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PDF version - American Gem Trade Association

PDF version - American Gem Trade Association

G r e a t G e m s t o n

G r e a t G e m s t o n e s . G r e a tJ e w e l r y . G r e a t S t o r i e s .The American Gem Trade Association is not just about gem dealers and cutters anymore. It has welcomed a valued area of thejewelry industry - the designers and makers through the coveted AGTA Spectrum Awards as well as the Designer Section atAGTA GemFair Tucson. Many of the AGTA designers are also gallery owners, so they fill the dual role of designer as well asretailer. Some of these AGTA Members have shared their stories of gem discoveries and how the gemstone has influenced theirperspective as well as the designs themselves.Story by Marlene Richey“There are sometimes great moments in our industry when you know you are “Looking atsomething new and exciting – gemstones from a recently discovered deposit or a uniquecutting style; maybe a color that had not, until then, been associated with a specific gemstone.And you know you are seeing it before most of the trade or public is aware of it. Back in 1998I was shown several strands of large (at the time) freshwater pearls that were nacre-nucleatedand included natural colors like salmon, plum, peach, lavender and apricot. They wereamazing, and after cutting a few in half ; I was convinced to buy the best strands I could. Thepearls were gorgeous from the inside out and something I’d never encountered before – butwhat to do now?”“When I cut the strands of pearls and let them fall loose into a tray, I was reminded of atrip my wife and I had taken a trip to Napa and Sonoma the year before. We drove aroundvineyards and visited tasting rooms for a few days enjoying life while grapes matured on theirvines waiting to be picked. I knew I had to ‘cluster’ these amazing pearls together so I drilledholes to accommodate a larger 18K yellow gold wire, balled up one end of the wire and threadon a pearl. I then looped around the other end of the wire, planning to attach a whole bunchto a chain or something like that, but it just didn’t feel right. I began to attach these pearllinks to each other, working them together sort of like a lanyard – the loops were becoming thechain that I was looking for.”“After I got about 15 or so put together I realized what I had and rushed home to show mywife. This was going to be great! Now I had to make a clasp that would fit in with the designwithout taking away from the pearls. The final necklace is completely hand-made out of 18Kyellow and rose gold and blends in and finished off the necklace perfectly. The GrapevineNecklace won an AGTA Spectrum Award and was featured in and on several magazines thefollowing year.”—Aaron Henry, Aaron Henry Designs, Los Angeles, California“In 2008, I received a special invitation from the Tanzanite Foundation to visitTanzania, Africa. I was given the opportunity to travel into the depths of theTanzanite mines and experience the creation of a truly one-of-a-kind stone. Afterfalling in love with the people of Tanzania, I dedicated my 2009 Oscar PartyRed Carpet Collection around Tanzanite. This beautiful gemstone is so dear tomy heart, not only for its beauty, but for all of the wonderful opportunities ithas brought to the people of Tanzania. The Tanzanite Foundation initiates andoversees sustainable and meaningful community developmental projects. Thisenables every Tanzanite purchase to significantly benefit both local Tanzaniancommunities and the country’s economy. The Tanzanite fund has given so muchopportunity to Tanzania: money, schools, roads, jobs, tourists buying theirwares, it’s endless. I personally have plans on visiting again, my heart has beenabsolutely stolen!”— Erica Courtney, Erica Courtney, Inc., Los Angeles, California15 AGTA PRISM|FALL 2010

“For the first time in many years I was unable to attend AGTA GemFair Tucson show. I always lookforward to the fun of finding the exotic amazing gems that my AGTA friends unearth year-after-year. Myfavorite gem dealers also visit us here at Jewelsmith, my gallery in Durham, North Carolina. It’s hard toresist the lure of a beautiful gemstone once our collective design minds agree we have to have it.“That’s what happened when we saw the matched pair of Ceylon Sapphire trillions, just the color welove and at an unbeatable price. We needed sapphire earrings and a matching pendant for stock. Thelogical approach would have been to use the matched pair for the earrings and find another sapphire(not in the budget) for the pendant. Relying on my trademark style, in which anything goes, led meto my usual unorthodox solution. I split the pair, one for the pendant and one for the earrings andcounterbalanced the trillion in the earrings with three small round sapphires.”“As soon they hit the display case they were showing up on the “wishlists” of many of our customers.”—Linda McGill, Jewelsmith, Inc., Durham, North Carolina“There is nothing in this world that inspires the designer in me more than colored gemstones. Iwish I lived in a world where color was the dominant choice of customers. For me, finding thatnext unique colored gemstone is the single most enjoyable task I do as a business owner!”“My inspiration for this Art Deco inspired ring design was nearly instantaneous when I sawthis incredible 9.49 carat bi-color Tourmaline. The plan, which ended up working very well,was the use of 18K green gold and a special alloy of rose gold that we helped to formulate. Wecast the ring in exactly two parts, split down the middle. The effect is a great blend of colorsbetween the Tourmaline and the two different metals. The diamonds that accent the ring are allD-F color, VS in clarity and cut to the very finest proportions.”“I have to credit our master goldsmiths who seem to have the ability, no matter what I throw atthem, to bring my designs to life.”“We sold this ring to a lovely lady who had been on the hunt for the last three years to find avery special piece. Upon seeing our photo in Arizona Foothills magazine, she knew even beforecoming into the store, that this was the ring she had been searching for. We have seen herseveral times since and she is truly in love with this ring.”“For all of us who design, the ultimate compliment and fulfillment is watching the expressionof delight on someone’s face when they try on one of your designs for the first time.”—Randy Coffin, Coffin & Trout Jewellers, Inc., Chandler, Arizona“On my annual trip to AGTA GemFair Tucson, I purchased an Opal filled with a spectrumof colors. When I returned to my studio these breathtaking colors inspired me while I wascarving the wax to offset the opal as if it was floating in space.“I wanted to create something curvy yet bold, feminine yet geometric. I formed a ribbon of18K yellow gold with channel-set Paraiba Tourmalines which graduated from green to blue.The intensity of the Tourmalines together with the extraordinary opal highlighted the rarecolors of all the gemstones. The faceted stones along side a cabochon play on each other’sstrengths as well as differences. I finished off the pendant with a high polish to emphasizethe color combinations of the gemstones.”“This piece did not sit for long in my gallery.”—Lisa Nolta, Gabrielle Ferrar, Chico, CaliforniapAGTA PRISM|FALL 2010 16

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