In What's New, Industry News by Christine Galasso

Celebrating creativity, craftsmanship, and technological prowess, MJSA, the U.S. trade association dedicated to professional excellence in jewelry making and design, has honored 10 outstanding designs in its 2017 MJSA Vision Awards competition.

The awards recognize both professional and student achievements in seven categories.

In addition to cash awards, gift certificates for tools and supplies, and (for the students) scholarship funds, the winners will be profiled in the August issue of MJSA Journal and promoted through ads in both Instore and Metalsmith (the competition’s media sponsors). All of the winning entries will be on display at the 2018 MJSA Expo at the Javits Center in New York City.

This year’s Vision Awards judges were Michael Coan, chair emeritus of the jewelry design department, Fashion Institute of Technology; Ann Cahoon, jewelry making and repair department head, North Bennet Street School; Victoria Gomelsky, editor of JCK magazine; consultant/author Marlene Richey; and jewelry designers Michael Bondanza and Barbara Heinrich.

Photos courtesy of MJSA.

First Place, Professional Excellence, 4+ Years in Business:

Orsolya Ráski Nagy and Daniel Nagy of Splendor Jewellery in Budakeszi, Hungary, for their nature-inspired 18k yellow gold Garden Ring featuring a cushion-cut green prasiolite. Smaller, brilliant cut diamonds and green-toned tsavorites and peridots, which symbolize fruit and dewdrops, surround the center stone.

Second Place, Professional Excellence, 4+ Years in Business:

Patrick Nelson and Mary Kay Mohs of Patrick Mohs Jewelry in Wayzata, Minnesota, for their Night Sky Necklace. Inspired by skipping stones along the shore of Lake Superior and gazing at the stars during a visit to the North Shore in Minnesota, the reversible necklace, featuring 18k yellow gold and fluorescent diamonds, comprises 17 skipping stones, each representing a constellation.

First Place, Professional Excellence, 1-3 Years in Business:

Zoe Zong of ZoeZong LLC in McKinney, Texas, for her Supernova Earrings Set. Symbolizing rebirth, the design is inspired by a supernova, whose explosion causes the appearance of a temporary new star. The platinum-plated silver earrings feature an electroplated black section with inlaid blue zircon that contrasts with an electroplated white one with inlaid colorless zircon.

Second Place, Professional Excellence, 1-3 Years in Business:

Zoe Zong of ZoeZong LLC in McKinney, Texas, for her futuristic silver Contrast Brooch with inlaid zircon and topaz. Inspired by city life, the piece features rays that represent rising skyscrapers.

CAD/CAM Distinction:

Ricardo Basta of Ricardo Basta Fine Jewelry in Los Angeles for his 18k yellow gold Bat Ring. It features gray 18k palladium bats, diamond appliques, and a pink tourmaline center stone.

Laser Distinction:

Adam Neeley of Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry in Laguna Beach, California, for his “Rouge Moderne” Earrings, which showcase scintillating red zircons set in rose, white, and yellow gold accented with kite-shaped diamonds.

Custom Design Distinction:

Brenda Smith of Brenda Smith Jewelry LLC in Woodstock, Georgia, for her “In the Garden” Pearl Necklace, which was hand-fabricated in 18k gold wire to sit on the shoulder, collar-like. Its leaves and flower buds feature pearls, diamonds, and sapphires. The one-point diamonds represent dewdrops.

Responsible Practices Distinction:

Leo Fried of Blue Heron Jewelry Co. in Poulsbo, Washington, for his Tanzanite and Diamond White Gold Ring. The center stone was purchased from a co-op of Masi Miners; the white gold was sourced from Hoover & Strong’s Harmony metals; and the accent diamonds were either recycled or purchased from dealers who adhere to the Kimberley Process.

First Place, Future of the Industry Award (for students):

Kwan Cheuk Ying of Hong Kong Design Institute in Hong Kong, China, for Sun and Moon Earrings featuring 14k yellow gold, orange moonstone, and blue moonstone. The pieces are inspired by two Chinese characters that represent the sun and the moon, reflecting Chinese philosophy, which believes that events in the sky directly echo events on earth.

Second Place, Future of the Industry Award:

Maneli Sarmadi of Savannah College of Art & Design for Sweet Spell Necklace. A statement necklace inspired by nature, it was created using a combination of hand-making skills, latest technology, and innovative processes.

The 2017 Vision Awards sponsors were Century Casting (Custom Design Distinction), Gemvision/Stuller (CAD/CAM Distinction), LaserStar Technologies (Laser Distinction), Rio Grande (General Sponsor), Richline Group (Responsible Practices Distinction), the MJSA Education Foundation (Future of the Industry Award), and Instore, The Retail Jeweler, and Metalsmith magazines (Media Sponsors).