By Brecken Branstrator
The CPAA design competition’s highest honor is the President’s Trophy, awarded to the design that “unanimously captivated” judges. Last year’s winner were the “Illusion” earrings from Alexia Gryllaki of Athens, Greece.
Providence, R.I.--The Cultured Pearl Association of America has launched its annual International Pearl Design Competition and will accept entries through Sept. 22.

The competition, created to celebrate and recognize design excellence using cultured pearls, will be judged by a panel of jewelry industry leaders including editors, writers, buyers, craftsmen and sellers of cultured pearls.

Nine different awards will be given. They are as follows.

--President’s Trophy, the highest honor given to a design that “unanimously captivated all judges as the best of the best”
--Luster Award, given to the entry that is thought to be the “most marketable” of all entries in the competition and that has the most appeal for the retail marketplace
--Designer’s Award, given to the entry that takes pearls to the “far corners of the imagination and beyond,” meaning it displays originality
--Brilliance Award, for the entry that best shows the spectrum of pearl colors
--Orient Award, for the design that would inspire a newfound affinity for cultured pearls
--The Visionary Award, to the entry that redefines the iconic pearl strand
--Wedding Day Pearls, for creating a “fantasy wedding” with cultured pearls
--Fashion Award, for the design that is the most fun, fresh and modern
--Fantasy Award, for the best conceptual, aspirational design

Each entry can be submitted with up to five different images and/or drawings. The first costs $150, and each additional entry is $100.

Those who enter the contest will receive a one-year membership to the CPAA. Designers who make their submissions before Aug. 31 also will receive a raffle ticket that gives them a chance to win "A South Sea Adventure" trip to Bali. They will get one ticket per entry.

Winners will be announced on Nov. 1, and the winning entries will be on display at the AGTA GemFair and JCK Las Vegas shows next year.

For more information or to submit a design, visit

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