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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Roger Farah Named New Tiffany Chairman


Tiffany & Co. said Thursday that its company's board of directors has elected Roger Farah as its chairman, effective October 2. Farah, 64, joined Tiffany's Board in March 2017. He has served in leadership roles at Ralph Lauren Corporation, Venator Group, Inc., R.H. Macy & Co., Inc. and Federated Merchandising Services.

He most recently served leadership roles with Tory Burch. First as co-CEO and director of Tory Burch from September 2014 till March 2017 and then as executive director in advisory role since March when he joined Tiffany’s board

He will replace Michael J. Kowalski who has held multiple leadership roles for a number of years at Tiffany. He has been the board chairman since 2002 and has served on Tiffany’s board since 1995. He will remain on the board after the change.

In addition, Kowalski, who was Tiffany’s CEO from 1999 until his retirement in March 2015, and served as interim CEO since February 2017, will relinquish that title when the company's newly appointed CEO, Alessandro Bogliolo, joins the company in October.

“Roger has significant experience as a leader in the luxury retail industry, and I and my fellow directors value tremendously his expertise and insight which have been apparent during his time on the board,” Kowalski said in a statement. “With the appointment of Alessandro as our new CEO, and under Roger’s leadership on the board, I believe we are well positioned to execute on strategies to drive comparable store sales growth and stronger earnings growth in the longer-term.” 

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Tiffany’s New Metro Watch For Women


The Tiffany & Co. new Metro Watch combines the luxury retailer’s skill at using diamonds with traditional Swiss craftsmanship. Each piece features a round brilliant diamond crown that is assigned an individual serial number, making each watch personal to the wearer, the company says. In addition, for most models are topped with diamonds in various designs.

The company says the watch’s clean, fluid lines evoke the pace and energy of New York City, where Tiffany is headquartered. The 28mm curved stainless case comes in either stainless steel or 18k rose gold. The dials come in several styles, including an “ice blue,” a darker blue, burgundy, white or pink lacquer, all with flinqué finishes. Several models come with a 60 seconds subdial. The curved motif continues with the bracelets, which are available in alligator leather in a variety of colors and stainless steel. 


The watches are powered with either a Rhonda quartz movement or a Soprod automatic movement.

“Our horological history began in Geneva, Switzerland in 1847, and today we continue this tradition of craftsmanship by introducing the Tiffany Metro timepiece—its beauty lies in the superlative pedigree of Tiffany diamonds,” said Nicola Andreatta, vice president and general manager of Tiffany & Co. Swiss Watches. 

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Hermès Extends Apple Watch Partnership With New Leather Strap Collection


The same day Apple released its third version of the Apple Watch Hermès unveiled a collection of five leather straps for the newest smart watch.

The new Apple Watch Hermès collection for the Apple Watch Series 3 models expands upon the three leather straps that were first introduced in 2015. The new additions are the Single Tour Rallye and the Single Tour Éperon d’Or.


In addition, traditional French brand known for its old-world craftsmanship also released a new Hermès watch face, inspired by the Carrick Hermès watch, designed by Hermès legendary designer Henri d’Origny in 1993. This completes the selection of Hermès watch faces for Apple smart watches.

Apple Watch Hermès Series 3 consists of the following:


* The Single Tour Rallye – The perforated Gala calfskin is inspired by classic Hermès driving gloves. It’s designed to be paired with the 42mm stainless steel case.


* Single Tour Éperon d’Or in printed calfskin, inspired by the equestrian scarf pattern created by d’Origny in 1974. It is available in Marine leather with 38mm and 42mm stainless steel cases.


* Double Tour  - The extra-long band wraps twice around the wrist. Available in Fauve (natural tan) Barenia leather (Hermès top quality leather) and Indigo Swift leather, each paired with a 38mm stainless steel case.


* Single Tour - The buckle is inspired by the straps of a horse’s girth, a nod to the equestrian heritage of Hermès. Available in Fauve Barenia leather paired with 38mm and 42mm stainless steel cases, and in Indigo Swift leather for the 42mm stainless steel case.


* Single Tour Deployment Buckle - Available in Fauve Barenia leather and ebony Barenia leather, each paired with a 42mm stainless steel case.

Apple Watch Hermès Series 3 will be available to order online in France beginning Friday, with availability beginning September 22 in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, the UK and the US. Prices range from $1,149 to $1,399.

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Friday, September 1, 2017

William George Shuster, Aug. 23, 1946, - Aug. 30, 2017


People in the watch and jewelry industry knew Bill Shuster as someone who never accepted a gift from a watch brand. People who were closer to him knew him for his overwhelming generosity. 

What people are less likely to talk about was his passion, because it was such a part of his entire being. This makes his integrity as a professional journalist and his overall goodness sound less like a cliché and more like someone who is rare in this world. 

Bill and I worked together for nine years at JCK magazine and then kept in touch as he was passionate at keeping all former and current JCK employees in the loop with emails and phone calls and in his prayers. He was deeply religious. 

His integrity and dedication as a journalist could never be questioned. I worked with plenty of reporters who went to the proper schools and thought they were something special. They could never hold a candle to Bill. We worked in a cube farm so we could often hear one another and we were always amazed at how many ways Bill would ask a question until he was able to pry the proper answer out of the person. And he could do it in English, German and French—although he's insist that he wasn’t fluent in French—which is another trademark of Bill: His overwhelming modesty. But he did like to publicly acknowledge others. 

We occasionally shared the same flight to trade shows. Once leaving the airport together in Las Vegas I noticed he was carrying a small vintage American Airlines bag over his shoulder while pulling a large blue hard-shell suitcase. I was admiring his carry-on bag when he nonchalantly mentioned that it contained all his clothes (for a weeklong tradeshow) and the big blue suitcase was empty. It was dedicated for press kits. I have no doubt as he left Las Vegas that blue suitcase was bursting at the seams. I’m also sure he read all the materials and stored it somewhere in his house, which was overwhelmed with his research. I know this because his cubical in our King of Prussia office was packed to the brim with stuff. When our office moved to New York instead of tossing his books, magazines, files and whatever he collected, he took it all home. 

Yes he gave gifts and cards on special occasions. My wife, Maria, and I always looked forward to the authentic German strudel he would send by mail on Christmas. But what he was most generous with was his knowledge; and it was encyclopedic on just about any subject imaginable. He loved movies and art and literature and history and travel, and could spend hours passionately discussing the most obscure references on these topics. If I was working on a story and asked Bill a quick question about it, his answer would take 15 minutes discussing every aspect of the problem. Once I wanted quick help on how to phrase a question, and he shot back 30 different ways to approach it in a minute. Then we had another conversation that lasted for 15 minutes. 

We found ourselves seatmates on a flight to Frankfurt, Germany, a few years ago and we talked the entire time—no sleep and no regrets. 

He was proud of his German heritage and blamed his Scottish blood for being frugal and he was frugal. We would try to meet and have dinner each year at the Baselworld trade fair. We went through great pains to find a place that suited his budget in one of the most expensive countries in the world at one of the most expensive times. We finally found a cafeteria-type place about a mile from the fair. 

His frugality and his integrity as a journalist could be summed up in this story. He covered the luxury watch world and the only watch that he ever owned (to the best of my knowledge) was a Mickey Mouse watch. One time a CEO of a Swiss luxury brand offered to give him a proper timepiece, no strings attached. He refused. 

My favorite Bill Shuster story was the time he was attacked by a goose. It was almost tragic but it turned out to be costly, inconvenient and in the end, humorous. For reasons unknown a goose decided that the best place to have her nest was at the parking lot of our office building. To protect her eggs she would occasionally confront random cars in the parking lot as they were coming and going. Bill was well known as a speed demon. Leaving work he tore out of the parking space as he always did and before getting to the road the goose attacked his car. He was startled, veered off the road and rode up a curb and embankment. He damaged the front axle and underside of the car. He told the story while smiling the entire time.

Bill struggled with diabetes for as long as I’ve known him but he never complained. His illness in recent years was affecting his eyesight but still I don’t think anyone knew how sick he was and he was the kind of person who wouldn’t want anyone to worry about him. He lived with and was devoted to his mother who died just few years earlier in her nineties. 

Recently he critiqued a story I wrote suggesting that I may overstated a position. He then started translating Swiss newspapers, sending them to me, providing more information on the story as it was still unfolding. It was a lot of work on his part and he continued doing it even though I told him I couldn’t follow up on this. He said he liked doing it and wanted me to have it. 

Bill was a lot of things. He was a first-rate journalist. He was deeply religious. He was erudite. He was modest. He was persistent and insistent at times. He was eccentric. He loved to travel. He had great warmth and a sense of humor. He was a fast driver. He had health issues. He was much more complex than I could ever express. All of this was enhanced by his great passion for life. 

Most of all, he was generous. He gave more of himself to us than any of us ever gave to him. 

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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

De Beers Plans Biggest Global Ad Spend Since 2008


The De Beers Group said Tuesday it will invest more than $140 million in marketing this year—its biggest ad spend since 2008.

The increased investment will be focused on generating further consumer demand for diamond jewelry in the leading markets globally, with the greatest spend targeted in the world’s three largest markets for diamond jewels: the U.S., China and India.

The majority of the advertising budget will support De Beers’ proprietary brands, Forevermark and De Beers Diamond Jewellers. However, the diamond mining and marketing giant said it also will increase its spend on partnership marketing, including with the Diamond Producers Association and India’s Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council.

“Total consumer expenditure on diamond jewelry for the last five years collectively has been the highest on record—and the outlook is positive,” said Stephen Lussier, De Beers Group’s executive VP of Marketing and CEO of Forevermark. “However, we cannot take future growth for granted.”

Lussier added, “Increasing our spend from a strong position will help support continued demand in both mature and developing markets, particularly among millennials, who are already the largest group of diamond consumers despite this generation not having yet reached its maximum earning potential.” 

The De Beers statement was short on details, such as when the ad and marketing push will begin and what media is being targeted.

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Queen Victoria’s Historically Significant Coronet Is Acquired By Victoria And Albert Museum

Queen Victoria's sapphire and diamond coronet, designed by Prince Albert, made by Joseph Kitching, London, 1840- 1842. Photo credit: Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) said Tuesday it has acquired Queen Victoria’s sapphire and diamond coronet. The historically significant small crown was designed by her husband, Prince Albert, in 1840, the royal couple’s wedding year. The jewel was gifted to the V&A by William Bollinger.

The coronet is scheduled to go on display in 2019, the bicentenary year of the birth of both Victoria and Albert, and will serve as the centerpiece of the museum’s renovated William and Judith Bollinger Jewellery Gallery, which tells the story of jewelry in Europe from the ancient world to the present day.

The design of the coronet was based on the Saxon Rautenkranz, or circlet of rue, which is set diagonally across the shield in Prince Albert’s coat of arms, museum officials said. It was made by Joseph Kitching, a partner at Kitching and Abud, who were appointed “Jewellers to the Queen” in 1837. In 1842, the coronet was featured in the first and most renowned portrait of the Queen painted by Franz Xaver Winterhalter. 

“The painting depicts Victoria as a figure of youth and beauty, regal, but free of the crown and scepter, the traditional emblems of monarchy,” the museum said. 

The image was shared throughout Europe and the British Empire in a series of replicas, copies and engravings.

The coronet also represents a symbol of enduring love. In 1866, on the first occasion when Victoria felt able to attend the state opening of Parliament following Albert’s death in 1861, she chose to wear the coronet instead of her crown, which was carried on a cushion.

“Representing both the passion of the young royal couple, and a powerful symbol of the widowed queen, it will be of deep fascination to visitors and scholars alike,” said Tristram Hunt, V&A director. “It will instantly become part of the identity of the museum itself.”

The day before their wedding on Feb. 10, 1840, Albert gifted Victoria a sapphire brooch. The couple then arranged Victoria’s collection of sapphires into a suite of jewels, of which the coronet became the centerpiece, according to the museum. The coronet was inherited by King Edward VII and then by King George V and Queen Mary, who gifted it to their daughter, Princess Mary, on her marriage to Viscount Lascelles in 1922. 

It was then sold into private hands, and in 2015 became the subject of an application to export it from the UK. This was later withdrawn. 

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Monday, August 28, 2017

Lady Gaga Is Tudor’s Newest Brand Ambassador


Pop superstar Lady Gaga has become the newest face for Tudor’s “Born to Dare” advertising campaign.

She will join soccer star and fashion icon, David Beckham, and Beauden Barrett, star of the New Zealand All Blacks championship rugby team, in the advertising campaign, which states that those who wear Tudor watches “reinvent themselves every day.” 

As part of the campaign, the Swiss luxury watch brand also is partnering with the All Blacks team and the DHL New Zealand Lions Series 2017, an international rugby series. The campaign was unveiled earlier this year.

“The infamously daring pop icon (is) notorious for being provocative both on- and off-stage and leading a foundation committed to empower youth, she personifies the very ‘BornToDare’ spirit Tudor lives by since its creation,” Tudor said in a statement.

In the first photograph as Tudor brand ambassador, she appears in a hardened pose sitting, staring straight at the camera wearing a tight fitted all-black outfit with huge, round padded shoulders. Her black hair is straight up, defying gravity, and her cheeks are lined with black and white glitter. She’s sitting with her arms crossed. She does resemble an All-Black rugby player. 

On her wrist is the 41mm Heritage Black Bay Red with a burgundy unidirectional rotatable bezel, black dial, rose-gold hands and markers, cream colored luminescent coating and a distressed red-leather strap. It is powered by the in-house MT5602 caliber with a 70-hour power reserve.

Lady Gaga is a world class musician, songwriter, singer, dancer, actress and style icon who has earned six Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe, numerous MTV Awards and has sold 150 million singles and more than 30 million albums.

“When you try and think of a daring individual in today’s popular culture, it is hard to find anyone more fitting the description than Lady Gaga. Behind the glitter and glam, her provocative style and political statements, she is about total showmanship,” Tudor said in its statement.

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Smithsonian To Add Zoltan David’s ‘Iris’ Moonstone Necklace To Its Collection


A pendant necklace by award-winning jewelry artist, Sir Zoltan David, will be added to the permanent collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in early 2018. 

The “Iris” pendant necklace, which will be placed in the Moonstone Collection in the Feldspar Exhibit, is centered by a rare 35.63-carat cat’s eye marquise cut moonstone from India. The chain for the pendant is mounted with 35 matching moonstones with an iridescent blue hue and a total weight of 18.20 carats. All of the stones are set in a blue patinated bronze with pure platinum shaped inlay and ideal cut diamonds, created by the jewelry artist. The reverse of the pendant is engraved with the expression, “By the light of a silvery moon, an ocean of life awaits your magical touch.”

The Texas jeweler is the only person from his home state to have a jewelry creation placed in the Smithsonian. 

“I am delighted to have my work become a part of American culture,” David said. “As a young man at the early stages of my training in fine jewelry, I remember standing in the Smithsonian in awe of the craftsmanship surrounding me and hoping that someday my work could be on display there. What an honor to have my Iris necklace showcased with the some of the finest jewelry houses in the world. I am a proud small business owner who is truly living the American dream, and I am grateful now to be sharing my work with people from around the country and across the globe.”



The Iris necklace received the 2016 American Gem Trade Association’s Spectrum Award and was on display at the AGTA show in Tucson last year where curators from the Smithsonian first saw it and eventually chose it to become part of the museum’s collection. 

David established his artisan brand, Zoltan David Precious Metal Art, in 1980 and developed a reputation for combining gemstones and metals in innovative ways to create functional and wearable works of art. He received more than two dozen national and international awards as well as two patents. In 1988, David was bestowed Hungarian knighthood in honor of Sir Zoltan David I, his father who is considered a hero of the nation. 

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Portland Jewelry Symposium Celebrates 10th Anniversary With Future-Focused Program

Peter Smith, CEO of Vibhor, will give the keynote address

The Portland Jewelry Symposium will celebrate its 10th Anniversary with the theme “Future Think: Innovate, Create, & Thrive.” 

The annual event, being held on October 1st and 2nd in Portland, Ore., will kick off with a Sunday night keynote dinner and address by jewelry industry veteran, Peter Smith, CEO of Vibhor and a columnist for National Jeweler, The Jewelry Book, and the World Diamond Magazine. He will share thoughts from his acclaimed 2016 article in National Jeweler, “What Will Become of Retail Jewelry Stores?”

“Given the rapid evolution we are experiencing in both retail business models and manufacturing technologies, it is very timely for the Symposium to take a deep dive into the innovative business models of tomorrow” says PJS Founder, Teresa Frye, owner of TechForm, which specializes in high-temperature platinum casting. “Beginning with our keynote Aadress and continuing across all presentations and bench demonstrations, we endeavor to create a sense of the visionary at this year’s event.”

Rounding out the "Future Think" program will be talks by digital manufacturing expert, Kevin Abernathy of BisVentures; Peggy Jo Donahue will moderate a tech-savvy panel featuring custom jewelers Calla Gold, Wendy Brandes, and Lisa Krikawa; retail business specialist, Becka Johnson Kibby of Edge Retail; responsible sourcing authority, Monica Stephenson of idazzle and Anza Gems; and specialist in XRF analytics technology, Jennifer Caban of Olympus.

Other presentations feature goldsmith and inventor Phil Poirier of Bonny Doon Engineering, designer Annie Koenig of Annie K & Motorhead Jewelry, gemstone carver Sherris Cottier Shank of Gemscapes, and bench expert Kristi Broussard of Stuller. A full line-up of the sessions and schedule can be found on the PJS website

Sponsors for the event include TechForm Advanced Casting Technology, Stuller, Platinum Guild International, Solidscape, Rio Grande, MJSA, Johnson Matthey, Otto Frei, Instore Magazine, Metalsmith Magazine, United Precious Metals Refining, Envisiontec, Hoover and Strong, Cad Blu, Red Sky Plating, A3DM Technologies, and the Santa Fe Symposium. 

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

3-Carat Fancy Blue Diamond To Be Featured At Heritage Auctions Jewelry Sale


A 3.23-carat natural fancy blue diamond is one of the top attractions of Heritage Auctions Beverly Hills Fine Jewelry sale on September 25. 

The gem with an SI2 clarity grade is set on a platinum ring flanked by two round white diamonds and has a pre-sale estimate of $900,000 to $1.2 million. 

The fancy blue diamond is one of a trio of gems being featured at the September 25 auction. The others are: 


* A 5.04-carat cushion-shaped fancy intense purplish-pink diamond mounted on a platinum ring and flanked by bullet-shaped diamonds. Its estimate is $100 - $150,000.


* A 10.45-carat oval modified brilliant-cut fancy yellow diamond measuring mounted on 18k gold, flanked by triangle-shaped diamonds weighing a total of approximately 1.00 carat. Its estimate is $40,000 to $70,000. 

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Friday, August 11, 2017

Mayors Jewelers To Be Sold To British Holding Company

Birks Yorkdale store in North York, Ontario, Canada

In a multi-tiered deal Canadian jeweler, Birks Group, has agreed to sell its U.S.-based subsidiary, Mayors Jewelers, to British holding company, Aurum, in a transaction valued at $104.6 million.

As part of the transaction Birks entered into a five-year distribution agreement with Aurum to sell Birks fine jewelry in the U.K. through Aurum-owned retailers, Mappin & Webb, Goldsmiths, and on its e-commerce sites. In addition, the Birks collections will continue to be sold in the United States through Mayors’ stores.

“The agreement is an important achievement in the company’s strategy to develop the Birks brand into a global luxury brand,” Birks said in a statement.

The transaction, subject to specified closing conditions and purchase price adjustments, is expected to close in the fall of 2017.

Birks is a Montreal-based designer and manufacturer of jewelry that it retails (along with timepieces and gifts) through approximately 30 luxury jewelry stores in Canada under the Birks and Brinkhaus brands, and through a wholesale network. It also owns the U.S. luxury jewelry retail chain, Mayors Jewelers, which has approximately 17 stores in Florida and Georgia.

Aurum Holdings is the largest prestige luxury jewelers and timepieces retailer in the U.K. with approximately 140 stores and online retail sites. Its portfolio includes Watches of Switzerland, Goldsmiths, Mappin & Webb, Watchshop, The Watch Hut and The Watch Lab.

Birks in a statement said proceeds from the transaction will be used by to continue its “strategic growth initiatives,” specifically to invest in its Canadian stores and new store concepts, as well as in its whole activities and e-commerce, as part of the “company’s omni-channel plan.” Transaction proceeds will also be used to pay down outstanding debt under the company’s senior secured credit facilities that include term debt and working capital debt associated with Mayors.

“This transaction is a significant step in our efforts to strengthen our balance sheet to better position the company for growth as well as long-term shareholder value,” Jean-Christophe Bédos, president and CEO of Birks Group, said in a statement. “We believe that monetizing the value of Mayors gives us the ability to execute our strategic vision of investing in the Birks brand together with the retailing of internationally renowned jewelry and timepiece brands in Canada, thus transforming Birks into a global, omni-channel business.”

He added, “This transaction with Aurum also opens the doors to the U.K. market for our jewelry collections and we are extremely proud to join such a prestigious network as Aurum’s under the Mappin & Webb and Goldsmiths banners.”

Brian Duffy, president of Aurum, said in a statement the purchase of Mayors works within the British company’s plan “to be an important part of the Swiss watch market in the USA.” The company recently announced that it will open a flagship Watches of Switzerland store in the new Hudson Yards development in New York.

“We have admired Mayors for some time and see a great deal of similarities with how we operate our business in the U.K. Mayors,” he said.

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

The 2017 Spectrum and Cutting Edge Award Winners

Mikola Kukharuk of Nomad’s with a pair of neon blue tourmalines (53.56 ctw.)

The AGTA Spectrum and Cutting Edge Awards is already the most important and prestigious colored gemstone competition in the world. According to Douglas K. Hucker, CEO of the American Gem Trade Association, which sponsors the annual event, this year’s group of approximately 500 entries shows that the competition just gets better.

“It is evident that the entrants take this competition very seriously,” Hucker said.

The Spectrum Awards, which honors the best in jewelry design using colored gemstones, usually gets the lion’s share of the publicity. However, this year it is the Cutting Edge Awards that stood out with it’s the rare gemstones, and the craft and artistry of the lapidaries. For example, the Best of Show was a pair of neon blue tourmalines and two pieces by gem artist, Naomi Sarna, which won overall awards. In the Objects of Art category there were three exceptional finalists with the winner creating a working kaleidoscope using gems to create the patterns inside.

Below are the best gems and jewels from a very competitive field.

Overall winners of Spectrum and Cutting Edge Awards

Best of Show (top photo)
Mikola Kukharuk of Nomad’s with a pair of neon blue tourmalines (53.56 ctw.).

Best Use of Color



Naomi Sarna of Naomi Sarna Designs with 18k and 24k yellow and 18k white gold maple leaf earrings featuring multicolored diamonds, sapphires and garnets.

Best Use of Pearls



Naomi Sarna of Naomi Sarna Designs with freshwater cultured pearls strung with sunstone beads with an 18k yellow gold and black rhodium clasp set with white, pink and green diamonds.

Best Use of Platinum and Color



Eddie Sakamoto of Somewhere in the Rainbow with platinum “Dancing Waves” neck collar featuring a 57-carat aquamarine accented with diamonds (8.0 ctw.).

Fashion Forward


Ardeshir Dabestani of Asha Gallery, Ltd. with 18k white and yellow gold “Solar Flare” back-drop necklace featuring a 436-carat citrine accented with aquamarines (44.50 ctw.), yellow beryls (87.30 ctw.) and diamonds (23.54ctw.).


AGTA Cutting Edge Award Winners

All Other Faceted


First Place: Brett Kosnar of Beija Flor Wholesale with a 24.26-carat round, Portuguese-cut rhodochrosite.

Second Place: Ruben Bindra of B & B Fine Gems with a 6.49-carat square East African natural tsavorite garnet.

Third Place: Hemant Phophaliya of A G Color, Inc. with a 22.15-carat fancy-shaped tanzanite, “Superman.”

Carving


First Place: Meg Berry of Pala International with a 625-carat chyrsocolla with druzy quartz carving, titled “Metamorphosis.”

Second Place: Dalan Hargrave of GemStarz Jewelry with a freestyle carved sunstone chameleon named “Henry.”

Third Place: John Dyer of John Dyer & Co. with a 115.71-carat morganite carving, titled “Joyful Morganite.”


Classic Gemstone


First Place: David Nassi of 100% Natural, Ltd. with a 15.30-carat unheated Ceylon pink sapphire.

Second Place: Allen Kleiman of A. Kleiman & Co. with a 38.48-carat unheated oval Madagascan blue sapphire.

Third Place: Joseph Ambalu of Amba Gem Corp. with a 5.80-carat untreated Colombian step-cut emerald.


Innovative Faceting


First Place: Christopher Wolfsbergwith a 32.75-carat specialty-cut quartz with chrysoprase and opal.

Second Place: John Dyer of John Dyer & Co. with a 21.58-carat red spinel hexagon.

Third Place: John Dyer of John Dyer & Co. with a 63.86-carat specialty-cut tourmaline.


Objects of Art


A view inside the “Colors of Maine” kaleidoscope by Derek Katzenbach of Katzenbach Designs with the images made of multicolored Maine tourmalines and Maine quartz lenses

First Place: Derek Katzenbach of Katzenbach Designs with “Colors of Maine” kaleidoscope featuring multicolored Maine tourmalines (71.74 ctw.) and Maine quartz lenses (24.92 ctw.) set in 18k yellow and white gold.

Second Place: Susan Helmich of “Somewhere in the Rainbow” with a “Straight on to Neverland” pendulum and brooch featuring a 14.01-carat rubellite tourmaline, an 8.94-carat rubellite tourmaline, a 4.08-carat indicolite tourmaline, a 13.8mm golden cultured pearl and diamonds (5.24 ctw.) on a carved frosted quartz base.

Third Place: Liam Powers of Liam Powers Jewelry, LLC with a sterling silver and multi-karat gold chalice featuring diamonds, alexandrites, sapphires, moldavites and phenakites.


Pairs & Suites

First Place and Best of Show (top photo): Mikola Kukharuk of Nomad’s with a pair of neon blue tourmalines (53.56 ctw.).

Second Place: Hemant Phophaliya, A G Color, Inc. with a pair of fancy pear-shaped tanzanites (49.38 ctw.).

Third Place:  Robyn Dufty, DuftyWeis Opals, Inc. with a pair of black opals (17.61 ctw.), titled “Tears of the Gods.”


Phenomenal (gemstones with special optical properties)


First Place: Joel Price with a 100.66-carat harlequin pattern black opal.

Second Place: Joseph Ambalu of Amba Gem Corp. with a 7.31-carat emerald-cut Brazilian alexandrite.

Third Place: Robert Shapiro with a 7.60-carat boulder opal.


AGTA Spectrum Award Winners

Bridal Wear


First Place: Ricardo Basta of E. Eichberg, Inc. with an 18k white gold and rhodium “Double the Love” ring featuring a 12.62-carat heart-shaped blue zircon accented with a 0.75-carat heart-shaped diamond and diamond pave.

Second Place: Lindsay Jane of Lindsay Jane Designs with platinum “Butterfly” earrings featuring detachable drops of boulder oopal (39.92 ctw.) accented with zoisites (2.10 ctw.), diamonds (1.02 ctw.) and Paraiba tourmalines (0.10 ctw.).

Third Place: Judy Evans of Oliver & Espig Gallery of Fine Arts with a platinum and 18k yellow gold ring featuring a 15.3mm South Sea golden cultured pearl accented with white diamonds (1.17 ctw.) and yellow diamonds (1.12 ctw.).


Business/Day Wear


First Place: Adam Neeley of Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry with an 18k rose and 14k rose and white gold “Cosmos” pendant featuring a 24.06-carat specialty-cut morganite accented with diamonds (3.14 ctw.).

Second Place: Llyn Strong, llyn strong fine art jewelry  with a lapis lazuli necklace (155.0 ctw.) featuring an 18k yellow gold clasp and a 30.90 ct. boulder opal accented with black diamonds, tsavorite garnets, rubies and sapphires.

Third Place: Mimi Favre of Mimi Favre Studio with platinum “Waterdrop” earrings featuring detachable Tanzanite drops (25.50ctw.) on Sapphire studs (1.75 ctw.) with white Sapphires (0.58 ctw.).


Classical


First Place: Allen Kleiman of A. Kleiman & Co. with platinum and 18k pink gold earrings featuring unheated oval pink sapphires (36.65 ctw.) accented with diamonds (5.09 ctw.).

Second Place: Niveet Nagpal of Omi Prive  with a platinum and black rhodium ring featuring a 20.03-carat cushion-cut blue sapphire accented with blue sapphires, baguette diamonds and round diamonds.

Third Place: Oscar Heyman platinum ring featuring a 32.30-carat Cat’s-Eye Chrysoberyl.


Evening Wear

First Place and Best Use of Platinum and Color (pictured above): Eddie Sakamoto of Somewhere in the Rainbow with the platinum “Dancing Waves” neck collar featuring a 57-carat aquamarine accented with diamonds (8.0 ctw.).

Second Place and Best Use of Color (pictured above): Naomi Sarna of Naomi Sarna Designs with 18k and 24k yellow and 18k white gold maple leaf earrings featuring multicolored diamonds, sapphires and garnets.

Third Place: Caroline Chartouni of Caroline C with a platinum ring featuring an 8.09-carat oval pink sapphire accented with round and pear pink sapphires (9.84 ctw.) and diamonds (8.67 ctw.).


Men's Wear


First Place: Ricardo Basta, E. Eichberg, Inc. an 18k yellow gold with black rhodium “Estrella” ring featuring a 7.50-carat starburst trapiche sapphire accented with black diamonds and yellow Sapphire melee.

Second Place: Peter Schmid, French Designer Jeweler with an 18k rose gold and platinum ring featuring a 15.74-carat garnet accented with a pink diamonds, green diamonds and white diamonds.

Third Place: Dawn Muscio of D. Muscio Designs with an 18k yellow gold and stainless steel ring featuring a 4.39-carat  emerald-cut green tourmaline accented with amethysts and diamonds. 

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