Colored gems galore at the 2022 AGTA Spectrum Awards.

Colored gems galore at the 2022 AGTA Spectrum Awards.

Good morning, my darlings!!! I am beyond excited to tell you that I recently attended the 2022 AGTA Spectrum Awards Editor’s Day, aka colored gemstone heaven. And yes, I took pictures for you!

The 2022 AGTA Spectrum Awards entries were displayed at Arkenstone Fine Mineral gallery for the press to admire.

AGTA stands for the American Gemstone Trade Association, which represents the colored stone and cultured pearl industries in the US and Canada. AGTA and its members lead the industry in educational resources, ethical practices, and the finest colored gemstones and cultured pearls.

AGTA stands for the American Gemstone Trade Association, which represents the colored stone and cultured pearl industries in the US and Canada. The Spectrum Awards is AGTA’s legendary annual jewelry design contest, which was created to recognize and promote both jewelers who use colored gemstones and cultured pearls in exceptional fine jewelry designs and also lapidary artists who create extraordinary faceted gems and pearls, carvings, and objects of art.

I first attended the Spectrum Awards Editor’s Day in 2015 and I had the honor of hosting the Spectrum Awards Gala Red Carpet during AGTA Gem Fair Tucson in 2017.

The Arkenstone is a magical playground for gem nerds. Any time I looked up from the tables full of finished jewelry, I was greeted by shelves filled with otherworldly mineral specimens, raw gemstones, and fossils. The juxtaposition between how these minerals emerge from the earth and what they’re capable of when worked by human hands made the entire experience even more poignant.

Shout out to the lovely Mr. DitL, my amazing husband (above), who came along to help out!

Enough talk. Let’s get to the jewelry!

Kicking things off with one of the most memorable pieces from the 2022 AGTA Spectrum Awards…this is The Underworld Ring by Third Eye Assembly. Made from 18K yellow gold, platinum, 22k rose and green gold, 24K yellow gold and 18K white gold, The Underworld Ring features a 1.62 ct. black Opal, tsavorite Garnets, sapphires, and diamonds and is exquisitely detailed with mythological and astrological scenes.

According to Third Eye Assembly’s Instagram, this remarkable piece is meant to be an “astrological self portrait” of the artist (a Scorpio). In the designer’s own words:

“Depictions of Hades and Hecate, the male and female greek gods of the underworld, flank the east and west sides of the ring. Earth and Mars are depicted on the North and South sides of the ring along with diamonds and sapphires that align with the Scorpio star constellation.”

18K white gold floral earrings with diamonds and pink sapphires. By Caroline Chartouni of Caroline C Jewelry, at the 2022 AGTA Spectrum Awards.

I didn’t see quite as much pink as I would have expected, given the color’s current popularity, but the pink I did see was extremely noteworthy. Look at the almost-neon Barbie shade of the pink sapphires in these earrings!!

These lovely floral earrings are by Caroline Chartouni of Caroline C Jewelry and feature two luscious pink sapphires totaling 10.94 carats, surrounded by 14.75 carats of diamonds and a further 9.45 cts of pink sapphire. Can you imagine these on a bride, or with a red carpet gown? Yes please.

Sapphire engagement rings from the AGTA Spectrum Awards! By J.R. Dunn Jewelers, Skatell's Manufacturing Jewelers, and Nicole Mera.

What I did see a lot of was gorgeous sapphire engagement rings. A couple of pinks, one truly jaw-dropping purple, and then a sea of enchanting vibrant blue. These three sapphire engagement rings are by J.R. Dunn Jewelers, Skatell’s Manufacturing Jewelers, and Nicole Mera.

The sapphire center stones themselves were breathtaking, but I also loved the creativity evident in the design details of the settings. Look at these two, by Pompos Jewelry (left) and Robert Pelliccia of J.R. Dunn Jewelers (right).

The Pompos Jewelry ring features a 6.29 ct Ceylon sapphire and the J.R. Dunn ring features an 11.32 ct cushion cut sapphire. These are serious stones.

18K green gold 'Princess of the Sea' necklace with Mother of Pearl, diamonds, ruby, tsavorite Garnet, and sapphire. Almaza Jewelers

This necklace was another one of my personal favorites. I’ve always loved the bewitching iridescence of Mother of Pearl, and I loved how this green gold Almaza Jewelers necklace includes complimentary diamonds, rubies, tsavorite garnets, and sapphires to help bring out all of the Mother of Pearl’s varied hues.

One of the coolest things about this necklace was the back, which I somehow did not photograph! Each of those Mother of Pearl ovals has a delicately wrought gold sea creature on the back. It’s gorgeous and so fun! Keep an eye out on Instagram – I’ll post a video of this necklace and add a link to it here

Not technically a piece of jewelry, this unbearably adorable object d’art was one of the first pieces that caught my eye. Isn’t it incredible? It’s an itty bitty Harley Davidson motorcycle made of 18K rose gold, covered in diamonds and a 1.59 ct. blue natural Burma sapphire as its seat.

This little beauty is the work of Rodney Rahmani of Brilliant Stars. The wheels really turn, the handlebar really steers, and yes, I did drive it up and down my arm while making “vroom vroom” noises.

18K yellow gold and ruthenium-plated with Tourmaline (4.84 ctw.), round Tourmaline, and diamonds. By Ian Delucca of Khobe Delucca.

This tourmaline ring by Ian Delucca of Khobe Delucca won the 2022 AGTA Spectrum Awards Editor’s Choice Award, which that the members of the press (including yours truly) thought this piece deserved recognition. Isn’t it great? I love the colors, the negative space, and the minimalist but eye-catching silhouette.

The ring is made from ruthenium-plated 18K yellow gold and features a 4.84 ct tourmaline accented with further tourmaline and diamonds.

I’ve followed Gary Roe Jewelry on Instagram for some time, but this necklace was the first piece of the jeweler’s work I’ve seen in person. Isn’t it just stunning? It makes me want to frolic in a forest with a charming elf prince.

This gorgeous piece is 22K yellow gold and features a 33 ct. bicolor Tourmaline, a pear-shape Tourmaline, and Tsavorite Garnets.

18K gold earrings with cushion-cut blue Zircons (10.8 ctw), Diamonds, and a carved Turquoise. By Pamela Froman Fine Jewelry.

Are you ready for another pair of earrings? We’ve got more gorgeous blue here in this entry from Pamela Froman Fine Jewelry. That texture on the 18K gold is the designer’s signature look. These earrings feature two stunning cushion-cut blue Zircons (10.8 ctw) and a pair of carved turquoise drops accented with diamonds.

Pamela Froman had two pairs of earrings in the 2022 AGTA Spectrum Awards, but these were my favorites.

I was so excited to be around jewelry again that I weirdly forgot to try on very many pieces? I was so focused on touching it and photographing it that I didn’t model much of it!

I did remember try on this necklace – and thank goodness I did, because it’s so perfect with my dress! It’s by Eddie Sakamoto for Somewhere in the Rainbow and it’s called the ‘A Rose by Any Other Name’ necklace. It features 18K gold and platinum with a 21.83 ct rose-colored step-cut Tourmaline and diamonds.

Black opal ring with blue and yellow Diamonds and Opal necklace with Paraiba Tourmaline, Alexandrite, and Spinel. By Llyn Strong, entered in the  2022 AGTA Spectrum Awards.

How about two pieces in one photo? These two opal stunners are by the same designer, Llyn Strong. The opal necklace features Paraiba tourmaline, alexandrite, and spinel accents, while the ring is a black opal accented with blue and yellow diamonds. I love how the accent stones of both pieces pick up the specific play of color in each center stone. You can tell how much thought went into these.

Llyn Strong actually had one of my favorite pieces in the first AGTA Spectrum Awards I ever attended, a gorgeous opal insect brooch I saw in 2015. I always enjoy seeing her creative designs.

This Uneek Jewelry ring was one of my favorite design moments at the 2022 Spectrum Awards. Look at its polka-dot shank! Sure, that 2.62 ct oval emerald in the center is beautiful, but it’s the Tsavorite garnet accents among the pave diamonds on the side that really get me. So creative and fun!

Jeffrey Bilgore peacock jewel pendant brooch with Padparadscha sapphire, bi-color Tourmaline, spinels, peridot, and diamonds.

How about this glamorous peacock brooch/pendant?

This beauty is by Jeffrey Bilgore and features a Padparadscha sapphire, bi-color Tourmaline, spinels, peridot, and diamonds. One of two very lovely bird-themed pieces I spotted at the 2022 AGTA Spectrum Awards.

Here’s a closer look at the cowboy hat you may have glimpsed on the table in the top photo! Isn’t it wonderful? And so appropriate for a Texas-based AGTA Spectrum Awards.

The hat features a beautifully detailed 14K yellow gold and turquoise hat band, crafted by Eric E. Wright of Village Goldsmith and Antiques. Yeehaw!

Platinum heart necklace with a 2.74 ct natural  purplish-red Tanzanian Spinel accented with rubies and diamonds. By Nicole Mera.

The most prominent gemstone trend of the 2022 AGTA Spectrum Awards was jaw-droppingly gorgous spinels. Like many people, I spent many years not knowing the word “spinel” at all, but they’ve become one of my very favorite stones in recent years. This is one of several spinels that took my breath away. Look at that heart! It’s incendiary.

This platinum heart necklace features a 2.74 ct natural purplish-red Tanzanian Spinel accented with rubies and diamonds, and is by Nicole Mera.

For an immediate contrast: here’s another stunning spinel!

This is the platinum ‘Stadium’ ring by Benny Hayoun of B&V Diamonds. It featires a 6.66 ct natural Spinel with graduated rows of platinum covered in diamonds (3.77 ctw.) and sapphires (.72 ct) along the side.

An incredible pair of cowboy boot shaped amethyst geodes on display at Arkenstone Fine Mineral Gallery in Dallas, TX during the 2022 AGTA Spectrum Awards.
A pair of cowboy boot shaped amethyst geodes on display at Arkenstone Fine Mineral Gallery in Dallas, TX.

I think this post has gotten long enough…so it’s going to have to be a two-parter! Click here for Part 2, which is now live!

If you like what you see here, you should check out my AGTA Archive to see treasures from other AGTA events I’ve attended.

AGTA generously took care of my travel expenses for this trip, but my opinions remain my own.