By Michelle Graff
The Diamond Empowerment Fund’s Green Bracelet, as reimagined by Mark Patterson. DEF is the global nonprofit co-founded by music mogul Russell Simmons in 2007 that works to empower diamond-producing communities worldwide.
New York--California-based jewelry designer Mark Patterson has been named the winner of the Diamond Empowerment Fund’s bracelet redesign contest.

The original DEF bracelet, known as the Green Bracelet, was comprised of malachite beads with a small piece of rough suspended in a diamond-shaped, gold-plated charm.

20160518 Vegas-countdownThe countdown to Las Vegas market week continues.
After the Las Vegas shows last year, it was announced that DEF would be holding a competition among the designers of the Couture show to give a new look to the bracelet, which came out in 2007.

On Tuesday, DEF announced the winner: Mark Patterson, the Newport Beach, Calif.-based jewelry designer who started his eponymous brand in 1985.

Patterson made his bracelet in two sizes on an adjustable braided leather cord with a gold-plated diamond-shaped charm.

The charm is reversible; on one side is DEF’s tagline, Diamonds Do Good, while the other is set with a polished white diamond that is Kimberley Process certified.

Patterson said he and his wife Josette collaborated on the design, as always.

“We knew that a key element that we wanted to incorporate was making it reversible so that the inspiration message could be either a private reminder to the wearer or a public statement to ‘do good,’” he said.

20160518 DEF-reverseThe other side of the DEF bracelet showing the graffiti-like “do good” logo
He added that he designed the “do good” message to look like graffiti in order to give it a “young, hip feel.”

Patterson slipped a slice of chrysoprase into the charm, fulfilling the need for the bracelet to have a green element while also paying homage to the land where the bracelet is being manufactured, China.

He said he and his wife, who is a sculptor and ceramic artist, used the slice, or “shard,” of chrysoprase as a nod specifically to Jingdizhen, China, the town where porcelain was first fired some 2,000 years ago.

Hong Kong-based retailer and manufacturer Chow Tai Fook will make the new Green Bracelet, which will be available on for a “suggested donation” of $125 beginning in September. The bracelets will be available for retailers in the fall.

As part of his prize, Patterson will receive a trip to China to meet Chow Tai Fook’s managing director, Kent Wong, and visit jewelry stores in Hong Kong and mainland China.

Other Couture designers who submitted notable designs for the new Green Bracelet were Julie Romanenko of Just Jules and Bibi Van der Velden, DEF said.

Design entries had to be unisex, include at least one Kimberley Process-compliant diamond, contain the color green and be able to be priced at $125 retail.

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