Last updateThu, 17 May 2018 7am

MJSA announces 2012 Vision Awards winners


(ATTLEBORO FALLS, Mass.) - MJSA, the U.S. trade association dedicated to professional excellence in jewelry making and design honored the winners of its annual Vision Awards design contest at the MJSA Expo New York trade show in March.

The MJSA Vision Awards honor both design prowess and technical skill, and recognize outstanding talent in the field of jewelry design. The awards this year included Design Excellence and Visionary Technical Solution, in addition to a variety of Distinction Categories, including Gold, Laser, Palladium, Platinum, and Custom Design, the latter to honor the growing number of jewelers who are designing their own jewelry for clients. Finally, a “Future of the Industry” award recognizes the designs of students enrolled in jewelry making and design programs.

The winners of the MJSA Vision Awards are:


Julie Buckareff took 1st Place in the Laser Distinction category with this Rock Crystal Quartz Flower brooch.


1st Place in the MJSA Vision Awards Visionary Technical Solutions category went to Edward Mirell for this Safari Gold & Black Ti Ring.


The winner of the MJSA Vision Awards Design Excellence category was Adam Neeley for this ring named Moonlight and Caviar.


The Gold Distinction category winner was Julie Lynn Romanenko for this gold cuff bracelet with diamond slice.

Design Excellence

1st Place - Adam Neeley of Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry in Laguna Beach, California, for Moonlight and Caviar ring showcasing a 12mm AAA South Sea pearl, which sits upon 2.52 tcw of pavé-set black diamonds. The ring was crafted in 14k X1 white gold and set with 1.2 tcw of white diamonds around the entire trim. This design was fully realized using CAD technology to create the precise, geometric forms.

2nd Place - Gregoré Morin of Gregoré Joailliers in Santa Barbara, California.

Visionary Technical Solution

1st Place - Edward Mirell of Edward Mirell in Deerfield Beach, Florida, for Safari Gold & Black Ti Ring with black titanium and 14k gold, featuring the co-casting of contemporary and precious metals using new technology.

2nd Place - Julie Buckareff of JJ Buckar in Toronto.

Gold Distinction

1st Place - Julie Lynn Romanenko of Just Jules LLC in Scottsdale, Arizona, for Gold Cuff in 14k gold, cast and hand fabricated with a 1.66 carat diamond slice, surrounded by 0.25 carat brilliant round diamonds. Individual sections of the bracelet were cast and then hand-assembled.

2nd Place - Liaung Chung Yen in Henrietta, New York.

Laser Distinction

1st Place - Julie Buckareff of JJ Buckar in Toronto for Rock Crystal Quartz Flower brooch with rock crystal quartz, white diamonds, natural color pink diamonds, Peruvian opal, 18k rose gold, and palladium. This piece was completely assembled with the use of a laser welder. For a seamless finish or “black line” joint where the palladium meets the 18k red, the artist and her team welded the components from the top side throughout. As the rock crystal could not handle any heat, they were able to mechanically fasten the flower center and the flower head itself only with the use of a laser welder. The rose gold stem was welded together during assembly in order to conceal the seams.

2nd Place - Julie Buckareff of JJ Buckar.

Palladium Distinction

1st Place - Brian Sholdt of Sholdt in Seattle for Palladium Engagement Ring featuring the artist’s Fern Finish in a solitaire engagement ring with a 6.5 mm diamond. The metal weight is 2.75 dwt. in 950 palladium.

2nd Place - Susan Drake of Spectrum Art & Jewelry in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Platinum Distinction

1st Place - Brian Sholdt of Sholdt in Seattle for Platinum Ring with a Fern Finish milled surface that allows the jeweler to finish it with hand milgraining. The casting is 90 percent platinum and 10 percent iridium. The weight is 6.47 dwt. and the top diameter is 15 mm. The 23 diamonds weigh a total of 0.30 carat.

2nd Place - Mark Schneider of Mark Schneider Designs in Long Beach, California.

Custom Design Distinction

1st Place - Mark Schneider of Mark Schneider Designs in Long Beach, California, for Black and White Ring in 14k white gold using black and white acrylic, a magnet, and black and white diamonds.

2nd Place - Cynthia Renee of Cynthia Renee, Inc. in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Future of the Industry

Student awards went to:

1st Place - Ariel Alexandrou of University of Kansas.

2nd Place (tie) - Youngjoo Yoo of University of Iowa.

2nd Place (tie) - Bongsang Cho of Savannah College of Art & Design.

The judges of this year’s competition were Michael Coan, Fashion Institute of Technology; Cindy Edelstein, Jewelers Resource Bureau; Sarah Graham, Sarah Graham Metalsmithing; Todd Reed, Todd Reed Inc.; Marlene Richey, Consultant; and Tina Snyder, MJSA.