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New awards pay homage to all areas of the trade
New awards pay homage to all areas of the trade

$50,000 first prize for new jewellery competition

A new Australian jewellery design competition has been announced, boasting a first prize valued at more than $50,000 and sponsorship by Armaguard and Etihad Airways.

In announcing the inaugural Jewellery Design Awards, Expertise Events managing director Gary Fitz-Roy said the competition would be open to all Australian and New Zealand jewellers with the aim of “shining a spotlight on the amazing talent of home-grown designers”.

Fitz-Roy explained that when he approached Armaguard and Etihad Airways with the idea of a new jewellery industry design awards program, the companies immediately recognised the importance of the competition.

“Armaguard and Etihad Airways both quickly jumped at the chance to come on board as major sponsors of the Jewellery Design Awards and, coupled with the support of Australian Women’s Weekly, Australia’s largest selling women’s magazine, we knew we could offer a wonderful new way to recognise the Australian and New Zealand jewellery industries.”

Fitz-Roy described the sponsorship of these businesses and a first prize that includes two Business Class Etihad Airways tickets to attend BaselWorld, four nights’ accommodation and a full-page advertisement in Australian Women’s Weekly to promote the winner’s jewellery business, as a huge leap forward for the local industry.

He added that the Jewellery Design Awards would be “the richest ever jewellery design competition in Australia”. The airfares and accommodation are valued at well over $20,000, while the cost of a full-page advertisement in the Australian Women’s Weekly magazine is $36,000.

The overall winner – who will be known as the Supreme Awards winner – will be determined by the entry that receives the highest score out of all finalists across each category.

While the full design competition and other categories are still being finalised, Fitz-Roy said it was important to announce the size of the prize packs and the Armaguard and Etihad Airways sponsorship leading up to this year’s International Jewellery Fair (IJF) in Sydney.

Gary Fitz-Roy, Expertise Events managing director
Gary Fitz-Roy, Expertise Events managing director

The Jewellery Design Awards will take place next year and at least one other high-profile sponsor has also been secured, with Cosmopolitan Bride magazine sponsoring the ‘Bridal’ category.

“The winner of the Bridal category will therefore feature in a spread valued at $7,000; again promoting the winner’s business and receiving a tangible outcome that will position their brand directly in front of their target audience,” Fitz-Roy explained.

Fitz-Roy said he approached Armaguard because the company was the leading precious cargo transport provider.

Commenting on the sponsorship, Scott Forster, general manager of Armaguard international operations, stated: "Armaguard is thrilled to be supporting such an important and exciting new awards program, in conjunction with our UAE JV partner Etihad Airways.

“As an Australian business, Armaguard is committed and invested in the success of jewellery retailers and the broader industry. We believe there is a great synergy as our approach is unique, and we encourage jewellery makers to bring their most unique pieces forward to be judged."

Celebrating local talent

According to Fitz-Roy, the 2017 Jewellery Design Awards will pay homage to all areas of the trade and include categories relevant for the entire industry in order to highlight the immaculate craftsmanship that exists.

“All prizes on offer are category-specific and are aimed at helping jewellery designers and the future of their business. This is not a competition where the winner gets a trophy and a certificate, it’s about promoting them into the future,” Fitz-Roy explained.

“We are overjoyed to be hosting an event that is supported by the industry and is independent in every way. There was so much disappointment when the previous association awards fell over and were cancelled this year so we wanted to create something that helped in both the winner’s profile and prestige and gave them real value in winning.

“We aim to create a whole new benchmark in prizes and lift the profile for the industry on an international scale. There are so many emerging and experienced jewellery makers in our industry and we want to help that talent reach a global stage,” Fitz-Roy concluded.

The full program for the 2017 Jewellery Design Awards will be unveiled at this year’s IJF, where a major exhibition area will showcase all award categories along with other category sponsors.

The 2016 IJF will take place from 27 to 29 August at the Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island.

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