During the 2019 Spectrum Awards competition, AGTA honored Adam Neeley with a Best of Show trophy in the category Fashion Forward for his earring design “Aria”. These earrings have another exciting distinction since their primary gemstones are also Spectrum Award-winners. This is an incredible back to back double win for Neeley and lapidary Stephan Avery, whom AGTA honored for the tourmaline pair in 2018.
Music Becomes Jewelry
Aria Earrings dance with grace and confidence. This sparkling ode to music was inspired by the complex melody of an operatic aria, and the bold, feminine energy that brings it to life. Adam also drew inspiration from Art Nouveau design, which he fused with his own signature curves and the vibrant color palette of a peacock feather.
Curves of white and VeraGold™ sparkle with 252 pavé set diamonds and green Tsavorite garnets. These playful curves twirl around two columns of purple titanium. Adam achieved the vibrant color and subtle matte finish by 3-D printing the titanium forms and then custom anodizing each. The earrings flaunt a luxurious length of nearly 4.5 inches, adding drama to the overall effect. Stephen Avery cut the pair of green Tsavorite garnets atop each earring, as well as the primary gems: an extraordinary pair of Indicolite tourmalines.
An Unparalleled Pair
During the 2018 Spectrum Awards Cutting Edge gemstone competition, AGTA awarded Stephen Avery First Place in Pairs & Suites for the dazzling pair of tourmalines seen in Aria earrings. It’s easy to understand why. Avery is a widely-admired lapidary at the top of his craft and these stunning gems evidence his gemstone-cutting mastery. This tourmaline pair, totaling 41.45 carats, exhibits a rare and exquisite blue, what is know as the Indicolite color range. After selecting this beautiful material, Avery set to work cutting and polishing. Avery’s signature “DiamondBack” cut highlights his precision and the beauty of the material. Each stone would be prized individually, but the perfection of cut and color manifested in the pair makes them truly a treasure.
Commissioning a Masterpiece
After his 2018 Cutting Edge win, Stephen Avery reached out to Adam Neeley about a custom project for his award-winning gems. Avery sent the tourmalines to Neeley and commissioned him to create an unforgettable pair earrings for his wife, Trudy Avery. As jewelry designer and lapidary artist, Neeley and Avery share a passion for gemstones and for pushing the boundaries of jewelry art, which set the stage for a exciting design. Trudy and Stephen Avery encouraged Neeley to create something grand. They also knew from the project’s inception that they would enter the resulting piece into the 2019 Spectrum Awards. Adam, of course, accepted the project with enthusiasm and embraced the Avery’s dream of a double AGTA win as a technical and design challenge.
About the Award
AGTA describes their Best of Show trophy winners as:
Only the most brilliant, breathtaking pieces are worthy of the Best of Show trophy. Winning designs must possess beauty, mastery, and imagination beyond compare. Consideration for the Best of Show award is limited to first place winners in each category.
The Fashion Forward Category:
recognizes the outstanding use of colored gemstone and/or cultured pearl in artful, trend‐setting jewelry.
It’s an incredible honor to receive these distinctions. Adam and the team send sincere thanks to AGTA, to Trudy and Stephen Avery for this exciting commission, and to our collectors for their continued support and shared love of jewelry art.
From his Laguna Beach studio, designer and goldsmith Adam Neeley pushes the boundaries of modern jewelry design. His award-winning jewelry is celebrated by jewelry industry authorities, collectors, and the Smithsonian Institution. We invite you to learn more by visiting our About Adam and Welcome pages.