Visitors to the VicenzaOro I fair in January in Vicenza, Italy, had a chance to cast a vote in Gioie Novelle, a competition for young Italian and South African jewelry designers.

Leonardo Matteuzzi of Florence, Italy, was judged the overall winner for a gold and platinum collar with diamonds and a gold nugget. The design was made into a piece of jewelry by L’Esagono of Rome, Italy.

Raoul van Tonder of Witbank, South Africa, won second place for a white and pink gold African mask with diamonds. The piece was made into jewelry by La Nouvelle Bague of Florence.

Greta Menconi of Pistoia, Italy, won third place for a gold, diamond and lapis bracelet featuring modular antelopes. The design was made into jewelry by Roberto Giansanti of Rome.

The competition was organized by Gems-Relations Internationales, based on an idea by the Italian Society for South Africa in conjunction with the South African Chamber of Commerce, the Italian ambassador in South Africa and the South African ambassador to Rome. Particular importance was placed on cultural values, with participants asked to explain the reasons behind their inspirations.


The winning designs in the 1995 JA/Affiliate National Design Competition included: 14k gold and palm wood choker and earrings topped with citrine and green tourmaline by R. Jeffrey Dunnington of Houston, Tex., winning Best Overall. An 18k gold, ruby and diamond enhancer by Johnny Tate, Baton Rouge, La., won in the $3,000 And Up category. The 18k yellow gold ring with a pear-shaped tourmaline by Travis Kukovic, Durham, N.C., won in the $1,000-$3,000 category. And the mabe pearl heron pin in 14k gold and sterling silver by Jonmaria Barbee March of Salisbury, Md., won in the $1-$1,000 category.

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