The Midwest Jewelers Association (MJA) has announced their 2020 Design Contest winners. “This year’s competition was our first virtual one and we were excited to see the 18 entries received,” said Mary Kaja, MJA Executive Director.
Judging was also done virtually using submitted photos and videos. Judges for the competition were: Allen Dolberg, Dorel Dolberg Inc; Bill Skalitzky, Skalitzky’s Jewelers; and Mary Husar Martin, Husar’s House of Fine Diamonds. Sponsors of the competition were Jewelers Mutual Group and Maguire Refining, Inc.
“Thanks also to those jewelers/designers who took the time to enter some very selective, unique pieces,” said Kaja. “MJA is proud to showcase the distinctive designs created by our area jewelers.”
The winning pieces will go on to Jewelers of America for judging in their 2021 design competition.
MJA 2020 Design Competition Winners
Jewelry Up to $500
Greg Austin, Lee Ayers Jewelers, Stevens Point, WI
Fabricated sterling silver ring with copper accents, holding a bezel set personally cut native arborescent copper in quartz with epidote cabochon.
Jewelry $501 to $2,000
Thomas Dailing, Lee Ayers Jewelers, Stevens Point, WI
14k yellow gold gents ring with banana leafs and bird of paradise flowers carved around the outside.
Jewelry $2,001 to $5,000
Chris Jensen, C3 Designs, South Milwaukee, WI
14k yellow gold ladder style pendant holding a 33.22 carat baroque Chinese saltwater pearl with tan undertones and pinkish-purple overtones, accented with a 7 mm round bezel set amethyst, 6 mm round bezel set mystic topaz (coated), 5 mm round amethyst, 5 mm round mystic topaz (coated) and 3 round brilliant cut diamonds, SI, G-H, ctw .20.
Jewelry $5,001 to $10,000
Matthew Willert, Steven Paul Designs, Delafield, WI – Co-Winner
Titanium and green gold pendant, hand forged and hand pierced metal work, depicting a lake setting, with custom cut dichroic dimensional glass gem by Vinh Winh, and an array of colored diamonds.
Jackie Ringoen, Greenfire Elements, Clinton, WI – Co-Winner
Custom hand carved earrings 14k rose gold, 6.03 rubelite tourmaline, .30 ctw rubies, .58 ctw VS, F/G round diamonds.
Jewelry $10,001 to $50,000
Chris Keenan, Studio Jewelers, Madison, WI
18K cast and fabricated blue zircon and diamond top and drop earrings with 18K post-clip findings. Two bezel-set cushion shape zircons total 9.62 carats and two bezel-set pear shape zircons total 14.14 carats. Twelve bezel-set precision cut round diamond accents. Diamond ctw .90.
Bernie Benavidez, Master Jewelers, Rochester, MN
This exceedingly rare 35.95 ct. cats eye aquamarine gemstone was born in Africa, polished in the U.S. and designed in Minnesota. The double sided design folds a delicate ribbon of 14k white gold and 63-round full cut diamond melee on one side and a mimicking white gold ribbon on the reverse.
Best of Show
John Langenfeld, Gold Diamonds & Design, Racine, WI
14kt yellow gold, cast and assembled Celtic design emerald bracelet consisting of 13 round Celtic design discs. 5 center disc’s spell out the name “HEALY” in Celtic letters, the two side discs feature a 2mm diamond cut AA quality emerald, bezel set and 6 discs that have the Celtic knot design. Each disc has a sandblast finish center with high polished letters, edge and back. Discs measure from 12.25 mm to 12 mm and weigh 22.4 dwt.
To view the winners and all designs entered, go to: https://www.midwestjewelersassociation.com/gemmy-awards-2020-winners.