(NEW YORK) - Jewelers of America (JA), the national trade association for businesses serving the fine jewelry retail marketplace, held its annual National Retailer Design Competition at the JA New York Winter Show in March. The CASE Awards recognize JA Retail Members who exhibit creativity, artistry, style and excellence in jewelry design. Many of the winning pieces of the 2014 CASE Awards featured handmade elements, bead settings and high quality stones that reflect the vintage style that has become very popular in current jewelry and fashion trends.
Winners were selected out of 63 entries from JA Retail Members for six categories: Jewelry up to $2000, $2001-$5000, $5001-$10000, Over $10,000 (retail values); Buyers’ Choice and Best in Show.
“Jewelers of America’s CASE Awards retail design competition is the only national platform that showcases the craft and creativity of independent jewelers,” says JA President & CEO David J. Bonaparte. “We congratulate all the CASE Award entrants, as they exemplify the talent and fine craftsmanship found in Jewelers of America-member stores nationwide.”
The winners were determined by a judging panel of JA’s in-house experts and four industry experts who judged the entries in a specific area of concentration. Judges included Marc Adwar, Adwar Casting; Cindy Edelstein, Jewelers Resource Bureau; Michelle Graff, editor-in-chief of National Jeweler; and Malak Atut, ZAIKEN Jewelry. Judges also determined the winner in the new category of Best in Show. Voting in the category of Buyers’ Choice was open to all JA New York attendees with a separate ballot. CASE Award winners receive a trophy from JA.
The 2014 CASE Awards were sponsored by GE Capital and Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company. The CASE Awards is open only to JA Retail Members and their employees. For more information about the competition and to view the Winner’s Photo Gallery, visit www.jewelers.org/caseawards or contact Jewelers of America’s Member Services at 800-223-0673.
The 2014 CASE Awards winners are (Photos courtesy of Digital Design Photography):
Jewelry up to $2,000
First Place - 14K white gold ring with channel set pear chalcedony and .12 cttw diamonds
Susan Drake - Spectrum Art and Jewelry, Wilmington, NC
Jewelry $2,001 to $5,000
First Place - 18K yellow gold ring with a 1 carat round opaque rose cut diamond surrounded by 31 diamonds
Craig Underwood, Becki Lamascus, Tom Weishaar - Underwood’s Fine Jewelers, Fayetteville, AR
Jewelry $5,001 to $10,000
First Place - 14K rose gold ring featuring a 2.33 carat round chocolate diamond surrounded by 28 white round diamonds
Chris Roussel - Roussel’s Fine Jewelry, Gramercy, LA
Jewelry over $10,000
First Place -18K yellow and white gold earrings featuring moonstones (6.30 carat and 6.87 carat), sapphires and diamonds
Belinda Vartenuk - Abshire and Haylan, Stow, OH
Men’s trinity design ring featuring 42 pavé set round brilliant cut diamonds in 14K white and yellow gold
Sherry Shifley and Tom Organ - Perry’s At Southpark, Charlotte, NC