Events & Awards

Pair of Blue Tourmalines Are AGTA Spectrum’s ‘Best of Show’

Events & AwardsAug 09, 2017

Pair of Blue Tourmalines Are AGTA Spectrum’s ‘Best of Show’

This is the third time in as many years a Cutting Edge entry has received the top honors in the competition.

This pair of neon blue tourmalines, weighing 53.56 total carats, from Mikola Kukharuk of Nomad’s won both “Best in Show” as well as first place in the Pairs & Suites category of the Cutting Edge competition.

New York--A pair of blue tourmalines were deemed tops at the American Gem Trade Association’s Spectrum awards this past weekend.

The two neon blue tourmalines, weighing 53.56 total carats, from Mikola Kukharuk of Nomad’s were named “Best of Show.”

This is the third time in a row a Cutting Edge entry received that honor in the competition.

Last year, it was a suite of round brilliant Russian demantoid garnets weighing a total of 24.67 carats from Ruben Bindra of B&B Fine Gems.

The year before that it was a suite of Paraiba tourmaline from Allen Kleiman carved in a nautilus shell shape.

Judging for the 2017 event took place in New York on Saturday and Sunday. The panel of judges featured Arun Bohra of Arunashi, Cathy Calhoun of Calhoun Jewelers, Sherris Cottier Shank of Gemscapes, Alishan Halebian of Alishan and Holly Wesche of Wesche Jewelers.

The awards will be presented during the 2018 AGTA GemFair Tucson, slated for Jan. 30 to Feb. 4 at the Tucson Convention Center.

Winning entries will be displayed during the show, and the award recipients will be recognized during the 2017 AGTA Spectrum Awards Gala on Saturday, Feb. 3.

“The entire staff was immediately impressed as the entries started coming in; it seemed that the quality and artistry of the pieces has ascended to a new level. The number of entries increased and clearly the caliber of entries was exceptional,” AGTA CEO Doug Hucker said.

Winners of the 2017 AGTA Spectrum Awards are as follows.

“Best of” Category
Best of Show: Mikola Kukharuk, Nomad’s
Best Use of Color: Naomi Sarna, Naomi Sarna Designs
Best Use of Pearls: Naomi Sarna, Naomi Sarna Designs
Best Use of Platinum and Color: Eddie Sakamoto, Somewhere In The Rainbow
Fashion Forward: Ardeshir Dabestani, Asha Gallery Ltd.

Bridal Wear
First Place: Ricardo Basta, E. Eichberg, Inc.
Second Place (and WJA Gem Diva Award): Lindsay Jane, Lindsay Jane Designs
Third Place: Judy Evans, Oliver & Espig Gallery of Fine Arts
Honorable Mention: Zoltan David, Somewhere In The Rainbow
Manufacturing Honors: Randy Coffin, Coffin & Trout Fine Jewellers

Platinum Innovation: Leon Mege, Leon Mege Inc.
Platinum Honors: Craig Slavens, Studio 247 Fine Jewelry

Business/Day Wear
First Place: Adam Neeley, Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry
Second Place: Llyn Strong, Llyn Strong Fine Art Jewelry
Third Place: Mimi Favre, Mimi Favre Studio
Honorable Mention: Omi Prive, Somewhere In The Rainbow
Honorable Mention: Robert Pelliccia, J. R. Dunn Jewelers
Manufacturing Honors: Gregore Morin, Gregore & Jennifer-Rabe Jewelers
Platinum Honors: John Ford, Lightning Ridge Collection by John Ford
Entry Platinum Innovation: Leon Mege, Leon Mege Inc.
WJA Gem Diva Award: Pam Harris, Lost Bird Designs

First Place: Allen Kleiman, A. Kleiman & Co.
Second Place: Niveet Nagpal, Omi Prive
Third Place: Oscar Heyman, Oscar Heyman
Honorable Mention: Varouj Tabakian, Jewellery by Varouj
Honorable Mention: Oscar Heyman, Oscar Heyman
Manufacturing Honors: Ricardo Basta, E. Eichberg Inc.
Platinum Honors: Michael Endlich, Pave Fine Jewelry
Entry Platinum Innovation: Robert Pelliccia, J.R. Dunn Jewelers
WJA Gem Diva Award: Beatrix Laura Jessner, B & W Jewels

Evening Wear
First Place (and Best Use of Platinum and Color): Eddie Sakamoto, Somewhere In The Rainbow
Second Place (and Best Use of Color): Naomi Sarna, Naomi Sarna Designs
Third Place: Caroline Chartouni, Caroline C
Honorable Mention: Victoria Tse, VTse Inc.
Honorable Mention: Erica Courtney, Erica Courtney Inc.
Honorable Mention: Zoltan David, Somewhere in the Rainbow
Platinum Honors: John Ford, Lightning Ridge Collection by John Ford
WJA Gem Diva Award: Dallas Prince, Dallas Prince Designs

Men’s Wear
First Place: Ricardo Basta, E. Eichberg Inc.
Second Place: Peter Schmid, French Designer Jeweler
Third Place: Dawn Muscio, D. Muscio Designs
Honorable Mention: Llyn L. Strelau, Jewels by Design
Honorable Mention and Platinum Honors: Randy Coffin, Coffin & Trout Fine Jewellers
Manufacturing Honors: Niveet Nagpal, Omi Prive

The winners for the Cutting Edge Awards are as follows.

First Place: Meg Berry, Pala International
Second Place: Dalan Hargrave, GemStarz Jewelry
Third Place: John Dyer, John Dyer & Co.
Honorable Mention: Bernie Benavidez, Master Jewelers
Honorable Mention: Larry Woods, Jewels From The Woods

Classic Gemstone
First Place: David Nassi, 100% Natural Ltd.
Second Place: Allen Kleiman, A. Kleiman & Co.
Third Place: Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem Corp.
Honorable Mention: Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem Corp.

Innovative Faceting
First Place: Christopher Wolfsberg, Chris Wolfsberg
Second Place: John Dyer, John Dyer & Co.
Third Place: John Dyer, John Dyer & Co.
Honorable Mention: Dalan Hargrave, Jewels From The Woods

Objects of Art
First Place: Derek Katzenbach, Katzenbach Designs
Second Place: Susan Helmich, Somewhere in the Rainbow
Third Place: Liam Powers, Liam Powers Jewelry

Pairs & Suites
First Place: Mikola Kukharuk, Nomad’s
Second Place: Hemant Phophaliya, A G Color Inc.
Third Place: Robyn Dufty, DuftyWeis Opals Inc.
Honorable Mention: Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem Corp.
Honorable Mention: Phillip Youngman, Phillip Youngman

First Place: Joel Price, Joel Price
Second Place: Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem Corp.
Third Place: Robert Shapiro, Robert Shapiro
Honorable Mention: Ruben Bindra, B & B Fine Gems
Honorable Mention: David Nassi, 100% Natural Ltd.

All Other Faceted
First Place: Brett Kosnar, Beija Flor Wholesale
Second Place: Ruben Bindra, B & B Fine Gems
Third Place: Hemant Phophaliya, A G Color Inc.
Honorable Mention: Ruben Bindra, B & B Fine Gems
Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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