DALLAS. July 26, 2023 – The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) is pleased to reveal the judges for the 2023 AGTA Spectrum & Cutting Edge Awards™. Five judges were selected for the panel, which comprises experts from different disciplines within the jewelry industry. Judges are tasked with assessing hundreds of entries based on the criteria of beauty and wearability, innovative design, effective use of materials, quality of gemstones, quality of workmanship, consumer appeal, and potential to generate positive publicity for natural colored gemstones and cultured Pearls. Each piece is examined by hand with an eye for craftsmanship and quality of the materials used.
“AGTA is thrilled to have such a prestigious group of judges choose competition winners this year,” said John W. Ford Sr., CEO of AGTA. “We look forward to seeing all the entries and seeing how the choices are made. Receiving AGTA Spectrum & Cutting Edge Awards™ is lifechanging for many—something I know firsthand from days as an Opal dealer and winner!”
Judging will take place in Dallas in late October. Judges for this year include:
Koo is the Owner of A. Koo & Co. and started his lapidary career in Hong Kong more than four decades ago. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1979 to advance his skills, learning from a master gem cutter name Frank Lani. Now based in New York City, Koo provides cutting, polishing, and repair services on precious gemstones to an international client base. Koo’s work is renowned for a signature style of freehand cuts and stands as a paragon of excellence in the lapidary world.
Malgarin owns Elegant Gems, Ltd., a boutique jewelry store in Edmonds, Washington, with his wife. Malgarin’s passion for gemstones started in childhood, collecting and tumbling rocks found near a family cabin. He secured his graduate gemologist degree at GIA, afterwards returning to Seattle to work in retail and in wholesale. In the late 1980s, he made his way to the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show and from there added faceting skills to his résumé followed by several Spectrum and Cutting EdgeTM Awards.
Christina Gandia Gambale
Gandia Gambale is Co-Owner and Chief Operating Officer at Greenwich St. Jewelers in New York City. She and her sister took over the family-run business, founded by their parents in 1976, more than a decade ago. The store is a destination for jewelry collectors, offering expertly curated collections from independent designers as well as sought-after brands. Gandia Gambale is a graduate of Fordham University and has a graduate gemology degree from GIA. Under her direction, the store has received numerous industry accolades.
Though Istanbul-born Behar was raised by a family in the jewelry business, she pursued advanced degrees in economics and political science and worked in apparel before returning to her roots. She debuted her eponymous jewelry collection in 2008. Her jewelry is handmade in Turkey and has an utterly ancient-world aesthetic —think sterling silver and 24K gold. Behar is based in New Jersey and has accumulated more than 50 design awards to date, including a Spectrum Award.
C. Clayton Bromberg is a sixth-generation jeweler and the President of Underwood’s Jewelers, with three locations in Florida—two in Jacksonville and one in Ponte Vedra Beach. Bromberg is a graduate of the University of Alabama, has a graduate gemology degree from the GIA, and is an American Gem Society (AGS) Registered Jeweler and Certified Gemologist. He has volunteered for many civic associations in and around Jacksonville, Fla., as well as serving jewelry industry organizations like AGS and Jewelers of America, among others.
The Early Bird mail-in deadline for Spectrum & Cutting EdgeTM entries is Sept. 8, 2023. The final mail-in deadline is Sept. 29, 2023. Click here to enter.
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The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) is a not‐for‐profit association serving the colored gemstone and cultured Pearl industry since 1981. Headquartered in Dallas, members are trade professionals based in the U.S. and Canada, and AGTA is widely regarded as “The Authority in Color.” AGTA’s activities include organizing educational programs, trade shows, and printed materials and maintaining strong relationships with government officials and other jewelry trade groups. AGTA is committed to upholding the highest ethical standards and practices.