Here’s the Winning Design From GIA’s Jewelry Design Competition

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) presented its second annual Gianmaria Buccellati Foundation Award for Excellence in Jewelry Design in February to GIA graduate Ching-Hui Weng.

The competition, which recognizes artistic excellence in jewelry design, was open to students who successfully completed the GIA Jewelry Design course in 2018.

Weng’s design (pictured) illustrates a Urocissa caerulea, which is a magpie native to Taiwan. The yellow and white gold brooch features opals, aquamarines, lapis lazuli, black chalcedony, coral, and white and yellow diamonds.

Weng was one of the 18 finalists from seven GIA schools around the world whose hand-drawn designs were judged by a group of gem and jewelry experts in design, manufacturing, and retail.

“Each year I’m blown away by the spectacular pieces that our students create,” said Elizabeth Brehmer, GIA technical adviser for jewelry manufacturing arts, in a prepared statement. She added that aside from being beautiful, Weng’s brooch design demonstrates “great technical ability that truly showcases what she learned in the Jewelry Design course at GIA.”

The designer studied at GIA’s Taiwan campus and received her GIA certificate in jewelry design in 2018.

“My inspiration for this piece is the urocissa caerulea,” said Weng in the same statement. “The gemstones illustrate the bird’s fierce temperament and flight.”

The Gianmaria Buccellati Foundation sponsors the annual award to inspire beginning jewelry designers and honor the work of jewelry house Buccellati’s founder, Gianmaria Buccellati.

As this year’s winner, Weng will travel to Italy, meet Mrs. Buccellati, and view part of the foundation’s collection.

“We are pleased to congratulate Ms. Ching-Hui Weng, and look forward to welcoming her to Italy,” said Larry French, chief officer of North America strategies for the Gianmaria Buccellati Foundation, in the same statement. “Together with GIA, we hope to continue to encourage and support the dreams of young jewelry designers throughout the world.”

Top: The winning jewelry design by Ching-Hui Weng (photo by Emily Lane, courtesy of GIA)

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