Saturday, August 12, 2017

See the 2017 AGTA Spectrum Awards™ Winners at the AGTA GemFair in Tucson

AGTA Announces the 
2017 AGTA Spectrum Awards™ Winners 

The American Gem Trade Association is pleased to announce the winners of the prestigious 2017 AGTA Spectrum AwardsTM. 

The competition was held in New York on August 5th and 6th and is regarded as the world's preeminent colored gemstone and cultured pearl design competition. The prestigious judges for the competition this year were the following: Arun Bohra, Arunashi; Cathy Calhoun, Calhoun Jewelers; Sherris Cottier Shank, Gemscapes; Alishan Halebian, Alishan; Holly Wesche, Wesche Jewelers. 

“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,” said Douglas K. Hucker, AGTA CEO. “It is evident that the entrants take this competition very seriously and that the AGTA Spectrum Awards™ and the AGTA Cutting Edge Awards™ continue to be the premier design competition in the world. Of course, this also makes the work of the judges demonstratively more difficult. We were blessed with an outstanding group of judges that were consummate professionals, that demonstrated an amazing level of synergy, and this is apparent in the selections that they made.” 

Winners of the 2017 AGTA Spectrum AwardsTM are: 

Best of….. 

Best of Show 

Mikola Kukharuk, Nomad's – Pair of neon blue Tourmalines (53.56 ctw.). 

Best Use of Color 

Naomi Sarna, Naomi Sarna Designs – 18K and 24K yellow and 18K white gold maple leaf earrings featuring multicolored Diamonds, Sapphires and Garnets. 

Best Use of Pearls 

Naomi Sarna, Naomi Sarna Designs – 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, Somewhere in the Rainbow – Platinum "Dancing Waves" neck collar featuring a 57.0 ct. Aquamarine accented with Diamonds (8.0 ctw.).

Fashion Forward 

Ardeshir Dabestani, Asha Gallery, Ltd. – 18K white and yellow gold "Solar Flare" back-drop necklace featuring a 436.0 ct. Citrine accented with Aquamarines (44.50 ctw.), yellow Beryls (87.30 ctw.) and Diamonds (23.54 ctw.). 

Editors’ Choice Award 

Mark Loren, Mark Loren Designs, Inc. – 14K yellow and white gold earrings featuring polyhedral Agate druzy slices and green Tourmalines (7.01 ctw), pink Topaz (8.51 ctw.), Amethysts (2.24 ctw.) and Diamonds (.08 ctw.).

Friday, June 23, 2017

Buddha Blue - 600 years of Inspiration in Tucson #BuddhaBlueChallenge #UofATucson

Earlier I told you about the Somewhere In The Rainbow Exhibit presented in collaboration with the University of Arizona Mineral Museum, located in the Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium.

“We are thrilled for this collaboration of educational forces in the mineral, gemstone and jewelry world to be experienced and enjoyed. This will be the first time that the Somewhere In The Rainbow Collection will be available to this extent as an educational exhibition and we are honored to share it with U of A and all who visit.” Shelly Sergent, Curator of Somewhere In The Rainbow Collection.
Along with  a display of historical gemological tools that were used to identify and study gemstones through the ages from the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (known as Gem-A),  this historic exhibition features impressive works from twenty lapidary artists and designers, all winners of the coveted Spectrum Award from the American Gem Trade Association.

Among many amazing specimens, the sapphire named Buddha Blue (above) will dazzle visitors. Faceted in 1400-1500AD, this gemstone inspired Somewhere In The Rainbow to showcase eleven of todays’ top gem cutters. Each of them bring their own style of gem cutting, and the glittering examples illustrate the evolution of cutting styles.

"Inspired by our Buddha Blue Ceylon Sapphire, faceted in the early 1500 AD, we want to showcase the lapidary skills and how this art has evolved, changed and become very personal to the cutters. Each artist is asked to use their unique style with a piece of synthetic blue corundum and "tell their story" through the gem. " Shelly Sergent, Curator of Somewhere In The Rainbow Collection.

Lisa Elser - Custom Cut Gems -
The Renaissance Egg reflects Lisa's Western take on the Buddha Blue
and was designed to reflect 15-16th century gem cutting.

John Bradshaw - Abyssal Blue  - Coast to Coast Rare Stones

For John his Abyssal Blue represented the dark blues of an ocean's abyss.

Meg Berry - 

Nick Alexander - Son of Darryl Alexander

Darryl Alexander -  Alexander Jewelers

AiVan Pham is a multi Spectrum Cutting Edge Award winner in lapidary, he and his wife Morgan run Gold and Gem Creations in Scottsdale, AZ.

Jeff Hapeman - Bella Blue - Earth's Treasury 
"My approach was to assume the person who cut that stone centuries ago was using their best technology and ideas to make it shine. I did the same, and created a new design for the piece and modeled it on the computer to optimize it for sapphire, then cut it it with a modern high-precision machine."

If 600 yrs. from now, their gem is discovered and documented, what would researchers would the world view the cutting styles, as we have done with the Buddha Blue.   

Lapidary art is so critical to the truest beauty shining through...cutters create gems from rocks...where would our industry be without the cutters?!?!

...and REMEMBER...

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Let's Take A #WordlessWednesday Walk Through the 22nd Street Show!



The fabulous Danny Wade and Ferro Valley Tool...







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