AGTA Announces 2017 Spectrum Awards Winners

In What's New, Industry News by Accessories Staff

This week, the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) announced the winners of its 2017 AGTA Spectrum Awards, lauding the most exciting developments in colored gemstones. At the competition in New York in early August, judges Arun Bohra of Arunashi; Cathy Calhoun, Calhoun Jewelers; Sherris Cottier Shank, Gemscapes; Alishan Halebian, Alishan and Holly Wesche, Wesche Jewelers analyzed the artistry and innovation of each submission.

“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,” notes Douglas K. Hucker, AGTA CEO. “The number of entries increased and clearly the caliber of entries was exceptional. 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 and demonstrated an amazing level of synergy.”

And the winners are…

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(23.54ctw.).

Editor’s 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.).

Bridal Wear


Ricardo Basta, E. Eichberg, Inc. – 18K white gold and rhodium “Double the Love” ring featuring a 12.62 ct. heart-shaped blue Zircon accented with a .75 ct. heart-shaped Diamond and Diamond pave (1.53 ctw.).

Business/Day Wear


Adam Neeley, Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry – 18K rose and 14K rose and white gold “Cosmos” pendant featuring a 24.06 ct. specialty-cut Morganite accented with Diamonds (3.14 ctw.).



Allen Kleiman, A. Kleiman & Co. – Platinum and 18K pink gold earrings featuring unheated oval pink Sapphires (36.65 ctw.) accented with Diamonds (5.09 ctw.).

Men’s Wear


Ricardo Basta, E. Eichberg, Inc. – 18K yellow gold with black rhodium “Estrella” ring featuring a 7.50 ct. starburst trapiche Sapphire accented with black Diamonds (.64 ctw.) and yellow Sapphire melee (.52 ctw.).

All Other Faceted


Brett Kosnar, Beija Flor Wholesale – 24.26 ct. round, Portuguese-cut Rhodochrosite.


Meg Berry, Pala International – 625.0 ct. Chyrsocolla with druzy Quartz carving, titled “Metamorphosis.”

Classic Gemstone


David Nassi, 100% Natural, Ltd. – 15.30 ct. unheated Ceylon pink Sapphire.

Innovative Faceting


Christopher Wolfsberg, Chris Wolfsberg – 32.75 ct. specialty-cut Quartz with Chrysoprase and Opal.

Objects of Art

Derek Katzenbach, Katzenbach Designs –”Colors of Maine” kaleidoscope featuring multicolored Maine Tourmalines (71.74 ctw.) and Maine Quartz lenses (24.92 ctw.) set in 18K yellow and white gold.



Joel Price, Joel Price – 100.66 ct. harlequin pattern black Opal.

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