Good morning, my dears!
Last week I had the honor of attending what immediately became one of my favorite editorial events in the jewelry world: the AGTA Spectrum Awards Media Event. If you follow me on Instagram, you already know why I loved it – table after table of exceptional gemstone jewelry in a sun-filled penthouse venue.
I stayed for 5 hours.
The AGTA Spectrum awards – founded in 1984 – seek to recognize and promote fine jewelers who use colored gemstones and cultured pearls in exceptional fine jewelry designs. I’d followed the event for years, but AGTA Spectrum 2016 is the first time I was able to attend myself.
Here are my favorite of the pieces I saw at the AGTA Spectrum 2016 press event. Some of them overlap with the actual winners, some do not.
These babies from Gregore Morin of Gregore Joailliers were one of my very very favorites of the whole AGTA Spectrum 2016 event. Thin, perfectly hewn panels of lapis lazuli set with pink tourmaline in 18k yellow gold. To-die-for.
This ring from the fabulous Wendy Brandes is simply one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s rose and white gold with platinum; studded with 4.5 cts of tsavorite garnets along with brown diamonds, white diamonds, rubies, and Kashi pearls.
Look at the dragon’s face – this is a tiny sculpture, not an accessory. Also? The tiny treasure chest really opens, revealing a minuscule dragon’s hoard of gemstones and pearls.
It’s from her Maneater series, so it has a secret: when you flip the ring over, you can see the body of a vanquished knight digesting in the dragon’s stomach. It’s called the Dragon and Knight ring.
This is the Erica Courtney “Starburst” necklace with a 15.25 carat opal, accented with pink spinels, demantoid garnets, and diamonds. I just love that chain with its bright, precious fringe.
Have you heard that emerald engagement rings are back? It was clearly the case at AGTA Spectrum 2016 – these two beauties by VALANI were my favorites. Cabochon and cushion, both exceptional.
Another super favorite of the day: this is the Galaxy bracelet from Michael Endlich of Pave Fine Jewelry. It’s silver with 22k yellow gold with sapphires and diamonds. It’s one of the subtler pieces I saw at AGTA Spectrum 2016, but I think it’s just fantastic.
Detail of the Galaxy bracelet. I love the texture and the understated colors with the rich yellow gold sprinkled across it.
These earrings from William Travis Jewelry were incredible – the gemstone components have their own glow.
Another very unique – but more understated – piece from William Travis Jewelry is this green tourmaline ring. The tourmaline is stunning, but what caught my eye was the setting: structural yellow gold with tiny, dangling rose gold chain fringes.
These brooches are both by Naomi Sarna Designs – one with a baroque freshwater cultured pearl and colored sapphires, amethysts and diamonds on both. Naomi Sarna had a number of pieces in the AGTA Spectrum 2016 showcase and I loved every single one.
Aren’t the colors on this wedding set wonderful? It’s mostly aquamarine (5.96 ct center stone) with tsavorite garnets and diamonds. By Robert Pellicca at JR Dunn Jewelers.
And that side view! Swoon.
This set falls right in with one of the most prominent trends I noticed among the AGTA Spectrum 2016 submissions – green and blue gemstones. Lots of emerald and tourmaline in particular.
How about these bi-color tourmaline pieces of heaven? By Julie Lamb.
I loved the color contrast and the details on these earrings by Brenda Smith. 22k gold leaves and cultured pearls on silver.
Badass Eclat Jewels’ bracelet with a 105 ct aquamarine in 18k yellow gold and black enamel.
Is this, or is this not the prettiest bug ever? I think it is.
By Llyn Strong Fine Art Jewelry: a 5.50 ct opal with blue, green, and yellow diamonds; spinels; green and blue sapphires; spessartite and tsavorite garnet; and aquamarine.
How perfectly lovely is this set of rings by Laurence Bruyninckx? 14k white and rose gold set with diamonds, pink tourmaline, and pink sapphires. I love the effect of the diversely clustered marquise stones.
I had a wonderful conversation once with Pamela Huizenga, the designer of this piece, about how she wished she could just attach precious stones to her skin. I’m glad she still has to make them into jewelry, because that’s how this fire opal stingray brooch happened. So good.
Here’s a really cool piece – the “Peacock Slave” ring by Cynthia Back. Amthyst and demantoid garnet in 18 gold.
I had to put these of Annie Fensterstock earrings on as soon as I saw them. I claim these in the name of Team Brunette.
Hello, beautiful. I have a thing for antique snake rings, and I didn’t think they had a contemporary equivalent until I met this wonder by Juan Da Silva.
This bracelet was one of the pieces from AGTA Spectrum 2016 that I most wanted to added to my personal jewelry wardrobe. It’s by K Brunini Jewels, and it’s ridiculously cool. The joined triangles make it look like a starburst on your arm when it’s worn; the triangles feature black opals on one side and rich, brown cocobolo wood on the other side, with yellow diamonds for added pizzazz.
How’s this for a statement ring? By Jennifer R. Morin of Gregore Joailliers, this sterling silver ring features a 30.70 ct fire agate cabochon set in mother of pearl with green garnets. Such mesmerizing iridescence.
These pearl-on-pearl Finestro earrings were getting a lot of attention, and it’s not hard to see why. They’re not the flashiest, but the extremely cool texture of the tiny cultured freshwater pearls set into the opening in a larger freshwater cultured pearl is fascinating.
This spectacular trio can be separated and worn individually, but I love how they stack all together. The top ring is white gold with diamonds and a 5.84ct tanzanite, the middle has a 2.47 pink spinel with diamonds and small pink spinels, and the third ring has diamonds in white gold with a 4.56 ct red spinel. By Gulgun Buldanlioglu of Maya Fine Jewelry.
These Campbellian earrings won Best Use of Color and it’s not hard to see why. 17.05 carats of green tourmaline with 4.14 carats of emeralds. (You see what I mean about green gemstones trending?)
I’m not going to lie to you, I just wore this necklace around the event for a while. This peacock feather necklace by Robert Pellicca of J.R. Dunn Jewelers start with a 7.78 carat opal and just gets better from there.
THIS is the Tempest ring by Lindhardt Designs. Made from oxidized sterling silver and yellow sapphires, it’s another well-deserving award winner. So visually interesting, and much more comfortable to wear than you might expect.
I am apparently wearing it backwards in this photo – so please imagine it the other way around.
These babies were the very last piece I saw. The kind AGTA Spectrum folks has already called a car for me and I was waiting by the door with my purse and my coat when I realized I’d missed these earrings. I dropped my things on the ground (like a lady) and ran off to get one last photo. Totally worth it.
They’re the gorgeous Freida Kahlo earrings by Jane Taylor Jewelry: with aquamarines; spessartite garnets; pink, purple, and orange sapphires; pink tourmaline; green diamonds, and Mali garnets.
A huge thank you to every designer who submitted to AGTA Spectrum 2016: thank you for sending your beautiful work in where I could see it. Also special thanks to Michelle and Beth Anne for organizing such a fantastic event!