Events & Awards

Saul Bell Award Winners for 2016 Announced

Events & AwardsMay 24, 2016

Saul Bell Award Winners for 2016 Announced

Rio Grande revealed the winners of its annual jewelry design contest during a gala dinner at its recent Santa Fe Symposium.

This “Peacock Pin” by Samantha Freeman won second place in the Gold/Platinum Category in the 2016 Saul Bell Awards.

Albuquerque, N.M.--Jewelry supply company Rio Grande announced the winners of the annual Saul Bell Awards earlier this month during a gala dinner at its Santa Fe Symposium.

First and second places winners were celebrated in seven categories: Gold/Platinum, Silver/Argentium Silver, Metal Clay, Enamel, Hollowware/Art Objects, Alternative Metals/Materials and Emerging Jewelry Artists, which highlights designers ages 21 or younger.

Award applicants submit imagery of a design for their chosen category; finalists are required to submit a physical piece for judging. Winners receive Rio Grande gift certificates.

The design competition, created to commemorate the life of New Mexican jeweler Saul Bell, is in its 16th year.

See below for a full list of winners.

2016 Gold/Platinum Category
First Place
“The Queen”
Garen Garibian
Los Angeles 

Second Place
“Peacock Pin”
Samantha Freeman
Philadelphia

2016 Silver/Argentium Silver Category
First Place
“Unity”
Seung Jeon Paik
Savannah, Ga.  

Second Place
“Untitled”
Wolfgang Vaatz
Rio Rico, Ariz. 

2016 Metal Clay Category
First Place
“Adore”
Rodica Frunze
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada 

Second Place
“Memory Interrupted”
Patrik Kusek
Fairfield, Calif.



2016 Enamel Category
First Place
“On the Wing”
Debbie Sheezel
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 

Second Place
“Orbit #2 Pin/Pendant”
Amy Roper Lyons
Summit, N.J.

2016 Hollowware/Art Objects Category

First Place
"Mace”

Tom Ferrero
Windsor, Conn. 

Second Place
“Symbiotic Relationship”
Sungyeoul Lee
Seoul, Republic of Korea 

2016 Alternative Metals/Materials Category

First Place
“Moonshine”
Zoltan David
Bee Cave, Texas

Second Place
“Secret Garden Necklace”
Kathleen Nowak Tucci
Atmore, Ala. 

2016 Emerging Jewelry Artist Category
First Place
“L'Oiseau de la Nuit”
Justine Quintal
Carignan, Quebec, Canada 

Second Place
“Monsieur”
Justine B. Gagnon
Repentigny, Quebec, Canada 

Third Place
“A Gothic Melody”
Jason Baide
Bozeman, Mont.

Ashley Davisis the senior editor, fashion at National Jeweler, covering all things related to design, style and trends.

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