GIA Korea graduates place in pearl contest

Gemological Institute of America graduate gemologist and jewelry design graduate Sung Woo Hong of Korea placed fourth in the 30th International Pearl Design Contest organized by the Japan Pearl Promotion Society.

In addition, GIA Korea jewelry design graduate Eugene Song and student Rim Chae both placed fourth in the competition. Hong’s cultured pearl necklace was judged from the submissions representing 16 different countries.

Chae was still a student in GIA’s Graduate Gemologist diploma program in Korea when the contest was held.

The international pearl contest, held every two years, is designed to elicit beauty through the creation of pearl jewelry. It is open to designers, manufacturers, students, and retail jewelers. Winners are announced in Tokyo.

Hong is a member of a group of GIA graduates in Korea called the GIA Designers Association. Now in its ninth year, the group has more than 100 members. Some own and operate retail stores while others are professors or designers. All are involved in the jewelry business.

It is the only association of its kind in the world and the group annually showcases some of their best designs in themed exhibits at various trade shows and locations.

The most recent exhibit includes custom-designed and manufactured jewelry to fit a seasons’ theme, “Four Seasons of Korea,” which was on display at the Korea Exhibition Center during the 2005 Jewel Fair Korea. The exhibit will be on display Nov. 22–27 at GIA Korea’s Gallery, located at Keuk Dong Bldg. 5th Floor, Kangnamku Sinsadong 639-3, in Seoul. For more information about the group and classes at GIA Korea, e-mail, or call 822-540-7637.

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