PEARLS ARE WINNERS IN MAINE CONTEST Etienne Perret of Etienne Perret Jewelers, Camden, Maine, received the Best of Show award at the Maine Jewelers Association’s annual design contest. The award-winning entry was an 18-in. strand of Tahitian pearls and 18k gold spherical beads and a matching bracelet. Diamonds were bezel-mounted into each bead. The total value of the ensemble, which also was awarded first place in the “Retailers—over $1,000” category, is $42,000.

Perret also received first place in the “Retailers—under $1,000” category for an 18k gold lattice ring with diamonds. He donated his $600 cash award to fund scholarships to the Maine College of Art.

Jewelers from across the state entered 26 pieces in the contest. Other first-place winners were Ronna Lugosch of Lugosch Designs, Round Pond, Maine, in the Manufacturers competition for an 18k yellow gold free-form ring with freshwater cultured pearl; and Krista Belinske of Maine College of Art in the Student competition for a lentil bead necklace fashioned from sterling silver and 24k gold with rose quartz.


The Japan Pearl Promotion Society’s International Pearl Design Contest, which recently completed its 27th annual edition, will now be held every other year. The next contest will be held in 2001. Entry forms will be available in November through the Cultured Pearl Information Center in New York.

The contest is open to all professional, student, and nonprofessional jewelry designers. Its goal is to foster new and innovative cultured pearl jewelry designs from around the world. Its cosponsors are the Japan Black Pearl Promotion Association and the South Sea Pearl Consortium.

For information, contact the Cultured Pearl Information Center at (212) 688-5580.


The Women’s Jewelry Association is now accepting entries in the fourth annual Diva Award for Jewelry Design Competition. The contest will offer $15,000 in cash prizes this year. The theme is “Renaissance Diva,” focusing on “the rebirth of past designs, updated with modern ideas and technology.”

Entries are due March 31; judging will take place in April. Winners will be announced at WJA’s evening event on Monday, June 5 at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas during the JCK International Jewelry Show.

The first-place winner will receive $10,000. The second-place prize is $3,000, and the third-place prize is $1,000. There will be three honorable mention awards of $325 each. Ricardo Eichberg of Eichberg Jewelers in Beverly Hills, Calif., will manufacture the winning design. The finished piece will be sold at auction through; the proceeds will go to the National WJA Scholarship Fund.

For more information, call the Los Angeles Chapter of WJA at (310) 842-6446.

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