MJSA. Professional excellence in jewelry making and design.

Sabina Wong, Lotus Pendant

2019 Vision Award Winners

Below are the winners in all categories of the 2019 competition. The August 2019 issue of MJSA Journal will profile all of the first-place honorees.

Professional Design Excellence

Open to all independent or company-employed designers, the Professional Design Excellence Category celebrates work that exemplifies the best of contemporary jewelry design. The winners show a thorough grounding in the tradition of fine design, along with an eagerness for experimentation and innovation. By meeting the highest standards of craftsmanship and creativity, these designs truly deserve their award-winning status.

1st Place Winner (4 or more Years in Business)

Mark Schneider, Mark Schneider Design, Long Beach, California

Mark Schneider Platinum Band

Men’s Platinum Band. This platinum and 18k yellow gold men’s band features a 0.70ct tsavorite garnet, 1.01ctw black diamonds, and 0.69cts canary yellow diamonds. Markschneiderdesign.com

2nd Place Winner (4 or more Years in Business)

Rosario Garcia, Rosario Garcia Designs, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

Rosario Garcia, Yellow and Green Gold Ring

Yellow and Green Gold Ring. This piece features a natural sphene at the center of a unique ring that the 18k yellow and green gold was hand-forged and engraved, and then soldered to add the granulation. Dewdrops of diamonds added the finishing touch. Rosariogarciadesigns.com

Honorable Mention:

Anna Berezina, Svet Kamney, Moscow, Russia

Anna Berezina, Opal Ring


1st Place Winner (1-3 Years in Business)

Sabina Wong, Sabina Wong, Richmond, British Columbia, Canada

Sabina Wong, The Lotus

The Lotus. Created as a 90th birthday gift for legendary Cantonese opera singer Dr. Pak Suet Sin, this Lotus design has a blooming mechanism which adds to its beauty. This piece was handcrafted and set in 18k white gold with topaz, sapphire, and green garnet gemstones. Sabinawong.com

2nd Place Winner (1-3 Years in Business)

Oksana Lerman, Rock Lily Collection, Brooklyn, New York

Oksana Lerman, Pearl Star Necklace

Baroque Pearl and Gold Star Necklace. Designed to look like distant stars in the sky, this handmade necklace of white baroque cultured pearls are encrusted with 14k balls and 14k pink, white, and yellow gold diamond-set stars. All of the elements were set with silver pins to enhance the "stars in the sky" effect. The necklace was completed with two golden arcs and small round laser-engraved pendant sharing the company logo on a golden chain. Rocklilycollection.com

Laser Distinction Winner

Andrew Costen, Costen Catbalue Goldsmiths & Designs, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Andrew Costen, Gold Nugget Pendant

Gold Nugget Photo Pendant. This framed pendant was hand-crafted with gold nuggets and tube and bezel set diamonds as a tribute to a client’s late father utilizing new and old goldsmithing techniques. The 19k yellow, and 19k white gold piece includes a laser-engraved 1940s photo on the back. Costencatbalue.com

Our thanks to the Laser Distinction 2019 sponsor:


Custom Design Distinction Winner

Tom Heyman, Oscar Heyman & Brothers Inc., New York, New York

Tom Heyman, Seven Heirs Jewelry

Tom Heyman PiecesSeven Heirs Suite. Oscar Heyman & Brothers Inc. was commissioned to craft a collection for a client that could eventually be split up among seven heirs. They worked on the design for over a year, continuously consulting with the client as new parts were added. Every single component of this necklace was made in their Madison Avenue workshop, including the custom screw drivers required for assembly. It is composed of platinum and 18kt yellow gold.

The client owned an 8 carat round diamond, which served as the starting point. The complete collection was built around six additional round gemstones, all within .4mm diameter of one another; the complete suite contains four white diamonds, a fancy intense yellow diamond, a sapphire, and a pink sapphire.

The collection of stones can become a necklace with two front pieces, two rings, a pendant, and a brooch. Each front half of the necklace has three open sockets and a detachable pendant. One opening is for the gemstones on their own, the other is for the gemstones to be worn with different jackets, of which there are seven. Each center stone could fit into any of the jackets. There are also 4 ornaments made up of a scatter of marquise and pear shape diamonds which could be worn in lieu of individual stones, or with the jackets.

Each center stone and jacket came with an attachment to be used when worn as a pendant off a chain or turn down ring from this (or any) necklace.

The suite also has 2 ring shanks which could be worn with any of the 7 center stones, and a floral brooch which could be worn with any 2 center stones, with or without any jacket. OscarHeyman.com

Our thanks to the Custom Design Distinction 2019 sponsor:

Century Casting Logo

Honorable Mention:

Llyn Strong, Llyn Strong Fine Art Jewelry, Greenville, South Carolina

Llyn Strong, Amazing Grace Cuff


Responsible Practices Distinction Winner

Susan Crow, East Fourth Street Jewelry, Northfield, Minnesota

Susan Crow, Responsible Practices

Amphitrite Necklace. Named after the unwilling Ocean Goddess Amphitrite who in Greek legends was forced into marriage to Poseidon, the materials of this piece are 100% responsibly sourced. The clasp is made of 18k Fairmined yellow gold (fairmined.org), and set with round, white certified CanadaMark diamonds. The clasp is attached to a fully knotted responsibly sourced, mined, and cut Brazilian free-form faceted Aquamarine, purchased from Robert Bentley Gemstones. Susan has been licensed by the Alliance for Responsible Mining out of Columbia to buy and sell Fairmined gold since 2013. This license gives her the right to market her work as Fairmined. Eastfourthstreet.com

Our thanks to the Responsible Practices 2019 sponsor:

Richline Responsible


Enamel Distinction Winner

Merry-Lee Rae, Merry-Lee Rae, Freedom, California

Merry-Lee Rae, Enamel Winner

Cougar Brooch. Cloisonne enameling has been Merry-Lee’s focus since 1976, and she has honed her craft with the enthusiasm of an artist and the intensity of a mathematician creating works of intricate detail fusing glass on metal. She is guilty of thoroughly enjoying her work. Merryleerae.com

Our thanks to the Responsible Practices 2019 sponsor:

Rio Enamel


Future of the Industry Winners

Open to any student enrolled in an art, design, or jewelry-related program at a college, university, or a proprietary technical school, the Future of the Industry Awards celebrate the talent that will lead the jewelry industry into the future. Showing both promise and passion, these designs mark the emergence of a new generation that continues the industry’s commitment to craftsmanship.


First Place Winner

Timo Krapf, Rochester Insitute of Technology, Pittsford, New York

Timo Krapf Ring

Silver and Leather Cord Ring. This ring was created as a bold statement piece for Timo’s senior thesis show. The ring starts as a straight strip of silver sheet and then he form it into the organic looping flowing ribbon. This piece is meant to be big and bold and the stark contrast between the silver and the rich black of the leather cord adds to that. He sewed the cord together at the bottom of the ring to insure its security and then closed the metal around it. He left the seam just barely open on the bottom so that a sliver of the cord shows through.

Second Place Winner (TIE)

Wonhee Kim, GIA, Carlsbad, California

Wonhee Kim, 2nd Place Student Tie

Wonhee Kim, Trio

Egg Pendant. The pendant is inspired by the imperial eggs created by Farbegé. Wonhee designed it in CAD and it was made with sterling silver, cubic zirconia, blue topaz, and then bronze plated with 18k gold, and magnets added. The pendant has moving parts on the inside and outside, and when closed, it has a silhouette of an egg. The outside shell has hinges on the bottom and closes with the attached magnets on the side. A pierced pattern, shows the solid golden egg inside shell which has three hinges at the base of the prong settings and also closes with the magnets at the top of the dome.  When the domes are opened, the three round blue topazs, which are prong set, appear. The pendant may be worn either open or closed.

Second Place Winner (TIE)

Jiyeon Kang, Fashion Institute of Technology, Long Island City, NY

Jiyeon Kang, 2nd Place Student Tie

Jiyeon Kang, 2nd Place Student Tie"Hidden" Three Finger Hinge Ring. This ring has a very deep personal meaning for Jiyeon. As a self-proclaimed shy, quiet and introverted person, she enjoys the unexpected benefits being able to listen to others, focus on her art and her inner self. This ring represents her ability to hid within the shell, and when she wants, open herself up to show amazing, colorful things. Jiyeon will eventually use sterling silver and colored cubic zirconia to complete this 3D rendering.

Our thanks to the Future of the Industry sponsor:

MJSA Education Foundation

Honorable Mention:

Marina Kim, George Brown College, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Marina Kim, Honorable Mention


Click here to view the 2018 Vision Award Winners.


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