National Jeweler Network

Design Contests

AGTA names five judges for Spectrum Awards

September 23, 2013

Dallas--The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) has named Jennifer McCurry, Jennie Ma, Barbara Heinrich, John Hatleberg and Jose Hess as the judges for its 2014 Spectrum Awards.

The annual Spectrum Awards honor excellence in colored gemstone and pearl jewelry design. It is open to designers and lapidarists from the United States and Canada.

Next year marks the 30th edition of the contest, and the judges for 2014 bring a range of editorial and design experience to the panel.

Jennifer McCurry is a fine jewelry expert and buyer at Marissa Collections in Naples, Fla., where she has worked since 2007. She graduated from the Gemological Institute of America in 1998 as a jeweler gemologist and was a 2006 Fashion Group International nominee for a Rising Star Award in jewelry design. McCurry also was a judge for the 2013 Couture Design Awards in Las Vegas.

Jennie Ma is the fashion and beauty editor at The Knot, where she is responsible for topics relating to style and beauty, including accessories, bridal fashion, makeup and fitness. She also has appeared on "Today," "Entertainment Tonight" and "Good Morning America" for wedding, fashion and bridal party trends. Prior to working at The Knot, she hosted and produced a television show in Shanghai about fashion and culture.

Barbara Heinrich is a jewelry designer who utilizes traditional goldsmith techniques and tools to create pieces in brushed 18-karat gold with precious gemstones. She studied jewelry and hollowware design in Germany and has a degree from the Pforzheim College of Design, also located in Germany. The Barbara Heinrich Studio has been in business for more than 25 years.

John Hatleberg is an authority on creating exact replicas of famous diamonds, including the Hope, Centenary, Light of Peace, Blue Lily, and Wittelsbach-Graff diamonds. He has worked on diamonds for De Beers, the Smithsonian Institution and the South African government as well as for Cartier, Chopard, Laurence Graff, Harry Winston and JAR, among others. His work is exhibited in museums including the Natural History Museum London and the Tokyo National Science Museum, and his private client jewelry has been featured in Vogue, Paris Vogue, W, Elle, Town & Country and Vanity Fair.

Jose Hess is a jewelry designer, artist and craftsman who is an active proponent of American jewelry design, concentrating in creating branded collections. He mentors emerging designers by teaching them at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and also works as a consultant to jewelry companies in the United States and abroad to help them improve their methods. A Jose Hess brand of jewelry is featured on Jewelry Television, where Hess presents on-air.