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MJSA Picks 14 Vision-Award Winners

Jun 5, 2019 8:27 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Fourteen jewelry designers have received the Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America (MJSA) Vision Award, which this year includes a new category for enamel distinction.

The prizes, which honor outstanding creativity, craftsmanship and technological prowess, are given to both professionals and students, the trade body said Tuesday. Winners receive cash and gift certificates for tools and supplies, as well as scholarships in the case of students. They will also be profiled in the MJSA Journal, and receive promotion through ads in industry media. The winning entries will go on display at the annual MJSA Expo in New York.

The 2019 winners of the Vision Awards are:

First Place, Professional Excellence, Four Years in Business:
Mark Schneider of Mark Schneider Design in Long Beach, California, for his platinum and 18-karat yellow-gold men’s band featuring a 0.70-carat tsavorite garnet, 1.01 carats of black diamonds and 0.69 carats of canary yellow diamonds.

Second Place, Professional Excellence, Four Years in Business:
Rosario Garcia of Rosario Garcia Designs in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for a floral-pattern ring fabricated and engraved by hand. It features a natural sphene as its center stone, with accents of granulation and diamond “dewdrops.”

Honorable Mention, Professional Excellence, Four Years in Business:
Anna Berezina of Svet Kamney in Moscow, for an opal and chrome-diopside ring made of recycled silver, with gold- and rhodium-plated accents.

First Place, Professional Excellence, One to Three Years in Business:
Sabina Wong of Sabina Wong in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, for The Lotus. Made of 18-karat white gold with topaz, sapphire and green garnet gemstones, the brooch contains four levels — the lily pad and three layers of petals — and a mechanism that enables the petals to open and close.

Second Place, Professional Excellence, One to Three Years in Business:
Oksana Lerman of Rock Lily Collection in Brooklyn, New York, for a handmade necklace of white baroque cultured pearls encrusted with 14-karat balls and 14-karat diamond-set stars. All of the elements were set with silver pins to enhance the “stars in the sky” effect.

Laser Distinction:
Andrew Costen of Costen Catbalue Goldsmiths & Designs in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, for his Gold Nugget photo pendant. Created using both traditional techniques and modern laser technologies, this pendant commemorates a client’s father: It incorporates gold from a nugget chain her father purchased in the Yukon, as well as a laser-engraved photo of him taken in the 1940s.

Custom Design Distinction:
Tom Heyman of Oscar Heyman & Brothers in New York City for his Seven Heirs Suite. Composed of platinum and 18-karat gold with multiple gems, jackets and ornaments, the convertible collection was commissioned with the intent that the pieces would eventually be split among the client’s heirs. Built around four white diamonds, a fancy-intense-yellow diamond, a sapphire and a pink sapphire, the collection can become a necklace with two front pieces, two rings, a pendant and a brooch.

Custom Design Distinction, Honorable Mention:
Llyn Strong of Llyn Strong Fine Art Jewelry in Greenville, South Carolina, for a cuff bracelet made of sterling infused with gold dust, 22-karat wire, tanzanite, and diamonds. Created for a musician who had a deep personal connection to the hymn “Amazing Grace,” the cuff features the song’s first notes on a musical staff.

Responsible Practices Distinction:
Susan Crow of East Fourth Street Jewelry in Northfield, Minnesota, for her Amphitrite Necklace. Named after the Greek ocean goddess, the necklace is made entirely of responsibly sourced materials: an 18-karat Fairmined yellow-gold clasp, certified CanadaMark diamonds and a responsibly mined Brazilian aquamarine purchased from Robert Bentley Gemstones.

Enamel Distinction:
Merry-Lee Rae of Merry-Lee Rae in Freedom, California, for her brooch featuring the head of a cloisonné cougar.

First Place, Future of the Industry Award (for students):
Timo Krapf, a BFA student at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Pittsford, New York, for his organically looping silver-and-leather-cord ring.

Second Place, Future of the Industry Award (Tie):
Wonhee Kim, a student at the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, California, for a sterling and 18-karat gold pendant inspired by the imperial eggs of Fabergé: Created with four hinged pieces, the pendant’s egg-shaped exterior opens to reveal a gold egg, which itself opens onto a blue topaz.

Jiyeon Kang, a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, for her “Hidden” three-finger hinge ring that can be worn on one or three fingers. When opened, the ring reveals a sterling ball decorated with colorful cubic zirconia.

Honorable Mention, Future of the Industry Award:
Marina Kim, a student at George Brown College in Toronto, for her 18-karat yellow-gold Labyrinth ring, with a lapis-lazuli cabochon set in the middle of a labyrinthine pattern.

Image: Merry-Lee Rae’s winning piece in the enamel-distinction category. (Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America)
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Tags: Andrew Costen, Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America, Mark Schneider, Merry-Lee Rae, MJSA, Rapaport News, Sabina Wong, Susan Crow, Timo Krapf, Tom Heyman, Vision Award
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