Judging

The Spectrum Awards is considered the finest jewelry and gemstone competition in the world.  The judging panel changes each year and consists of experts from different disciplines within the jewelry industry.  Entries are judged on a solid criterion which includes overall beauty and wearability, innovative design, effective use of materials, quality of gemstones, quality of workmanship, broad-base consumer appeal and potential to generate positive publicity for natural colored gemstones.  Each piece is examined by hand with an eye for craftsmanship and quality of the materials used.  Judging will occur during the month of October.

Model Photographer: Jack Deutsch
Product Photographer: Robert Weldon


Introducing our 2011 AGTA Spectrum Awards Judges

Tanya Dukes, Style Editor, Elite Traveler Magazine

Los Angeles native Tanya Dukes grew up totally enamored of jewelry and fashion. Thanks to a precocious love of Oscar and Grammy, she became conversant in red carpet dos and don’ts at an early age. Despite yearning for a professional path involving tulle and diamonds, she dutifully trundled off to law school to soothe concerned parents.

After one 100-hour workweek too many focused on the finer points of products liability litigation, the Columbia alum resolved to switch careers. She joined the staff of luxury lifestyle magazine Elite Traveler in 2005, rising through the ranks to become the publication’s first-ever Style Editor. During her tenure at the magazine she’s had far-ranging responsibility for covering everything from hotels to spas to fashion, traveling between Europe, Asia and Africa in the process. Based on her deep knowledge of the luxury market, she’s been asked to sound off on topics like the “world’s sexiest beaches” by the Travel Channel and fine jewelry trends for top trade publications.

Now responsible for directing all of Elite Traveler’s fashion, accessories and fine jewelry editorial, Tanya spends her days covering men’s and women’s markets, casting models, styling, collaborating with some of the industry’s top photographers and writing about the latest luxury must-haves. The Women’s Jewelry Association recognized her track record of exceptional jewelry coverage with an Award for Excellence.

   

Jennifer Gandia, Co-Owner, Greenwich Jewelers

Jennifer Gandia reshaped her family’s literal, ‘Mom and Pop’ jewelry store into a modern-day mecca for innovation, service and growth. In the tough world of jewelry retail, Greenwich Jewelers 2.0 is a thriving business experiencing double-digit growth.

The business, Jennifer recalls, was a daily part of their lives. But like many natural entrepreneurs, this one had to forge her own path. She majored in marketing at SUNY/Fashion Institute of Technology — working, even then, she laughs now, most of the time. Then, fresh out of school, she worked her way up the competitive ladder of public relations and marketing for fashion and luxury cosmetics.  Eventually she landed industry icons like Badgley Mischka, Piazza Sempione and François Nars. But all the while, she recalls, jewelry kept calling her name.

During a soul-searching detour to Barcelona, Jennifer encountered the European approach to beauty and craftsmanship. She discovered how business and art, tradition and modernity, and old and new could be effortlessly paired. A sensibility was forged.  Armed with a bevy of skills and a newfound vision, Jennifer returned to her parents’ shop in 2004. Combining her hunger for excellence, her thirst for evolution, and that bred-in-the-bone, innate sense of what made it all work; she charted a new course for the shop. Thus began the next generation of Greenwich Jewelers.

With her sister Christina Gandia Gambale on board, the two sisters assumed full ownership of Greenwich Jewelers in 2009, and the transformation was complete. That friendly local jewelry shop is now equal parts traditional treasure trove, chic boutique, artisanal workshop, expert repair center, and a haven for new, independent jewelry designers. Best of all, it’s wholly sustainable: between Christina’s background in finance and Jennifer’s marketing and PR expertise, the company generates seven figure revenues annually.

   

Glenn Lehrer, Owner, Lehrer Designs

Glenn Lehrer is most well known for his gemstone carvings – sculptures that flow like water or evoke a bird in flight, inspiring awe and wonder at their beauty and execution. He has stretched beyond the conventional, challenging his imagination to create new gemstone forms, and inventing new cutting techniques. He continually reaches beyond what is possible to bring forth-new designs in gemstone cutting. In addition to his fluid carvings, Glenn Lehrer invented a new cut, the "TorusRing™ Gemstone", a modern looking, faceted gemstone with a hole in the middle.

Glenn Lehrer is  renown  for  having pioneered some of the world’s largest gemstone sculptures. The grandest and most technically challenging is Bahia, a beautifully sculpted 5-foot, 450 pound rutilated quartz crystal that hangs like a jewel pendant, suspended 30 feet from the ceiling by two thin (3/16”) steel cables at the Gemological Institute of American campus. Considered "the world's largest, transparent gemstone sculpture, it was created in collaboration with  fellow lapidary  artisit Lawrence Stoller. Bahia also exhibited at the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, PA., and the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History, CA.

Lehrer’s award-winning designs have appeared on the cover of fourteen major trade publications. Numerous articles have been published in national and international magazines describing his craftsmanship. Lehrer has won 12 gemstone cutting and jewelry design awards: nine AGTA Cutting Edge Awards and one AGTA Spectrum Award; the NITCH Award; and from the prestigious Idar-Oberstein Carvers and Engravers Association in Germany.

Lehrer Designs Studio is located just north of San Francisco in Marin County. Founded in 1981, it offers a wide range of lapidary services to meet the needs of retail customers, collectors, jewelers and manufactures. In addition to being a master gem carver, Lehrer is a well-known lecturer in the gem and jewelry industry, teacher of lapidary carving and has appeared on Television for his expertise and vast knowledge. From agate to sapphire, Glenn Lehrer’s gem designs are constantly challenging and expanding new horizons in the jewelry industry.

   

Mallary Marks, Owner, Mallary Marks Ltd.

“Colorful, juicy, mouth-watering, playful and sensual” are some of the words women have used to describe Mallary Marks’ jewelry.  While the metalwork patterns she creates are captivating in themselves, from Tibetan Lace to beaded latticework, the brilliant gemstones are the star of the show. 

Mallary has a passion for searching the world over (literally – she is a travel fanatic) for inspiration.  She then uses her ability to marry precious, semiprecious, transparent and opaque gemstones into striking and unusual color compositions.  Stones, such as multi-colored sapphires, lapis, diamonds, chrysophrase, orange garnets, agates and emeralds (to name a few) are joined with intricate patterns of pure gold distinguishing each handmade piece with thoughtfulness and authenticity.   

Trendsetters from Julia Roberts to Nicole Kidman collect her earrings and necklaces, which are continually featured in W, Vogue, In Style and other fashion tomes.   Yet her pieces are timeless -- very refined while highly expressive with dots of whimsy, poetry and romance.  Perhaps this is why women say what they love most about Mallary Marks is that they can wear it up or down.  Lipstick and heels?  Excellent.  Beaten-up jeans and faded tees?  Of course!

Mallary Marks opened her studio at the tender age of twenty-four, after graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design, then working for several years as a goldsmith.  Barney’s New York - one of the first clients to discover her work- showcases Marks as an essential element of their jewelry collection to this day, manifesting their motto: “Taste.  Luxury.  Humor”.

Heavily influenced by her “heroes”, from Alexander Calder to Odilon Redon and Henri Matisse, Marks creates every piece by hand.  Each piece reflects an idea in some way;  insects, photographs, art, literature, architecture and ancient and indigenous crafts are all referenced in her various collections. 

   

Robin Rotenier, Owner, Rotenier Ltd.

Robin Rotenier is an innovative Paris-born designer whose passion for fine craftsmanship and original design fuels his women's and men's collections. A third-generation designer, and the first in jewelry, Robin founded his namesake line in 1993. His chic collections showcase Rotenier's talent. Objects and architectural details are the core of each new design. "I am a storyteller, and I love to express myself in the jewelry I create."

Robin studied jewelry design at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). In 2006, FIT awarded him the Mortimer C. Ritter Award, one of the highest honors given out by the Alumni Association. Robin Rotenier was the first jewelry designer to receive this prestigious award.

In December 2008, Silver Marketing International asked Robin to join the inaugural group of ten “Designers of Distinction”.

Robin carves his models, and each piece is finished by hand, distinguishing it from machine-made items. It is Rotenier's passion for design and attention to details that truly set his work apart.

Robin's collections are available at Bergdorf Goodman Men’s Store, select Men’s Saks Fifth Avenue, and independent stores nationwide such as Mitchells (Westport, CT) and Richards(Greenwich, CT).