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Bridge Jewelry Award

5 Sep

Bridge Jewelry Award
Bridge jewelry refers to jewelry that is sort of in between. It's not considered fine jewelry, like a gold diamond ring would be, but it's not considered costume jewelry, like one of those fun and funky pins you buy during the holiday at the drug store that lights up and plays a tune. Bridge jewelry allows the use of real materials, such as gemstones and sterling silver, but at prices more of us can afford, and because of the quality of the materials, they will be around a lot longer than that weird pin you bought for 99 cents last season.

Jewelry supplier, Halstead Beads Inc. started sponsoring a bridge jewelry award last year, and this year they have announced their winner for this now second annual award:

Belle Brooke Barer, principal designer and entrepreneur, will receive $6,000 in cash and merchandise as part of the grant prize package. She intends to use these funds to invest in a fashion marketing campaign including both print and web materials. "I think that is going to be a big help for me in taking the next step and really expanding my business," said an exuberant Barer. Her work is already sold in stores around the country as well as through several online retailers.

Barer creates jewelry that is inspired by the natural symmetry inherent in the organic world. Her primary material is sterling silver, though she also designs some pieces in gold. The style is an artistic rendering of the concept of cells and their multitudinous manifestations. Her work is unmistakably original and features circular patterns compressed within shaped frames and offset by natural gemstones. You can see her current Metropolis and Night Sky collections at

She really has created her own signature jewelry style, which is probably one of many reasons she won this year.

Steven Zale at Designer Showcase

21 Aug

Steven Zale at Designer Showcase

Okay, before you start assuming the name Zales belongs that that jewelry chain store you see in your local mall, well, don't assume. This is about Steven Zale, a California based jewelry manufacturer and designer who makes fine jewelry. Funny how the names are the same, but the jewelry is oh, so diffrent, and that's probably why Steven can now brag about his latest accomplishment:

Steven Zale, jewelry designer and founder of Zalemark, Inc., the Sherman Oaks-based manufacturer of several celebrity-endorsed brands, has been selected by the National Jewelry Institute to be included in the launch of their first major Designer Showcase exhibition featuring the work of individual jewelry designers in Spring 2008 at the Forbes Galleries in New York. Mr. Zale's jewelry designs landed him in the top 25 from more than 500 jewelry designers nationwide hoping to take part in this ground-breaking artistic debut.

The National Jewelry Institute (NJI) was formed in 2002 as a not-for-profit institute whose mission is to preserve research and exhibit fine jewelry from all over the world. The National Jewelry Institute has held exhibitions in New York, London and Paris. To date, the National Jewelry Institute's exhibitions have included primarily historical objects. Designer Showcase will provide exposure and much deserved recognition for today's exceptional designers.

"Steven Zale's samples of work that we have seen are extremely important in that they are marked with an individual design approach. This striking individuality is the driving force behind Designer Showcase."


2008 Design Center for JCK

1 Aug

2008 Design Center for JCK

Jewelers Circular Keystone, aka JCK, has a call for designers out today for their 2008 Design Center show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jewelry designers have some time to think about applying since the deadline is in mid-October. Here are the some of the details about the event and how to apply from the JCK web site:

JCK Events is searching for jewelry designers to participate in the 2008 Design Center at the JCK Show ~ Las Vegas. The Design Center will provide a warm, inviting environment for a small selection of designer owned companies with similar artistic product and marketing missions; as well as offer retail buyers an organized and varied assortment of designer jewelry expertise and products from all facets of the design jewelry world.

To participate in the Design Center companies must complete the 2008 Design Center Application and return it with six digital images and any support materials (press kit, photos, marketing materials, and catalogs). Applications can be found online at The deadline for submission is Oct. 12.

Once all applications have been received they will be reviewed by a jury of industry members, including designers, retailers, and other trade representatives who have experience in evaluating the design of fine jewelry. Overall appearance, originality, and salability are what will be taken into consideration. Following the jury, all available booths will be assigned based on the results of the jury tally. This year's jury will take place in November 2007 and results will be announced the first week in December. Applicants will be contacted within two weeks following the jury tally.

In addition, the jury will also choose The Rising Stars, which offers several designers the chance to make their debut in the fine jewelry market.

Spectrum 2008 Coming Up

20 Jul

Spectrum 2008 Coming Up

They don't have the deadlines listed yet on the American Gem Trade Association's Spectrum Awards site. In fact, it says it just says it is "coming soon!" So, any talented jewelry designers out there probably should just hurry up and get busy creating something fabulous if you want a chance to win this prestigious award:

Entries in the AGTA Spectrum Awardsâ„¢ will be evaluated by a panel of distinguished industry judges on the basis of 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. Spectrum Award categories include Classical, Bridal, Day, Men's and Evening Wear.

You can find out more details, and I hope very soon the deadline for this competition, along with a downloadable application and images of the jewelry that won in the past at the AGTA site.

21st Century Jewelry Designer

22 Apr

21st Century Jewelry Designer

Jewelry designer, Laura Gibson, has been named one of the year's "Designers of the 21st Century" by JQ magazine. Reports Diamond World:

Jewellery designer Laura Gibson, known for her gold, silver and colored-gemstone fine jewelry, has been named one of the year's "Designers of the 21st Century" by JQ magazine.

The award is given annually to an exclusive group of fine-jewelry designers who "exemplify the creation of fine jewelry and true design for the 21st century."

With extensive knowledge and expertise in colored gemstones, Laura Gibson not only uses some of the finest exotic stones in her pieces, but has a unique ability to create unexpected color combinations that set her work apart and make it instantly recognizable.

She will be showcasing her collection at the Couture Show in Las Vegas from May 30-June 4 in booth #367.

I surfed around and found some images of her jewelry creations available on Touch of Class.


Couture Jewelry Awards

4 Mar

Couture Jewelry Awards

Jewelry designer Suz Andreasen asked herself that "what if" question on day: "What if there was a couture-level award available for jewelry designers?"

From that question came her goal – to create one. And goal has been realized with the Couture Jewelry Awards, which has an official call for entries already.

In a press release, the designer explains why she felt there was a need for an award such as this:

"I grew frustrated with the lack of fair jurying and also basic acknowledgment for exceptional work within the arena of traditional awards."

The concept is not a new one but somehow when Suz Andreasen gets her teeth into something the vision seems clear: Create an award, give a medal and a cash prize. Get museums to jury the piece. How hard can that be?

While most people would throw their hands in the air at the very idea taking on a project so huge, Suz doesn't flinch at the idea. To quarry her forces, Andreasen called everyone she knew and asked them to get involved.

I think this is a great idea. There are a lot of really talented jewelry designers out there who get little recognition. Obviously, Andreasen is ranked among some of the finest jewelry artists, as shown by a few of these example designs: