El Paso jewelry designer Susan Eisen recently won the award for 2021 Best in Show in the Texas Jewelers Association (TJA) Design Competition with a contemporary yellow gold, ametrine, and diamond pendant she designed and crafted.
The pendant was created from her hand drawn designs and involved a custom wax carving, lost wax casting, hand finishing and hand setting. The center gemstone was a fantasy cut 31 ct. ametrine cut in a diamond profile shape set vertically with diamonds. The TJA Design Competition was held at their annual convention in Dallas, in conjunction with the Select Jewelry Show with entries from jewelers and students around the Texas area.
The annual TJA Design Competition is open to Texas Jewelers Association members, employees of TJA members, and students enrolled at a college or university majoring in jewelry design. All pieces submitted must be an original design and produced within the year prior to the show.
The judges included Melanie Bernal, jewelry representative from Malakan Jewelry and jewelry retailer Debbie Meeks from Bermuda Gold. The prizes were awarded based on the creative use of materials, craftsmanship, wear-ability, originality, design, and fashion.
Jim Rodgers of Gold N’ Carats won first place in the 2021 Bench Jewelers Exclusive, an award given to the goldsmith who was the only one to touch the piece from conception to final polish. Various students from the Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology in Paris, Texas won the student categories and the student awards were sponsored by J. Patrick Diamonds.
The TJA is the largest state association of jewelers in the country. Over 120 retailers, vendors, and suppliers are members of the association which sponsors various events at the summer jewelry trade shows and their annual convention.
Along with various design awards, Ms. Eisen has had over 56 pieces of her jewelry walk down the red carpet at award shows including the Oscars, the Emmys, and the Screen Actors Guild awards and her jewelry has been worn by numerous celebrities. Recently her pear-shaped diamond ring was worn by Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o at the Academy Awards. Eisen founded her store in El Paso in 1980 and features jewelry and watch repairs, appraisals, custom designs, and many designer and Swiss watch lines.
Learn more about the TJA at texasjewelers.org.