Events & Awards

Baton Rouge Jeweler Nearly Sweeps Design Competition

Events & AwardsAug 17, 2023

Baton Rouge Jeweler Nearly Sweeps Design Competition

Ara Chanakian took two first-place awards and Best in Show honors in Jewelers of Louisiana’s annual jewelry design competition.

Ara Chanakian chrysocolla pendant
Ara Chanakian’s pendant featuring a chrysocolla set in 14-karat gold and surrounded by diamonds won first place in its category and “Best in Show” in the Jewelers of Louisiana’s annual design competition. Chanakian is bench jeweler and custom designer at Pattons Jewelry store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Metairie, La.—Jewelers of Louisiana held its annual jewelry design competition earlier this month, with one jeweler taking three of the four top prizes.  
Held during the association’s convention on Aug. 5 and 6, the competition considers overall design, marketability, practicality/wearability, and craftsmanship.  
Jewels entered into the competition had to be crafted from precious metals and genuine gemstones and made in the last 18 months.  
The competition had three categories sorted by price. Category one was for pieces that retail for up to $2,000; category two was for jewels retailing for $2,001-$6,000; and category three was for jewelry that retails for more than $6,000.  
A panel of jewelers picked the winners in each category, while votes from convention attendees determined the competition’s top prize, “Best in Show.” 

Richard Melancon of Melancon Jewelers in Abbeville, Louisiana, took first place in category one with a 14-karat yellow gold ring featuring a freeform 3.1-carat Ethiopian opal, pictured above.  

First place in categories two and three went to the same jeweler—Ara Chanakian, bench jeweler and custom designer at Pattons Jewelry store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  

Chanakian won the second category with a 14-karat rose and white gold ring featuring a 9.5mm Akoya pearl, a pink sapphire, and 0.88 carats of D-color, VVS1-clarity diamonds, pictured below. 

He took both first place in the third category and Best in Show honors with his chrysocolla pendant set in 14-karat white and yellow gold with 1.88 carats of D-color, VVS1-clarity diamonds, pictured at top of article.  
Chanakian designed the pendant’s setting to mimic wheat spikes, symbolizing life as well as growth, prosperity, and abundance.   
 Related stories will be right here … 
He said, “I am deeply honored to have received these awards. They validate the dedication and quality that I strive to infuse into my work throughout my career. This accolade not only reflects my personal commitment but also mirrors the excellence of Louisiana’s jewelry craftsmanship on a national stage.”  
It was not the first win for Chanakian or Pattons Jewelry at the Jewelers of Louisiana convention.  
Last year, the jeweler won three awards, including the “Jeweler of Louisiana” award, which went to Pattons team member Tenisha Jason-Moore. 

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