Couture Show Las Vegas 2015: all the award winning jewelry from the Design Awards

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By Maria Doulton |

A round-up of all the winners at the Couture Design Awards 2015 with The Jewellery Editor’s very own Maria Doulton – a judge at this year’s show.

For a trade show that stands out for its focus on jewelry design, the Design Awards at the Couture Show Las Vegas are a very big deal. The awards are a distillation of all that the show celebrates and what makes the event such a success. Each year, after a week of retailers, jewelers and journalists coming together, the highlight is the awards ceremony held in one of the Wynn hotel’s vast ballrooms. This year I had the honor of being amongst the five to judge the awards; my fellow judges being editor Marion Fasel, jewelry designer Irene Neuwirth, and retailers Lou Guarino and Paul Schneider.

Sifting through the first round of more than 100 contenders in 12 different categories involved two days of pacing, notebook in hand, in front of the display cabinets stretching as far as the eye could see. The finalists – decided upon without consultation between the judges – were assembled on velvet trays for an early morning judging meeting. The entries came from jewelers around the world, and the range of styles and techniques showed an inspiring diversity and just how creative this industry is.

With a large urn of coffee and dozens of finalists to assess, the judges examined, tried on, and argued the merits of their chosen winners. After two hours of deliberation, we had made up our minds, and the winners’ list was kept closely guarded until the ceremony that evening, presided over by Gannon Brousseau, director of the New York-based Couture organization.

Design is at the heart of the show and the judges were looking for strong, original and interesting jewels. For me, the most exciting and hotly contested prize was for Color Gemstones both Below and Above $20,000 – the former won by London-based Tomasz Donocik for his futuristic Electric Night earrings cascading with colored gemstones. In the more precious category, the award went to Etho Maria’s glamorous blue topaz and sapphire cuff.

In the Diamonds Below $20,000 category, Reho fine jewelry was the clear winner with its delicate yet high-impact choker with long fringes of diamond-dusted chains. Offering a strong look for under $20,000 convinced the judges that this was a case of both good design and judicious use of materials.

Plevé of Belgium took the prize for a diamond jewel over $20,000, thanks to both the new way in which the jeweler had set diamonds into cement as well as its sleek design. The judges were bowled over by how the small baguette diamonds appeared to float randomly on the surface of the cuff, entirely free from any metal mounts and totally smooth to the touch. …read more at


Winner in the Best in Pearls category was Autore and its one-of-a-kind Orange Blossom bracelet from the new Orchid collection.


Nikos Koulis Oui engagement ring, set with an oval-cut diamond encased in black enamel, with two emeralds either side.


Tomasz Donocik Electric Night earrings in rose gold set with amethyst, tanzanite, blue sapphire, iolite and blue topaz, winner of the Colored Gemstone Below $20,000 Couture Design Award. The drops are removable drops so that they can also be worn as ear cuffs.


Reho’s open diamond necklace won the Best in Diamonds Below $20,000 Couture Design Award.


These Silvia Furmanovich earrings, featuring real orchid leaves preserved in resin, took home the Best in Innovative Couture Design Award.


Christian Tse’s life-like Dandelion ring was the recipient of the Couture Design Award in the Best in Platinum category.


Jorg Heinz jewelry was the winner of the Editors’ Choice Award with these tactile sapphire and diamond rings. …see more at

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