Thank you for agreeing to judge the nominees for the GEM Award for Jewelry Design. The three nominees have filled out a questionnaire and their answers and work as submitted are featured below. The nominees are listed in alphabetical order and include:

All nominees will be judged for their body of work from July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016.

Criteria for GEM Award for Jewelry Design
To an individual, not a brand, for excellence in jewelry design. Those eligible are jewelry designers who have an extraordinary design aesthetic and create jewelry that shapes the future of design. The designer may be either well-established or emerging in the jewelry industry.

Arun Bohra, Arunashi


Social Media Brand Pages


How your extraordinary design aesthetic and jewelry craftsmanship shapes the future of design

  • "From a pimp to a priest, everybody makes money. It is up to us the road we take"
    My jewelry was born of pure passion & a wishful dream – to make something that is distinctive & delicious. To leave a lasting impression, perhaps for a moment or a lifetime. Unforgettable & one of a kind. Clearly a lofty, even unrealistic notion, but I decided to pursue my ambition anyways. I wanted to take my knowledge of gems, & create windows of expressions of myself.
    The expression of each jewel first & foremost has to be like me: cheeky, quirky, a dry sense of humor & whimsical. A complex story within a story, all conversations within myself that are translated to pieces of wearable art.
    They have to be like the beautiful women that I fall in love with so easily, the ones that speak to the heart & the mind. Sensual yet mysterious, strong yet delicate, fascinating yet hiding dark out her fantasies & creating a platform that creates artists & dreams.

  • "The road less traveled is always more magical"
    In every industry where design reigns, the artist is applauded. And yet, a big part of our industry takes the safer route of selling materials over the Art of Jewelry. The provenance of a stone or its size, taking precedence over the artist behind the piece. Important gems are set in the most conventional settings. We lack the courage to take the road less traveled. While a painter is applauded for taking a canvas & some paint that cost nothing, mix it with his vision & create something that may sell for several million, our industry is only able to sell a stone that is worth several million, but the value we have add to it as a piece of jewelry is a mere few thousand!
    However, there are a few of us that are taking the road less traveled. If my work can transcend to become a collectable art form instead of merely a piece of jewelry, I will have laid the foundation for other artists to believe that this is the right path, & treat their jewelry canvas to tell a story. If I am able to inspire some to do that, I would have helped shape the future of design.

  • "We have been to the moon & back"
    My craftsman think I'm crazy with all my requests while we create the pieces in the workshops. They cringe at my lunacy, but are thrilled for my belief in their remarkable abilities. At the core of every piece are really these conversations that are pushing my ambition, & deepening the bond with my team. We are constantly pushing the envelope, creating new skill sets that have not been in use previously. Each time we use a new non-traditional jewelry material, it has its own set of challenges but it helps us grow & understand, raising our curiosity even further. With these small victories, we have created a new mini footprint of change in a traditional environment, & I wear my smile of success.

  • "The only thing I am married to is my wife. Everything else I can play with"
    I have an aversion to dogmas or mindless rituals that are sometimes called tradition. I am not working on a jewelry making thesis. Instead we want all of our efforts to be reflected in every piece of Arunashi. We use some extraordinary stones & marry them with materials that would not often be considered for jewelry in a traditional sense. I am not shy to use such materials as carbon fiber, zirconium, titanium etc as our base materials, or mixing Burma Ruby with corian, or inlaying diamonds in Paraiba. The idea is to derive the right aesthetic for the piece. The perceived value should equally be in the design & originality of the creator, not just in the materials used.

  • "The world is changing faster than it ever did"
    I believe I would be obsolete if I do not pursue my passion for design. In this world, I am but a speck, however I have a vision. I ask the other artists to look beyond the present, to create the impossible & to leave a mark on an otherwise conforming industry. Because I believe this is not just the way ahead, it is the future.

Suzanne Kalandjian, Suzanne Kalan

President and Designer


Social Media Brand Pages


How your extraordinary design aesthetic and jewelry craftsmanship shapes the future of design

With over 28 years of experience designing fine jewelry, Suzanne Kalan continues to create stunning collections that are both breathtaking and unique.

Suzanne’s family has a long history in the jewelry industry. Her father owned a jewelry store, and she grew up working closely with him, learning about the business and jewelry design. Early on, Suzanne only designed jewelry for her friends and family. A request from a retail store turned her passion into a business, and with the support of her family, she launched her own company in 1988.

Well-versed in traditional jewelry techniques, Suzanne found her voice from the outset. Her designs implement long-established techniques, while introducing unusual concepts that challenge the rules of jewelry design in an effective manner that gives the designs a deeper meaning.

Designing in 18-karat gold, Suzanne’s custom-cut colorful gemstones and dramatically placed diamonds add a modern twist to the classic design.

Her award-winning Fireworks collection has received international praise for its innovative use of baguette diamonds, featuring designs that are unparalleled in the fine jewelry world. The collection beautifully captures the idea of ‘controlled chaos’ as the baguette diamonds are seemingly scattered to create some of the most stunning statement necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings.

The Fireworks collection highlights the beauty behind slight imperfections, as each design is infused with a seesawing duality between symmetry and asymmetry, artfully manifested in every piece. Suzanne’s revival of the baguette diamond has inspired an appreciation for unconventional designs in the jewelry industry.

Suzanne’s collection features a wide range of vibrant colors, and she travels the world looking for the best quality gemstones for her line. She developed the Vitrine concept, which means “showcase” in French. Custom cutting gemstones flat on top and bottom in order to reveal a classic diamond panel behind the gemstone. Until today, the Vitrine custom-cut continues to be an important design signature and figures prominently in the Fireworks collection, with some of the most glamorous and creative pieces showing off an explosion of scattered baguette diamonds behind large topazes and amethysts.

Suzanne takes great integrity in the craftsmanship, quality and diamonds she sources. Rio Tinto, one of the largest diamond producer’s in the world, approached Suzanne to create two collections, “Primordial” and “Starry Night,” featuring their renowned Argyle diamonds. The Primordial collection is centered around the idea of organic and raw designs. Inspired by her travels to the Middle East, she designed pieces that were reflective of the rich history and culture of the region. The Argyle diamonds complemented her modern take on ancient and cultural styles of jewelry. From rings, to earrings and necklaces, there is an old-meets-new sentiment in each piece. The Starry Night collection features her Vitrine collection concept, custom cutting clear topazes to reveal a panel of starburst-set Argyle colored diamonds.

Her signature collection continues to be revered by the jewelry industry. In 2014, Suzanne received the prestigious COUTURE Design Award for the “Diamond Below $20,000 (Retail)” category, for her 18-Karat Fireworks Baguette Diamond Shield Ring. In 2015, Suzanne received the Gem Diva Award from the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA), for her 18-Karat Fireworks Vitrine Necklace.

Suzanne’s unprecedented vision continues to push the boundaries of fine jewelry design.

Suzanne Kalan is based in Los Angeles, and produces and manufactures all her jewelry in-house. Suzanne Kalan is widely available in the U.S., including at Net-a-Porter, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue as well as international outlets such as Harrods, TSUM, Barneys Japan, Dover Street Market (London and New York) and Luisa Via Roma in Italy.

Lucia Silvestri, BULGARI

Jewelry Creative Director


Social Media Brand Pages

Instagram (Company Page)
Instagram (Lucia Silvestri)

Accolades received

  • National Jewelry Institute: Fine Art of High Jewelry and Timepieces award -- Paris, July 7, 2015.
    The appreciation towards innovation and design went out to the Blue Iridescence necklace from the Giardini Italiani collection, which was created with a set of seven sapphires, juxtaposed audaciously with pink spinels and festoons of diamonds marking the rhythm. The extraordinary set of 187,48 carats of sapphires has been acquired by Bulgari in various parts of the world and patiently set aside for years, in anticipation of the magic moment.

  • International Gemological Institute of Antwerp: Honorary Member ad honorem. Antwerp, December 2014.
    This very rare, special and prestigious acknowledgement, was to honor Lucia’s precious contribution and passion in the work with gemstones. Grown up in and with Bulgari since the age of eighteen, Lucia has traveled the world for precious and colored gemstones that have become, over the years, the hallmark of the Roman Jeweler’s most coveted pieces. Respected and well known in the market as the Queen of the Gems, her true love for precious stones and for jewelry creation has naturally led her to the realization of another dream in her career, the appointment as Bulgari’s Jewelry Creative Director in 2013. Her unique understanding of gemstones fused with her experience in Jewelry Design, are unmistakably defining her style and creativity.

How your extraordinary design aesthetic and jewelry craftsmanship shapes the future of design

As masterpieces of volume, creativity and vibrancy, Bulgari’s jewels are unmistakably distinctive, unapologetically bold, reflecting the very Roman idea of grandiose beauty. They are just the perfect juxtaposition between tradition and modernity, with an individual sense of style, vivacious approach to design, lavish exuberance and brazen authenticity.

Bulgari’s style is unique because of its roman birthplace. Rome is unrivalled in the world, from 2700 years the Eternal City has established the benchmark for legendary architectural feats, whilst also continuing its modern-day romance with all things design. It is in this juxtaposition between classicism, innovative design and contemporary art, that Bulgari finds the perfect balance of its pioneering style.

One of my greatest challenges as a Creative Director, is to remain true to Bulgari’s identity and design signature, constantly reinterpreting the esthetic codes for women that are never the same.

Through all the ages, Bulgari has stand for master of innovation for its novel approach to design, revolutionizing the world of jewelry. Incorporating unusual color combinations, unexpected materials and bold volumes, Bulgari pieces are not intended to appease convention, but rather to express a boundless creativity.

This is also the spirit that guides me during the design process: each collection or High Jewelry piece must have something spectacular and unexpected.

Jewelry and beauty have an intrinsic power to surprise, but a Bulgari jewel, must be able to irresistibly marvel you even more, with a natural elegance and a certain aesthetic versatility.

To reach such an excellence, I am always looking for new shapes, new creative plays, new inspirations, new gem combinations and also there are constant efforts in the implementation of our techniques. Each artisan in the Bulgari Atelier works on one High Jewelry creation at a time all day long, for a minimum of three months per piece – a perfectionist process that can take up to a year or more.

The aim of the proposed selection of Jewelry is to guide you through the multifaceted spirit of Bulgari’s design: from the High Jewelry creations built around the magnificence of a unique gemstone, to Serpenti “Eyes on me”, a new collection born of the endless reinterpretation of an iconic sing, to a pezzo pazzo (“fancy piece”) representing the most creative ways of wearing jewelry, to Diva, a purely Roman inspiration translated in an ode to contemporary woman, up to one of the strongest statements of Bulgari’s design, the B.zero1 ring.
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