Professional Jeweler Archive: Rio Grande Announces Saul Bell Winners

August 2002

Precious Metals/News

Rio Grande Announces Saul Bell Winners

Contest honors original, innovative designs

Seven winners and one grand prize winner were selected from hundreds of submissions to the second annual Saul Bell Design Award Competition sponsored by Rio Grande, Albuquerque, NM. The contest is named for the company’s founder and honors designers in four categories: gold/platinum, Precious Metal Clay,® beads and silver.

Judges were jewelry designer John Atencio; metalsmith John Cogswell; Peggy Jo Donahue, editor in chief of Professional Jeweler; Carrie Soucy, senior editor of JCK; Rich Youmans, associate publisher of AJM; and Esther Fortunoff, executive vice president of Fortunoff. Winners received Rio Grande gift certificates of $10,000 for the grand prize, $2,500 for first place and $1,000 for second place. The Swarovski award carries a $5,000 cash prize.

For information about the 2003 contest, call Rio Grade at (800) 545-6566 or visit


First Place and Grand Prize
David C. Freda
Out of the Blue Studio
San Clemente, CA
(949) 498-9119

“Stag, Beetles, Grubs and Raspberries” is a fine silver and sterling silver necklace with enameled glass beads and 24k and 18k yellow gold accents.

Second Place
Timothy Grannis
Grannis Gallery
Burlington, VT
(802) 660-2032

The necklace is constructed of 26 16mm 14k and 22k yellow gold beads made using various techniques and accented with four diamonds.


Nancilee Woodyard
Nankaii Jewelry Design
Gulf Breeze, FL
(850) 291-2440

Flex wire necklace has 42 6mm bicones, six 4mm rounds, 205 4mm bicones and 250 sterling silver crimp beads. The bicone and round beads are from Swarovski.


First Place
Douglas May
Gold Rush Original Jewelry
Clovis, CA; (559) 298-8148

18k and Gibeon meteorite bolo tie features sapphires and near-colorless and champagne diamonds. One end of Neoprene cord has Gibeon meteorite tip with moonstone accent; the other has a meteorite, diamond and gold.

Second Place
Emily Benoist Ruffin
Emily Benoist Ruffin Design
Taos, NM; (505) 758-1061

18k yellow gold and platinum “Stirrup Ring” has 17 diamonds.


First Place
Wendy Wallin Malinow
Wallin Malinow Illustration
Portland, OR; (503) 697-3877

“Sea Jewels” necklace is silver PMC+® and coral with reversible mermaid/fish bead and pearl, aquamarine, peridot and amethyst accents.

Second Place
Candice Wakumoto
Mililani, Hawaii

“Ipu” necklace has a silver PMC+ pendant with removable top with 14k, 22k,and 24k gold accents, sterling and an amethyst.


First Place
Ronda Coryell
Revere Academy of
Jewelry Arts
San Francisco, CA
(925) 284-1142

Sterling silver and 22k yellow gold bracelet has blue sapphire accents.

Second Place
Sessin Durgham
Sessin Durgham Original
Jewelry Designs
Columbus, OH
(614) 326-3623

Round stock and patterned 22k yellow gold sheet and silver bracelet has hand-cut chrysoprase accents.

Copyright © 2002 by Bond Communications