The AGTA Cutting Edge Awards honor excellence and creativity of the lapidary arts, including natural colored gemstones and cultured pearls, carvings, other gem materials and objects of art in U.S. and Canada. A panel of judges will evaluate entries in the Cutting Edge Awards.

The purpose of the Cutting Edge Competition is to celebrate the excellence and creativity of lapidary artists and colored gemstones. 

Entries may incorporate existing lapidary techniques; however entries in Pairs & Suites, Innovative Faceting, Carving and Objects of Art must reflect unique, new and innovative designs. 

Classic Gemstones will honor excellence in traditional cuts among Ruby, Emerald and Sapphire; Other Faceted Gemstones and Phenomenal Gemstones will also honor traditional cuts in these specific gemstones. The entries in this category will be evaluated on the following qualities: 
1) Quality of Lapidary Work 
2) Technique 
3) Quality/Rarity of Gem Material 
4) Overall Beauty 

Classic Gemstones 
Limited to outstanding examples of ruby, emerald and sapphire with traditional gemstone cutting techniques.

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1st Place, Classic Gemstone: Allen Kleiman, A. Kleiman & Co., San Francisco, CA. 20.24 ct. emerald-cut unheated yellow Sapphire.

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2nd Place, Classic Gemstone: Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem Corp., New York, NY. 19.06 ct. brilliant, step-cut unheated blue Sapphire.

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3rd Place, Classic Gemstone: Joseph Ambalu, Amba Gem Corp., New York, NY. 5.00 ct. oval pink Sapphire.

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Honorable Mention, Classic Gemstone: Alan Hackman, Intercolor, New York, NY. 38.06 ct. blue Sapphire.

All Other Faceted Gemstones 

Open to outstanding examples of any gemstone that is faceted with traditional gemstone cutting techniques.

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1st Place, All Other Faceted: Hemant Phophaliya, AG Color, Inc., New York, NY. 43.96 ct. oval cabochon Tanzanite.

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2nd Place, All Other Faceted: Mikola Kukharuk, Nomad's, New York, NY. 12.99 ct. oval mint grossular Garnet.

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3rd Place, All Other Faceted: Mikola Kukharuk, Nomad's, New York, NY, 28.21 ct. Imperial Topaz.

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Honorable Mention, All Other Faceted: Mikola Kukharuk, Nomad's, New York, NY. 115.48 ct. emerald-cut Heliodor.

Phenomenal Gemstones 

Open to outstanding examples of any phenomenal gemstone (stars, cat’s eyes, opals, etc.) with traditional gemstone cutting techniques.

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1st Place, Phenomenal: Robert Shapiro, Robert Shapiro, Madison, WI. Natural split pair of boulder Opals (60.50 ctw).

Each entry in Pairs & Suites, Innovate Faceting, Carving and Objects of Art will be judged on the following qualities: 
1) Originality of Design 
2) Quality of Lapidary Work 
3) Technique 
4) Quality/Rarity of Gem Material 
5) Overall Beauty 

Pairs & Suites 

Two or more gemstones to be judged as a set.

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1st Place, Pairs & Suites: Dalan Hargrave, Geogem-USA, Glenns Ferry, ID. Rhodolite Garnet suite (138.49 ctw.).

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2nd Place, Pairs & Suites: Mikola Kukharuk, Nomad's, New York, NY. Pair of Imperial Topaz (70.14 ctw.).

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3rd Place, Pairs & Suites: Hemant Phophaliya, A G Color, Inc., New York, NY. Fancy pear-shaped Tanzanites.

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Honorable Mention, Pairs & Suites: Allen Kleiman, A. Kleiman & Co., San Francisco, CA. Suite of pear-shaped unheated yellow Sapphires (57.73 ctw.).

Innovative Faceting 

Innovative faceting and lapidary techniques

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1st Place, Innovative Faceting: John Dyer, John Dyer & Co., San Jose, CA. 63.19 ct. fancy round curprian Tourmaline.

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2nd Place, Innovative Faceting: John Dyer, John Dyer & Co., San Jose, CA. 67.92 ct. swirling "Nebula" Ametrine.

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3rd Place, Innovative Faceting: John Dyer, John Dyer & Co., San Jose, CA. 19.43 ct. "Royal Velvet" Tanzanite.

Carving 

Carving of any natural gem material in any style. 

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1st Place, Carving: Naomi Sarna, Naomi Sarna Designs, New York, NY. "Rose de France" Amethyst carving (1015 ctw.).

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2nd Place, Carving: Bernie Benavidez, Master Jewelers, Rochester, MN. "The Eye of Genesis" Opal carving (260 ctw.).

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3rd Place, Carving. Darryl Alexander, Nirinjan, Beverly Hills, CA. 102 ct. specialy-cut Sunstone.

(Source:  Robin Hawk)