The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) has unveiled the winners of the 2023 AGTA Spectrum & Cutting Edge Awards. The competition, which took place on October 24–25 in Dallas at the Omni Frisco Hotel at the Star, saw a significant increase in entries compared to the previous year.
- Entries and Trends: This year’s competition witnessed a 24% rise in entries compared to last year. Notably, there was a 28% increase in the Business/Day Wear category and a 26% surge in the Evening Wear category. Among the entries, Sapphires and Sapphire jewels were predominant. Other trends included Tourmaline, Garnet, enameled jewels, cabochon-cut gems, natural Pearls, and jewels with fantasy-cut or carved gems as focal points.
- Venue and Future Plans: The Omni Hotels will be the new venue for the awards in the coming years. John W. Ford Sr., CEO of AGTA, expressed his enthusiasm about the awards, highlighting the increase in entries featuring green and blue-green gems. He also hinted at the possibility of taking the competition national to other Omni venues.
- Judging Panel: The judges for this year’s competition included Allan Koo, Brent Malgarin, Christina Gandia Gambale, Lika Behar, and Clayton Bromberg.
- President’s Remarks: Kimberly Collins, the president of the AGTA board of directors, emphasized the integrity of the judging process and expressed pride in being part of a competition that upholds the highest standards.
- Exhibition: Many of the winning pieces will be showcased during the 2024 AGTA GemFair Tucson, which will take place from January 30 to February 4. The AGTA Spectrum Gala, a highlight of the 2024 Gem Week festivities, is scheduled for February 3, 2024, at the Tucson Convention Center.
Best of Awards
- Spectrum: Niveet Nagpal, Omi Privé – Platinum ring with a 15.22 ct. black Opal, Tourmaline, tsavorite Garnets, and Diamonds.
- Cutting Edge: Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem Corp. – Suite of 4 oval “Paraíba-type” Tourmalines.
Best Use of Color
Jeffrey Bilgore, Jeffrey Bilgore, LLC – Platinum bracelet featuring Sapphires, demantoid Garnets, yellow Diamonds, and white Diamonds.
Best Use of Pearl
Fannie Thomas, Fannie Thomas Jewelry – 22K yellow gold hand-carved ring with a cultured South Sea baroque Pearl bird.
Jeffrey Bilgore, Jeffrey Bilgore, LLC – 18K yellow gold and black ceramic bracelet with mixed fancy vivid Diamonds and tsavorite Garnets.
- 1st Place: Adam Neeley, Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry, Inc. – Platinum ring with a 12.24 ct. Aquamarine, Akoya Pearls, and Diamonds.
- 2nd Place: Niveet Nagpal, Omi Privé – Platinum ring with a 3.02 ct. Ruby and Diamonds.
- 3rd Place: Benjamin Javaheri, Uneek Jewelry – Platinum ring with a 4.60 ct. Emerald, additional Emeralds, and Diamonds.
- 1st Place: Niveet Nagpal, Omi Privé – Platinum ring with a 2.35 ct. oval cabochon Alexandrite and additional Alexandrites.
- 2nd Place: Carl Larson, AntiHero – 18K white gold brooch/pendant with red Spinels on a hand-struck cob piece of eight and Diamonds.
The 2023 AGTA Spectrum & Cutting Edge Awards have successfully highlighted the creativity and innovation in the jewelry industry. The increase in entries and the diverse range of designs showcase the evolving trends and the industry’s commitment to excellence.