Collections

Pieces of the Week: Gem Award for Jewelry Design Nominees

CollectionsMar 08, 2024

Pieces of the Week: Gem Award for Jewelry Design Nominees

They are Marla Aaron, Marie Lichtenberg, and Jean Prounis.

Jewelry from designers Jean Prounis, Marla Aaron, and Marie Lichtenberg
How do you a judge a work of art, be it large like a mural, in motion like a movie, or small like a piece of jewelry?

It’s a difficult task that, in many cases, comes down to personal preference. Which work moves you the most?

It is a question each of the Gem Awards judges had to answer this year when looking at the three outstanding nominees for the Gem Award for Jewelry Design: Marla Aaron, Marie Lichtenberg, and Jean Prounis.

They all bring their individual histories, personalities, and viewpoints to their work and craft jewelry that is distinctly theirs and theirs alone. 

Ahead of the 22nd annual Gem Awards tonight, we present multiple “Pieces of the Week” featuring  designs from each the three Jewelry Design nominees, in no particular order.


Jean Prounis
Prounis produces jewels that are timeless, tiny works of art that pay homage to ancient forms and objects. Each piece is meticulously crafted; each gemstone carefully chosen.

These earrings are a perfect example.   

Named after an elongated jar used in Ancient Greece, the “Amphora” earrings feature golden citrine, nasturtium seed-shaped Roman glass beads, and fawn-colored jasper.

Jean Prounis Amphora earrings
Jean Prounis “Amphora” earrings


“This pair is a culmination of attending the Tucson gem shows over several years,” Prounis said. “I’m quite proud of them.”

Those attending the Gem Awards will get the opportunity to see these earrings, as the designer said she plans to wear them to the party.


Marla Aaron
Aaron got her start when she transformed a carabiner meant for climbing into her signature lock, but she didn’t stop there.

Twelve years, countless innovations, and one vending machine later, Aaron is still creating, as is evidenced by the “Rolling Spheres” collection. 

The project started with the search for an individual or company with the ability to cut diamonds as full, faceted spheres.   


Later, Aaron added other gemstones, like the Greenland rubies pictured above, and balls of gold in different colors to Rolling Spheres, with the goal of being able to offer a variety of price points.

The mechanism is a ball-bearing structure in which the balls are able to rotate 360 degrees freely. They are held in place, but not set. The mechanism is patent pending.


Marie Lichtenberg
How do you take antique and vintage items, be they forçat chains or the all-knowing Magic 8 Ball, and make them seem fresh and appealing to a new generation?

Lichtenberg, a former fashion editor for Elle, approaches the challenge with the perfect blend of sentimentality, humor, and artistic vision.

Lichtenberg’s “Love You to the Moon” scapular is enough to make this editor wish she wasn’t single  while her “Dick in a Box” ring makes people laugh while sending a message of female empowerment.

Marie Lichtenberg Love Is Blind locket
Marie Lichtenberg “Love Is Blind” locket


Her “Love Is Blind” box locket is in the same vein, as it combines a hopeful, sentimental (if not a bit saccharine) message with a cheeky little surprise. 

The locket is 18-karat yellow gold with 0.89 carats of diamonds, 0.39 carats of rubies, and enamel on a silk cord. 

 Related stories will be right here … 


The Latest

Alfred W. DeScenza
IndependentsApr 15, 2024
Alfred W. DeScenza of DeScenza Diamonds Dies at 95

He is remembered by loved ones for his loyalty, integrity, and kindness.

Joyce’s Jewelry
TechnologyApr 15, 2024
Judge Rules Jeweler’s Lawsuit Against PNC Bank Can Move Forward

Joyce’s Jewelry sued the bank after cybercriminals drained its accounts of nearly $1.6 million through a series of wire transfers.

Madeleine K. Albright
AuctionsApr 15, 2024
Madeleine K. Albright Jewelry, Pins Coming to Auction

Hosted by Freeman’s | Hindman, the sale will take place May 7-8.

1-(3.18).JPG
Brought to you by
The Blueprint for Success in Scalable, Personalized Jewelry Retail

With Ho Brothers, you can unlock your brand's true potential and offer customers the personalized jewelry experiences they desire.

Audemars Piguet circa 1985 emerald car watch
AuctionsApr 15, 2024
All of Sotheby’s ‘Rough Diamonds’ Sold in Less Than an Hour

The auction house said all 24 timepieces offered in its underground sale of rare and avant-garde watches quickly found buyers.

Weekly QuizApr 11, 2024
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this seven-question quiz.
Take the Quiz
AGS Conclave 2024 logo Austin
Events & AwardsApr 15, 2024
10 Can’t-Miss Sessions at AGS Conclave 2024

From lab-grown diamonds and AI to the inevitable Taylor Swift mention, here are some of Conclave’s most intriguing educational offerings.

My Next Question webinar
Recorded WebinarsApr 12, 2024
Watch: What Jewelers Need to Know About Insurance

From cybersecurity liability to trade show coverage, insurance experts share tips on how to build the right policy.

Jewelers of America Fly In Washington, D.C.
Brought to you by
How Jewelers of America Represents Your Business

For over 30 years, JA has advocated for the industry, fought against harmful legislation and backed measures that help jewelry businesses.

The Jewelry Symposium scholarship winners 2024
Events & AwardsApr 12, 2024
The Jewelry Symposium Announces 4 Scholarship Winners

Ahead of its trade show next month, TJS awarded free registration and accommodations to one jewelry professional and three students.

SRK Empire and SRK House
Policies & IssuesApr 11, 2024
SRK Exports’ Journey Toward Net Zero Impact

By the end of this year, SRK’s diamond manufacturing complexes will achieve net zero emissions, one of an impressive array of achievements.

AGTA logo
Lab-GrownApr 11, 2024
AGTA Bans Lab-Grown Diamonds, Gemstones at GemFair

Members can still sell lab-grown stones, it said, but only natural gems are allowed on the show floor.

Steven Rosdal
IndependentsApr 11, 2024
Steven Rosdal, Co-Founder of Hyde Park Jewelers, Dies at 77

He is remembered for his charisma, passion, integrity, kindness, and wit.

Macy’s Herald Square store
MajorsApr 11, 2024
Macy’s Opens Books for Possible Buyout

The retailer also appointed two new board members, avoiding a proxy fight from a potential buyer.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Deepsea in 18-karat yellow gold
WatchesApr 10, 2024
These Are Rolex’s New Watches for 2024

The crown introduced a dozen timepieces in Geneva, including a heavy metal version of its deep-sea divers’ watch.

Levy’s Fine Jewelry diamond education
IndependentsApr 10, 2024
Levy's Fine Jewelry Explores Diamond History

The family-owned jeweler has a new education section on its website dedicated to the history of diamond cutting.

With Clarity NFL wedding bands
CollectionsApr 10, 2024
With Clarity Partners With NFL on Wedding Bands

The limited-edition men’s rings can be customized with one of 12 team logos.

Asian Star’s diamond manufacturing facility in India
SourcingApr 10, 2024
Compliance, Caution, and Concern: The Current Outlook of Indian Diamantaires

There is a willingness to comply with new government-mandated regulations, with an insistence that they should be practical and realistic.

Chrono24 watch inspection lab
WatchesApr 09, 2024
Chrono24 Debuts Pre-Owned Watch Authentication Program

The program, now live in Europe, will roll out to the U.S. this summer.

6.21-carat fancy vivid pink diamond
AuctionsApr 09, 2024
Phillips to Offer 6.21-Carat Vivid Pink Diamond

Colored gemstones and signed jewels are the focus of its upcoming Geneva sale.

Lucapa rough colorless and pink diamonds
SourcingApr 09, 2024
Former De Beers Exec Appointed to Lucapa Board

Stuart Brown, who was De Beers’ CFO and interim CEO, is now Lucapa’s independent non-executive chairman.

Jewelers for Children POS System Donations
MajorsApr 09, 2024
Jewel360 Announces New POS Integration, JFC Partnership

The point-of-sale software can now prompt customers to round up their credit card purchases as a donation to Jewelers for Children.

Bharat Ratnam, a Mega Common Facilitation Centre (CFC)
SourcingApr 09, 2024
Reinvigorating SEEPZ, the Epicenter of India’s Studded Jewelry Exports

The zone’s modernization will enhance and increase India’s jewelry manufacturing capabilities while aiding small and mid-sized businesses.

Charles & Colvard moissanite bypass engagement ring
SourcingApr 08, 2024
Charles & Colvard Debuts B2B Portal for Moissanite

Select independent jewelers and retailers can now purchase moissanite through Charles & Colvard Direct.

Amber Rank
Events & AwardsApr 08, 2024
AGS Announces First Recipient of ‘Women in Leadership’ Scholarship

Amber Rank of Exclusively Diamonds will receive mentorship, registration to AGS’s 2024 Conclave, and $500.

Jaeger-LeCoultre citrine pinky-ring watch
AuctionsApr 08, 2024
Sotheby’s ‘Rough Diamonds’ Sale Is All About … Watches

The auction will take place Thursday and is underground, literally.

JOGS logo
Events & AwardsApr 08, 2024
JOGS Show Returns to Las Vegas for a Second Year

The trade show is moving downtown to the Expo at World Market Center.

Kira Diam solar plant
Lab-GrownApr 08, 2024
Indian Lab-Grown Diamond Manufacturers Keep Growing

A combination of factors is driving growth in the industry despite the precipitous drop in prices across the board.

×

This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy