Duraflex Group Australia
Duraflex Group Australia
Duraflex Group Australia
Goto your account
Search Stories by: 

Feature Stories

2014 JAA Design Awards: Jewellery’s night of nights

The JAA Australasian Jewellery Awards is the industry’s night of nights, and it only comes around once every two years.

No longer just an Australian competition, the contest crossed the Tasman for the first time in 2012, welcoming New Zealand entrants – this year 12 Kiwis entered, five more than last time.

In 2014, the 23rd edition of these prestigious awards has expanded to include a Reader’s Choice Award, and with 77 individual entries and 85 “pieces”, continues to honour jewellers who create jewellery with the highest levels of artistry, creativity and excellence in quality and style. To be recognised with a JAA Jewellery Award jewellers must express their individuality and craft through the design and manufacture of one-of-a-kind jewellery pieces. Read on to view the pieces and the inspiration behind the 40 finalists in this year’s prestigious awards.

Design Awards still shining after 46 years

Now in its 23rd edition, the JAA Jewellery Design Awards started from humble beginnings. Originally proposed by a Queensland jeweller in 1968 and now open to New Zealand jewellers, the ultimate winner is also provided with airfares and accommodation to compete in Hong Kong.

Held every two years, the JAA Jewellery Design Awards are a celebration of the creativity and imagination that abounds the industry. Having been the highlight for the Australian jewellery industry for many years, it was expanded in 2012 to include entries from New Zealand jewellers and, in recognition, the event was renamed the JAA Australasian Jewellery Awards.

The awards first commenced in 1968 after a proposal from the Queensland branch of the Federated Retail Jeweller’s Association of the Commonwealth – the previous form of the Jewellers Association of Australia. The concept was the brainchild of then federal president Roy Worfold.

From left to right: the June 1968 cover of The Commonwealth Jeweller and Watchmaker; the original winners as featured here in the June 1968 issue of Women’s Weekly; the award specifications as outlined in the May 1968 issue of The Commonwealth Jeweller  and Watchmaker.
From left to right: the June 1968 cover of The Commonwealth Jeweller and Watchmaker; the original winners as featured here in the June 1968 issue of Women’s Weekly; the award specifications as outlined in the May 1968 issue of The Commonwealth Jeweller and Watchmaker.

Unprecedented in Australia, the awards presented the first opportunity for apprentices and qualified jewellers to showcase their talents across a number of categories.

The first Australian Jewellery Design Awards was timed to coincide with the Federated Retail Jewellers Convention in Brisbane and Worfold was named chairman of the first judging panel.

The first event generated so much enthusiasm that both Women’s Weekly and The Commonwealth Jeweller and Watchmaker (the primary jewellery magazine at the time) reported on it. In 1968 the award categories included jewellery items up to $500 retail value, diamond rings suitable for an engagement up to $250 retail value, and jewellery items up to $150 retail value, designed and manufactured by an apprentice.

Entry fees were a mere $5 per category and winners were presented with prizes of between $100 and $250.

Roy Worfold, a life member of the JAA, sadly passed away on 3 November last year at the age of 96. His contribution to the Australian jewellery industry will continue to be honoured through the Roy Worfold Perpetual Trophy, awarded to the Jeweller of the Year in the biennial JAA Australasian Jewellery Awards.

The awards continue to become more prestigious each year, with many past winners entering again. Winners will be announced on 1 September at a special presentation evening at the JAA International Jewellery Fair in Sydney.

This year the awards will receive significant consumer exposure via a joint promotion with Bride to Be magazine which is sponsoring a Reader’s Choice Award. The Bride to Be “partnership” will take the awards to consumers and the consumer publication, which will be available in selected newsagencies and luxury hotels around Australia.

Following the awards, all finalist pieces will be displayed during the Sydney trade fair on the JAA stand. Attendees are encouraged to come and view the high levels of craftsmanship and design during their visit to the fair.

But there’s more at stake than local accolades. This year’s designers are hunting glory and international acclaim, with winners assigned the proud honour of showcasing their talent on a global platform at the 2015 Hong Kong International Jewellery Show. Accompanying the winning designs will be the 2014 Jeweller of the Year.

For now though, Jeweller offers you a prelude to the glitz and glamour of the awards ceremony. Meet the judges who’ll decide the winners, wonder at the finalists’ designs and marvel at the skill and talent our industry embodies.

The judges

Judging the best designs from some of the most talented minds in the industry is no easy task, which is why the JAA has assembled an exceptional panel of industry leaders to sift the best from the best. But who are those leaders? Meet the minds charged with making the big decisions.

Gina Kougias, Georgini
Creating Georgini from scratch in 1994 with only $5,000, and no jewellery experience, Gina Kougias set out to create an affordable “diamond look” jewellery range. Georgini is the only Australian brand to have been invited to create a design for Swarovski, exhibited around the world and appeared in the 2013 Annual Swarovski Design Book.

Sarah Ross, Studio Ingot
Sarah Ross is the founder of Melbourne gallery Studio Ingot. Recognised for being at the forefront of supporting Australia’s vibrant contemporary jewellers, Studio Ingot’s vision has played a vital role in nurturing careers and development of the talented artists it represents. Sarah has lectured and exhibited in Australia and overseas, dividing her time between her own jewellery collection and directing the gallery.


Peter Minturn, Peter Minturn Goldsmith School
Peter Minturn is a highly respected jewellery designer in New Zealand. He has trained many young designers who now occupy key positions around the world. He has made commissioned pieces for the Queen, Princess Anne and Princess Alexandra, Lord Robens, Michael Cane, Elton John and Frankie Valli. He recently designed a commemorative piece for the Maori Queen Te Atairangikaahu’s 40th anniversary to the throne. Peter was awarded a Member of New Zealand Merit (MNZM) in 2009 for his services to the New Zealand jewellery industry.

George and Grace Andolfi, G & G Andolfi
Grace Andolfi has a diploma of fashion design and is a qualified diamond grader. She has an unparalleled understanding of jewellery making and 45 years’ experience in jewellery consultancy. Together with her husband George, they have had an influential impact on the jewellery trade in Australia since the early 1970s. A master jeweller, steeped in European tradition, George Andolfi is an award-winning designer. The pair are well known for revolutionising the jewellery industry in the 1960s, when they established their successful retail and manufacturing business.


The award categories













Get up close and personal with high resolution images


SAMS Group Australia

Read current issue

login to my account
Username: Password:
RR Diamonds Australia
Duraflex Group Australia
SAMS Group Australia
© 2024 Befindan Media