Hurry, the CPAA Pearl Jewelry Design Competition Is Ending Soon!

In June, the Cultured Pearl Association of America (CPAA) announced that it’s accepting submissions for its annual International Pearl Design competition.

Entries are due on Oct. 2—that’s less than two weeks away.

And it’s worth setting aside everything to get your submission in. Why? Now in its 11th year, the competition is offering a uniquely prestigious opportunity for this year’s entrants: the chance for their work to be showcased and sold at New York CIty’s Aaron Faber Gallery.

There are two divisions—international and domestic. Those who live outside the U.S. compete by submitting renderings and sketches, while U.S. entrants will compete in two stages with finished jewels. The first phase involves submitting professional photographs of completed pieces for prejudging. Finalists will be notified privately on Oct. 6; from there, live, finished designs must be mailed to the CPAA for final judging.

There are a number of categories to consider when submitting designs. Among them are the Spotlight Award highlighting golden South Sea pearls and the Popularity Award, which allows CPAA Instagram followers to choose their favorite pieces from all the U.S. entries. There is also the Visionary Award for Classic Styles  (i.e., designs that champion a fresh look for an iconic pearl category like strands, studs, bracelets, or a ring to help change the dated perception of pearls in the market). Paging everyone featured in this story on pearl necklaces and this roundup of radical takes on pearl classics.

Full details and instructions on how to enter here.

Up to five designs may be submitted; there is a $175 fee to enter up to two designs; subsequent submissions are $150 each.

Winners will be announced on Oct. 29.


Top: a few examples of top-notch jewelry design, from left: Corde de Nacre necklace with white and golden mother-of-pearl in sterling silver, price on request, Melanie Georgacopoulos; earrings with Tahitian cultured pearls accented with 14 cts. t.w. black diamonds in 14k yellow gold, price on request, little h by Hisano Shepherd; and Raindrop earrings with 3 mm–6 mm Japanese akoya pearls and 2.062 cts. t.w. diamonds in 18k white gold, $8,000, Yoko London 

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Amy Elliott

JCK Contributing Editor

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