Las Vegas--Diamonds that move, a hamburger ring and the presentation of the Cindy Edelstein Award were just some of the highlights of the 2017 Couture Design Awards, held Sunday evening in Las Vegas.

This year, the show moved to the glitzy Encore Theater, a venue that made the night “feel like an actual awards show,” Couture show director and annual host Gannon Brousseau joked from the stage to open the show.

The first award presented was Best in Silver, which went to Atelier Zobel for an industrial, honeycomb-inspired design. The German brand, helmed by Peter Schmid, is known for its cool mixed-metal creations.

WINNER! Congratulations @atelier_zobel for Best of Silver #cda2017

A post shared by COUTURE (@by_couture) on


Nadine Ghosn, a young designer who debuted in Couture’s Design Atelier this year, received the award for Best in Innovative for her multi-layered hamburger ring, which is equal parts luxurious and humorous.

In one of the evening’s best shout-outs, Ghosn made sure to thank her intern for attending the show on her birthday weekend.

WINNER! Congratulations @nadineghosnjewelry for Best in Innovative! #cda2017

A post shared by COUTURE (@by_couture) on


Yvel was awarded with Best in Pearls for its unique pearl bracelet design. It’s one of many awards the edgy pearl-centric company has received from various trade shows and organizations over the years.

WINNER! Congratulations @yvel_jewelry for Best in Pearls! #cda2017

A post shared by COUTURE (@by_couture) on


The Best in Platinum award went to Heinrich and Denzel, another German brand that specializes in the material.

WINNER! Congratulations @henrich.denzel for Best in Platinum! #cda2017

A post shared by COUTURE (@by_couture) on


In the prestigious Best in Bridal category, Jade Trau--who described herself as a fifth-generation diamantaire but a first-generation designer--received top honors. Fittingly, she honored those who came before her, dedicating her award to her late grandfather who introduced her to the diamond business.

WINNER! Congratulations @jadetrau for Best in Bridal! #cda2017

A post shared by COUTURE (@by_couture) on


In its second year at the Couture show, New York-based brand Cadar, designed by Michal Kadar, received the award for Best in Gold, adding to the splash it’s made in the short time since its launch.

WINNER! Congratulations @cadardesigns for Best in Gold! #cda2017

A post shared by COUTURE (@by_couture) on


Best in Colored Gemstones Under $20,000 went to Amali Jewelry, known for its elegant gemstone and milgrain pieces.

WINNER! Congratulations @amalijewelry for Best in Colored Gemstones Below $20k

A post shared by COUTURE (@by_couture) on


Best in Colored Gemstones Above $20,000 went to John Hardy for a spectacularly elaborate cuff. It’s a promising way for John Hardy’s new designer to start her tenure at the Bali and New York-based house.

WINNER! Congratulations @johnhardyjewelry for Best in Colored Gemstones Above $20K! #cda2017

A post shared by COUTURE (@by_couture) on


Garavelli’s cool sculptural cuff that, even in a photograph, denotes the movement of ripples across water was awarded Best in Diamonds Below $20,000.

WINNER! Congratulations @garavelli_1920 for Best in Diamonds Below $20K! #cda2017

A post shared by COUTURE (@by_couture) on


Best in Diamonds Above $20,000 was another design full of movement, a pair of elaborate diamond earrings from Fernando Jorge, who went from exhibiting at a showroom’s booth last year to his very own space at this Couture. His winning earrings, a result of a brand-new diamond collection he debuted at the show, were nominated across multiple categories.

WINNER! Congratulations @fernandojorge for Best in Diamonds Above $20K! #cda2017

A post shared by COUTURE (@by_couture) on


Meanwhile, Best in Haute Couture was given to Pasquale Bruni for one of its spectacular diamond collars with an emerald drop, a style that has become a high jewelry signature for the company.

WINNER! Congratulations @pasqualebruni for Best in Haute Couture! #cda2017

A post shared by COUTURE (@by_couture) on


This year, men’s jewelry had its very own category and the Best in Men’s Jewelry award was given to Furrer Jacot, the historic Swiss design house that excels in pieces that can be worn by both genders.

WINNER! Congratulations @furrerjacotus for Best in Men's Jewelry! #cda2017

A post shared by COUTURE (@by_couture) on


Best in Debuting at Couture, always a hot category, went to Leyla Abdollahi, a Central Saint Martins graduate whose emerald and diamond necklace pays equal attention to the back of the design as the front.

WINNER! Congratulations @leylaabdollahilondon for Best in Debuting! #cda2017

A post shared by COUTURE (@by_couture) on


Italian designer Giovanni Ferraris was the recipient of the Editor’s Choice award for his lightweight titanium and diamond earrings.

WINNER! Congratulations @giovanniferrarisgioielli for Best in Editor's Choice! #cda2017

A post shared by COUTURE (@by_couture) on


The People’s Choice award, which was determined by the audience at the show via text message for the second year, was awarded to fine jewelry house Mariani.

WINNER! Congratulations @mariani1878 for Best in People's Choice! #cda2017

A post shared by COUTURE (@by_couture) on


Last year, show organizers announced that an award would be created in honor of Cindy Edelstein, the brand consultant and designer advocate who passed away unexpectedly in January 2016.

And Edelstein’s daughter, Remy Stankus, was on hand to present the award, which went to British jewelry designer Stephen Webster for the work he’s done to help the careers of young jewelry designers and to ensure a sustainable supply chain for his own line.

Webster--who promotes promising U.K. designers, and shares his Couture space with them, through Rock Vault--was visibly emotional when accepting the award, thanking this team, his family and paying homage to the late Edelstein, whom he described as the advocate for jewelry designers in the United States.

“I’m lost for words. I feel really emotional here … because obviously I knew Cindy very, very well. I was right there in the beginning when she was the champion of designer jewelry in America, and as a Brit, I always felt very much a part of the spirit that she just passed on to everybody.”

But he also joked about the size of his award, which was smaller (and presumably lighter) than the awards presented to the design winners.

“Why is my award so small?” Webster quipped.

|Subscribe >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.