Golden Is the Globe

The Gold Virtuosi 2002 International Jewelry Design Competition, the premier prize of the gold jewelry industry, bowed with a gala ceremony during the VicenzaOro 2 trade fair. The competition whittled down 5,098 designs from 52 nations into 34 winning pieces judged to be the best of the best examples of innovative gold jewelry design.

Among the winners was American Yupadee Kobkul-Boonsiri, of Grunberger Jewelers in Stamford, Ct. Other American finalists in the competition included Robert Lee Morris, Maria Canale, Elizabeth Bucheit, and Alissa Frazer.

This year’s awards included a special Award of Excellence—for exceptional ingenuity and creativity—presented by Bvlgari to Kyong-Sun Moon of the Calgaro Group in Italy.

The Gold Virtuosi competition, which is sponsored jointly by the World Gold Council and the Vicenza Jewelry Fair, featured a panel of judges representing the worlds of fashion, design, art, and jewelry. Each entry was judged on its originality and creativity of design concept; skill in craftsmanship, including use of texture and finish; relevance to today’s lifestyle; and overall dramatic impact. All designs were in 18k or higher gold.

This was the second Gold Virtuosi competition; the first was held in 2000. It was created to inspire unrestricted creativity, to promote excellence in craftsmanship, to reward the winning designers with global acclaim, and ultimately, to expand the horizons of gold jewelry designers worldwide.

As was the case with the inaugural Gold Virtuosi competition, this year’s entries brought to the fore some emerging design trends. There was a notable blending of the opulence of Eastern design with the refined elegance of Western tradition. Many entries featured jewelry that went beyond accessory status to being an integral part of an outfit, such as bracelets that stretched up the entire arm, a cape of finely woven gold, and necklaces that covered shoulders as well as the neck. Another inspiration was nature, a perpetual theme but this year often expressed by the addition of elements that lent movement and fluidity to a piece.

The winning collection is now on tour, visiting key international centers of jewelry design including New York, Paris, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. A special gala evening during the Jewelers of America summer show in New York highlighted the designs and honored their creators. Here, we recognize some of the finalists.