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Admire These 13 Prestigious 2019 AGTA Spectrum Award Winners

When it comes to gauging the world’s finest gems and diamond jewelry, no group does it better than the American Gem Trade Association. And no awards celebrated this more than the 2019 AGTA Spectrum Awards. Since it began back in 1981, the association now consists of more than 1,200 members and it only continues to grow.

No event is so esteemed as the AGTA’s annual Spectrum Awards. Held on August 3 and 4 this year, the panel of judges contained some of the most-known names in the jewelry and gemstone business; John Carter, Paula Crevoshay, Myriam Galli, Brett Kosnar, and Naomi Sarna.

Best of all? This event contained one of the highest volumes of first-time winners in the award’s history.

When we see the entries coming into our office and those submitted during our New York City drop-off program, there’s always a lot of internal speculation about how the judges will respond to each piece,” notes AGTA’s chief executive officer Douglas K. Hucker. “After all of these years, one thing is certain, and that is that there is no way we can anticipate the dynamics that will develop within the panel, nor the pieces they will ultimately select after hours of contemplation and discourse.”

2019 AGTA Spectrum Awards

While looks such as the Solitaire style have presented the archetypal singular diamond set on an elegant band since 1886, the creative opulence of modern jewelry is as breathtaking as it is daring. The winners of the 2019 AGTA Spectrum Awards have certainly not failed to dazzle. Let’s take a gaze — albeit brief — at this year’s 13 victors:

Bridal Jewelry: Bella Campbell

2019 AGTA Spectrum Awards

From the Campbellian Collection, Campbell wowed the judges with an ornate, 18Kwhite gold bracelet. Adored with rainbow moonstones, blue sapphires, and diamonds, this show-stopping piece will make every bride feel elegant as they walk down the aisle.

Business/Day Wear: Ricardo Basta

 

2019 AGTA Spectrum Awards

Ricardo Basta’s “Karma Chameleon” ring was the perfect blend of style and practicality for the judges this year. The 18K yellow gold ring sports a barrel facet top Tourmaline you can’t help but notice. The ring also features sapphires, tsavorite and spessartite garnets, and rubies with a chameleon design on the side.

Classical: Jeffrey Bilgore

2019 AGTA Spectrum Awards

For timeless styles that appeal to just about everyone, no one did it better than Jeffrey Bilgore. He stunned the judges with a gorgeous platinum bracelet featuring Russian demantoid garnets. The piece was topped off with a dusting of diamonds and smaller Russian demantoid garnets for a traditional look.

Evening Wear: Tanja Schuetz

2019 AGTA Spectrum Awards

Tanja Schuetz’s peacock-inspired white gold necklace featured a stunning boulder opal in the center of feathers made from blue sapphires, diamonds, and tsavorite garnets. The striking use of color was enough to catch the eye of every judge in the room at the 2019 AGTA Spectrum Awards.

Men’s wear: David White

2019 AGTA Spectrum Awards

White’s 18K white gold butterfly-shaped cufflinks earned him the top spot in the menswear category. Featuring sapphires, diamonds, and tsavorite garnets, these colorful creations were the best way for men to show off their style. , whether you’re grabbing a bite at your favorite restaurant with a coworker or hitting a red carpet event, these cufflinks work for a number of events and occasions.

Best Use of Color: David White

David White’s gorgeous butterfly cufflinks were also the winner of this category.

Fashion Forward Winner: Adam Neeley

2019 AGTA Spectrum Awards

Neeley’s gorgeous 14K white gold earrings were the picture of elegance as they dangled before the judged. Consisting of a delicate balance of tourmaline and tsavorite garnets, the diamonds were the cherry on top of these ornate earrings.

Cutting Edge Award in Carving: Meg Berry

2019 AGTA Spectrum Awards

The carving category is open to any jewelry carver who transforms a natural gem into a piece of art. First place was granted to Meg Berry for her “Himalaya Rose.” Made from carved rubellite Tourmaline, the delicate pink gem looked picture-perfect.

Cutting Edge Award in Objects of Art: Logan Cutshall

2019 AGTA Spectrum Awards

Of course, jewelers are used to mixing materials. When it comes to Cutshall, his beautiful sea-inspired pendant featured rough aquamarine accented with opals, emeralds, heliodor, rubies, spinels, sapphires, andalusite, and, of course, more aquamarine. The pendant showcased an ornate golden ship and octopus on top, truly feeding into the piece’s name: “Treasure Hunt.”

Best Use of Platinum and Color: Roland Krainz

2019 AGTA Spectrum Awards

Krainz cuff bracelet was adorned with a gorgeous butterfly studded with sapphires, emeralds, rubies, and diamonds.

Best Use of Pearls: Chris Faber

2019 AGTA Spectrum Awards

Faber’s delicate white gold cufflinks were the perfect accent for his 12-15mm pearls from the South Sea. Circled in rubies and black diamonds, these cuff links were the ultimate balance of modern and traditional. These cufflinks also won 3rd place in the Men’s Wear category.

Innovating Faceting: Mark Gronlund

2019 AGTA Spectrum Awards

Gronlund’s specialty-cut aquamarine stole the show. With multiple faces jutting toward the inside of the gemstone, “Beyond” went beyond the judges’ expectations.

Best of Show: David Nassi

2019 AGTA Spectrum Awards

David Nassi achieved the Best of Show Award at the 2019 AGTA Spectrum Awards, thanks to his beautiful, 30.19 ct. 100% Tanzanian red spinel. The gem was a cushion-cut to show off the remarkable facets of the piece.

Just like 82% of women feel more confident from wearing makeup, the perfect jewelry can make or break an outfit. There’s no doubt that jewelry innovation will continue to evolve with each passing year. For now, we’ll just have to wait until next year’s Spectrum Awards to get the “cutting edge” jewelry so many of us crave.

2012 AGTA Spectrum Awards | Exquisite Award-Winning Jewelry

Several weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the 2012 AGTA Spectrum Awards, considered the finest jewelry and gemstone competition in the world. I even got the chance to vote on my three favorites (an amazingly difficult task) and I was trying to wait to find out if any of my choices was voted as Editor’s Pick but I sadly I guess it didn’t. The AGTA Spectrum Awards featured over 500 pieces of jewelry from designers like Erica Courtney, Heather Moore, Katey Brunini and Todd Reed (who I’ve previously featured on this blog) along with museum-quality gemstones. Each piece is examined by hand with an eye for craftsmanship and quality of the materials used.

The AGTA Spectrum Awards features various categories like Bridal Wear, Business/Day wear, Classical, Evening Wear, Mens Wear, etc. Once you see some of these pieces, you will see why it was so difficult to select just three. Below are just a few of my favorites. If I had to post all of my favorites, this would be an extremely long post (and yes, I had to choose only three out of all of these). To see more exquisite jewelry and designers, click on each bold /red title category below

Bridal Wear

18K white and rose gold “Mimosa” pendant by Yehouda Saketkhou

18K white and rose gold ring featuring two half-moon Diamonds by Alan Friedman (my dream engagement ring)

Business/Daywear

Platinum pin/pendant featuring carved black Onyx with Emerald cabochons by Mark Schneider

18K white gold brooch carved Aquamarine accented with Diamonds by Naomi Sarna


18K white gold ring featuring black and white pave Diamonds by Lawrence Gordon

Classical

Art Deco Platinum and 18K yellow gold necklace by Ricardo Basta (he actually had several pieces I absolutely loved)

18K white gold “Wheel of Fortune” pendant by Sean Ryan

Evening Wear (I must admit, most of my favorite pieces are from this category)

18K yellow gold ring featuring a carved black Jade fish with fire Opals by Manya Tessler

I love this statement piece – Palladium and 22K yellow gold locket featuring blue Moonstones, grey and white Diamonds, blue Sapphires opening to reveal a Moldavite Buddha by Todd Reed (this amazing wearable art won Best in Show)

18K rose, white and yellow gold Flamingo brooch by Wilfried Kowollik

Now that I’ve showed you a few of my favorites, what are yours?

About the AGTA Spectrum Awards


The AGTA Spectrum Awards™ is considered the most respected and prestigious creative award for the design industry. Launched in 1984, the AGTA Spectrum Awards™ honors, recognizes and promotes designers whose work utilizes natural colored gemstones and cultured pearls in finished fine jewelry design. It has become the benchmark for jewelry designers striving to gain recognition for their work. In 1991, the AGTA created the Cutting Edge Awards to honor creativity in lapidary arts, including faceted gems and pearls, carvings, and objects of art. Both are a true contest of workmanship, creativity and innovation. Winners set the standards of excellence for our entire industry. The Spectrum Awards competition has launched trends, increased visibility for designer jewelry, and inspired great innovation in use of color and materials.