MJSA Announces Winners of Thinking Ahead and Vision Awards

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Attleboro Falls, MA–Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America (MJSA) recently announced the winners of its annual Vision and Thinking Ahead Awards, which honor excellence in jewelry design and product development, respectively. The winners were presented their awards during MJSA Expo New York at the Hilton New York, held on March 14-16.

MJSA Vision Awards honor design prowess and technical skill, and recognize outstanding talent in the field of jewelry design. The awards this year included a new “Visionary Use of Materials” category that rewarded outstanding technical achievement, as well as a “Future of the Industry” award honoring the designs of students in jewelry programs.

MJSA Thinking Ahead Awards recognize products that, through “the introduction of new technology or the improvement of existing technologies,” are advancing the way in which jewelry is made and sold.

The winners of the MJSA Vision Awards are:

(First Place): JENNIFER JORDAN PARK of Wear Ever Custom Jewelry in Budd Lake, New Jersey, for “Splash,” a cloisonné enamel box ring. It is made from silver, 24k gold cloisonné wire, 18k and 22k gold, and enamels in various colors, with a 6×4 mm pink sapphire. (Second Place): JAMES W. CURRENS of J.W. Currens in New York City for “The Kailash Ruby Ring.” The ring is made from 18k yellow gold and 925 sterling silver, with a 15.08 ct. sugarloaf ruby, 4.69 ct. oval cabochon ruby, 7.96 ct. brilliant cut round ruby, and 3.78 ct. t.w. fancy-intense yellow diamond melee.

(First Place): CHRISTOPHER DUQUET of Christopher Duquet Fine Jewelry Design Ltd. in Evanston, Illinois, for a yellow sapphire and diamond ring made in 14k white and yellow gold. The ring’s intricate framework was developed using a combination of computer-assisted design and high-tech rapid prototyping. It features a 3.24 ct. fine yellow sapphire and 12 diamonds (23 ct. t.w.). (Second Place): JAMES W. CURRENS of J.W. Currens in New York City for “Star Dreamer Pendant,” which features platinum and 96 ct. t.w. of rock crystal, 2.5 ct. t.w. of rose-cut diamonds, 4.70 ct. t.w. of baguette diamonds, and 2.26 ct. t.w. white diamond melee. The manufacturing process involved both photonics (the science of cutting optically perfect lenses) and advanced ultraviolet curing.

(First Place): PAMELA FROMAN of Pamela Froman Fine Jewelry in Los Angeles for her “Royal Crush” necklace. Featuring a stylized fleur-de-lis design inspired by the domes of St. Petersburg, the necklace is made from a combination of 18k pink & yellow gold in a hand-hammered “crushed” texture, with a fire opal cabochon center stone.
(Second Place): DENNIS DEJONGHE of deJonghe Originals in Saratoga Springs, New York, for a 22k yellow gold repoussébrooch with 14k yellow gold wire and accented with three bezel-set diamonds and several pearls.

(First Place): JIMI GWINN of J.S. Gwinn Fine Jewelry in Paducah, Kentucky, for “Tickled Pink,” a tourmaline and amethyst pendant featuring 14k white gold sizing stock, casting grain, and18k white gold wire. (Second Place): JULIA BEHRENDS of Julia Behrends Design of Boston, Massachusetts, for the “Twist” ring, which is named for its twisting prong and rotating “rondelle” in the center of the piece. The rondelle of yellow diamonds is a separate part with 360-degree movement. The center gemstone is a 9.52 ct. round lime citrine with a unique concave-faceted cut, set in platinum.

(First Place): DAVINA RAE ROMANSKY, a student at the Gemological Institute of America, for her “Cascading Necklace” in sterling silver is 5″ wide and 15″ long. The sterling silver pieces are cut, scored, bent, soldered and riveted to each other.
(Second Place-Tie: YOUNG-EUN HAN, a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, for a necklace made of lightweight silver wire that can be connected and reconnected in various ways to create differing looks.
(Second Place-Tie): HYANGMI KIM, a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, for “A Waterfall in the Moonlight.” The necklace, which incorporated wire weaving, sea-shell carving, wax carving, casting, and soldering in its fabrication, features silver, brass, a brass and copper alloy, nickel, sea shells, gold-plated bead wire, silver-plated bead wire, and a light emitting diode.

The judges for the 2010 MJSA Vision Awards were: Marlene Richey, designer, business expert and author of Profiting by Design; Michael Coan, jewelry department chair at the Fashion Institute of Technology; Cindy Edelstein, president of the Jeweler’s Resource Bureau; Mark Schneider of Mark Schneider Design; Todd Hawkinson of Minneapolis Community Technical College; and Tina Snyder, editor in chief of MJSA Journal.

For more information and additional photos of the Vision Award Winners, go to mjsa.org/career_center/mjsa_vision_awards.

The winners of the MJSA Thinking Ahead Awards are:
Speedwire, Glenn Manning, Manning Jewelry, Foley, Alabama–Speedwire is a laser-welding wire dispenser that helps to advance and position the wire with greater control, increasing efficiency, improving quality, and largely eliminating burned fingertips. In addition, its color-coding system ensures easy identification of the wire’s metal type, removing guesswork and potential waste. As one judge, Teresa Frye, remarked, “It’s apparent that Speedwire will fill a longstanding need for more efficient laser wire use.

SpeckFINDER HD, Dazor Manufacturing Corp., St. Louis, Missouri–SpeckFINDER HD was originally launched in 2004 to examine the quality of components on printed circuit boards. It was then adapted for forensic uses (such as fingerprint identification) and for the jewelry industry. An optical workstation that significantly advances gem inspection and analysis, the SpeckFINDER can create a detailed pictorial record of a diamond, can track stones and control quality in diamond polishing operations, and can serve as a mobile training tool. As judge Michael Coan said, it has been the jewelry industry’s “great fortune to have products such as the SpeckFinder HD adapted to our own varied and special needs.”

Judges for the MJSA Thinking Ahead Awards were Steven Adler of A3DM (Automated 3D Modeling); Jim Binnion of James Binnion Metal Arts; Michael Coan, chair of the jewelry design department at the Fashion Institute of Technology; Dr. Christopher Corti, consultant with the World Gold Council and principal of CoreGold; Linus Drogs of Au Enterprises; Joerg Fischer-Buehner of Legor and Indutherm GmbH; Teresa Fryé of Techform Advanced Casting Technology; Andrea Hill of Hill Management Consulting; author/educator/goldsmith Charles Lewton-Brain; Jurgen Maerz, consultant with Platinum Guild International USA; John McCloskey of Ten Mile River Associates in Lafayette, Louisiana; and J. Tyler Teague of JETT Research in Johnson City, Tennessee, and Tiffany & Co.

For more information and additional photos of the Thinking Ahead award winners, go to: mjsa.org/publications_and_information/mjsa_journal/simply_brilliant. Founded in 1903, Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America (MJSA) is a national trade association based in Attleboro Falls, Massachusetts, that provides the resources and support necessary for U.S.-based jewelry designers, manufacturers, and suppliers to compete successfully. For more information, call MJSA at 1-800-444-6572 or visit www.mjsa.org.

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