The Value of Award-Winning Design

Posted by & filed under Alexandrite, Award Winning, Color, Craftsmanship, Duet Collection, Events, News, Omi Privé, One-of-a-Kind Collection, Spinel, Trends.

Omi Privé recently won two AGTA Spectrum Awards, a jewelry design competition that has been held annually for over 30 years.  What does winning a design competition mean for the designer, and the consumer who might be considering buying a winning piece?  There are many factors that go into the value of the award for all involved.

Let’s look at the Spectrum Awards specifically, which is considered one of the most prestigious design competitions in the world  This competition is produced annually by the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA), a trade association who’s mission is to promote colored gemstones.  The competition provides value for the association by encouraging jewelry designers to use colored gemstones in their designs, hopefully purchased from AGTA gemstone dealers.  What helps set the Spectrum Awards apart is that each piece of jewelry is physically judged by a panel of jewelry industry experts that changes each year, ensuring that not one form of design is ever favored over another and that the smallest of details can affect the final outcome.  To win a Spectrum Award is a benchmark that many designers aspire to achieve.

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2016 AGTA Spectrum Award winning Spinel ring

Many gem dealers and designers collaborate on individual pieces to take advantage of the opportunity for exposure for individual gemstones and design aesthetics.  Each year the competition receives between 500 and 600 entries.  Each entrant knows that they are going to be competing against the best jewelry designers in the US and Canada, so everyone tends to put their best foot forward and sends in their best work.  As the judges work their way through each of the entries, they must consider the quality of the gemstones, the quality of the workmanship and the design aesthetic.  It usually takes two days of judging to determine the winning entries.  Winners are announced the following day and the media are invited to see all the winners and other entries.  The media values the competition because it offers a rare opportunity to look for new trends and emerging designers all in one location.

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2016 AGTA Spectrum Award winning Alexandrite ring

designed in collaboration with Remy Rotenier

Winning designers benefit from an incredible amount of exposure driven by AGTA’s public relations efforts to share the results of the competition.  AGTA and the media feature the winning designs throughout the year until the following year’s competition. The designers themselves publicize their wins through traditional marketing channels and social media.  Yet, the true value for the designer who wins is that their work stood out against some of the top designers in the world.  If they are a new designer, this exposure can serve as a launching point for their collection.  For an established designer, a win reinforces their standing and provides additional caché for their jewelry lines.

For the pieces that win, many are sold quickly to collectors of those designers.  For a client to be able to own an actual award-winning design gives them another opportunity to talk about the jewelry they love.  Other designers hold on to their winning pieces and feature them in shows and museums.  Many designs are incorporated into the designer’s collections in a bigger way to take advantage of the exposure and potential trends developing as a result of their win.  We love to see our pieces being worn and enjoyed by our clients, so our award-winning designs are made available to our collectors.  The awards are a welcome recognition for the quality of work we do, but in the end, it is all about these pieces adorning the people who appreciate their beauty.

 

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Sapphires – September’s Magnificent Birthstone

Posted by & filed under Award Winning, Bridal, Color, Fancy Sapphire, Omi Privé, One-of-a-Kind Collection, Sapphire.

Sapphire is one of the most revered gemstones in the world.  It has held special meaning from the most ancient of times when it was worn as a symbol of power, wealth and as protection from harm and witchcraft.  It is even said that the Ten Comandments were given to Moses on tablets of sapphire.  As sapphires made their way into more modern pieces of jewelry, their siginificance and value continued to rise.  Sapphires are found in the world’s most important royal jewelry pieces – so much so that sapphire is considered a “royal” gem. One royal-related piece that has garnered incredible attention in recent years is the blue sapphire engagement ring that Prince Charles gave to Diana, and subsequently that Prince William gave to Kate Middleton.

 

 

Sapphire is probably best known as a blue gemstone, but it is found in every color of the spectrum.  When a sapphire is red, it is called a ruby.  This wide palette of colors gives jewelry designers a lot of flexibility in creating colorful, all-sapphire designs.  Sapphires are an excellent gemstone to use in everyday jewelry because of its durability – as it is the second hardest gemstone behind only diamond.  A recent trend, maybe with help from Will and Kate, has seen many couples choosing sapphires for their engagement rings over diamonds – either in the traditional blue sapphire with a diamond halo, or in other colors as in the purple and pink sapphire ring below.  Sapphires durability makes it suitable for everyday wear.

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Would you say “Yes” to this engagement ring?

 

Sapphires are found in many countries around the world, including the United States.  Most of our sapphires come from Sri Lanka/Ceylon, Madagascar and Myanmar/Burma.  In most of these places sapphires are still mined by hand by artisanal miners in very remote areas.  We travel the globe to find sapphires that best meet our strict standards and our clients’ needs.  Fine sapphires are rare and prices have risen steadily for many years as demand continues to be very strong, which makes fine sapphire a nice long term investment.  There is nothing more fulfilling for us than sourcing a gorgeous sapphire, designing a beautiful jewelry piece around it, then having someone appreciate it enough to add it to their personal jewelry collection.

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Award-winning Omi Prive’ sapphire and diamond platinum bracelet