from a Press Release




BrilliAnt®, the 8th edition of the ADTF, 
Goes International

The Antwerp Diamond Bourse, The Antwerp Diamond Club, The Antwerp Diamond Kring and the AWDC are pleased to announce that BrilliAnt®, the 8th edition of the Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair (January 29-31, 2017), is opening its doors to international exhibitors. The Diamond Kring's beautiful trading hall, located in the heart of Antwerp's diamond district, will host foreign exhibitors for the first time.


"The diamond trade is a global market," says Thierry Polakiewicz, member of the Fair Organizing Committee. "Most diamonds pass through Antwerp two times: first as rough, and then as polished stones. The biggest diamond firms in the world are headquartered in the diamond district, making it the ultimate platform, where diamond dealers, polished diamond wholesalers and members of the jewelry industry and trade meet each other."

"As international diamond center, it is only natural that our annual trade fair welcomes exhibitors from the world over. The choice of diamonds will be even larger and the offering more competitive! This makes it more likely that the Fair will satisfy jewelers' demands," Polakiewicz adds.

Applications to exhibit in the International Pavilion of BrilliAnt at the January 2017 edition will be treated on a first-come, first-served basis. "We will accept companies of repute whose owners are members of any of the 30 bourses affiliated with the World Federation of Diamond Bourses. This is an opportunity for companies operating in niche markets to increase their visibility in Antwerp," Polakiewiczconcluded.

The Fair organizers will assist non-European/overseas diamond firms with the import and export formalities of their merchandise. For further information and registration, please visit: www.brilliantfair.be. Applications to exhibit at BrilliAnt®, the 8th Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair, should be sent to:[email protected]


The Antwerp Diamond Trade Fair is powered 
by the Antwerp World Diamond Centre.

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Earlier I introduced you to the winning entries in the Summer AGTA Spectrum & Cutting Edge Awards™ - now we have the photos for all the winners. Enjoy!






PLATINUM HONORS
Platinum Honors™, sponsored by Platinum Guild International, recognizes 
outstanding use of platinum in colored gemstone and/or pearl jewelry in the five 
Spectrum Awards categories and for the Best Use of Color and Platinum. 
Platinum Honors™ has added: 
Entry Platinum Honors – Bridal Wear under $2,500 (semi-mount only), 
Platinum Honors Innovation – Classical under $3,500 
and Platinum Honors Innovation – Day Wear under $2,000.     All prices retail.




Platinum Honors
Bridal Wear

Whether gracing the bridesmaids or donning the bride, herself, this category captures all looks coming down the aisle. Engagement rings, wedding bands, necklaces, earrings, bracelets and tiaras should be considered.



Ricardo Basta, E. Eichberg, Inc.  

Century City, CA
Platinum "Royal Blue" ring featuring a 12.00 ct. blue Sapphire accented with Diamonds (2.59 ctw.). The ring features a detachable 18K yellow gold "Quilt" jacket featuring Turquoise accented with Diamonds (.43 ctw.) and tsavorite Garnets (.16 ctw.). 


Entry Platinum Innovation
Bridal Wear
Whether gracing the bridesmaids or donning the bride, herself, this category captures all looks coming down the aisle. Engagement rings, wedding bands, necklaces, earrings, bracelets and tiaras should be considered.


William Travis, William Travis Jewelry,  
Chapel Hill, NC
Platinum band featuring blue Sapphires (.54 ctw.), cognac Diamonds (.18 ctw.) and colorless Diamonds (.18 ctw.). 


Platinum Honors
Business/Day Wear
Stylish, yet practical jewelry, for work, shopping or play. Entries should have simple elegance for a woman on the move.


John Ford, Lightning Ridge Collection by John Ford
Galveston, TX
Platinum "Mirror" ring featuring a 3.65 ct. black Opal accented with Diamonds (.69 ctw.). 



Entry Platinum Innovation
Business/Day Wear
Stylish, yet practical jewelry, for work, shopping or play. Entries should have simple elegance for a woman on the move.


Jill Maurer, Jill MaurerRaleigh, NC
Platinum "Verge" ring featuring a 11.19 ct. golden Zircon accented with natural colored Diamonds (1.23 ctw.). 



Platinum Honors
Classical
Traditional looks and timeless designs prove superior here. References to consider might be your grandmother’s pearls, a three-stone ring or an elegant pendant – all with a fresh twist for modern-day beauty.


Zoltan David, Zoltan David, LLC
Austin, TX
Platinum pendant featuring a 35.63 ct. marquis Moonstone cabochon set in blue patina bronze on a strand of cabochon Moonstones (18.20 ctw.) and Diamonds (1.20 ctw.). 



Entry Platinum Innovation
Classical
Traditional looks and timeless designs prove superior here. References to consider might be your grandmother’s pearls, a three-stone ring or an elegant pendant – all with a fresh twist for modern-day beauty.


Lindsay Jane, Lindsay Jane DesignsPaso Robles, CA
Platinum ring featuring a 7.77 ct. Moonstone accented with purple and blue Sapphires (0.97 ctw.). and Diamonds (0.52 ctw.). 


Platinum Honors
Evening Wear
Jewelry in this category should fall nothing less of spectacular. Whether brazenly bold or softly subtle, each submission should strive for red carpet fabulous, stunningly chic or delicately delicious all with exceptional color.

John Ford, Lightning Ridge Collection by John Ford
Galveston, TX
Platinum "Electric Blue" necklace featuring black Opal (197 ctw.) accented with Diamonds (6.27 ctw.). 


Platinum Honors
Men's Wear
Men’s fashion is heightened by the savvy style of the modern man who sports jewelry. Rings, bracelets, pendants, cufflinks, tie and lapel pins, stud sets and belt buckles are just a few of the ways a strong man can express himself.



Mark Schneider, Mark Schneider Design
Long Beach, CA

Platinum and 18K yellow gold ring featuring a 8.76 ct. Maw Sit Sit accented with black, white and yellow Diamonds (2.27 ctw.) and tsavorite Garnets (.93 ctw.). 



AGTA Spectrum Awards™ is an annual natural colored gemstone & cultured pearl jewelry design competition. Here are the winners from the 2016 Summer AGTA Spectrum Awards™ competition.


http://www.agta.org/awards/2016Summer-winners.htm

PHOTO CREDIT: All AGTA Spectrum Awards™ and Cutting Edge Award Winner photos by Brian Moghadam Photography.

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YES! an #Olympic #Jewelry Story! It Happened In The Pool #JewelryMoment

August 9, 2016


First – allow me a moment to introduce Kathleen Baker, 2016 Women’s Olympic Swim Team.  This is a video she did earlier this year for USA Swimming.

In the piece the nineteen year old headed to Rio with the 7th fastest time in the world and a fiercely competitive nature from a very young age.


In a recently published New York Times piece  she reflects on “coming out” about her battle with Chron’s disease and the nay-sayers that said she couldn’t swim competitively.

She also brings up her superstitions surrounding swim meet attire, which usually includes “blue sparkle Uggs” and her connection with pearls and the pearl earrings she wears to every meet.

Following her qualifying round it was brought to her attention ( while she spoke to the poolside interviewer) that one of her trademark pearl earrings was missing!  Had she lost it during the celebration in the pool following the prelims?  …or on the deck while lining up for the obligatory post event interviews?



The staff at the Olympic Swimming venue went above and beyond to recover the missing pearl earring…  see the video here: http://www.nbcolympics.com/video/diver-recovers-kathleen-bakers-missing-pearl-earring


They found it!


Continuing to surprise people, Cal Sophomore Kathleen Baker, won the Silver medal in the women’s 100 Back final on Monday night.   

Her hometown paper, The Charlotte Observer quoted her as follows: 
A giddy Baker first described the race afterward like this: “So incredible! I mean I went a best time and just got a medal! I couldn’t even put into words how happy I am and how grateful for the amount of support I have here from the teammates and coaches along the way. It just takes a village for everyone to get me here and I couldn’t be happier.”



…and due to the diligence of the Olympic venue she appeared on the podium to accept her Silver Medal in her pearl earrings.



I am loving Kathleen’s style her nail polish ROCKS and all us “pearly girls” need to stick together.
Read the full article →

AGTA Announces 2016 Summer AGTA Spectrum Award & Cutting Edge Award Winners

July 29, 2016

From a Press Release


AGTA Announces 2016 Summer AGTA 

Spectrum Awards™ Winners

The American Gem Trade Association is delighted to announce the winners of the prestigious AGTA Spectrum AwardsTM. The competition was held in New York on July 23rd and 24th and is regarded as the world’s preeminent colored gemstone and cultured pearl design competition. The prestigious judges for the competition this year were the following: Gail Brett-Levine of National Association of Jewelry Appraisers; Diane Garmendia of 33 Jewels at El Paseo; Jay Mednikow of J.H. Mednikow & Co., Inc.; Victor Velyan of Victor-Christy Studios; and Lew Wackler of Lew Wackler Gem Co.



“What a spectacular collection of winners!” said Douglas K. Hucker, AGTA CEO. “The AGTA Spectrum Awards™ always showcases the best, most innovative and the most exciting evolutions in the design and colored gemstone industry and this year was certainly no exception. Unquestionably the quality of the gemstones and metals in the craftsmanship was elevated this year in all of the entries we received, and that was evident in the choices our expert judges made.”

Winners of the 2016 Summer AGTA Spectrum AwardsTM are:


Editor’s Choice Award 
(voted on by Editors attending the event):

Ricardo Basta of E.Eichberg 
Tanzanite, Opal, Tsavorite Garnet & Diamond Ring

Best of…..

Best of Show:

Ruben Bindra, B & B Fine Gems 
Suite of round, brilliant Russian demantoid Garnets (24.67 ctw.).


Best Use of Color
Derek Katzenbach, Katzenbach Designs 

14K white gold ring featuring a 4.97 ct. bicolored Tourmaline accented with tsavorite Garnets, Tourmalines and Diamonds (.69 ctw.).

Best Use of Pearls
Judy Evans, Oliver & Espig Gallery of Fine Arts 

Platinum pendant featuring a 13.44mm golden South Sea cultured Pearl accented with Diamonds.

Best Use of Platinum and Color
Kathy Kinev, Jewel Creations, Inc. 

Platinum “St. Chapelle” ring featuring Rubies, Sapphires, Tsavorite Garnets and blue and white Diamonds.


Fashion Forward
Lorenzo Chavez, Geogem-USA 
Platinum and 18K yellow and rose gold “Gift from the Abyss” pendant featuring a 124.73 ct. carved Kunzite accented with blue Zircons and Diamonds (.82 ctw.).




Spectrum Bridal Wear

Bridal Wear – 1st Place and Platinum Honors

Ricardo Basta, E. Eichberg, Inc. 
Platinum “Royal Blue” ring featuring a 12.00 ct. blue Sapphire accented with Diamonds (2.59 ctw.). The ring features a detachable 18K yellow gold “Quilt” jacket featuring Turquoise accented with Diamonds (.43 ctw.) and tsavorite Garnets (.16 ctw.).


Bridal Wear – 2nd Place
Alexia Connellan, Alexia Connellan Luxury Jewelry – Platinum “Regency Earrings” featuring mint Tourmalines (8.63 ctw.) accented with Diamonds (2.50 ctw.).

Bridal Wear – 3rd Place
Caroline Chartouni, Caroline C – 18K white gold earrings featuring red Spinels accented with Diamonds.

Bridal Wear – Honorable Mention
Jessica Neiwert, Jessica Nei – 18K rose gold “Snow Blossom” convertible earrings featuring lavender Chalcedony (13.50 ctw.) accented with Moonstones (1.66 ctw.), pink Sapphires (.41 ctw.), Amethysts (.29 ctw.) and Diamonds (.54 ctw.).


Bridal Wear – Honorable Mention
Samuel Sulimanov, Samuel Sylvio Designs – 18K white gold earrings featuring Paraiba Tourmalines (3.0 ctw.) accented with Paraiba Tourmaline melee (.68 ctw.) and Diamonds.

Bridal Wear – Manufacturing Honors
Dennis de Jonghe, deJonghe Original Jewelry – Platinum ring featuring a 2.20 ct. Aquamarine accented with Diamonds (0.40 ctw.).

Bridal Wear – Entry Platinum Innovation
William Travis, William Travis Jewelry – Platinum band featuring blue Sapphires (.54 ctw.), cognac Diamonds (.18 ctw.) and colorless Diamonds (.18 ctw.).

Bridal Wear – GEM DIVA Award
Heena Chheda Shah, Real Gems, Inc. – 18K white gold “Rosalyn” earrings featuring eight pear-shaped Emeralds (15.89 ctw.) accented with fancy and round Diamonds (3.49 ctw.).

Business/Day Wear

Business/Day Wear – 1st Place
Ricardo Basta, E. Eichberg, Inc. 
18K yellow gold and platinum “Honey” ring featuring a 13.58 ct. Heliodor accented with Sapphires (.82 ctw.) and Diamonds (.96 ctw.).

Business/Day Wear – 2nd Place
T. Foster & Co, Fine Jewelers, T. Foster & Co, Fine Jewelers – 18K yellow gold and platinum ring featuring a 22.93 ct. orange Sapphire accented with Diamonds.

Business/Day Wear – 3rd Place
Zoltan David, Zoltan David, LLC – Palladium and 22K yellow gold ring featuring a 4.12 ct. Danburite accented with blue Sapphires (.42 ctw.).


Business/Day Wear – Honorable Mention
Shuang Feng, Fon Shon Jewellery Art & Design – 14K white gold with 18K rose gold plating ring featuring an oval Morganite accented with Diamonds.

Business/Day Wear – Honorable Mention
Patrick King, Jewelsmith – 14K white and yellow gold pendant featuring a 31.94 ct. lemon Quartz accented with a 2.96 ct. Opal and Diamonds (.15 ctw.).

Business/Day Wear – Manufacturing Honors
Llyn Strong, llyn strong fine art jewelry – 18K yellow gold earrings featuring bezel-set Rubies (1.56 ctw).

Business/Day Wear – Platinum Honors
John Ford, Lightning Ridge Collection by John Ford – Platinum “Mirror” ring featuring a 3.65 ct. black Opal accented with Diamonds (.69 ctw.).

Business/Day Wear – Entry Platinum Innovation
Jill Maurer, Jill Maurer – Platinum “Verge” ring featuring an 11.19 ct. golden Zircon accented with natural colored Diamonds (1.23 ctw.).

Business/Day Wear – GEM DIVA Award
Naomi Sarna, Naomi Sarna Designs – 18K palladium white gold “Confetti Heart” ring featuring multicolored Diamonds, Sapphires, Rubies and Amethysts.


Classical

Classical – 1st Place

Niveet Nagpal, Omi Gems, Inc. 
18K rose gold ring featuring a 4.01 ct. cushion-cut pink Spinel accented with Spinel melee (.52 ctw.), Diamond melee (.82 ctw.) and a .01 ct. Alexandrite.


Classical – 2nd Place
Niveet Nagpal, Omi Gems, Inc. – Platinum and black rhodium ring featuring three Alexandrites (6.99 ctw.) accented with Alexandrite melee (1.64 ctw.) and Diamonds (.91 ctw.).

Classical – 3rd Place
Alexia Connellan, Alexia Connellan Luxury Jewelry – 18K rose gold “Spiral Earrings” featuring Morganites (9.50 ctw.) accented with Akoya cultured Pearls (8.02 ctw.), Sapphires (1.08 ctw.) and Diamonds (.85 ctw.).

Classical – Honorable Mention and Entry Platinum Innovation
Lindsay Jane, Lindsay Jane Designs – Platinum ring featuring a 7.77 ct. Moonstone accented with purple and blue Sapphires (0.97 ctw.) and Diamonds (0.52 ctw.).

Classical – Honorable Mention and GEM DIVA Award
Heena Chheda Shah, Real Gems, Inc. – 18K white gold “Bridget” ring featuring a 3.08 ct. oval Ruby accented with round Rubies (.31 ctw.) and round and pearDiamonds (3.87 ctw.).

Classical – Manufacturing Honors
Dominique Israileff, ASBA USA, INC. – 14K rose gold pendant featuring a 13mm Tahitian cultured Pearl accented with Diamonds (.37 ctw.).

Classical – Platinum Honors
Zoltan David, Zoltan David, LLC – Platinum pendant featuring a 35.63 ct. marquis Moonstone cabochon set in blue patina bronze on a strand of cabochon Moonstones (18.20 ctw.) and Diamonds (1.20 ctw.).

Evening Wear

Evening Wear – 1st Place
David Gross, David Gross Group 
Platinum necklace featuring 21 unheated Mozambique Rubies (29.33 ctw.) accented with Diamonds (21.61 ctw.).

Evening Wear – 2nd Place
Phillip Dismuke, Jewelsmith – 18K yellow gold and platinum ring featuring a 13.53 ct. black Opal accented with Sapphires (1.01 ctw.) and Diamonds (.07 ctw.).

Evening Wear – 3rd Place
Robert Pelliccia, J.R. Dunn Jewelers – 18K yellow and white gold pendant featuring a 23.94 ct. boulder Opal accented with blue and pink Sapphires (.58 ctw.) and Diamonds (.92 ctw.) on a black Diamond bead necklace.

Evening Wear – Honorable Mention
Erica Courtney, Erica Courtney, Inc. – 18K yellow gold “Easter Egg” ring featuring a 7.46 ct. Paraiba Tourmaline accented with Paraiba Tourmalines (1.09 ctw.) and Diamonds (2.45 ctw.).

Evening Wear – Honorable Mention
Sinork Agdere, Lord Jewelry – 18K yellow gold and platinum “Ballerina” ring featuring a 65.0 ct. specialty-cut lemon Citrine accented with Diamonds and enamel.

Evening Wear – Manufacturing Honors
Llyn Strong, llyn strong fine art jewelry – 18K rose gold “Calla Lily” ring featuring a 5.17 ct. rose-cut green Tourmaline accented with Diamonds (0.03 ctw).

Evening Wear – Platinum Honors
John Ford, Lightning Ridge Collection by John Ford – Platinum “Electric Blue” necklace featuring black Opal (197 ctw.) accented with Diamonds (6.27 ctw.).

Evening Wear – GEM DIVA Award
Alexia Connellan, Alexia Connellan Luxury Jewelry – Platinum “The Fringe Earrings” featuring bicolored Tourmalines (20.32 ctw.) accented with Diamonds (1.50 ctw.).

Men’s Wear

Men’s Wear – 1st Place and Platinum Honors
Mark Schneider, Mark Schneider Design – Platinum and 18K yellow gold ring featuring a 8.76 ct. Maw Sit Sit accented with black, white and yellow Diamonds (2.27 ctw.) and tsavorite Garnets (.93 ctw.).

Men’s Wear – 2nd Place
William Travis, William Travis Jewelry 

Silver and 18K yellow gold ring a featuring 17.67 ct. carved Lapis Lazuli scarab beetle accented with orange Sapphires (.96 ctw.).

Men’s Wear – 3rd Place
Craig Slavens, Studio 247 Fine Jewelry – Carbon fiber, platinum and 18K rose gold ring featuring a 4.52 ct. unheated Padparadscha Sapphire accented with Diamonds (.39 ctw.).

Men’s Wear – Honorable Mention
William Travis, William Travis Jewelry – Platinum band featuring blue Sapphires (.54 ctw.), cognac Diamonds (.18 ctw.) and colorless Diamonds (.18 ctw.).

Cutting Edge


All Other Faceted

All Other Faceted – 1st Place

Jeffrey R. Hapeman, Earth’s Treasury LLC
 
42.47 ct. brilliant square cushion specialty-cut Apatite.


All Other Faceted – 2nd Place
Mikola Kukharuk, Nomad’s – 12.44 ct. square cushion tsavorite Garnet.

All Other Faceted – 3rd Place
Ambassador Gems, Ambassador Gems – 24.12 ct. cushion-cut blue Zircon.

All Other Faceted – Honorable Mention
Hemant Phophaliya, A G Color, Inc. – 48.62 ct. sugarloaf Tanzanite.

Carving

Carving – 1st Place
Naomi Sarna, Naomi Sarna Designs 
Hand-carved Ametrine (297 ctw.).

Carving – 2nd Place
John Dyer, John Dyer & Co. – Aquamarine carving titled ‘Sydney Symphony” (53.63 ctw.).

Carving – 3rd Place
Meg Berry, Mega Gem – 21.70 ct. pyrope Garnet titled “Rooster.”

Carving – Honorable Mention
Naomi Sarna, Naomi Sarna Designs – Rutilated Quartz carving (1375 ctw.).

Classic Gemstone

Classic Gemstone – 1st Place
Ruben Bindra, B & B Fine Gems 

10.11 ct. Sri Lankan cushion-cut orange Sapphire.

Classic Gemstone – 2nd Place
Allen Kleiman, A. Kleiman & Co. – 20.03 ct. unheated emerald-cut yellow Sapphire.


Classic Gemstone – 3rd Place
Allen Kleiman, A. Kleiman & Co. – 15.01 ct. emerald-cut blue Sapphire.

Classic Gemstone – Honorable Mention
Ruben Bindra, B & B Fine Gems – 7.22 ct. cushion-cut Padparadscha Sapphire.

Innovative Faceting

Innovative Faceting – 1st Place
John Dyer, John Dyer & Co. 
80.29 ct. specialty-cut Ametrine.

Innovative Faceting – 2nd Place
John Dyer, John Dyer & Co. – 175.37 ct. deep concave cushion-cut Morganite titled “Mozambique Sunset.”

Innovative Faceting – 3rd Place
Ryan Joseph Anderson, Ryan Joseph Gems – 89.41 ct. Amethyst, titled “Efflorescence.”

Innovative Faceting – Honorable Mention
Glenn Wm. Lehrer, Lehrer Designs, Inc. – 30.79 ct. Danburite and a 1.03 ct. Ruby titled “KaleidosCut.” When placed together, they create an 8-pointed star in the Danburite.

Objects of Art

Objects of Art – Honorable Mention
Brenda Smith, Brenda Smith Jewelry 
“Light My Fire” object of art featuring Opalized wood (250 ctw.) accented with a hand-carved 75.0 ct. Sunstone flame, 40.0 ct. hand-carved Mexican fire Opal and Diamonds (.20 ctw.).

Objects of Art – Honorable Mention
Neda Behnam, Samuel B. Collection 
18K yellow gold “Stallion” statue featuring champagne Diamonds (7.81 ctw.) accented with tsavorite Garnets and Mother-of-Pearl on an Onyx base.

Pairs & Suites

Pairs & Suites – 1st Place and Best of Show

Ruben Bindra, B & B Fine Gems 
Suite of round, brilliant Russian demantoid Garnets (24.67 ctw.).



Pairs & Suites – 2nd Place
Allen Kleiman, A. Kleiman & Co. – Suite of pear-shaped unheated Mozambique Rubies (18.77 ctw.).

Pairs & Suites – 3rd Place
Ben Kho, Kho International, Ltd. – Suite of round Rhodochrosite (17.26 ctw.).

Pairs & Suites – Honorable Mention
Allen Kleiman, A. Kleiman & Co. – Earring suite of oval pink and purple (unheated) Sapphires (17.23 ctw.).

Phenomenal

Phenomenal – 1st Place
Gil, Gil Int’l – 5.56 ct. untreated Alexandrite.


Phenomenal – 2nd Place
Robert Shapiro, Robert Shapiro – 10.05 ct. oval boulder Opal.


Phenomenal – 3rd Place
Manu Nichani, Blue Moon Ent. – 19.07 ct. royal blue rectangular, cushion-cut Moonstone.

Phenomenal – Honorable Mention
Robyn Dufty, DuftyWeis Opals, Inc. – 103.80 ct. cabochon boulder Opal.

This year’s AGTA Spectrum Awards™ will be presented during the 2017 AGTA GemFair™ Tucson to be held January 31 – February 5 at the Tucson Convention Center in Tucson, Arizona. Winning entries will be displayed during the show and AGTA Spectrum Awards™ recipients will be recognized during the AGTA Spectrum Awards™ Gala, on Saturday, February 4. Tickets for the gala are $100 and cocktail attire is encouraged.

AGTA Spectrum Awards™  entries were judged on the basis of overall beauty and wearability, innovative design, effective use of materials, quality of gemstones, quality of workmanship, broad‐base 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.

Bridal Wear sponsored by The Knot – The Knot sponsored the Bridal Wear division of the AGTA Spectrum Awards™ for the fifth year. As the #1 wedding network in the U.S., reaching 80% of brides, The Knot represents an opportunity for unprecedented exposure for Spectrum entrants. Whether gracing the bridesmaids or donning the bride, herself, this category captures all looks coming down the aisle. Engagement rings, wedding bands, necklaces, earrings, bracelets and tiaras should be considered.

Platinum Honors™, sponsored by Platinum Guild International, recognizes outstanding use of platinum in colored gemstone and/or pearl jewelry in the five Spectrum Awards categories and for the Best Use of Color and Platinum. Platinum Honors™ Entry Platinum Honors – Bridal Wear under $2,500 (semi-mount only), Platinum Honors Innovation – Classical under $3,500 and Platinum Honors Innovation – Day Wear under $2,000.

WJA GEM DIVA TM Awards celebrated its fifth year of association with the competition. WJA GEM DIVATM Awards were presented in the Bridal Wear, Evening Wear, Classical and Business/Day Wear categories. All women who entered the AGTA Spectrum AwardsTM 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 necklaces, earrings, bracelets or other jewelry that qualified for judging in the AGTA Spectrum AwardsTM competition automatically qualified 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.

Read the full article →

AGTA Spectrum Awards™ Recognized Jewelry Designer Brenda Smith For Her "Light My Fire" Object d’Art

July 27, 2016


Award Winning Jewelry Designer Brenda Smith
Recognized For Her “Light My Fire” Object d’Art
AGTA Spectrum Awards™ Announced July 25th





The American Gem Trade Association has announced the winners of the prestigious AGTA Spectrum Awards™. The competition was held in New York on July 23rd and 24th. Often referred to as the “Academy Awards of the Jewelry Industry”, the AGTA awards are regarded as the world’s preeminent colored gemstone and cultured pearl design competition.


As you can imagine Brenda was beside herself when she heard…she WON!
“I had put it out of my mind  since I hadn’t heard anything….assuming the winners had already been announced.  Then, I received the phone call from AGTA, you could’ve knocked me over with a feather.  I immediately called my husband who had flowers awaiting my return home. What an honor!”


AGTA Announced:
Objects of Art – Honorable Mention
Brenda Smith, Brenda Smith Jewelry – “Light My Fire” object of art – Opalized Wood (250 ctw.) with a hand-carved 75.0 ct. Sunstone flame, 40.0 ct. hand-carved Mexican fire Opal and Diamonds (.20 ctw.).


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A true labor of love, “Light My Fire” was a step out of her comfort zone. With this piece you not only have a piece of custom designed jewelry but it becomes a miniature piece of sculpture when you aren’t wearing it.


Imagined by Brenda who was inspired by a stunning piece of Sunstone rough.  Master Carver Darryl Alexander was commissioned to carve the Sunstone Flame and Mexican Fire Opal Embers.

“Light My Fire” is”:


  • Hand fabricated sterling silver and gold matchsticks linked to make a chain
  • Flaming Oregon Sunstone encircled in sterling silver with a .20ct diamond at the bottom where it sits atop the base, igniting the flame.
  • When removed from the chain the flame connects to the base of opalized and petrified logs. “Hot Coals” carved from Mexican Fire Opal which is backed by a flickering LED light under the oxidized copper “firebox”, creating a flickering flame effect.


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From the carver, Darryl Alexander:
“AGTA spectrum award winner in the art object category by Brenda Smith.   I mined the piece of Sunstone myself from the Dust Devil Mine, (Plush, Oregon) the piece lights up to look like a flickering fire inside the gem.


The awards were chosen by a panel of prestigious judges: Gail Brett-Levine of National Association of Jewelry Appraisers; Diane Garmendia of 33 Jewels at El Paseo; Jay Mednikow of J.H. Mednikow & Co., Inc.; Victor Velyan of Victor-Christy Studios; and Lew Wackler of Lew Wackler Gem Co.


logo.pngABOUT BRENDA SMITH JEWELRY
Highly unique, one-of-a-kind and custom jewelry in noble metals and gemstones by award-winning jewelry artist Brenda Smith.  A former creative director and design teacher, now designing and fabricating fine, custom jewelry. Brenda has been published in Jewelry Artist, UK’s Gem and Jewellery, AGTA’s Prism, Canada’s Jewellery Business,” teacher at William holland School of Lapidary Arts and the Georgia Goldsmith’s Group. Multiple award winner of the prestigious International Pearl Design Competition by Cultured Pearl Association of America. She was commissioned to design pearl jewelry for their documentary film, “Circling the Pacific” by the Cultured Pearl Association of America. Her jewelry has been chosen by celebrity stylist, Michael O’Connor, to be worn in the Academy awards. But her greatest achievement may be the number of pieces in private and public collections around the world, including pieces in the Smithsonian Institution.
Website: http://www.brendasmithjewelry.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrendaSmithJewelry

spectrumsummer.jpg



ABOUT AGTA SPECTRUM AWARDS


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.
Website :  http://www.agta.org

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AGTASpectrumAwards

Read the full article →

GIA Pilots Automated Melee Analysis Service for Round D-to-Z Diamond Melee

July 27, 2016
From a Press Release
One of the major hot button issues in the Industry has been the introduction of synthetic or “cultured” Diamonds.  Whether you are a small shop, a large chain or the independant jewelry designer – this topic matters.  It is going to take concentration and some organizational skills to keep synthetics (especially melee) separate on your work bench…..

GIA Pilots Melee Analysis Service for Diamonds
Automated analysis and color sorting for round D-to-Z melee


To address concerns in the gem and jewelry industry about the possibility of synthetic or treated diamonds being mixed into parcels of melee, GIA has developed a fully automated system to rapidly and accurately analyze and sort round D-to-Z melee-size diamonds.


The pilot for the GIA Melee Analysis Service launched last month at GIA’s New York laboratory.  Current clients wishing to participate in the pilot should contact their client service representative. The service will be offered at all GIA locations, with the roll out beginning in the third quarter of 2016.
“This system, which incorporates proven instrumentation, standards and processes used in GIA laboratories, will give the industry and consumers confidence in the characteristics, including color, of these most prevalent stones,” said Tom Moses, GIA’s executive vice president and chief laboratory and research officer.

The GIA Melee Analysis Service will separate natural, untreated diamonds from simulants and potentially synthetic or treated diamonds, and sort the screened diamonds by color range. Clients can also specify a size range for their parcel. The system applies GIA’s decades of research into and examination of treated and synthetic diamonds, and will process about 1,800 stones per hour around the clock.

The system can accommodate stones from 1.1 to 3.8 mm in diameter (approximately 0.005 ct to about 0.20 ct.) The cost of the service ranges from eight to 30 cents (U.S.) per stone based on diameter, with a minimum of 500 pieces in each parcel. Once sorted, the melee will be sealed in secure packaging for shipment directly to a third party – upon request and when permissible – or back to the submitting client.


About GIAAn independent nonprofit organization, GIA (Gemological Institute of America), established in 1931, is recognized as the world’s foremost authority in gemology. GIA invented the famous 4Cs of Color, Cut, Clarity and Carat Weight in the early 1950s and in 1953, created the International Diamond Grading System™ which, today, is recognized by virtually every professional jeweler in the world.

Through research, education, gemological laboratory services, and instrument development, the Institute is dedicated to ensuring the public trust in gems and jewelry by upholding the highest standards of integrity, academics, science, and professionalism. Visit www.gia.edu.
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#MJSA Vision Awards – Announcing the 2016 Winners #AwardWinners

July 21, 2016


Vision Award Categories(For the entire list of winners, second place and more see the MJSA website)

The competition provides designers with several opportunities for deserved recognition. The winning entries will be acknowledged and on display at MJSA Expo.


Professional Design Excellence 
Open to all independent or company-employed designers, the Professional Design Excellence Category celebrates work that exemplifies the best of contemporary jewelry design. The winners show a thorough grounding in the tradition of fine design, along with an eagerness for experimentation and innovation by meeting the highest standards of craftsmanship and creativity.

Professional Design Excellence (4 years in business): Honors designs that exhibit exceptional creativity, craftsmanship, and marketability by jewelers in business for 4 or more years.


Klaus Kutter, A Jour Jewelry Inc., Bristol, Rhode Island
First Place Winner
Professional Design Excellence (1-3 years in business): 
Honors designs that exhibit exceptional creativity, craftsmanship, and marketability by jewelers in business for 1-3 years.

Baiyang Qiu, BQ Jewelry, Milpitas, California
First Place Winner



Laser Distinction: 

Honors entries in which the design relied upon the use of a laser and any technical challenges that were overcome to take the piece from concept to completion.

Baiyang Qiu, BQ Jewelry, Milpitas, California

 

CAD/CAM Distinction: 

Honors designs that were created with the use of CAD/CAM technologies and the challenges that were overcome to take the piece from concept to completion.

Gregoré Morin, Gregoré Joailliers, Santa Barbara, California




Custom Design Distinction: 

Honors designs that met a client’s request and the challenges encountered during the design process and how they were overcome.

Cynthia Renée, Cynthia Renée Inc., Chapel Hill, North Carolina



(NEW for 2016) Responsible Practices Distinction: 
Honors designs that use responsibly sourced materials, including recycled metals and fair-trade gems, and were created using environmentally sensitive manufacturing processes.

Sandy Leong, Sandy Leong Fine Jewelry, New York City


Future of the Industry Award: 

This award recognizes the work of students in jewelry-related programs who exhibit exceptional design talent and creativity.

Seung Jeon Paik, Savannah College of Art & Design, Savannah, Georgia

Future of the Industry – First Place Winner


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NEW Gallery Exhibit – Summer at Reinstein|Ross!

July 19, 2016

From a Press ReleaseAbove: Fleur Bleue Necklace, Julie Decubber.Compared to a Summer’s Day – conjures up a natural world of inherent beauty. On view today through August 28th, this international group exhibition showcases the work of six jewelry artist…

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#JWLV DEF’S DIAMONDS DO GOOD AWARDS GALA SHINES LIGHT ON GIVING BACK #DiamondsDoGood

July 18, 2016
From a Press Release:

DIAMOND EMPOWERMENT FUND’S DIAMONDS DO GOOD 
AWARDS GALA SHINES LIGHT ON GIVING BACK 
Nate Light, Dorothée Gizenga and Chow Tai Fook Receive Honors



Three global industry leaders were honored for their outstanding leadership and service at the Diamond Empowerment Fund’s Diamonds Do Good Awards Gala, just one of several evening events held during Jewelry Week in Las Vegas.  

How can you support DEF’s Diamonds Do Good Initiative?  The new Diamonds Do Good Bracelet
designed by Jewelry Designer, Mark Patterson, will be available at retail this Fall.

Nate Light, former CEO of Sterling Jewelers, Dorothée Gizenga, executive director of the Diamond Development Initiative, and Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group were recognized for their actions, which have left a positive impact on communities from the United States to China to Africa. 

An inspirational beat of African drummers kicked off the program that highlighted the Diamond Empowerment Fund’s mission of education empowerment for youth from diamond communities around the world and demonstrating how Diamonds Do Good. 

Honoree and Award Recipient, Nate E. Light, Former CEO of Sterling,
at the Diamonds Do Good Gala, Four Seasons Hotel, Las Vegas, Thursday, June 2, 2016

Nate Light, who received the Diamonds Do Good Lifetime Achievement Award for his influence in  spearheading the “Party With a Purpose” and inspiring what is now called Jewelers For Children said “This honor is truly a wonderful and symbolic highlight of my career. I want kids as they grow up not to have to suffer. We need to keep raising money to create a better life and a better world for them. I challenge you to use this as a call to action to do even more for kids and for your community”. 

Honoree and Award Recipient, Chow Tai Fook CEO, was represented by Kent Wong
at Diamonds Do Good Gala, Four Seasons Hotel, Las Vegas, Thursday, June 2, 2016

Accepting Chow Tai Fook’s Diamonds Do Good Community Development Award was Managing Director, Kent Wong. “For 87 years we have been upholding our belief ‘From the Society, For the Society’ and have been devoted to supporting charitable activities and social services for the betterment of future generations”. 

Dorothée Gizenga, who received the Diamonds Do Good Award for Sustainable Practices for her work with the Diamond Development Initiative, gave an impassioned speech on the need to keep encouraging these practices throughout the mining industry. “The very livelihood of millions of people in some of the poorest countries in the world, survive because of diamonds. We must maintain consumer confidence in the industry to keep the industry thriving. And to do so means the practices we all embrace must be sustainable and embody integrity”.

Honoree and Award Recipient, Dorothee Gizenga at the Diamonds Do Good Gala,
Four Seasons Hotel, Las Vegas, Thursday, June 2, 2016
Six Diamond Empowerment Fund Student Scholars were on hand to give the awards to the recipients. Androulla Markus, graduate of the African Leadership Academy and recent graduate of Columbia University said “Diamonds have played a pivotal role in who I am today and who and where I will be in the future. My plan is to complete medical school, earn a degree in Public Health and return to Botswana and effect change both at the individual and public level.”

Group Shot of students who have benefitted from the Diamond Empowerment Fund’s
Diamonds Do Good
 initiative Four Seasons Hotel, Las Vegas, Thursday, June 2, 2016
Board President and CEO of Mercury Ring, Phyllis Bergman summed up the evening “as colleagues in the industry we are all driven by a shared desire to do well and to do good. Tonight we raised over one million dollars that will go towards scholarships for deserving young people around the world. We need to share our good stories with others outside the diamond industry and raise even more money so that thousands more deserving young people will benefit from the Diamond Empowerment Fund’s global mission.

Premier Presenting Sponsors of the Diamonds Do Gala included Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group, Inc., De Beers Group of Companies, Signet Jewelers Limited (Kay Jewelers, Jared the Galleria of Jewelry, Zales Jewelers) Patron Sponsors were JCK and Rosy Blue Group, and Partner Sponsors included ALROSA, Exelco and Le Vian Group. 



 About the Diamond Empowerment Fund:
The Diamond Empowerment Fund is a global non-profit based in New York City and co-founded by Russell Simmons and leaders in the diamond industry in 2007 to empower diamond communities around the world.  Its beneficiaries include: the African Leadership Academy, a university preparatory school in Johannesburg, South Africa, founded on the belief that ethical leadership is the key to sustainable development on the continent and drawing students from all 54 countries in Africa, the Botswana Top Achievers program that provides the top high school students countrywide the opportunity to study at a university of their choice worldwide. Graduates then return to Botswana to contribute to its economic, social and political development; Veerayatan, a model for encouraging development of responsible citizens who are educated, have strong integrity and a motivation to give back to their community. D.E.F  supports students attending its colleges of Pharmacy, Business Administration and Engineering.  D.E.F also supports the Diamond Development Initiative’s mobile school program in the Democratic Republic of Congo and high school scholars in Tanzania through the Flaviana Matata Foundation    www.diamondempowerment.org.
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#FaberGallery Aaron Faber Gallery Spotlight: Jennifer Trask – Cabinet of Curiosities #GallerySpotlight #NewYork

July 18, 2016
Aaron Faber Gallery Spotlight: 

Jennifer Trask – Cabinet of Curiosities

For the summer 2016 season, Aaron Faber Gallery invites you to enter jewelry artist Jennifer Trask’s Cabinet of Curiosities. Like the wunderkammern for which her early 2000s collection references, Trask marshals together a divergent assortment of crushed gems, peacock feathers, butterfly wings, powdered pigments and curiously unidentifiable objects to create artist jewelry as fantastically atypical as the women they adorn.

18K and 22K gold and silver crystal-covered round cases are locked together and redefined as wearable cabinets to lock away Trask’s miscellany of nature’s marvels – which include dyed beetles, Salamis parhassus wings, crushed shells, sulfur, leaf skeleton, and the occasional eyeshadow. 


“Like that cabinet of curiosities, these colorful, wearable and inviting jewels provoke a range of responses upon close examination, from delight to caution to discomfort, that tell-tale frisson of our not-always-easy relationship with nature and our role in it,” says Patricia Faber, curator and co-owner of Aaron Faber Gallery.


“This is the territory that Trask explores in her jewelry collections: yes, breathtakingly beautiful…but is it ours to see, to have, to own? Judging from the many avid private collectors and public collections that have acquired Trask’s work, the answer is yes.”

Jennifer Trask’s Wunderkammern Collection 

featured at Aaron Faber Gallery 
July and August. 2016.

JENNIFER TRASK PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

  • Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery, Washington, DC
  • Museum of Arts + Design, New York, NY
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
  • CODA Museum, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
  • Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia
  • Museum of Fine Arts Houston, TX
  • Newark Museum, Newark, NJ
  • Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, State University of New York at New Paltz, NY
  • Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AR
  • Rotasa Foundation, Tiburon, CA
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