AGTA Announces the 2022 AGTA Spectrum and Cutting Edge Awards™ Winners

Best of Show Winner, Dalan Hargrave, GemStarz Jewelry - 210.55 ct. ballerina carving in green Beryl

DALLAS. Oct. 25, 2022 – The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 AGTA Spectrum & Cutting Edge Awards™.

This year’s competition took place again in Dallas Oct. 22–23. The number of entries was nearly 10% higher than last year. Trends among entries included more Tourmalines and Spinel, yellow gold jewelry and step-cut gemstones, among others. Kornerupine and Dumortierite were among the rarest and most unusual gemstones entered, while a plethora of Sapphires in all hues were more familiar sights.

In the Spectrum division, jewels in the Evening Wear and Bridal categories were executed largely in platinum and yellow gold, while loose gems in Cutting Edge ranged widely, from a magnificent suite of Portuguese-cut Zircons to a funky pair of faceted bubble-cut Amethysts.

“Calling all the award winners was one of the most gratifying experiences I’ve had with AGTA,” says Kimberly Collins, owner of Kimberly Collins Colored Gems and president of the AGTA board of directors. “There were so many tears of excitement, which reminded me of the impact a Spectrum or Cutting Edge Award™ can have on an individual and the momentum of his or her career.”

Judges this year included Susan Harrison, Jewelry Emporium; Derek Katzenbach, Katzenbach Designs; Sharon Khazzam, Sharon Khazzam Studio; Carter Malouf, Carter Malouf Private Jeweler; and Mark Patterson, Mark Patterson Fine Jewelry.

“We had a number of first-time multi-award winners, and they were ecstatic upon hearing the news,” explains CEO John Ford, who ran Lightning Ridge Collection by John Ford for 16 years before stepping into the role at AGTA three months ago. “Winning a Spectrum or Cutting Edge Award™ is life changing—I’ve won 10, so I know firsthand. Our team is excited to grow the competition and continue casting spotlights on well-deserving jewelers and cutters.”

Many of the winning pieces will be on display during AGTA GemFair™ Tucson, Jan. 31–Feb. 5, 2023. The AGTA Spectrum Gala will serve as the crowning jewel of 2023 Gem Week festivities and will take place on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023, at the Tucson Marriott University Park. For more information or tickets, log onto agta.org.

Shots of other winners and select other entrants will be available over the next week.

Winners of the 2022 AGTA Spectrum Awards™ are:

Best of … Awards

Best of Show
Dalan Hargrave, GemStarz Jewelry – 210.55 ct. ballerina carving in green Beryl

Best Use of Color
Robert Galustian, Robert Guild Jewelry Corp. – 18K blonde gold QEII earrings featuring 2 cushion-cut mint green Tourmalines (21.54 ctw.) accented with 2 matching pair keystone-cut yellow Sapphires, calf-cut Kornerupines, 72 round Amethysts, 66 round Diamonds and 6 marquise-cut green Tourmalines

Best Use of Pearl
Laurie Reid, LFR Studios – 22K yellow gold ring featuring a 13.2 mm cultured Golden South Sea Pearl

Fashion Forward
Jeffrey Bilgore, Jeffrey Bilgore, LLC – 18K yellow gold and black ceramic ring featuring a 4.03 ct. natural fancy deep yellow Diamond accented with 15 tsavorite Garnets (.17 ctw.)

Best of Single Entries – Cutting Edge
Robert Knupfer, Knupfer International Gems, Inc. – Pair of blue/green briolette drop Tourmalines (75.57 ctw.)

Best of Single Entries – Spectrum
Buddy Austin, Third Eye Assembly – 18K yellow gold, platinum, 22K rose and green gold, 24K yellow gold and 18K white gold Underworld ring featuring a 1.62 ct. black Opal accented with tsavorite Garnet, Sapphire and Diamond

Best Use of Platinum and Color
Mary van der Aa, Mary van der Aa – Platinum Aria ring featuring a 2.10 ct. demantoid Garnet accented with blue Zircons (3 ctw.) and Diamonds

Best Use of Platinum Crown
Brenda Smith, Brenda Smith Jewelry – Platinum hand-fabricated ring featuring a 6.54 ct. trillion-cut Tanzanite accented with round Diamonds (1.25 ctw.)

Editor’s Choice
Ian Delucca, Khobe Delucca – 18K yellow gold and ruthenium plated art deco ring featuring a 4.84 ct. blue emerald-cut Tourmaline accented with round Tourmalines (.38 ctw.) and Diamonds (.42 ctw.).

 

Bridal Wear

Bridal Wear – 1st Place
Gabriel Angulo, Pompos Jewelry Corporation – Platinum ring featuring a 2.55 ct. rectangular emerald-cut Colombian Emerald accented with 24 round Emeralds (.31 ctw.), 22 custom-cut baguette Diamonds (2.77 ctw.) and 62 round brilliant Diamonds (.22 ctw.)

Bridal Wear – 2nd Place
Bella Campbell, Campbellian Collection / BHI – 18K white gold ring featuring an 11.03 ct. Moonstone accented with Sapphires (4.36 ctw.) and Diamonds (.40 ctw.)

Bridal Wear – 3rd Place
Samuel Getz, Samuel Getz Designs – Platinum and 18K yellow gold ring featuring a 9.92 ct. natural chrome Tourmaline accented with emerald-cut Diamonds (1.88 ctw.)

Bridal Wear – Honorable Mention
Bella Campbell, Campbellian Collection / BHI – 18K white gold earrings featuring Moonstone (11.45 ctw.) accented with 24 blue Sapphires (2.88 ctw.) and Diamonds

Bridal Wear – Manufacturing Honors
Niveet Nagpal, Omi Privé – Platinum ring featuring a 3.11 ct. cushion-cut cobalt blue Spinel accented with round Hauyne (.24 ctw.), round Paraíba Tourmaline (.37 ctw) and round Diamonds (.22 ctw.)

Bridal Wear – Platinum Honors
Mary van der Aa, Mary van der Aa – Platinum Atomic Love ring set featuring demantoid Garnets (1.55 ctw.) accented with Paraíba Tourmalines (.17 ctw.) and Diamonds

Bridal Wear – Entry Platinum Innovation
Michael Endlich, Pavé Fine Jewelry – Platinum Lunar Bloom ring featuring a 1.85 ct. cabochon Moonstone accented with Diamonds (.06 ctw.)

Bridal Wear – Gem Diva Award
Bella Campbell, Campbellian Collection / BHI – 18K white gold ring featuring an 11.03 ct. Moonstone accented with Sapphires (4.36 ctw.) and Diamonds (.40 ctw.)

Business / Day Wear

Business/Day Wear – 1st Place
Zoltan David, Zoltan David – High polished steel, iridescent blue and purple steel, platinum, 18K and 24K gold inlay Into the Mystic cuff bracelet featuring round and marquise-shaped Tsavorites (5.60 cw.) accented with blue Sapphires (.48 ctw.) and Diamonds (1.20 ctw.)

Business/Day Wear – 2nd Place
Timothy W. Foster, T. Foster & Company – Platinum ring featuring a 7.78 ct. blue star Sapphire accented with Diamonds (1.14 ctw.) and Sapphires (1.15 ctw.)

Business/Day Wear – 3rd Place
Michael Endlich, Pavé Fine Jewelry – 22K yellow gold Star Dome ring featuring a 24.64 ct. cabochon Dumortierite accented with Diamonds (.19 ctw.)

Business/Day Wear – Honorable Mention
Joseph DeBella, DeBella Collectibles – 18K rose gold and platinum “Hot Kisses Forever” ring featuring a 2.46 ct. emerald-cut natural Burma Ruby accented with Diamonds (2.21 ctw.)

Business/Day Wear – Manufacturing Honors
Lika Behar, Lika Behar Collection – 24K yellow gold pendant featuring a freshwater baroque Pearl accented with Diamonds (0.46 ctw.)

Business/Day Wear – Entry Platinum Innovation
Dennis deJonghe, deJonghe Original Jewelry – Platinum ring featuring a 3.53 ct. handcarved Sunstone and a 3.48 ct. high-cut dome Moonstone accented with Diamonds (.26 ctw.)

Business/Day Wear – Platinum Honors
Niveet Nagpal, Omi Privé – Platinum pendant featuring a 5.44 ct. cushion-cut cabochon Paraíba Tourmaline accented with a .36 ct. round cabochon Paraíba Tourmaline, round cabochon Paraíba Tourmalines (3.15 ctw.) and round Diamonds (2.10 ctw.)

Business/Day Wear – Gem Diva Award
Dallas Prince, Dallas Prince & Co. – 14K rose gold Twilight Garden ring featuring a 4.47 ct. modified oval peach Imperial Topaz accented with golden Imperial Topaz (4.0 ctw.) and Diamonds (.60 ctw.)

Classical

Classical – 1st Place
Gabriel Angulo, Pompos Jewelry Corporation – Platinum ring featuring a 6.29 ct. blue Ceylon Sapphire accented with 14 custom-cut baguette Diamonds (2.27 ctw.), 10 princess-cut Sapphires (1.79 ctw.), 30 round Sapphires (.44 ctw.) and 58 round brilliant Diamonds (.29 ctw.)

Classical – 2nd Place
Michael Tope, Raintree, LLC – 18K yellow and rose gold handmade earrings featuring round brilliant-cut Garnets (4.75 ctw.) accented with round brilliant-cut Sapphires (2.39 ctw.), round brilliant-cut Diamonds (0.50 ctw.), purple Chalcedony and Turquoise inlay

Classical – 3rd Place
Ian Delucca, Khobe Delucca – 18K yellow gold and ruthenium plated art deco ring featuring a 4.84 ct. blue emerald-cut Tourmaline accented with round Tourmalines (.38 ctw.) and Diamonds (.42 ctw.).

Classical – Honorable Mention
Jeremy Dunn, Dunn & Co. – Platinum hand-fabricated drop earrings featuring Malaya Garnets (6.86 ctw.) accented with blue Sapphires (1.50 ctw.)

Classical – Platinum Honors
Mary van der Aa, Mary van der Aa – Platinum necklace featuring a custom faceted 20.20 ct. Aquamarine accented with Paraíba Tourmaline and Diamonds

Classical – Gem Diva Award
Dallas Prince, Dallas Prince & Co. – 18K yellow gold Inferno ring featuring a 6.35 ct. oval Mandarin Spessartite Garnet accented with round Diamonds (2.03 ctw.)

Classical – Manufacturing Honors
Beatrix Laura Jessner, B & W Jewels, LLC – Platinum earrings featuring Aquamarines (25.32 ctw.) accented with Diamonds (1.28 ctw.)

Evening Wear

Evening Wear – 1st Place
Jeffrey Bilgore, Jeffrey Bilgore, LLC – 18K yellow gold and black ceramic ring featuring a 4.03 ct. natural fancy deep yellow Diamond accented with 15 tsavorite Garnets (.17 ctw.)

Evening Wear – 2nd Place
Laurie Reid, LFR Studios – 22K yellow gold ring featuring a 13.2 mm Cultured Golden South Sea Pearl

Evening Wear – 3rd Place
Michael Tope, Raintree, LLC – 18K yellow gold, rose gold and platinum The Imperial Luchrupan Ring featuring a 21.70 ct. bicolor emerald-cut Tourmaline accented with Diamonds (2.30 ctw.), Sapphires (1.69 ctw.), purple Jade and Turquoise inlay

Evening Wear – Honorable Mention
Niveet Nagpal, Omi Privé – Platinum and black rhodium ring featuring a 4.85 ct. oval purple Spinel accented with trillion-cut violet Spinels (2.37 ctw.), round Alexandrites (.85 ctw.) and round Diamonds (1.02 ctw)

Evening Wear – Manufacturing Honors
Robert Pelliccia, J.R. Dunn Jewelers – Platinum “Blue Ocean Dream” ring featuring a11.32 ct. cushion-cut blue Sapphire accented with an epaulet pair of Diamonds (1.18 ctw.), Sapphires and Diamonds

Evening Wear – Platinum Honors
Jeffrey Bilgore, Jeffrey Bilgore, LLC – Platinum Light of Earendil pendant featuring a 16.30 ct. natural white briolette Sapphire accented with 204 round Diamonds (.96 ctw.) and 4 pear-shape Diamonds (.47 ctw.)

Evening Wear – Gem Diva Award
llyn strong, llyn strong fine art jewelry – 18K rose gold ring featuring a 13.34 ct. black Opal accented with yellow Diamonds (.33 ctw.) and blue Diamonds (.97 ctw.)

Men’s Wear

Men’s Wear – 1st Place
Zoltan David, Somewhere In The Rainbow – Knight steel and 24K yellow gold The Kings Ring featuring a 29.09 ct. purple-red cabochon Tourmaline accented with 10 red Spinels (.15 ctw.), Diamonds (.02 ctw.), and patent inlay bead gold

Men’s Wear – 2nd Place
Adam Neeley, Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry – Platinum Pharaoh ring featuring a 12.08 ct. Compass Rode Tanzanite accented with Diamonds (.41 ctw.)

Men’s Wear – 3rd Place
Buddy Austin, Third Eye Assembly – 18K yellow gold, platinum, 22K rose and green gold, 24K yellow gold and 18K white gold Underworld ring featuring a 1.62 ct. black Opal accented with tsavorite Garnet, Sapphire and Diamond

Men’s Wear – Honorable Mention
Matthew Tuggle, Tuggle Designs – Platinum and 18K yellow gold ring featuring a 6.02 ct. star Sapphire accented with demantoid Garnets (.04 ctw.)

Men’s Wear – Platinum Honors
Adam Neeley, Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry – Platinum Pharaoh ring featuring a 12.08 ct. Compass Rode Tanzanite accented with Diamonds (.41 ctw.)

Men’s Wear – Gem Diva Award
Lindsay Jane Chatham, K. Jons Jewelry Co. – Platinum and 18K rose gold North Star cufflinks set with Trapiche Sapphires (25.10 ctw.), orange Spinels (.50 ctw.), blue Sapphires (2.43 ctw.) and Diamonds (2.72 ctw.)

Men’s Wear – Manufacturing Honors
Buddy Austin – Third Eye Assembly – 18K yellow gold, platinum, 22K rose and green gold, 24K yellow gold and 18K white gold Underworld ring featuring a 1.62 ct. black Opal accented with tsavorite Garnet, Sapphire and Diamond

Editor’s Choice Awards

Editor’s Choice – Spectrum
Ian Delucca, Khobe Delucca – 18K yellow gold and ruthenium plated Art Deco ring featuring blue emerald-cut Tourmaline (4.84 ctw.), round Tourmaline (.38 ctw.) and Diamonds (.42 ctw.)

Editor’s Choice – Cutting Edge
Jaimeen Shah, Prima Gems USA – Suite of 23 multicolored, Portuguese-cut Zircons (228.64 ctw.)

Winners of the 2022 AGTA Cutting Edge Awards™ are:

Classic Gemstones

Classic Gemstone – 1st Place
Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem Corp. – 4.43 ct. no oil emerald-cut Colombian Emerald

Classic Gemstone – 2nd Place
Jeffrey Bilgore, Jeffrey Bilgore, LLC – 28.45 ct. natural emerald-cut blue Ceylon Sapphire

Classic Gemstone – 3rd Place
John Bachman, John M. Bachman, Inc. – 25.28 ct. cushion-cut natural yellow Sapphire

All Other Cut Gemstones

All Other Cut Gemstones – 1st Place
Ben Kho, Kho International, Ltd. – 32.50 ct. sunburst-cut Kunzite

All Other Cut Gemstones – 2nd Place
Ben Kho, Kho International, Ltd. – 14.70 ct. diamond-shape Apatite

All Other Cut Gemstones – 3rd Place
Ben Kho, Kho International, Ltd. – 34.98 ct. fancy trillion-cut Kunzite

All Other Cut Gemstones – Honorable Mention
Ben Kho, Kho International, Ltd. – 28.61 ct. pink Tourmaline

Carving

Carving – 1st Place and Best of Show
Dalan Hargrave, GemStarz Jewelry – 210.55 ct. ballerina carving in green Beryl

Carving – 2nd Place
Dalan Hargrave, Geogem-USA – 87.77 ct. bicolor Scapolite iguana on a limb carving titled Out There with blue Tiger’s Eye eyes

Carving – 3rd Place
Meg Berry, Megagem – 394.20 ct. handcarved light blue Topaz

Carving – Honorable Mention
Meg Berry, 3090 Gems – 31.17 ct. Grandzilla carved green-blue Grandidierite

Innovative Faceting

Innovative Faceting – 1st Place
John Dyer, Somewhere in the Rainbow – 147.96 ct. orange golden Citrine titled Crescendo

Innovative Faceting – 2nd Place
Jeffrey Bilgore, Jeffrey Bilgore, LLC – 85.55 ct. natural oval fantasy-cut yellow Sapphire

Innovative Faceting – 3rd Place
Desmond Chan, Gem Arts International – 18.79 ct. traditional and concave shield-cut Malaya Garnet titled The Lightbender’s Shield

Innovative Faceting – Honorable Mention
Lee Haynes, LWH Gems – 138.10 ct. concave diamond pattern crown with twisted pavilion Citrine titled Autumn Opus

Innovative Faceting – Honorable Mention
Mark Gronlund, Mark Gronlund – 68.14 ct. Ma’ia, Star of the Universe specialty-cut Aquamarine

North American Mined Gemstones

North American Mined Gemstones – 1st Place
Ben Kho, Kho International, Ltd. – 11.46 ct. antique cushion-cut Rhodochrosite from Colorado, USA.

North American Mined Gemstones – 2nd Place
Jeffrey R. Hapeman, Earth’s Treasury – 7.79 ct. custom precision square cushion-cut, unheated blue Montana Sapphire from Rock Creek, Montana

North American Mined Gemstones – 3rd Place
Jeffrey R. Hapeman, Somewhere In The Rainbow – 12.18 ct. unheated pure yellow champagne Montana Sapphire titled Champagne Toast

North American Mined Gemstones – Honorable Mention
Nick Alexander, Somewhere In The Rainbow – 123.96 ct. Oregon Sunstone carved and faceted titled Riptides

Objects of Art

Objects of Art – 1st Place
Dalan Hargrave, GemStarz Jewelry – 900 ct. Ametrine accented with Citrine and Chrome Diopside “The Tomb of Osiris” essence bottle

Objects of Art – 2nd Place
Llyn L. Strelau, Jewels by Design – Carved Labradorite chameleon Life in the Jungle. Petrified wood, Quartz, Agate, Labradorite, Spinel, Pearls, tsavorite Garnets, Sapphires, Rubies and Diamonds. Bronze and 18K green, red and white gold

Objects of Art – 3rd Place
Rodney Rahmani, Brilliant Stars – 18K rose gold handmade Harley Davidson featuring a 1.59 ct. blue natural Burma Sapphire accented with a round Sapphire (0.13 ct.) and round white Diamonds (1.14 ctw.)

Objects of Art – Honorable Mention
Ziad H. Noshie, Almaza Jewelers – Shimmering Rascal Boy chameleon made of sterling silver, 18K green gold, 233 black Diamonds (3.45 ctw.), 446 tsavorite Garnets (7.03 ctw.), 429 orange Sapphires (6.98 ctw.) and an enamel ladybug on 40-year-old driftwood

Pairs and Suites

Pairs & Suites – 1st Place and Best of Single Entries Cutting Edge
Robert Knupfer, Knupfer International Gems, Inc. – Pair of blue/green briolette drop Tourmalines (75.57 ctw.)

Pairs & Suites – 2nd Place
Brenda Smith, Brenda Smith Jewelry – Pair of traditional faceted with bubble-cut bicolor Amethysts (35.20 ctw.)

Pairs & Suites – 3rd Place
Jaimeen Shah, Prima Gems USA – Suite of 23 multicolored, Portuguese-cut Zircons (228.64 ctw.)

Pairs & Suites – Honorable Mention
Davey Thomas, Gem Arts International – Suite of 26 tile-shaped cabochon Emeralds and Matrix titled Emeralds of Envy (112.25 ctw.)

Phenomenal

Phenomenal – 1st Place
Desmond Chan, Gem Arts International – 14.90 ct. hot pink to purple color-change modified round brilliant pyrope Garnet titled Cosmic Kaleidoscope

Phenomenal – 2nd Place
Bryan Lichtenstein, 3090 Gems, LLC – 20.20 ct. octagonal step-cut color-changing Zircon

Phenomenal – 3rd Place
David Nassi, 100% Natural, Ltd. – 17.70 ct. oval black Opal from Lightning Ridge, Australia

Phenomenal – Honorable Mention
David Nassi, 100% Natural, Ltd. – 25.29 ct. round blue star Sapphire from Burma

AGTA Spectrum Awards™ entries are judged on overall beauty and wearability, innovative design, effective use of materials, quality of gemstones, quality of workmanship, broad‐based consumer appeal and potential to generate positive publicity for natural colored gemstones. 

AGTA Cutting Edge Awards™ honor excellence and creativity in lapidary arts, including natural colored gemstones and cultured pearls, carvings and other gem materials. 

Platinum Honors™, sponsored by Platinum Guild International (PGI), recognizes the outstanding use of platinum in colored gemstone and/or cultured pearl jewelry in the five Spectrum Awards categories and for the Platinum Honors Innovation Awards in Bridal Wear, Business/Day Wear and Evening Wear. Platinum Innovation honors entries with a retail value under $3,500, excluding the main gemstone. PGI also awards two “Best of” awards – Best Use of Platinum and Color and Best Use of Platinum Crown.

WJA Gem DIVA™ Awards, sponsored by the Women’s Jewelry Association, grants awards in the Bridal Wear, Evening Wear, Classical and Business/Day Wear categories. All women who enter the AGTA Spectrum Awards™ competition are eligible for this category.

Manufacturing Honors recognizes outstanding use of colored gemstones and cultured pearls in jewelry produced at the highest levels of manufacturing excellence. All designs that qualify for judging in the AGTA Spectrum Awards™ competition will also automatically be qualified for Manufacturing Honors judging.

Fashion Forward Honors recognizes the outstanding use of colored gemstone and/or cultured pearl in artful, trend‐setting jewelry. All designs that qualify for judging in the AGTA Spectrum Awards™ competition are eligible for Fashion Forward Honors judging. 

For more information regarding the AGTA Spectrum Awards™ competition, please contact Kimmie Petersen at (800) 972‐1162 or [email protected] For further information regarding the 2022 AGTA GemFair™ Tucson or the AGTA Spectrum Awards™ Gala, please call (800) 972‐1162 or visit our website at www.agta.org. 

The American Gem Trade Association is a not‐for‐profit Association serving the natural colored gemstone and cultured pearl industry since 1981. The AGTA serves the industry as “The Authority in Color” and is headquartered in Dallas.