(CHICAGO - March 22) After the second round of judging in the Ultimate Design Contest from INSTORE and The SMART Jewelry Show, the competition is down to its final four designers.

Here are the finalists:

• Last year's champion, Tom Linenberger of Goldworks in Garden City, KS
• Javier Zavala of Eana Designs in Aptos, CA
• Randall Hurt of AVA Goldworks in Hannibal, MO
• Barbara Sherick of Riddles Jewelry in Sioux Falls, SD

Manufactured pieces from the four finalists will be displayed at a special exhibit at The SMART Jewelry Show at Chicago's Navy Pier from April 2-4, 2011. The ultimate winner will be named on the last day of the show, 2:30 pm on April 4.

Judges raved about the candidates' designs.

Talking about Randall Hurt's design, judge Helena Krodel of the Jewelry Information Center said "The rose gold and Rhodolite Garnet showcased beautifully in the high-set design.  The floral design is feminine and statement-making."

In his review of Barbara Sherrick's design, judge Michael Coan of Fashion Institute of Technology called it "A ring with strong sculptural sensibilities.  The line carries the eye from the tip of the ring to its shank.  The balance of polished surface with pavé is equally elegant and recalls the movement of sails in the wind."

Referring to this year's entry from defending champ Tom Linenberger, judge Joel McFadden of Joel McFadden Designs said "This is crazy. The level of detail is beyond."

Judging Javier Zavala's etnry, celebrity style expert MIchael O'Connor said "This ring is a great blend of formality and fun combined together in a wonderful piece of art."

[contentheading]You’ve seen the renderings, Now see the final four rings live at The SMART Jewelry Show from April 2-4. [/contentheading]

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