Jewelers of America Puts Designers First


Jewelry design. If you go by just what you read in the papers, you might think the only folks contributing new ideas are bored celebrities (Brangelina, Nicole Ritchie, et al), ex super models (Cindy Crawford, Heidi Klum) and reality show D-listers (too many to count).

But in ‘real life’, jewelry designers are toiling away unnoticed all across this great land of ours. That’s why I think it’s pretty cool that industry organizations like Jewelers of America (JA) choose to highlight artists that don’t have a big name – just a great eye. And they’ve been doing so for the last 20 years through their “Jewelers of America Annual Design Competition”.

This year’s contest took place during the JA New York Winter Show earlier this month with designers from Minnesota, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas taking home prizes in four categories (based on the cost of materials used): $1,000 and under; $1,001-$3,000; $3,001 and over; and a Buyers’ Choice Award.

“Jewelers of America’s annual Design Competition takes winners from our partner state jewelry associations’ contests and gives them a national platform to showcase their talent and creativity,” says JA COO Robert Headley.

Designs were judged by a panel of industry experts with JA New York attendees selecting the Buyers’ Choice Award.

Which winning look is your favorite? I have to say I’m partial to purple drama that is the Buyers’ Choice pendant, myself. Weigh in!

The winners of the 20th Annual JA Affiliate Design Competition are:

(Photo Credit: Karen Janowski of Diamond Vision Services)

Category I ($1,000 & Under)

Treva Roberts, Diamonds & Designs by None Other Goldsmiths; Gahanna, OH

A 9.44-carat tourmalinated quartz pendant, set in 14K white gold with white and black diamonds, on a black neoprene cord.

Category II ($1,001 ? $3,000)

Ben S. Curtis, Kelley Jewelers; Weatherford, OK

A trillion rubellite medallion pendant with 101 round brilliant cut diamonds, set in 14K, 18K and 22K yellow and white gold.

Category III ($3,001 and Over)

Ziad H. Noshie, Almaza Jewelers; Houston, TX

Complete set of 18K yellow and white gold necklace, bracelet, earrings and ring. Each circle is handmade, and some feature mother of pearl, multi-colored sapphires and/or full-cut diamonds (4.55 cts).

Buyers’ Choice

Bernie Benavidez, Master Jewelers, Inc.; Rochester, MN

A 5.64-carat “Royal Silk Blue” tanzanite pendant with round and marquise-cut diamonds surrounding the center stone. White gold setting features filigree goldwork.

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Comments (3)

  1. Tompkins Square

    Every industry, field and/or career has its stars and its hundreds, thousands of unsung technicians, craft persons, designers and laborers. Thanks for your tribute to little known jewelry designers. Congrats to their awards.

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