Joseph Ambalu of Amba Gem Corp.’s platinum and 18-karat yellow gold ring featuring a 7.16-carat untreated Russian emerald accented with diamonds won this year’s “Best of Show” honors in the AGTA Spectrum awards.
New York—It was time for a piece of finished jewelry to shine at the AGTA Spectrum Awards.

A platinum and 18-karat gold ring from Amba Gem Corp. set with a 7.16-carat emerald received “Best of Show” honors in this year’s competition.

For the past three years, it has been a Cutting Edge entry taking top honors in the jewelry design contest, with an unbelievable pair of neon blue tourmalines winning Best of Show last year.

The American Gem Trade Association’s annual competition was held in New York on Aug. 4 and 5. This year’s panel of judges featured Darryl Alexander of Alexander’s Jewelers, Randy Coffin of Coffin & Trout Jewellers Inc., Andre Hahn of Vielle Jewelers, Peiter Hye of Pieter Andries Jewelers, and Dallas Prince of Dallas Prince & Company.

An Editor’s Day followed the two days of judging, with press and influencers spending the day examining all the entries in a sunlit loft in the city’s West Village/Highline neighborhood.

The AGTA said it had more than 400 entries this year. CEO Doug Hucker said they saw a wave of new designers and first-time entrants, with more than a dozen of the awards in 2018 going to first-time winners.

There also was an increase in the breadth of material entered, he said, including more loose gemstones submitted in all categories of the Cutting Edge division.

“As someone who has nurtured a lifelong love affair with colored gemstones and pearls, the AGTA Spectrum Awards judging week is unbridled pleasure. It feeds my color jones and it is one of the most important endeavors AGTA pursues in its mission to spread the gospel of color,” Hucker said.

Winners of the 2018 AGTA Spectrum Awards are as follows.

“Best of” Category
Best of Show: Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem Corp.
Best Use of Color: Ricardo Basta, E. Eichberg Inc.
Best Use of Pearls: Avi Raz, A & Z Pearls, Inc.
Best Use of Platinum and Color: Deirdre Featherstone, Featherstone Design
Best Use of Platinum Crown: John Haynes, Schmitt Jewelers
Fashion Forward: Patrick King, Jewelsmith Inc.

LOOK: All the AGTA Spectrum ‘Best Of’ Winners

Bridal Wear
First Place: Zoltan David, Zoltan David
Second Place: Ricardo Basta, E. Eichberg Inc.
Third Place: Niveet Nagpal, Somewhere In The Rainbow
Honorable Mention: Heath London, Heath London Jewelry
Manufacturing Honors: Niveet Nagpal, Omi Prive
Platinum Honors: Michael Endlich, Pave Fine Jewelry
Entry Platinum Innovation: Michael Jakubowski, Gem Fanatic
WJA Gem Diva Award: Beatrix Laura Jewels LLC, B & W Jewels

Business/Day Wear
First Place: Erica Courtney, Erica Courtney Inc.
Second Place: Niveet Nagpal, Omi Prive
Third Place: Beatrix Laura Jewels LLC, B & W Jewels
Honorable Mention: Bella Campbell, Campbellian Collection/BHI
Manufacturing Honors: Michael Tope, Raintree LLC
Platinum Honors: John Ford, Lightning Ridge Collection by John Ford
Entry Platinum Innovation: Joseph A. Murawski, Joden World Resources LLC
WJA Gem Diva Award: Belle Brooke Barer, Belle Brooke

Classical
First Place: Niveet Nagpal, Omi Prive
Second Place: Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem Corp.
Third Place: Swapna Pinnamaneni, Dream Choice Jewelry
Honorable Mention: John Ford, Lightning Ridge Collection by John Ford
Manufacturing Honors and WJA Gem Diva Award: Lindsay Jane, Lindsay Jane Designs
Platinum Honors: Benjamin Javaheri, Uneek Jewelry Inc.

Evening Wear
First Place: Gross & Currens, David Gross Group
Second Place: Susan Helmich, Somewhere In the Rainbow
Third Place: Zoltan David, Somewhere In The Rainbow
Honorable Mention: Erica Courtney, Erica Courtney, Inc.
Honorable Mention: Helen Kim Currens, J.W. Currens Inc.
Manufacturing Honors: Erica Courtney, Erica Courtney Inc.
Platinum Honors: Paul Klecka, Somewhere In the Rainbow
Entry Platinum Innovation: Jacob Wosinski, Jacob Raymond Custom Jewelry
WJA Gem Diva Award: Gina Ferranti, GiGi Ferranti

Men's Wear
First Place: Zoltan David, Zoltan David
Second Place: Mark Schneider, Mark Schneider Design
Third Place: Pheap Lorn-Canossi, Phenomenon Jewels
Honorable Mention: Klaus Kutter, A Jour Jewelry
Manufacturing Honors: Adam Neeley, Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry
Platinum Honors: Niveet Nagpal, Omi Prive

LOOK: All the AGTA Spectrum Entries That Won First Place

The winners for the Cutting Edge Awards are as follows.

All Other Faceted
First Place: Mikola Kukharuk, Nomad’s
Second Place: Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem Corp.
Third Place: Christopher Wolfsberg, Fox Tail Gallery
Honorable Mention: Jose Rocha, Jewelry Television

Carving
First Place: Dalan Hargrave, GemStarz Jewelry
Second Place: Swapna Pinnamaneni, Dream Choice Jewelry
Third Place: Dalan Hargrave, GemStarz Jewelry

Classic Gemstone
First Place: Kenneth Blount, 100% Natural Ltd.
Second Place: Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem Corp.
Third Place: Allen Kleiman, A. Kleiman & Co.

Innovative Faceting
First Place: Mark Gronlund, Mark Gronlund
Second Place: Dalan Hargrave, GemStarz Jewelry
Third Place: John Dyer, Somewhere In the Rainbow
Honorable Mention: Christopher Wolfsberg, Nirinjan

Objects of Art
First Place: Nicolai Medvedev, Impressions in Stone
Second Place: Somewhere In The Rainbow
Third Place: Somewhere In The Rainbow

Pairs & Suites
First Place: Stephen M. Avery, Stephen M. Avery
Second Place: Sean P Sweeney, Razzcal Enterprises LLC
Third Place: Mikola Kukharuk, Nomad’s
Honorable Mention: Alexander Arnoldi, Arnoldi International

Phenomenal
First Place: Joel Price, Joel Price
Second Place: Robyn Dufty, DuftyWeis Opals Inc.
Third Place: Robert Shapiro, Robert Shapiro

LOOK: All the AGTA Spectrum Cutting Edge Winners

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