PEARL DESIGN CONTEST TO MARK 25th YEAR The International Pearl Design Contest will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year. Created to encourage the use of cultured pearls in modern jewelry design, the contest is sponsored by the Japan Pearl Promotion Society, the World Gold Council Ltd. and the Platinum Guild International. Designers may submit entries in three categories: freestyle, thematic and paper renderings. The thematic category this year is jewelry with a botanical motif. Entries, which are due March 12, must feature cultured or natural pearls as the central design element, though gemstones, precious metal and other materials may be used to enhance the design. Designers must submit actual jewelry for the freestyle and thematic categories. Pieces will be judged on originality, innovative use of materials and design excellence. A panel of international jewelry experts will

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