Professional Jeweler Archive: Fanciful Lapidary

August 2000

Gemstones & Pearls/News


Fanciful Lapidary

The American Gem Grade Association’s Cutting Edge™ contest yields a stunning collection of gemstones


Gemstone enthusiasts, take a break and admire the winning gems in the American Gem Trade Association’s Cutting Edge™ competition.

Winning entries in the 10th annual contest include several new and innovative cuts. Combine these with the other creative cuts honored this year and you’ll get a good picture of the direction of colored gem faceting and carving.

Judges for this year’s contest were Richard Homer, Kent, OH, a previous Cutting Edge award-winner; gemologist Linda Hunter of Johannes Hunter Jewelers, Colorado Springs, CO; and David Federman, former executive editor of Modern Jeweler magazine. The gems will be displayed and the winners will be honored at AGTA’s 2001 GemFair, scheduled for Jan. 31-Feb. 5 in Tucson, AZ.

Here are the winning gems, along with the thoughts of some of the cutters and carvers.

All photos by John Parrish

Best of Show
(also Carving, 1st place)
“The opal itself inspired me. I worked in Alaska in late ’60s, and one of the first things I saw was the Aurora Borealis over the north slope of the Brooks mountain range. This came from a 35-pound nodule composed mainly of rhyolite, with a pool of opal in the center. It was partially broken open so I could see the opal pool. As I formed it, I had to keep looking inside to get the largest chunk out. This slice came from the side of the pool; its formation displays a stunning columnar effect of color, much like the Aurora Borealis. Then I carved the north slope of the Brooks range and, in a little void in the opal, I carved the sun. The display is Gabon ebony.”

Thomas Harth Ames
Arvada, CO, (303) 424-3772

Sponsor: Dale Huett,
West Coast Mining
College Place, WA, (509) 522-4851

131-ct. rectangular opal carving from Opal Butte, OR, titled “Aurora Borealis”

Classic Gemstone

First Place

Allen Kleinman
Boulder, CO; (330) 440-7478

10.18-ct. cushion-cut sapphire from Sri Lanka

Honorable Mention (2)

Allen Kleinman
Boulder, CO; (330) 440-7478

0.55-ct. triangular-cut emerald from Brazil and 2.97-ct. emerald-cut ruby from Tanzania

Faceting

First Place

Joseph Mark Krivanek
Salida, CO; (719) 539-7493

12.93-ct. mixed square cut rhodochrosite from Alma, CO

“I have a passion for rhodochrosite – it’s such a shocking, unexpected color. I’ve been perfecting my rhodochrosite cut for a long time. Finally, I’ve found a combination of pavilion and crown angles that gives the gem that special ‘pop.’ It’s a labor of love.”

Second Place

Mark Kaufman
(619) 238-3880

Entered by Mark Herschede of Turmali & Herschede,
Sanibel, FL; (941) 472-6030

46.56-ct. brilliant checkerboard cushion aquamarine from Brazil

Third Place

David Brackna
Germantown, MD; (301) 972-2201

Entered by Mark Herschede of Turmali & Herschede,
Sanibel, FL; (941) 472-6030

83.33-ct. brilliant cushion peridot from Pakistan

Honorable Mention

Thomas A. Trozzo
Culpeper, VA; (540) 829-8494

9.58-ct. triangular reflection-cut tourmaline from Nigeria

Carving

see Best of Show

First Place (also Best of Show)

Thomas Harth Ames
Arvada, CO; (303) 424-3772

Sponsor: Dale Huett,
West Coast Mining
College Place, WA; (509) 522-4851

131-ct. rectangular opal carving from Opal Butte, OR, titled “Aurora Borealis”

Second Place

Dalan Jay Hargrave
San Antonio, TX; (210) 344-8580

Entered by Dust Devil Mining Co.
Beaver, OR; (503) 965-7707

14.77-ct. sunstone “blossom” carving from Oregon

Honorable Mention

Susan Allen
Pagosa Springs, CO; (970) 731-4836

Entered by Philip E. Louer Jr.
Riner, VA; (540) 381-9712

“The Nursery” is a free-form internal carving in Brazilian quartz

New/Innovative/Combination

First Place

Thomas A. Trozzo
Culpeper, VA; (540) 829-8494

42.98-ct. concave fancy-cut ametrine from Bolivia

“This is the first time I’ve won in this category and it’s a thrill. The Nigerian tourmaline that won an honorable mention in faceting (see p. 55) is also inspiring: If you look at the bottom of the stone, it has rays of color that seem to go on forever.”

Second Place

Larry C. Winn
Grand Junction, CO; (970) 523-0815

35.28-ct. cushion “pentskelion-cut” citrine from Brazil

Third Place (tie)

Thomas A. Trozzo
Culpeper, VA; (540) 829-8494

38.56-ct. “dimple work” ametrine from Bolivia (two views of same stone)

Third Place (tie)

Michael M. Dyber
Rumney, NH; (603) 744-2161

96.85-ct. “Luminaires” aquamarine from Brazil

Pairs & Suites

First Place

Stephen M. Avery
Lakewood, CO; (303) 985-4005

9.25-tcw. “trishield” spessartite garnet pair from Nigeria

“Nigerian spessartite garnet is such beautiful material it hardly needs a good cutter. I was lucky to get the material. The Afghanistan tourmaline suite (see p. 59) that won a second-place tie was also very special to me. It’s so difficult to get all of those color variations to match up; you have to go into it knowing you’re composing a suite.”

Second Place (tie)

Meg Berry
Fallbrook, CA.; (800) 854-1598

Sponsor: Pala International
Fallbrook, CA

“Birdcage Briolettes” are tricolored Nigerian tourmalines totaling 29.63 carats

Second Place (tie)

Stephen M. Avery
Lakewood, CO; (303) 985-4005

Diamondback-cut suite of tourmalines from Afghanistan totals 35.16 carats

Honorable Mention

Ben Collins
Vero Beach, FL; (561) 778-0825

Sponsor: Gary Dulac Goldsmith Inc.
Vero Beach, FL

21.23-ct. and 11.26-tcw. “Dispersion Tri” Brazilian amethyst suite

Objects of Art

First Place

Dalan Jay Hargrave
San Antonio, TX; (210) 344-8580

“Scepter” features cat’s-eye quartz, beryl, tourmaline, rose quartz, sunstone, peridot and amethyst

Second Place

Kevin Lane Smith
Tucson, AZ; (520) 746-3073

Sponsor: Mark Lasater
Poway, CA; (858) 484-2154

“Flame” is a 450-ct. carved opal from Opal Butte, OR

Third Place

Gil Roberts
Floyd, VA; (540) 745-2682

“The Tear” perfume vial features a 695-ct. quartz from Brazil and chrysocolla from Arizona

– by Robert Weldon, G.G.


Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications