Events & Awards

This 30-Carat Red Spinel is AGTA Spectrum’s ‘Best of Show’

Events & AwardsAug 07, 2019

This 30-Carat Red Spinel is AGTA Spectrum’s ‘Best of Show’

Top honors returned to the contest’s “Cutting Edge” division, honoring lapidary arts.

This 30.19-carat untreated cushion-cut Tanzanian red spinel cut by David Nassi of 100% Natural Ltd. won “Best of Show” in the 2019 AGTA Spectrum awards as well as first place in the “All Other Cut Gemstones” category of Cutting Edge.

New York—At the 2019 AGTA Spectrum Awards, it was the year of the red spinel.

The American Gem Trade Association named the winners of its annual jewelry design and gemstone cutting competition Tuesday morning, with David Nassi’s 30.19-carat untreated cushion-cut Tanzanian red spinel receiving “Best of Show” honors.

It marked the fourth time in the past five years that an entry in the award’s “Cutting Edge” division, which honors loose gemstone cutting and carving, snagged top honors.

“Cutting Edge” entries also won Best of Show in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Prior to that, a Cutting Edge entry had only won the top award once.

Judging for the AGTA’s 2019 competition was held in New York on Aug. 3 and 4. The judges this year were: John Carter, Jack Lewis Fine Jewelers; Paula Crevoshay, Mellika Company Inc./Crevoshay; Myriam Galli, Gemveto Jewelry Company Inc.; Brett Kosnar, Kosnar Gem Co.; and Naomi Sarna, Naomi Sarna Designs.

An Editors’ Day followed the two days of judging, and AGTA CEO Doug Hucker told National Jeweler during the event that, overall, the quality of entries was higher this year.

He also noted that designers entered fewer “exotic” metals, meaning alternative materials like titanium, than in past years.

The winners of the 2019 AGTA Spectrum Awards are as follows.

“Best of”
Best of Show: David Nassi, 100% Natural Ltd.
Best Use of Color: David White, Aucoin Hart Jewelers
Best Use of Pearls: Chris Faber, Stuller Inc.
Best Use of Platinum and Color: Roland Krainz, Krainz Creations
Best Use of Platinum Crown: Heena Shah, Valani
Fashion Forward: Adam Neeley, Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry

SEE: The Winners in the “Best Of” Categories

Bridal Wear
First Place: Bella Campbell, Campbellian Collection/BHI
Second Place: Lindsay Jane, Lindsay Jane Designs
Third Place: Avi Raz, A&Z Pearls Inc.
Honorable Mention: Erica Courtney, Erica Courtney Inc.
Honorable Mention: Evy Edelman, Designs by Evy
Manufacturing Honors: William Travis, William Travis Jewelry
Platinum Honors: Erica Courtney, Erica Courtney Inc.
Entry Platinum Innovation: Michael Endlich, Pave Fine Jewelry
WJA Gem Diva Award: Caysie van Bebber, CvB Inspired Design

Business/Day Wear
First Place: Ricardo Basta, E. Eichberg Inc.
Second Place: Lisa Linhardt, Linhaus/Linhardt
Third Place: Mark Schneider, Mark Schneider Design
Honorable Mention: Almut Belote, Almut Belote Jewelry
Honorable Mention and Manufacturing Honors: Gaston R. Rives, Gaston Jewelry Studio Inc.
Platinum Honors: Oscar Heyman, Oscar Heyman
Entry Platinum Innovation: Myles Mindham, Mindham Fine Jewellery
WJA Gem Diva Award: Hisano Shepherd, little h by Hisano Shepherd

First Place: Jeffrey Bilgore, Jeffrey Bilgore LLC
Second Place and Platinum Honors: Beatrix Laura Jewels, B & W Jewels LLC
Third Place: Jeremy Dunn, Dunn & Co.
Honorable Mention: Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem Corp.
Entry Platinum Innovation: Michael Endlich, Pave Fine Jewelry
Honorable Mention and WJA Gem Diva Award: Nikki Swift, Nicole Mera LLC

Evening Wear
First Place: Tanja Schuetz, DuftyWeis Opals Inc.
Second Place: Richard B. Berberian, Elyse Fine Jewelers
Third Place: Everett Wiethorn, Everett Wiethorn Jewelry
Honorable Mention: Ricardo Basta, E. Eichberg Inc.
Manufacturing Honors: Michael Gauthier, Stuller Inc.
Platinum Honors: Steph Farber, LeRoy Jewelers
WJA Gem Diva Award: Buddha Mama

Men’s Wear
First Place: David White, Aucoin Hart Jewelers
Second Place: Bert Esterhuysen, Henne Jewelers
Third Place: Chris Faber, Stuller Inc.
Platinum Honors: Patrick Mohs, Patrick Mohs Jewelry

SEE: The AGTA Spectrum Entries That Won First Place

The winners of the Cutting Edge Awards are as follows.

All Other Cut Gemstones
First Place: David Nassi, 100% Natural Ltd.
Second Place: Allen Kleiman, A. Kleiman & Co.
Third Place: Mikola Kukuharuk, Nomad’s
Honorable Mention: Mikola Kukuharuk, Nomad’s

First Place: Meg Berry, Fallbrook Gem & Mineral Society
Second Place: Nick Alexander, Alexanders Jewelers

Classic Gemstone
First Place: David Nassi, 100% Natural Ltd.
Second Place: Allen Kleiman, A. Kleiman & Co.
Third Place: Allen Kleiman, A. Kleiman & Co.

Innovative Faceting
First Place: Mark Gronlund, Mark Gronlund
Second Place: Dalan Hargrave, GemStarz Jewelry
Third Place: Dalan Hargrave, GemStarz Jewelry
Honorable Mention: Dalan Hargrave, GemStarz Jewelry

Objects of Art
First Place: Logan Cutshall, Hunt Country Jewelers
Honorable Mention: Llyn L. Strelau, Jewels by Design

Pairs & Suites
First Place: Ben Kho, Kho International Ltd.
Second Place: Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem Corp.
Third Place: Mikola Kukuharuk, Nomad’s
Honorable Mention: Gil Goel, Gil Intl

First Place: John Ford, Lightning Ridge Collection by John Ford
Second Place: Robyn Dufty, DuftyWeis Opals Inc.
Third Place: Robert Shapiro, Robert Shapiro
Honorable Mention: Robert Shapiro, Robert Shapiro

SEE: The First-Place Winners in the Cutting Edge Awards
Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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