Why I Look Forward to the Jewelers’ Choice Awards

As JCK’s market editor, I can never see enough new jewelry—in person or in photos—to keep retailers up to date on the newest manufacturers and styles. This is one reason why I look forward to seeing entries for the Jewelers’ Choice Awards, a jewelry design competition organized by JCK’s marketing department that solicits works from firms large and small, across 20 different categories and two sub-categories, to be judged by our audience of retailers. 

As the deadline for this year’s Jewelers’ Choice Awards approaches—it’s this Monday Sept. 17—I’m starting to wonder what pieces might be submitted, and what new manufacturers I might come to know better through their participation. For example, I wasn’t familiar with De-ani’s gold jewelry, including the 14k gold Mariner bracelet the firm entered into the Gold Jewelry Over $2,500 category last year, but by seeing their entry, they are now on my radar, and I have another source to call when I need this sort of classically styled merchandise.

De-ani 14k gold Mariner's bracelet

Mariner bracelet in 14k gold from De-ani

And I’ve always known Hidalgo to produce a covetable and sweetly styled enamel and gold band, but I didn’t know that it had added some strong colored stone items to its line. I was also delighted to reacquaint myself with Kavant Jewelry’s Wavy Treasure earrings—a style I first saw when the firm debuted at the Centurion Jewelry show a few years ago. Seeing the pair for the second time around reminded me that they are a firm with designs worth reviewing more closely for JCK readers.

Tanzanite and diamond ring from Hildago

Tanzanite and diamond ring from Hildago

Wavy Treasure earrings from Kavant Jewelry

Wavy Treasure earrings from Kavant Jewelry

Plus, most of the manufacturers who enter the competition rarely send out press kits year-round (so important for press! Email them to me at jheebner@jckonline.com), so seeing their entries gives me an opportunity to catch a glimpse of new works, and request more images should something catch my eye. 

And when last year’s winner, Indian firm Bapalal Keshavlal, was announced, I was thrilled! I have a been a fan of their work for years, and was delighted to see them step into a well-earned spotlight, and perhaps even garner more case space in jewelers’ stores.

After all, that is the main reason why firms should consider entering: sales. More important than editors seeing your work is the chance for potential customers to see it, and hopefully buy into the line. Plus, entering the competition is a cost-effective marketing tool—how else can you get your product in front of thousands of potential buyers for a little over $500? Every bit of exposure—be it editorial or advertorial—helps vendors to land in front of their next big account.

Voting by retailers (sorry, manufacturers, no voting for your own designs!) takes place from Nov. 2 to Dec. 31, and there are ample media opportunities for those who participate. For starters, your design could be on the cover of JCK’s March 2013 issue, and could even get you some play in W magazine thanks to a new partnership with the consumer fashion bible. 

Good luck to those who enter! I look forward to seeing the winning pieces. Will one of them be yours?