(DALLAS) – The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) announced the winners of the highly-esteemed 2020 AGTA Spectrum Awards™. Due to travel restrictions, the event was moved to Dallas this year. The expert panel of judges included: Michael Johnson, Eiseman Jewels; Monica Kitt, Arkenstone, Ltd.; Clare Adams Kittle, Clare Adams Kittle Company; Chris Pampillonia, Pampillonia Designs; and Ray Zajicek, Equatorian Imports.
“This year’s event was a little different than the past few years. A few months ago, we had to decide if we could make Spectrum happen. We made many personal phone calls to past entrants to gauge interest, and they overwhelmingly wanted to participate. We were incredibly lucky to have these outstanding judges dedicate their time to us, especially in light of COVID restrictions,” said Douglas K. Hucker, AGTA CEO. “We had separate rooms for each of the categories and PPE procedures in place, but we still had an amazing collaboration amongst the judges.” With over a 20% increase in entries this year and many first-time entrants, the 2020 AGTA Spectrum Awards™ were a much-needed outlet for designers. “The foundation of this industry is creativity, even during these trying times,” said Hucker, “it’s a privilege to be able to provide an outlet for that creativity.”
The AGTA Spectrum Awards™ debuted two new categories this year, North American Mined Gemstones in the Cutting Edge competition and a new “Best of” Award – Best of Single Entries. The North American Mined Gemstones category highlighted gemstones from the United States and Canada and was the largest category in Cutting Edge this year. Entrants who only submitted one piece into the competition were all eligible for the Best of Single Entries award. An award was given in both the Spectrum Awards for jewelry and the Cutting Edge Awards for a gemstone.
Winners of the 2020 AGTA Spectrum Awards™ are:
Best of Awards
Best of Show
David Nassi, 100% Natural, Ltd. – Pair of pear-shaped spessartite garnets (90.48 ctw.).
Best Use of Color
Rosa Van Parys, Rosa Van Parys Jewelry – 18K yellow gold “Links” necklace featuring a 14.9mm black Tahitian cultured pearl accented with multicolored sapphires, tsavorite garnets, aquamarines, multicolored diamonds, and amethysts.
Best Use of Pearls
Brenda Smith, Brenda Smith Jewelry – 18K rose gold “Black Lace” ring featuring a 16.5mm cultured pearl accented with pink and lavender sapphires (2.86 ctw.) and diamonds (.06 ctw.).
Peter Schmid, French Designer Jeweler – 22K and 18K yellow gold “Lady Gaga Metropolitan Gala” earrings featuring pear-shaped rubellite tourmalines (10.10 ctw.) and aquamarines (2.31 ctw.) accented with diamonds.
Best of Single Entries Spectrum
Sean Olufson, Olufson Designs – Platinum pendant featuring a 3.39 ct. oval pink sapphire surrounded by matched pear-shaped alexandrites (3.36 ctw.) accented with diamonds (.54 ctw.).
Best of Single Entries Cutting Edge
Afshin and David Hackman, Intercolor USA – 7.04 ct. oval ruby.
Best Use of Platinum and Color
Adam Neeley, Somewhere In The Rainbow – Platinum and 18K yellow gold “Dark Knight” ring featuring a 9.81 ct. black opal accented with blue sapphires (5.06 ctw.), tsavorite garnets (2.56 ctw.), and diamonds (.28 ctw.).
Best Use of Platinum Crown
Kathrin Schoenke, KNS Platinum Solutions – Platinum ring featuring an 18.65 ct. cushion-cut indicolite tourmaline accented with blue and pink sapphires.
AGTA Spectrum Awards™
- 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.).
- Bridal Wear – 2nd Place and Platinum Honors
Benjamin Javaheri, Uneek Jewelry, Inc. – Platinum “The Vision” ring featuring an 11.58 ct. cushion-cut blue sapphire accented with diamonds (.68 ctw.).
- Bridal Wear – 3rd Place
Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem Corp. – Platinum ring featuring a 7.23 ct. cushion-cut pink sapphire accented with diamonds.
- Bridal Wear – Honorable Mention
Niveet Nagpal, Omi Prive – Platinum ring featuring a 2.21 ct. oval grandidierite accented with alexandrites (1.18 ctw.) and diamonds (.34 ctw.).
- Bridal Wear – Platinum Innovation
Jacob Wosinski, Jacob Raymond Custom Jewelry – Platinum ring featuring a 1.39 ct. radiant-cut mint-green Maine tourmaline.
- Bridal Wear – WJA Gem DIVA™ Award
Kathleen Kerr, FTJCo (Fair Trade Jewellery Co.) – 18K yellow and white gold halo ring featuring a 1.49 ct. bicolored Australian sapphire accented with multicolored sapphire melee (.78 ctw.) and diamonds (.23 ctw.).
- 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.).
- Business/Day Wear – 2nd Place
Zoltan David, Zoltan David – Blue and purple steel with 24K and 18K yellow gold “Time” pendant featuring a 19.54 ct. fantasy-cut round citrine.
- Business/Day Wear – 3rd Place
Phillip Dismuke, Jewelsmith, Inc. – 14K white gold earrings featuring chalcedony quartz cubes (41.46 ctw.).
- Business/Day Wear – Honorable Mention
Jon Barry DiNola, Yardley Jewelers – 14K gold bar pin featuring pink tourmalines and tanzanites (4.96 ctw.) accented with diamonds (.72 ctw.).
- Business/Day Wear – Manufacturing Honors
Timothy W. Foster, T. Foster & Company – 18K yellow gold earrings featuring round emeralds (.16 ctw.) and diamonds (.20 ctw.).
- Business/Day Wear – WJA Gem DIVA™ Award
Eve Streicker, Original Eve – 18K recycled yellow gold necklace featuring a pear-shaped cultured freshwater pearl accented with sapphires and diamonds.
- Classical – 1st Place
Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem Corp. – Platinum ring featuring a 14.28 ct. oval blue Sri Lankan sapphire accented with diamonds.
- Classical – 2nd Place and Classical – Platinum Honors
Niveet Nagpal, Omi Prive – Platinum ring featuring a 10.10 ct. oval pink sapphire accented with diamonds (1.36 ctw.), pink sapphires (.72 ctw.), and a .01 ct. alexandrite.
- Classical – 3rd Place
Craig Slavens, Luxe Fine Jewelry – 18K rose, and white gold earrings featuring pear-shaped morganites (19.92 ct.) accented with diamonds (1.95 ctw.).
- Classical – Honorable Mention
Raja Mehta, A. G. Gems, Inc. – 18K white and yellow gold ring featuring a 2.39 ct. untreated blue tourmaline and a 1.03 ct. fancy yellow diamond accented with round and bullet-cut diamonds (1.14 ctw.).
- Classical – Manufacturing Honors
Oren Nhaissi, EMCO Gem, Inc. – Platinum and 18K yellow gold ring featuring three untreated emerald-cut Colombian emeralds (2.48 ctw.) accented with diamonds
- Classical – WJA Gem DIVA™ Award
Paula Crevoshay, Mellika Company, Inc./Crevoshay – 18K yellow gold “Brown-Eyed Susan” pendant features a 5.30 ct. orange Montana sapphire accented with orange and yellow sapphires (8.69 ctw.) and black and cognac diamonds (1.98 ctw.).
- 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.
- Evening Wear – 2nd Place
Zoltan David, Somewhere In The Rainbow – 18K yellow gold and platinum “The Queen’s Ring” featuring a 18.55 ct. Mahenge spinel accented with diamonds (1.63 ctw.) and spinel melee (.68 ctw.).
- Evening Wear – 3rd Place
Tariq Riaz, Tariq Riaz LLC – 18K white and rose gold “Chameleon” ring featuring a 3.55 rhodolite garnet and a 2.10 ct. peridot accented with tsavorite garnets (1.88 ctw.), pink sapphires (.70 ctw.), and diamonds (2.07 ctw.). The ring features a mechanism that switches the center gem.
- Evening Wear – Honorable Mention
Eddie Sakamoto, Somewhere In The Rainbow – 18K yellow gold, platinum, sterling, bronze, and Brazilian rosewood “Bespoken” cuff featuring a 123.40 ct. green beryl accented with cognac diamonds (3.52 ctw.) and white diamonds (2.50 ctw.).
- Evening Wear – Manufacturing Honors
Tariq Riaz, Tariq Riaz LLC – 18K rose and white gold expandable ring featuring pink rhodolite garnets (5.01 ctw.).
- Evening Wear – Platinum Honors
Nikki Swift, Nicole Mera LLC – Platinum ring featuring a 3.0 ct. kite-shaped gray spinel accented with baguette diamonds (1.93 ctw.) and round diamonds (.16 ctw.).
- Evening Wear – Platinum Innovation
Sean Smokovich, Somewhere In The Rainbow – Platinum and 18K yellow gold “Razzle Dazzle” earrings featuring trapiche rubies (30.94 ctw.) and diamonds (2.40 ctw.).
- Evening Wear – WJA Gem DIVA™ Award
Paula Crevoshay, Mellika Company, Inc./Crevoshay – 18K yellow gold “Moon Dance” bracelet featuring rainbow, blue flash, silver flash, and cat’s eye moonstones (133.19 ctw.) accented with sapphires (38.61 ctw.).
- 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.).
- Men’s Wear – 2nd Place and Manufacturing Honors
Gastón R. Rives, Gastón Jewelry Studio, Inc. – 18K yellow gold ring featuring rubies (6.51 ctw.) and diamonds (1.93 ctw.).
- Men’s Wear – 3rd Place
Adam Neeley, Somewhere In The Rainbow – Platinum and 18K yellow gold “Dark Knight” ring featuring a 9.81 ct. black opal accented with blue sapphires (5.06 ctw.), tsavorite garnets (2.56 ctw.) and diamonds (.28 ctw.).
- Men’s Wear – Honorable Mention
Randy Coffin, Somewhere In The Rainbow – 18K yellow gold and platinum “Magic Man” magnetic lapel pin featuring a 13.03 ct. green tourmaline accented with diamonds (.86 ctw.), green tourmaline melee (.45 ctw.), purple sapphires (.43 ctw.), and diamonds (1.58 ctw.).
AGTA Cutting Edge Awards™
All Other Cut Gemstones
- All Other Cut Gemstones – 1st Place
Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem Corp. – 21.81 ct. brilliant-cut pear-shaped paraiba tourmaline.
- All Other Cut Gemstones – 2nd Place
Erica Courtney, The Courtney Collection – 10.59 ct. heart-shaped pinkish-red Mahenge spinel.
- All Other Cut Gemstones – 3rd Place
Niveet Nagpal, Omi Prive – 25.23 ct. pear-shaped imperial topaz.
- All Other Cut Gemstones – Honorable Mention
Edward Boehm, RareSource – 21.58 ct. untreated Sri Lankan pink spinel.
- Carving – 1st Place
Yanqing Zhang Asdurian, Yanqing Asdurian – Jadeite snail carving.
- Carving – 2nd Place
Dalan Hargrave, GeoGem-USA – 458.50 ct. carved moonstone, titled “African Violets.” Sits on a base of black and green jade with yellow sapphires.
- Carving – 3rd Place
Meg Berry, Mega Gem – 32.11 ct. indicolite tourmaline carving, titled “Mood Indigo.”
- Classic Gemstone – 1st Place
David Nassi, 100% Natural, Ltd. – 12.99 ct. untreated vibrant pink Ceylon sapphire.
- Classic Gemstone – 2nd Place
Allen Kleiman, A. Kleiman & Co. – 20.54 ct. cushion-cut blue sapphire from Sri Lanka.
- Classic Gemstone – 3rd Place
Oren Nhaissi, EMCO Gem, Inc. – 6.47 ct. emerald-cut Colombian emerald.
- Innovative Faceting – 1st Place
Thomas Trozzo, Trozzo – 70 ct. freeform faceted and carved ametrine.
- Innovative Faceting – 2nd Place
Darryl Alexander, Alexander’s Jewelers – 123.0 ct. specialty-cut golden beryl, titled “Seaweed & Bubbles.”
- Innovative Faceting – 3rd Place
Lee Haynes, LWH Gems – 55.75 ct. concave curved mixed-cut citrine, titled “Sun Burst.”
North American Mined Gemstones
- North American Mined Gemstones – 1st Place (TIE)
David Nassi, 100% Natural, Ltd. – 0.80 ct. shield-shaped untreated red beryl from Utah.
- North American Mined Gemstones – 1st Place (TIE)
Edward Wilsek, Wilsek & Co – 35.43 ct. oval faceted spessartite garnet from Virginia.
- North American Mined Gemstones – 3rd Place
Jeff Hapeman, Somewhere In The Rainbow – Pair of modified cushion-cut Montana sapphires (6.90 ctw.), titled “Thing1 & Thing 2.”
- North American Mined Gemstones – Honorable Mention
Brett Kosnar, Kosnar Gem Co. – 137.20 ct. specialty-cut fluorite from New Hampshire.
Objects of Art
- 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.
- Objects of Art – 2nd Place
Ziad H. Noshie, Almaza Jewelers – Table ornament, titled “Shimmering Seas,” featuring multicolored sapphire (44.78 ctw.) and diamond (.17 ctw.) harlequin fish on a base of mushroom coral and sterling silver.
- Objects of Art – 3rd Place
Dalan Hargrave, GemStarz Jewelry – Honey citrine pyramid (1050 ctw.) on a black and green jade base with a black walnut drawer, titled “Pyramid.”
Pairs & Suites
- Pairs & Suites – 1st Place
David Nassi, 100% Natural, Ltd. – Pair of pear-shaped spessartite garnets (90.48 ctw.).
- Pairs & Suites – 2nd Place
Mikola Kukharuk, Nomad’s – Suite of step-cut emeralds (8.64 ctw.).
- Pairs & Suites – 3rd Place
David Nassi, 100% Natural, Ltd. – Pair of pear-shaped morganites (20.47 ctw.).
- Pairs & Suites – Honorable Mention
Boyd Fox, Fox Hop Jewelry – Suite of 23 oval kyanites (155.01 ctw.).
- Phenomenal – 1st Place
David Nassi, 100% Natural, Ltd. – 16.06 ct. untreated Vietnamese star ruby cabochon.
- Phenomenal – 2nd Place
David Nassi, 100% Natural, Ltd. – 69.90 ct. freeform harlequin black opal.
- Phenomenal – 3rd Place
Gary Braun, Finewater Gems – 45.59 ct. rose-cut faceted crystal opal.
AGTA Spectrum Awards™ entries were judged based on overall beauty and wearability, innovative design, effective use of materials, quality of gemstones, and quality of workmanship, broad-based consumer appeal, and potential to generate positive publicity for natural colored gemstones.
AGTA Cutting Edge Awards™ honor excellence and creativity in lapidary arts, including natural colored gemstones and cultured pearls, carvings, and other gem materials.
Platinum Honors™, sponsored by Platinum Guild International (PGI), recognized the outstanding use of platinum in colored gemstone and/or cultured pearl jewelry in the five Spectrum Awards categories and for the Platinum Honors Innovation Awards in Bridal Wear, Business/Day Wear, and Evening Wear. Platinum Innovation honors 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.
WJA Gem DIVA™ Awards, sponsored by the Womens Jewelry Association presented awards in the Bridal Wear, Evening Wear, Classical, and Business/Day Wear categories. All women who entered the AGTA Spectrum Awards™ competition were eligible for this category.
Manufacturing Honors recognizes outstanding use of colored gemstones and cultured pearls in jewelry appropriate to be manufactured in production quantities. All designs that qualify for judging in the AGTA Spectrum Awards™ competition will also automatically be qualified for Manufacturing Honors judging.
Fashion Forward Honors recognizes the outstanding use of colored gemstone and/or cultured pearl in artful, trend-setting jewelry. All designs that qualified for judging in the AGTA Spectrum Awards™ competition were eligible for Fashion Forward Honors judging.
The American Gem Trade Association is a not-for-profit Association serving the natural colored gemstone and cultured pearl industry since 1981. The AGTA serves the industry as “The Authority in Color” and has its headquarter office in Dallas, Texas.
Photography by Brian Moghadam.