Island jewelry designer and gemstone importer, John Ford has received honors in two categories in the American Gem Trade Association’s 2016 Spectrum Awards. Ford won Platinum Honors in both the evening wear division and the day wear division. The Spectrum Awards is considered the Oscars of the jewelry industry - the most prestigious jewelry and gemstone competition in the world.
Ford gained international attention after winning his first Spectrum award in 2014. Since then his Lightning Ridge Collection has received critical acclaim from jewelry editors and fashion stylists throughout the world. Ford’s designs have been seen on the red carpet at the Oscars and the Emmys. The Lightning Ridge Collection by John Ford is now available throughout the United States in fine jewelry stores.
Even with all of the recent international attention, Ford continues to give back to his island community, he has donated one of his designs to benefit educational funding at Galveston College at their 50th Anniversary Gala on Saturday, October 15 at the Galveston Island Convention Center at the San Luis Resort. The necklace to be donated at the gala has a rare 4.02 carat free form blue green Black Opal accented by 1.05 carats of round brilliant cut diamonds set in 18 karat gold.
Ford’s 2016 Spectrum Award winning designs include a magnificent “electric blue” black opal and diamond necklace with 197 carats of Lightning Ridge Back Opals accented by 6.27 carats of fine white diamonds set in platinum; and a ladies black opal and diamond “mirror design ring,” featuring a 3.65 carat Lightning Ridge Black Opal accented by .69 carats of fine white diamonds set in platinum.
“Winning my first Spectrum in 2014 was a thrill and total surprise. It has allowed me to share the most beautiful gemstone in the world, the Lightning Ridge Opal, with thousands of people. There is no higher honor for a jewelry designer than winning multiple Spectrum awards. Getting that special call again today from New York was just as exhilarating as the first time. There is something words can’t fully express about competing against hundreds of the world’s top designers, and having such a distinguished panel of judges recognize your piece as the best,” said Ford.
It was only five months ago that we reported on Ford's designs worn at The Oscars.
Stars such as Katrina Bowden (Public Morals), Sola Bamis (Mad Men), Marisol Nichols (Teen Wolf), and Carlease Burke (Crowded), were photographed wearing Ford’s original black opal and diamond designs at a pre-Oscars styling event.
Kate Flannery (The Office) lit up the red carpet at the Women in Film Pre-Oscar Cocktail Party wearing a 5.93 carat, electric blue black opal ring accented with 1.50 carats of diamonds, that was complimented by a pair of triangular shaped red black opal and diamond earrings.
Australian David White, accepted an Oscar for his role in the making of Mad Max: Fury Road, wearing a pair of Black Opal cufflinks from John Ford’s Lightning Ridge Collection.
At an impromptu post-Oscars photoshoot, David White posed with his treasured prize and Ford’s cufflinks, while straddling a surfboard. “Aussies know how to celebrate!” says Ford. “It’s one of my favorite things about traveling Down Under to source Black Opal.”
The cufflinks feature 9.18 carats of pear-shaped Black Opal split by 0.31 carats of diamond lightning bolts set in platinum. “Obviously, the lightning bolts were inspired by my adopted home, Lightning Ridge, Australia,” explained Ford.
While showing off red carpet jewelry on Hollywood Today, famed stylist Michael O’Connor commented on Ford’s designs: “Celebrities and stylists alike were astounded by the beauty of John Ford’s pieces. The designs are not only amazing and unique, but each opal used is like a fingerprint - unique and full of a personality all its own.”
John Ford sources Black Opal exclusively from Lightning Ridge, Australia for his Black Opal and diamond jewelry designs. His designs can be viewed at LightningRidgeCollection.com. When Ford is not traveling, he can be found at his Island showroom at 2114 61st Street.