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Rare Tourmalines Win Top AGTA Award

Aug 13, 2017 8:37 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... A pair of extremely rare neon blue tourmalines took the top prize at the 2017 American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) Spectrum Awards.

Mikola Kukharuk of New York-based gem house Nomad’s won the Best of Show award for the pieces (pictured), which weighed 53.56 carats in total. The design competition, which many see as the Oscars of the jewelry and gem world, took place in New York earlier this month.

The Best Use of Color award went to Naomi Sarna of Naomi Sarna Designs, for a pair of maple leaf earrings in 18- and 24-karat yellow and 18-karat white gold, featuring multicolored diamonds, sapphires and garnets.

Sarna also won in the Best Use of Pearls category for a necklace of freshwater cultured pearls and sunstone beads, with white, pink and green diamonds set in its 18-karat yellow gold and black rhodium clasp.

In the Bridal division, the winner was Ricardo Basta of E. Eichberg for his 18-karat white gold and rhodium Double the Love ring, featuring two heart-shaped stones — a 12.62-carat blue Zircon and a 0.75-carat diamond — with diamond pavé.

The accolade for Best Use of Platinum and Color went to Eddie Sakamoto of Somewhere in the Rainbow, for his platinum Dancing Waves neck collar featuring a 57-carat aquamarine accented with 8 carats of diamonds. The piece also took first place in the Evening Wear category.

Designer John Ford triumphed in two categories, winning the Platinum Honors award in both the Evening Wear and the Business/Day Wear divisions for, respectively, a pair of earrings and a bracelet. Both were platinum pieces from his Lightning Ridge collection, featuring black opals and diamonds.

The winner in the Classic Gemstone category of the AGTA Cutting Edge Awards — which recognize outstanding stone polishers — was David Nassi of 100% Natural for a 15.30-carat unheated Ceylon pink sapphire.

AGTA CEO Douglas Hucker noted an increase in the number of entries this year and praised the caliber of the contestants.

“It is evident that the entrants take this competition very seriously and that the AGTA Spectrum Awards and the AGTA Cutting Edge Awards continue to be the premier design competition in the world,” he said.
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Tags: 2017 American Gem Trade Association, AGTA Spectrum Award, awards, Jewelry, Mikola Kukharuk, new york, Nomad’s, Rapaport News, tourmaline
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