Fresh, eyecatching designs captured the top prizes in JCK's second annual Retail Jewelry Design Contest. The winning designs ranged from a modern setting to hold a customer's own Euro-cut diamond to adventuresome uses of avant-garde materials like niobium. JCK's contest is designed to encourage creative custom design and to recognize the efforts of jewelry designers who work in the retail end of the business where they may receive less national recognition than do wholesale designers. To be eligible, pieces must be completely original designs fully created by a present or former full- or part-time employee of a retail jewelry store. This year's contest was divided into three retail price ranges: $5,000 suggested retail and over; $2,000 to $5,000, and under $2,000. Pieces were judged on the basis of wearability, saleability, originality and innovative use of techniques and materials.