Contact:  Adam Graham June 27, 2008



June 27, 2008 - Dallas, TX: The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) announced the selection of their judging panel for the 2009 AGTA Spectrum Awards™. The judges are Tom Heyman of Oscar Heyman, lapidary Walter Casaravilla, Scott Martin of Saks Fifth Avenue, Claudia Mata of Town & Country, Hedda Schupak of JCK Magazine, and Donna Sturm of Verdura.

"We are thrilled to have this esteemed group of jewelry industry professionals join us as judges this year," stated Douglas K. Hucker, AGTA CEO. "Participants in this year's competition should be excited to have their pieces exposed to this very influential and insightful panel.

"Tom Heyman has been involved with the family's business, Oscar Heyman, for over twenty years and represents the third generation of Heymans in the firm. Walter Casaravilla, who besides being a gemstone cutter, is a critically acclaimed painter. Scott Martin is the Senior Buyer - Fine Jewelry for Saks Fifth Avenue and is responsible for introducing many key brands to the company. Claudia Mata is the Jewelry & Accessories Editor for Town & Country magazine, which in 1987 was the first consumer magazine to participate in the Spectrum Awards judging process. Hedda Schupak is Editor-in-Chief of the JCK Publishing Group and known for her keen fashion sense and understanding of the jewelry industry. Donna Sturm oversees many aspects of design and product development at Verdura.

The AGTA Spectrum Awards™ is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year as the premier colored gemstone and pearl jewelry design competition. Past participants have included such notable jewelry designers as Henry Dunay, Jose Hess, and Stephen Webster to name a few. Winning entries have graced countless magazine covers and have been featured in numerous feature stories.

For more information and entry forms for the 2009 AGTA Spectrum Awards™, please visit or call 800-972-1162. The deadline for entries is September 26, 2008.

The AGTA is an Association of natural colored gemstone and cultured pearl industry professionals, dedicated to promoting the natural colored gemstone trade. The Association pursues this mission through the combined use of educational programs, industry events and publicity to both the trade and consumer. We are The Authority in Color.