Two Entries Named ‘Best Of Show’ in 2023 AGTA Spectrum Awards
AGTA CEO John Ford said it was one of the design competition’s best years ever.
The competition again took place in Dallas on Oct. 24-25 at the Omni Frisco Hotel, which was a sponsor for the event along with Platinum Guild International, and the Women’s Jewelry Association.
“This year’s awards are one of our best ever,” said AGTA CEO John W. Ford Sr.
“We had an additional 100 entries this year over last, and many of them had stunning green and blue-green gems. The Omni hotels are the new home of the awards for the next few years, and we hope to take the competition national, to other Omni venues.”
The judges this year were: Allan Koo, A. Koo & Co.; Brent Malgarin, Elegant Gems Ltd.; Christina Gandia Gambale, Greenwich St. Jewelers; Lika Behar, Lika Behar Jewelry; and Clayton Bromberg, Underwood’s Jewelers in Jacksonville, Florida.
“The 2023 AGTA Spectrum & Cutting Edge Awards have a new home and a new vibe,” said Kimberly Collins, owner of Kimberly Collins Colored Gems and president of the AGTA board of directors.
“Our judges were amazing and worked so well together. They seemed to be extremely on the same page with the selections they made. As always, the integrity of the judging competition is of the upmost importance. I felt the winners had a classic, timeless aesthetic this year. I’m so proud to be part of a judging competition that holds itself to the most stringent standards.”
Spectrum award entries are judged on overall beauty and wearability, innovative design, effective use of materials, quality of gemstones, quality of workmanship, broad‐based consumer appeal and potential to generate positive publicity for natural colored gemstones.
Cutting Edge awards honor excellence and creativity in lapidary arts, including natural colored gemstones and cultured pearls, carvings, and other gem materials.
Many of the winning pieces will be on display at the 2024 AGTA GemFair Tucson, slated for Jan. 30–Feb. 4 in Tucson, Arizona.
Winners will be recognized at the organization’s Spectrum gala on Feb. 3, 2024 in the newly built addition to the Tucson Convention Center.
Here they are.
“Best of” Awards
Best of Show – Spectrum: Niveet Nagpal, Omi Privé
Best of Show – Cutting Edge (and Best of Single Entries – Cutting Edge): Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem Corp.
Best of Single Entries – Spectrum: Joseph Campanelli, Campanelli & Pear
Best Use of Color: Jeffrey Bilgore, Jeffrey Bilgore LLC
Best Use of Pearl: Fannie Thomas, Fannie Thomas Jewelry
Fashion Forward: Jeffrey Bilgore, Jeffrey Bilgore LLC
Best Use of Platinum and Color: Mary van der Aa, Mary van der Aa Fine Jewels, in collaboration with Tucson Todd’s Gems (gem cutter and supplier)
Best Use of Platinum Crown: Adam Neeley, Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry Inc.
See: The Competition’s “Best Of” Winners
First Place (and Best Use of Platinum Crown): Adam Neeley, Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry Inc.
Second Place: Niveet Nagpal, Omi Privé
Third Place: Benjamin Javaheri, Uneek Jewelry
Honorable Mention: Gabriel Angulo, Pompos Jewelry Corporation
Manufacturing Honors: Bella Campbell, BHI/Campbellian Collection
Platinum Honors: Dallas Prince, Dallas Prince Designs
Gem DIVA Award: Erica Courtney, Erica Courtney LLC
First Place: Gabriel Angulo, Pompos Jewelry Corp.
Second Place: Wolfgang Vaatz, Earth Terra Erde Inc.
Third Place: Gabriel Angulo, Pompos Jewelry Corp.
Honorable Mention: Randy Coffin, Coffin & Trout Fine Jewelers
Platinum Honors: Raja Mehta, AG Gems
Gem DIVA Award: Svetlana Kayton, Svetlana Lazar, in collaboration with Paul Dragone
First Place: Jeffrey Bilgore, Jeffrey Bilgore LLC
Second Place: Gabriel Angulo, Pompos Jewelry Corp.
Third Place (and Best Use of Pearls, and Gem DIVA Award): Fannie Thomas, Fannie Thomas Jewelry
Platinum Innovation (and Best Use of Color): Jeffrey Bilgore, Jeffrey Bilgore LLC
Honorable Mention: Kim Nel, Alpha Inc. /DBA Brian Gavin Diamonds, in collaboration with Brian Gavin as an adviser/mentor
Manufacturing Honors: Jenn Breznen, Mined + Found
Platinum Honors: Jeffrey Bilgore, Jeffrey Bilgore LLC
See: The Spectrum First Place Winners
First Place (and Best of Show): Niveet Nagpal, Omi Privé
Second Place: Beatrix Laura Jessner, B & W Jewels
Third Place: Adam Neeley, Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry Inc. in collaboration with gem cutter Stephen Avery
Platinum Innovation: Shawndria Aghjayan, Harout R LLC, in collaboration with gemstone setter Wilson Amores
Platinum Innovation: Shawndria Aghjayan, Harout R LLC
Honorable Mention: Nikki Swift, Nicole Mera
Manufacturing Honors: Marcia Budet, Marcia Budet
Platinum Honors: Helen Kim Currens, J.W. Currens Inc.
Best Use of Platinum and Color: Mary van der Aa, Mary van der Aa Fine Jewels
Gem Diva Award: Anita Agrawal, Jewels 4 Ever/Vartanian Jewellers, in collaboration with designer Anita Agrawal and Kevork Vartanian (CAD)
First Place: Niveet Nagpal, Omi Privé
Second Place: Carl Larson, AntiHero
Third Place: Marc Hollmuller, Somewhere In The Rainbow
Platinum Innovation: Jeffrey Bilgore, Jeffrey Bilgore LLC
Honorable Mention (and Manufacturing Honors): Michael Endlich, Pave Fine Jewelry
Platinum Honors: Inken Krause, Enhoerning Jewelry
Gem DIVA Award: Robin Callahan, Robin Callahan Designs LLC
Editors’ Choice Awards (photos not available as of press time)
Spectrum: Ai Van Pham, Gem & Gold Creations
Cutting Edge: Bryan Lichtenstein, 3090 Gems, LLC
Here are the winners of the 2023 Cutting Edge Awards.
First Place: Ron Rahmanan, Sara Gem
Second Place: Intercolor USA
Third Place: Ron Rahmanan, Sara Gem
Honorable Mention: Ron Rahmanan, Sara Gem
All Other Cut Gemstones
First Place: Desmond Chan, Gem Arts International, in collaboration with gem cutter Joyce Wang and Scott Laborie (gem diagram designer)
Second Place: David Nassi, 100% Natural Ltd.
Third Place: David Nassi, 100% Natural Ltd.
Honorable Mention: Bryan Lichtenstein, 3090 Gems LLC
Honorable Mention: Jaimeen Shah, Prima Gems USA
First Place: Patrick Dreher, Dreher Carvings LLC
Second Place: Meg Berry, Milstead Gems LLC
Third Place: Brandon Messing, BM Gems
Honorable Mention: Meg Berry, Megagem
See: The Cutting Edge First Place Winners
First Place: Bryan D. Drummond, Drummond Gems & Jewelry
Second Place: Lee Haynes, LWH Gems
Third Place: Christopher Wolfsberg, Fossilium/Roy Leggitt
Honorable Mention: Larry Woods, Gem Arts International
North American Mined Gemstones
First Place: Ben Kho, Kho International
Second Place: Dalan Hargrave, Somewhere In The Rainbow
Third Place: Derek Katzenbach, Katzenbach Designs Inc.
Honorable Mention: Derek Katzenbach, Katzenbach Designs Inc.
Objects of Art
First Place: Patrick Dreher, Dreher Carvings LLC
Second Place: Desmond Chan, Gem Arts International, in collaboration with gem carver Yan Ge
Third Place: Kent Raible, Raible Studios LLC
Honorable Mention: Ziad H. Noshie, Almaza Jewelers
Pairs and Suites
First Place (and Best of Single Entries Cutting Edge, and Best of Show): Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem Corp.
Second Place: Justin Zaroovabeli, The Rare Gem LLC
Third Place: Ron Rahmanan, Sara Gem
Honorable Mention: Stephen M. Avery, Stephen M. Avery
First Place: David Nassi, 100% Natural, Ltd.
Second Place: Bryan Lichtenstein, 3090 Gems LLC
Third Place: Bruce Furst, The Cutter’s Bench
Honorable Mention: Neal Hurni, Lewis and Clark Sapphires LLC
Sponsor Platinum Guild International (PGI) gives out the “Best Use of Platinum and Color” and “Best Use of Platinum Crown” awards.
It also sponsors “Platinum Honors,” which recognizes outstanding use of platinum in colored gemstone and/or cultured pearl jewelry in 11 Spectrum Awards categories, and the “Platinum Innovation” awards in the Bridal Wear, Business/Day Wear, Evening Wear, Classical, and Men’s categories.
WJA sponsors the WJA “Gem Diva” grants awards in the Bridal Wear, Evening Wear, Classical and Business/Day Wear categories. All women who enter the AGTA Spectrum Awards competition are eligible for this category.
The lab-grown diamond brand also collaborated with the website The Future Rocks on a collection launching today.
It’s the hero piece of the newest "Green Jewel" collection, a collaborative offering from the two mines.
With holiday proposals right around the corner, encourage your customers to go for platinum when making the big purchase.
Chris Cramer, who also spent time at Gen Z intimates brand Parade, will take on the dual role.
In a world where the sparkle of a gemstone is only as brilliant as the trust behind it, IGI's purpose is truly invaluable.
The retail offering lets customers track their diamond’s journey.
The Luele mine is expected to eventually make the country the world’s third-largest diamond producer.
From Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, 200.4 million consumers shopped online and in stores.
The growing company also plans to open more of its own boutiques.
The best quotes from the Oracle of Omaha and his right-hand man Charlie Munger from the 2018 Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting.
The Albany Business Review recently honored the 100-year-old company.
To honor his legacy, GIA has set up a scholarship in his name.
There have been eight attacks in the last month, spanning from a jewelry store parking lot in Rhode Island to highways in California.
Emmanuel Raheb outlines three reasons why Hulu advertising and football can be a game changer for your jewelry store’s marketing.