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Saturday, September 13, 2014

#AGTA Announces the 2015 AGTA Spectrum Awards™ Judges

AGTA Announces the 
2015 AGTA Spectrum Awards™ Judges

”Each year, we strive to seat a unique panel of judges for the AGTA Spectrum Awards™, and we hit the mark this year!” said Douglas K. Hucker, AGTA CEO. “This distinguished group is uniquely qualified with their expertise and passion for colored gemstones and pearls, and we are excited to see the results of their hard work!”
The American Gem Trade Association is excited to announce its panel of judges for the 2015 AGTA Spectrum Awards™. The expert panel of judges all hail from different facets of the jewelry industry, and will meet in October to judge the world‐renown colored gemstone and cultured pearl jewelry competition, along with the AGTA Cutting Edge Awards™, which features loose colored gemstones. 

This year’s judges are:
Jerrold Green, Lapidarist, Reginald C. Miller
The tenets of Green's mentor, Reginald Miller, remain the hallmarks of his business today, “When someone submits material to you, regardless of its quality, treat it with respect and them with respect…and above all: your word is everything.” While the tools of his trade have expanded to include high‐end Apple computers, Green still spends hours of each day hunched over his lapidary table, painstakingly carving precious stones so that every facet will catch the light. Today, gemologists, importers and collectors from all over the world come to him bearing treasures and seeking his advice.

Myriam Gumuchian, Vice President & Director of Sales, Gumuchian
Alongside her, mother Anita, and her sister, Patricia, they work together to carry on a family legacy that originated over 100 years ago in Istanbul with the sales of exceptional colored stones and fancy diamond imports.  In 1979, the Gumuchian brand was created by Anita
and her daughters, Myriam and Patricia.  Myriam was the first woman appointed chair of the Jewelry Information Center, where she held the position for two years. The commitment for excellence has not gone unnoticed, rewarding Gumuchian with several design awards, most recently the “Award for Best International Emerging Brand” of the year from the Armenian Jewelry Association

Joseph Mardkha, Manufacturer, ColorMasters Precious Jewelry
In 1981, Joseph Mardkha founded ColorMasters Gem Corp. and traveled the world seeking to build relationships with stone dealers and cutters overseas.  Quickly, he established
ColorMasters as an essential source for fine precious gems and the company became a valuable asset to some of the world’s best designers, retailers, and jewelry manufacturers.  Today, ColorMasters specializes in each and every aspect of high end jewelry design, product development, and manufacturing while maintaining social responsibility.

Tim McClelland, Master Jeweler and Designer, McTiegue & McClelland
Tim McClelland grew up in family of artists and at an early age was struck by the versatility and permanence of metal as a vehicle for his ideas. All of McTeigue & McClelland’s jewelry is made under the direction of Tim McClelland the old fashioned way ‐ one piece at a time.  In 2011, McTeigue & McClelland made the decision to sell exclusively to their own clientele.  McTeigue & McClelland started to get noticed by the international fashion press. Pieces from their collections became de‐rigeur for magazines surveying the best in jewelry, including Town & Country, Robb Report, W Magazine, Elle, Martha Stewart, The New York Times and more.  McTeigue & McClelland, in Tim and Walter’s words has one mission ‐ “To make the most beautiful jewelry imaginable.”

Larry Pelzel, Retailer, Neiman Marcus
Larry has worked in the high‐end luxury jewelry industry for over 34 years.  Starting as the Sales Associate in 
Precious Jewels, he worked up Neiman's ladder to his current position of Vice President and Divisional Merchandise Manager, Precious Jewels. From Neiman Marcus’ flagship store in Dallas, he oversees all aspects of the Precious Jewels Division from buying to the renowned in‐house Design Studio to promotions and advertising.  In 2012, Pelzel was inducted into The Retailer Jewelers’ “Hall of Fame” by National Jeweler.  

Dr. Jeffrey E. Post, Curator, U.S. Nat'l Gem & Mineral Col., Smithsonian Inst.
Jeffrey joined the Dept. of Mineral Sciences at the Smithsonian Institution in 1984, from 1989 to 1994, he was Chair. of the Dept. of Mineral Sciences, and, since 1991 has served as Curator of the U.S. National Gem and Mineral Collection. Dr. Post served as the lead Curator for the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals that opened in 1997.  His areas of research interest include mineralogy, gemology, geochemistry, crystallography, and electron microscopy.  He has published more than 75 scientific articles in these fields.

The AGTA Spectrum Awards™ is the world’s premier colored gemstone and pearl jewelry design competition. The AGTA Cutting Edge Awards™ honor loose colored gemstones in everything from Classic Gemstones to one‐of‐a‐kind Carvings, Phenomenal Gemstones to amazing Pairs and Suites. The competition is open to U.S. and Canadian designers and cutters.

Photos from top - 2014 Award Winners:
Gem Diva Award - Business/Day Wear: Annie Fensterstock - Port Washington, NY
22K yellow gold and 18K white, pink, and yellow gold locket featuring a boulder Opal accented with white, pink and yellow Diamonds (2.55 ctw.).
3rd Place - Phenomenal - Jean-Noel Soni, Top Notch Faceting - San Francisco, CA
24.12 ct. color-change Garnet.
Best of Show and 1st Place Classical:  James Currens - J.W. Currens, Inc. - New York, NY
Platinum "Tropical Storm" ring featuring a 22.10 ct. Emerald accented with Diamonds (11.47 ctw.).
1st Place Bridal Wear and Best Use of Pearls - Anil Maloo, Baggins, Inc. - Los Angeles, CA
18K white gold drop earrings featuring 32 Japanese Akoya cultured Pearls accented with round brilliant Diamonds (4.43 ctw.).
1st Place Innovative Faceting - Stephen M. Avery - Lakewood, CO
32.68 ct. "Tsunami" Aquamarine.
2nd Place - Bridal Wear - Erica Courtney, Erica Courtney, Inc. - Los Angeles, CA
18K yellow gold "Something Blue" earrings featuring blue Opal drops (29.99 ctw.) accented with Aquamarines (5.03 ctw.), grey Sapphires (.43 ctw.) and Diamonds (1.10 ctw.).

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