For the last 35 years, the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) has been recognizing the talent at work in the jewelry world by presenting winning designers with a prestigious AGTA Spectrum Award. And for the last few years, we’ve been fortunate enough to be invited to a press preview of all the gorgeous entries. No one can really prepare for such a display of dazzle. Imagine walking into a room and being gobsmacked by a mutli-gold mermaid ring set with a South Sea baroque pearl accented with sapphires, emeralds and diamonds. Thank you Richard Berberian! Not to mention the array of necklaces, rings, earrings and bracelets all sparkling in every hue of the gemstone rainbow. You see, to qualify for the competition, designers, like Berberian, must work in a palette of natural colored gemstones and cultured pearls. For gem nerds like me, I can only liken the experience to a kid let loose in a candy store—only better. All this indulgence is calorie-free! Now, get ready to be dazzled. Here are just a few of my very favorite pieces. — Sue Perry


Designer Gregore Morin, Gregore & Jennifer-Rabe Jewelers, 18k yellow gold drop earrings featuring Aquaprase, Wulfenite, and Spectrolite.


Robin Callahan Designs, 26.6 ct. rare mint Aquamarine 110 VSG Diamonds set in 18k white gold.


Designer Caroline Chartouni, Caroline C, 18k white gold ring set with a blue sapphire and accented with blue sapphires, diamonds, and a paraiba tourmaline


Designer Lauriane Logney, Rippana, Inc., 18k and 14k white gold necklace set with uvarovite garnets on a strand of Akoya cultured pearls with tsavorite garnet beads and malachite beads.


Designer Roland Krainz, Krainz creations, “emergence” cuff bracelet featuring sapphires, emeralds, rubies and diamonds set on a stingray cuff.