Exotic Materials, Big Winners

Todd Reed
Todd Reed won Best of Show for his palladium, 22kt gold, moonstone, diamond, sapphire and moldavite locket. Credit: Robert & Orasa Weldon for AGTA

Unusual metals such as palladium, rhodium and oxidized sterling silver, and strikingly unusual gemstones such as Brazilian tourmalines and moldavites join the more familiar gold and silver, diamonds and pearls in winning the 2012 AGTA Spectrum Awards hosted by the American Gem Trade Association.

Todd Reed, a self-taught goldsmith from Boulder, Colo., won Best of Show for his palladium and 22kt yellow gold locket. Shaped like an elongated teardrop, it is paved with blue moonstones, gray and white diamonds and blue sapphires, and opens to reveal a tiny moldavite Buddha.

The Fashion Forward award went to Belle Brooke Barer, Belle Brooke Designs, Inc. of Los Angeles, for her oxidized sterling necklace with a 30ct chalcedony cabochon accented with diamonds. Best Use of Color winner is Deirdre Featherstone, of Featherstone Design, New York, who combines platinum with opals, blue zircons, tanzanites, Paraiba tourmalines and diamonds in a pair of earrings. Dennis deJonghe of deJonghe Original Jewelry, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., won for Best Use of Palladium and Color for his necklace of palladium, aquamarine, moonstone, diamonds and pearls.

The competition, now in its 25th year, honors and promotes designers who use colored gemstones and cultured pearls in their work. This year’s judges were goldsmith Klaus Burgel, Sylvain Chervin of Carvin French, Cindy Edelstein of the Jeweler’s Resource Bureau, Patricia Faber of Aaron Faber Gallery and Clay Zava of Zava Master Cuts. The awards will be presented at the 2012 AGTA GemFair Tucson, Jan. 31-Feb. 5. For a complete list of winners, click here.

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