Pratt and PGI Establish Student Platinum Jewelry Design Competition

Pratt Institute, in Brooklyn, N.Y., has partnered with Platinum Guild International USA (PGI-USA) to establish a new design competition, the Platinum DNA Awards, for its jewelry design students.

The competition invites students to submit designs to be judged on originality, creativity, manufacturing viability and engineering, and commercial appeal. Designs must be conceived as all-platinum pieces, though there is an option to include gemstones.

Winners of the award will have the opportunity to work with New York–based manufacturers to produce their designs.

“Our students design a piece of platinum jewelry in their junior year, at which time they are introduced to the metal’s qualities and idiosyncrasies,” explained Pratt professor Katrin Zimmermann, in a prepared statement. “In their senior year, they deepen their understanding by submitting designs to this new and exciting competition, which the winners are able to see come to life in a collaboration with the industry. This really allows us to significantly expand our education in the use and appreciation of platinum. We could not be more thrilled about this new program.”

The panel of judges for the awards is composed of both Pratt Institute faculty and jewelry industry experts, who will collectively select first, second, and third place designs.

The competition’s judges are: Pratt professors Zimmerman, David Butler, Russell Jones, and Patricia Madeja; Zoltan David of Zoltan David; Marion Fasel, jewelry expert and editorial director of the Adventurine; Deirdre Featherstone of Featherstone Designs; Michelle Graff, editor-in-chief of National Jeweler; Patricia Gumuchian of Gumuchian; Michael Pollak, former CEO and cofounder of Hyde Park Jewelers; and John Carter of Jack Lewis Jewelers, who’s also the immediate past president of the American Gem Society.

The three winning designs, which will be announced in January, will be showcased at the annual Pratt Design Show, slated for May 2021, as well as virtually on a new online exhibition platform.

PGI-USA will feature the winning designs in its digital marketing campaigns, and will potentially offer them for commercial sale, according to the same statement (proceeds from any sales would benefit the Pratt jewelry design program).

“We are delighted to be partnering with Pratt Institute on this exciting new program,” said Kevin Reilly, PGI-USA’s vice president. “Our hopes are by affording young designers the opportunity to work with platinum in the beginning stages of their careers, we will witness a new generation of talented, platinum-focused ambassadors in the years ahead.”

Top: Platinum jewelry (courtesy of Platinum Guild International USA)

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