New York--Jewelers of America has crowned the five winners of this year’s CASE Awards.

They honor jewelers who create pieces at the highest levels of creativity, artistry, skills and excellence (CASE) in jewelry design.

Retail jewelers submit designs of their own creation for consideration in the contest, which is now in its 27th year. Entries are restricted to JA members.

This year’s panel of judges--comprised of National Jeweler’s Editor-in-Chief Michelle Graff, Jewelers of America’s Director of Marketing Amanda Gizzi, GIA Jewelry Manufacturing Arts instructor Maria Tsangaropoulos, Engagement Ring Editor Amy Elliott, Severine Ferrari of and blogger Natalie Bos Betteridge of Jewels du Jour--selected four of the winners, divided into categories by retail price of the finished jewels.

The judges determined the winners by critiquing overall design, marketability, practicality, wearability and quality of manufacture. Each winner was awarded $500.

For the first time ever, the public also voted online at JA’s website to determine the winner of the fifth category, the “People’s Choice” award. The winner in this category received $500 of Facebook marketing.

From across the country, these are the retail jewelers who are as talented in design as they are in business.

20170313 CASE under2k
This jellyfish pendant took home the prize for best piece of jewelry under $2,000. It was created entirely in-house and by hand by Sharon Curtiss-Gal of The Gem Vault, located in Flemington, New Jersey.

The pendant features an Ethiopian opal weighing a little over two carats, set in 14-karat white gold and accented with pave set round diamonds and prong set diamonds throughout the jellyfish tentacles.
It retails for $1,900.

20170313 CASE 2kto5k
The award for the $2,001 to $5,000 category went to David White of Aucoin Hart Jewelers in Metairie, Louisiana.

The entirely hand-fabricated earrings display two 8.5 mm pearls, 0.6 carats of round sapphires and 0.43 carats of round, brilliant cut diamonds, all set in 18-karat white gold. They are priced at $3,950 retail.

20170313 CASE 5to10k
Avalina of jewelry store White & Ivory, located in Leesburg, Virginia, received a CASE award for this ring in the $5,001 to $10,000 category.

The 18-karat rose gold style features a black Australian doublet opal, 0.53 carats of marquise cut blue sapphires and 0.12 carats of round, brilliant diamonds. The design was hand-made and hand-engraved and retails for $5,900.

20170313 CASE over10k
The Gem Vault’s Curtiss-Gal was a double CASE award winner this year.

In the over $10,000 category, she created this 14-karat white gold necklace featuring a 5.89 marquise-cut Paraiba tourmaline cabochon set east to west and surrounded with diamond pave. It’s accented with additional pave-set Paraiba tourmalines and diamonds.

Curtis-Gall cast the flower stations in the necklace and the rest of the design was hand-built.

The necklace will retail for $40,000.

20170313 CASE peoples choice
The winner of the “People’s Choice” CASE award was Christopher Rankin from Christian Caine Design, located in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

Rankin’s “Milano” pendant is made of 14-karat rose gold and white diamonds of various weights on a 22 inch adjustable cable chain. He designed the pendant in Matrix, a computer-aided design program. The piece was tumbled and hand-finished.

The pendant retails for $4,980.

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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.