Deadline Approaching for Johnson Matthey Design Awards

The deadline to enter the first edition of the Johnson
Matthey Sustainable Design Awards
—its first contest since the 1980s—is quickly
approaching. Nov. 25, which is Thanksgiving Day, is the last day to submit
a drawing or an image of a new and unique piece made of 950 platinum.

The competition is open to emerging designers with fewer than
five years of experience, though postgraduates or final-year students may also enter. Any style of jewelry—necklace, ring, etc.—may be
entered. Pieces should not have previously won an award or competition, nor
should items have already been produced and sold to consumers; criteria for
winning selections include wearability, commercial viability, metal as the
primary medium (few stones), as well as newness in the market and ability to be
produced in platinum.

“The name of the competition was a great fit with what we
had been talking about over the least year regarding metals sourcing, but also
how we felt about designing and manufacturing in platinum,” says Mark Danks,
sales and marketing manager of Platinum and Palladium Jewelry Products for
Johnson Matthey in New York City.

The sustainability component—the idea of responsible
business practices and sustaining the design and manufacturing of platinum
jewelry in North America—is so important to JM that in 2007 it unveiled
Sustainability 2017: a 10-year plan with the goal of “more than doubling our
earnings per share while achieving zero waste and halving the key resources
that we consume per unit of output by 2017″ (the firm’s 200th anniversary),
according to JM’s website. A Responsible Supplier Policy further
acknowledges JM’s efforts to supply products where the metal is sourced from
other socially responsible companies, noting a recently completed Corporate
Social Responsibility
audit of leading platinum producer Anglo Platinum.

“There’s simply
not enough recycled platinum to satisfy total global demand across all
industries, and even if the jewelry industry decided to use only recycled
metal, mining would still be required to satisfy the demand in others,” adds
Danks.

Contest winners, meanwhile, must be able to produce piece
themselves, or by way of a sponsor. There is no limit for individuals regarding
the number of entries that can be submitted.

Three winners will be selected by a panel of nine judges, including platinum
expert Jurgen Maerz and designer Michael Bondanza. Among the prizes:
professional photography for use in the winners’ own marketing efforts,
coverage in the MJSA Journal and on preciousplatinum.com, media exposure to top editors and stylists, a free ounce of platinum, and more. The
total prize package is valued at $30,000.