By Michelle Graff
Deirdre Featherstone won for the bridal category in division 1 of the Women’s Jewelry Association’s Diva design competition with these platinum “Eternity” earrings, featuring moonstones accented with brilliant-cut diamonds and gray TahitianNew York--The Women’s Jewelry Association has announced the winners of its 2014 Diva Design Competition, a contest that encourages any and all women to express their creativity through jewelry design.

The competition is open to all women, even those not employed in the jewelry industry or who possess no formal training.

Winners were honored at the WJA’s In the Spotlight event, held March 5 at the Hearst Tower in New York City, received a $250 cash award and a trophy.

The Diva Design Competition is comprised of two categories. Division 1-Gem Diva is the WJA-sponsored category of the AGTA Spectrum Awards, honoring female designers and their accomplishments with colored gemstone designs.

Division 2-Dazzle Diva allows two-dimensional entries to choose from, including photographs of actual jewels, CAD/CAM renderings, and detailed hand-drawn renderings, allowing for a wide range of designers to enter the contest whether or not they could afford to manufacture the jewelry. The theme of the category this year was the WJA’s 30th anniversary.

Division 1 winners are as follows:
-- Deirdre Featherstone, bridal wear;
-- Annie Fensterstock, business/day wear;
-- Erica Courtney, classical; and
-- Jennifer Rabe-Morin, evening wear.

Division 2 winners were:
-- Emanuela Duca, business/day wear;
-- Stephanie Occhipinti, evening wear; and
-- Leila Tai Shenkin, bridal wear.

Honorable mentions also were awarded in the second division to Jung Min Kim in business/day wear, Shinka Kimura in evening wear, and Sun Hyang Ha in bridal wear.

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The judges for division 1 were Lorraine DePasque, writer and jewelry expert; Candy Edelman, COO of Alex Sepkus; Tara Silberberg of The Clay Pot in Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Jennifer Heebner, fashion editor of JCK magazine.

The judges for division 2 were Meeling Wong of Meeling Wong & Associates; Heebner; Talya Cousins, jewelry writer and stylist; Jennifer Gandia of Greenwich Jewelers; and Hannah Connorton, senior editor of National Jeweler

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