By Michelle Graff
Providence, R.I.--Submissions now are being accepted for the International Pearl Design Competition, a design contest hosted by the Cultured Pearl Association of America each year to celebrate and recognize excellence in pearl jewelry.

The deadline for submissions is Sept. 4 at 5 p.m.

All entries will be eligible for any of the following awards.

--President’s Trophy, the highest honor awarded to a design that unanimously captivates all of the judges as the best of the best

--Luster Award, given to the entry that is judged “most marketable” of all the entries in the competition, considered to have the most appeal for the retail marketplace

--Designer’s Award, for the entry that “takes pearls to the far corners of the imagination and beyond” in terms of originality

--Brilliance Award, recognizing the entry that best illustrates the spectrum of pearl colors in the most beautiful way

--Orient Award, given to the entry that would inspire a newfound affinity in someone for cultured pearls

--Visionary Award, for the entry that re-defines the iconic pearl strand, shifting the perception of cultured pearls for today’s buyer

--Wedding Day Pearls, for the entry that “creates a fantasy wedding” with cultured pearls

--Fashion Award, a “fun, fresh, modern design which looks as if it came straight from the Paris runway”

Judging the contest will be professionals in the jewelry industry including editors, writers, buyers, craftsmen and sellers of cultured pearls.

Winners will receive a prize associated with their particular award, a framed certificate and use of the IPDC logo for all printed and web-based information. There also will be media opportunities, both in print and online, by industry publications and on the CPAA website.

Those interested in entering the contest can do so on the CPAA website

Each participant may enter up to five difference designs, and each entry may be submitted with up to five different images and/or drawings. The first entry cost $150, and each additional entry is $100. Additional information on submission requirements can be found here.

Winners will be notified by Nov. 1, so they will be able to make their piece for presentation at the 2015 American Gem Trade Association show and the 2015 JCK show. 

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