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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Local Woman Business Owner Chosen to Judge National Jewelry Competition

Santa Barbara, CA  July 18, 2016  - Diane Garmendia, owner and founder of 33 Jewels at El Paseo, Santa Barbara’s only woman-owned fine jewelry store, has been chosen by a national trade organization as a judge for its elite design competition.

The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) hosts an annual design competition known as the AGTA Spectrum Awards™.  The awards were established in 1984 and are considered the most prestigious and respected creative award for the jewelry design industry.

“The AGTA Spectrum Awards™ honors, recognizes and promotes designers whose work utilizes natural colored gemstones and cultured pearls in finished fine jewelry design.  It has become the benchmark for jewelry designers striving to gain recognition for their work.  In 1991, the AGTA created the Cutting Edge Awards to honor creativity in lapidary arts, including faceted gems and pearls, carvings, and objects of art.  Both are a true contest of workmanship, creativity and innovation.  Winners set the standards of excellence for our entire industry.  The Spectrum Awards competition has launched trends, increased visibility for designer jewelry, and inspired great innovation in use of color and materials.”

Garmendia, who started her business in 2005, is “thrilled to join industry leaders in recognizing some of the most amazing designers, jewelers and lapidarists in the U.S. and Canada!”  “My passion is jewelry and this industry, so to see firsthand over 500 creations from some of the best in the world is an exciting opportunity!  I can’t wait to share my experience and observations with my clients!,” she adds.

Lee Charles Buckingham, the in-house designer and goldsmith at 33 Jewels at El Paseo is a past recipient of five Spectrum Awards in various categories.

Courtesy Photo attached:  Diane Garmendia, Owner of 33 Jewels at El Paseo

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For more information contact Matt Wallace, 33 Jewels at (805) 450-1070
or Megan Whitmire, AGTA Marketing Manager at (800) 972-1162

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