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      Local jeweler sparkles nationally

      These three pieces hand crafted by Randy Hurt ,were nationally recognized in a recent jewelry competition.

      The saying goes, "diamonds are a girls best friend," but Randy Hurt reminds you not to forget about your acquaintances.

      "There's a lot of other little friends, too, like many gemstones," Hurt said. "We have many gemstones that you just won't see in most jewelry stores."

      Hurt has been a bench jeweler for almost 40 years.

      "I spent about eight years just learning the craft of jewelry as a repair jeweler and that's really helped me in creating jewelry because I know what fails first," he said.

      "He's a jeweler of America's Certified Master Bench Jeweler and he's only one of a few in the nation so he knows what he's doing," Hurt's daughter Brandy Hurt said. "You can tell in his work that everything is practically perfect. He's a perfectionist."

      That trait recently landed him three awards in a national competition. His jewelry store, Ava Goldworks in Hannibal, was the only gallery in the nation to have three winning designs. (You can get a close up look at the pieces, here.)

      "I'm very flattered that industry peers think so highly of the work that we're doing right here in Hannibal," Randy Hurt said.

      Only 15 pieces made the cut at the competition.

      This isn't Hurt's first award.

      "There's quite a few," he said. There's actually a whole wall of awards inside Ava Goldworks. If you look closely you might see another Hurt's name on one of those plaques.

      "Brandy's had an international award also," Randy Hurt said.

      'It's great that I can design anything and he can make it pretty much," Brandy said. "I have no limitations on my creativity because of his ability."

      Brandy Hurt designs half of the jewelry showcased in the gallery.

      Randy says having his daughter and wife by his side everyday, makes coming to work more of a ...

      "... family thing ..."

      ... and less of a job.