Jewelers of America announced the winners of its 19th annual Affiliate Design Competition at the JA New York Show.
The winning designers took home prizes in four categories (based on the cost of materials used) î º US$1000 and under; US$1001-$3000; US$3001 and over; and “Buyer’s Choice”.
Jonathan Smiddy from Regan Jewelers was the ‘US$1,000 & under’ category winner with his ‘Accupressure’ rutilated quartz pendant while Bill Wismar from Metal Benders Jewelry Gallery was the US$1001-$3000 category winner with a handmade 14 carat gold fancy-link necklace highlighted with multicoloured gemstones and pavé diamonds.
Jason Baskin from The Gem Vault and Randall Hurt from Goldworks were joint winners in the ‘$3,001 and Over’ category.
Baskin’s winning entry was a hand-engraved 14 carat white gold pendant featuring a 21.54 carat African cuprian tourmaline surrounded by almost 3 carats of pavé-set, bezel-set and channel-set diamonds.
Hurt’s winning entr was a Tahitian pearl necklace with a white and yellow gold oyster-like pendant (featuring sphene, black opal, moonstone, and white and natural yellow diamonds) that opens and closes.
Meanwhile the Buyers’ Choice Award went to Mark Abbott from Mark Abbott Jewelers for his hand-sculpted black jade pendant set with a 1.73 marquis-cut diamond and six inlaid opals.
JA chairman John Green said all the Award entries were judged on craftsmanship, marketability, practicality/wearability and overall design by a panel of industry experts. The JA New York attendees determined the winner of the Buyers’ Choice Award with a separate ballot.
“Each year, the Jewelers of America affiliate design competition showcases the exceptional talent that can be found at JA-member jewelry stores throughout the country,” he said.
“This year’s designers showed a flare for the dramatic, with many of the winning pieces involving striking, beautifully set gemstones and high-concept designs.”
Jewelers of America represents 11,000 jewellery stores in the US.