat kite-shaped gray spinel accented with baguette diamonds totaling 1.93 carats and round-cut diamonds totaling 0.16 carat set in platinum by Nikki Swift, Nicole Mera LLC.

Ring featuring a 3-carat kite-shaped gray spinel accented with baguette diamonds totaling 1.93 carats and round-cut diamonds totaling 0.16 carat set in platinum by Nikki Swift, Nicole Mera LLC.

Evening Wear – Platinum Innovation

“Razzle Dazzle” earrings featuring trapiche rubies totaling 30.94 carats and diamonds totaling 2.40 carats set in platinum and 18-karat yellow gold by Sean Smokovich, Somewhere In The Rainbow.

“Razzle Dazzle” earrings featuring trapiche rubies totaling 30.94 carats and diamonds totaling 2.40 carats set in platinum and 18-karat yellow gold by Sean Smokovich, Somewhere In The Rainbow.

Evening Wear – WJA Gem DIVA Award

“Moon Dance” bracelet featuring rainbow, blue flash, silver flash and cat’s eye moonstones totaling 133.19 carats accented with sapphires totaling 38.61 carats set in 18-karat yellow gold by Paula Crevoshay, Mellika Company, Inc./Crevoshay.

“Moon Dance” bracelet featuring rainbow, blue flash, silver flash and cat’s eye moonstones totaling 133.19 carats accented with sapphires totaling 38.61 carats set in 18-karat yellow gold by Paula Crevoshay, Mellika Company, Inc./Crevoshay.

MEN’S WEAR

Entries in this category, ranging from rings to bracelets, cuff links to belt buckles, express the myriad ways a gentleman can express himself.

Men’s Wear – 1st Place and Platinum Honors

Platinum cuff links featuring Asscher-cut Malaya garnets totaling 5.83 carats and blue sapphire melee totaling 1.35 carats by Jeremy Dunn, Dunn & Co.

Platinum cuff links featuring Asscher-cut Malaya garnets totaling 5.83 carats and blue sapphire melee totaling 1.35 carats by Jeremy Dunn, Dunn & Co.

Men’s Wear – 2nd Place and Manufacturing Honors

Ring featuring rubies totaling 6.51 carats and diamonds totaling 1.93 carats set in 18-karat yellow gold by Gastón R. Rives, Gastón Jewelry Studio, Inc.

Ring featuring rubies totaling 6.51 carats and diamonds totaling 1.93 carats set in 18-karat yellow gold by Gastón R. Rives, Gastón Jewelry Studio, Inc.

Men’s Wear – 3rd Place 

“Dark Knight” ring featuring a 9.81-carat black opal accented with blue sapphires totaling 5.06 carats, tsavorite garnets totaling 2.56 carats and diamonds totaling 0.28 carat set in platinum and 18-karat yellow gold by Adam Neeley, Somewhere In The Rainbow.

“Dark Knight” ring featuring a 9.81-carat black opal accented with blue sapphires totaling 5.06 carats, tsavorite garnets totaling 2.56 carats and diamonds totaling 0.28 carat set in platinum and 18-karat yellow gold by Adam Neeley, Somewhere In The Rainbow.

Men’s Wear – Honorable Mention

“Magic Man” magnetic lapel pin featuring a 13.03-carat green tourmaline accented with diamonds totaling 1.58 carats, green tourmaline melee totaling 0.45 carat, purple spinels totaling 0.43 carats and diamonds totaling 0.86 carat set in platinum and 18-karat yellow gold by Randy Coffin, Somewhere In The Rainbow.

“Magic Man” magnetic lapel pin featuring a 13.03-carat green tourmaline accented with diamonds totaling 1.58 carats, green tourmaline melee totaling 0.45 carat, purple spinels totaling 0.43 carats and diamonds totaling 0.86 carat set in platinum and 18-karat yellow gold by Randy Coffin, Somewhere In The Rainbow.

The American Gem Trade Association, headquartered in Dallas, is a non-profit organization serving as “The Authority in Color” for the natural colored gemstone and cultured pearl industry since 1981.



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