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Colored Stones Steal Spotlight at AGTA Awards

November 13, 2023  |  Jennifer Heebner
AGTA Spectrum Black_Opal_Ring_Side 1280 USED 131123

With 100 more submissions than last year, the 2023 American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) Spectrum & Cutting Edge Awards made it clear that the decades-old competition was as popular as ever. The Spectrum Awards first took place in 1984, followed by Cutting Edge in 1992. From the get-go, the competition was renowned for its well-respected judges and stringent criteria, and it has always attracted the cream of the fine-jewelry crop.

This year continued that tradition, and the myriad one-of-a-kind designs captivated the judges, according to AGTA CEO John Ford. “The color green was a trend, and the judges did a fantastic job, especially given the increase in the number of pieces entered.”

The adjudicators were Allan Koo of New York-based A. Koo & Co.; Brent Malgarin of Elegant Gems in Edmonds, Washington; Christina Gandia Gambale from Greenwich St. Jewelers in New York; Lika Behar of New Jersey-based Lika Behar Jewelry; and C. Clayton Bromberg from Underwood’s Jewelers in Jacksonville, Florida. They made their decisions over the last weekend in October, choosing winners based on craftsmanship, creativity, originality and quality.

Here are some of the highlights, including artists who took multiple awards.  

Spectrum: Best of Show and First Place in Evening Wear

Ring in platinum by Niveet Nagpal of Omi Privé, featuring a 15.22-carat black opal accented with 1.56 carats of diamonds, 0.72 carats of tourmalines, and 0.40 carats of tsavorite garnets.

Cutting Edge: Best of Show, Best of Single Entries, and First Place in Pairs & Suites

A suite of four oval-shaped Paraiba-type tourmalines totaling 31.01 carats from Mozambique by Joseph Ambalu of Amba Gem Corp.

Best Use of Pearls, Gem DIVA, and Third Place in Classical

Birds Eye View ring by Fannie Thomas of Fannie Thomas Jewelry in 22-karat yellow gold with a bird-shaped cultured Tahitian baroque pearl.

First Place in Bridal Wear, and Best Use of Platinum Crown

Fantasia ring by Adam Neeley of Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry in platinum with a 12.24-carat aquamarine, Akoya pearls, and 1 carat of diamonds.

Best Use of Color, and Platinum Innovation: Classical

Ocean & Grass Wave bracelet in platinum by Jeffrey Bilgore of the eponymous jewelry brand. The piece features 25.02 carats sapphires, 7.87 carats of demantoid garnets, 1.14 carats of yellow diamonds and 7.32 carats of white diamonds.

Editor’s Choice: Spectrum

Pendulum/I Spy pendant necklace by Ai Van Pham of Gem & Gold Creations, featuring a fantasy-cut, 13.88-carat pink tourmaline, 14-karat yellow gold, black jade and opal inlay.

Editor’s Choice: Cutting Edge

An emerald-cut, 12.85-carat, untreated bicolor blue and green zoisite by Bryan Lichtenstein of 3090 Gems.

Main image: The Niveet Nagpal platinum ring featuring a 15.22-carat black opal. (AGTA)

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AGTA Spectrum Black_Opal_Ring_Side 1280 USED 131123 Colored Stones Steal Spotlight at AGTA Awards

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