The most exquisite diamond jewelry designs from around the world will be recognized in De Beers’ 1998 Diamonds-International Awards.

The Diamond Information Center in New York City is now accepting entries for the awards, which are considered the “Oscars” of the jewelry industry. Entrants must submit original design sketches or color photographs of the design models or finished pieces for preliminary judging. Entries must be received by Jan. 30.

Jewelry will be judged initially in three regional categories: the Americas, Asia/Pacific and Europe/Africa/ Middle East/Indian subcontinent. Up to 100 designs will be chosen per region for final judging in London in March. Thirty finalists will be required to produce the winning pieces for publicity purposes. Winning pieces will be put on public exhibit in countries around the world.

Entries must be jewelry or accessories for men or women, must contain a minimum total weight of 3 carats in diamonds and must carry at least 60% of their total value in diamonds. Designers are prohibited from using rough or uncut diamonds, gemstones other than diamonds, pearls and material from endangered species, including ivory and tortoise shell.

Those interested in participating can obtain a complete set of competition rules from the Diamond Information Center at J. Walter Thompson, 466 Lexington Ave., New York, NY 10017; (212) 210-7920, fax (212) 210-8778.