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Final preparations are underway for the JDA and JAA design awards
Final preparations are underway for the JDA and JAA design awards

Jewellery design competition ramps up

Anticipation is building for this year’s two jewellery design competitions with news that finalists have been selected for the inaugural Jewellery Design Awards (JDA) and judging is set to take place later this week.

Gary Fitz-Roy, Expertise Events managing director and JDA organiser, confirmed that 59 finalists were chosen across 10 sponsored categories.

He explained that an independent jury who had the difficult task of sorting through 105 entries – which is believed to be the highest number of entries received for an industry design awards program in recent years – made the shortlist.

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

Fitz-Roy said all finalists had been notified ahead of judging, which would be conducted this Friday 11 August.

“There is real anticipation building and everyone who has been shortlisted is so excited,” he stated.

Fitz-Roy added that judges would not be identified until the awards ceremony and cocktail function held at the new Sydney International Convention Centre (ICC) on Saturday 26 August.

“It was decided that judging should be blind both ways – judges are not aware of entrant names either – in order to avoid bias,” Fitz-Roy explained. “Designs couldn’t be influenced by a judge’s likes, dislikes or professional activities when the jeweller did not know their identity.”

Finalist pieces will be judged on criteria including originality, creativity, practicality of producing the design, wearability and commercial potential.

As previously reported by Jeweller, the JDA competition was announced last year by Expertise Events as part of its celebration of the IJF returning to Darling Harbour.

It aims to support and promote jewellers working in all areas of the industry and has a prize pool valued at more than $80,000. The overall Supreme Award Winner – to be awarded to the entry that receives the highest point score out of all finalists – will receive two airline tickets to Baselworld flying business class with Etihad Airways, four nights’ accommodation to attend Baselworld as well as a full-page advertisement in The Australian Women’s Weekly.

The pieces will also be on display at the IJF, which takes place at the ICC from Saturday August 26 to Monday August 28. Visitors are encouraged to preview the designs and vote for their favourite to win the Fair Visitor Choice Award.

Jeweller will provide a special preview of the finalist names and pieces once judging is complete.

JAA Australasian Jewellery Awards

Final preparations are also underway for the 24th edition of the Jewellers Association of Australia (JAA) Australasian Jewellery Awards.

The JAA’s biennial awards began in 1968 and although the JAA website notes that entries for this year’s competition have closed, no further details regarding finalists have been announced.

Jeweller contacted the JAA about the number of entries and whether finalists had been selected; however, JAA marketing and memberships manager Emma Ward said she would need to seek approval from the JAA board to release the information.

The JAA announced a ‘media partnership’ with glossy magazine Marie Claire on 26 July, which seems to have caused some confusion.

According to a JAA statement, Marie Claire would ‘host’ the Reader’s Choice Award. The magazine’s fashion editor would select 10 finalists across all categories, with the public encouraged to vote for their favourite piece at marieclaire.com.au.

The confusion stems from the fact that since February, when it first announced the 2017 awards, the JAA has publicised the media sponsor as mywedding.com.

An earlier media release, dated 19 March and which still appears on the JAA website, states: “The panel has been selected in addition to the judges of the mywedding ‘Bridal Award - Tradition with a Twist’ and the mywedding ‘People’s Choice Award’, which will see the winners chosen by the mywedding General Manager and the online readers.”

At the time of publication it was unclear whether there were two media sponsored categories – Reader’s Choice Award and People’s Choice Award – or if mywedding had withdrawn its sponsorship of the awards.

Until last week the main JAA Australasian Jewellery Awards website page listed mywedding.com as a sponsor of the People’s Choice Award; however, that has now changed without clarification.

The JAA Australasian Design Awards winners will be named at a masquerade ball held in conjunction with the Showcase Jewellers members dinner. The event will be held at Sheraton on the Park in Sydney on 25 August.

More Reading
New jewellery comp reaches ‘record’ entry levels
Sydney fair receives major boost in exhibitors
Biggest jewellery comp now open; $80,000 prizes
JAA awards to be presented at buying group dinner
JAA design awards confirmed for 2017
JAA cancels jewellery design awards


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