International diamond giant De Beers Group has announced nine regional finalists in this year’s Shining Light Awards.
The award recognises emerging jewellery designers in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, providing a valuable platform to build their careers in the jewellery design industry.
The finalists, three from each country, were selected for their captivating jewellery designs from more than 130 entries.
Entrants were required to create a jewellery collection that represented this year’s design brief theme of ‘Protecting Nature’s Beauty’, which was set by Forevermark, and which recognises De Beers Group’s and Forevermark’s commitment to conservation and sustainability.
The focus of the awards has evolved over recent years, moving away from designing and producing intricate artistic pieces to more commercial jewellery collections, which would appeal to a broader consumer market.
The winners will be announced in Windhoek on 30 November 2017. And for the first time since the competition’s inception, there will be prizes for first, second and third in each of the participating countries.
Winners will receive a one-year apprenticeship with Forevermark at its Design and Innovation Centre in Milan, Italy, for the overall winners three-month internship with Forevermark at its Design and Innovation Centre for the second prize winners and participation in a jewellery design skills development programme at a regional institution for the third prize winners.
Targeting a niche segment of design students, De Beers Group and Forevermark conducted regional roadshows and workshops to attract entrants and engage with students across universities and technical colleges in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.
Pat Dambe, Vice-President, Corporate Affairs and Government Relations, De Beers Global Sightholder Sales, said: “De Beers Group is committed to ensuring that the youth in the countries of our diamond producer partners benefit from the diamond industry.
“Through the Shining Light Awards, we are providing a platform to nurture and develop emerging talent, while also highlighting the positive opportunities that exist along the diamond value chain. We have been blown away by the level of talent across our partner countries, and the beautiful and creative designs that were developed by our nine finalists.”
“Forevermark is proud to support and nurture emerging jewellery design talent in diamond producing countries. The Shining Light Awards is a fantastic platform for the next generation of designers to realise their creative potential, while also providing valuable links with the industry,” said Costantino Papadimitriou, Forevermark Senior Vice-President, Brand Strategy and Innovation.
“It has been fascinating to see the different responses to this brief and the innovative jewellery collections featuring one of Forevermark’s beautiful, rare and responsibly sourced diamonds at the heart.”
The Shining Light Awards, now in their 20th year in South Africa and eighth year in Botswana and Namibia, are part of the De Beers Young Jewellery Designers Skills Development Initiative, designed to support beneficiation efforts in De Beers Group’s producer countries across southern Africa.