Albuquerque, N.M.--Jewelry supply company Rio Grande now is accepting entries for the 2018 edition of the Saul Bell Design Awards, its annual design competition.

The competition is in its 18th year, and there are a few changes to the categories this time around.

A new jewelry collection category will allow designers to submit pieces that encompass a coordinated set of jewelry, such as a necklace, bracelet and pair of earrings. The category will award a prize for sets made with fine materials, as well as a separate prize for fashion jewelry sets.

“In the 16 years I’ve been with Rio Grande, it’s been an honor to see so many talented designers rise to the challenge of creating awe-inspiring pieces and to hear their stories of creation,” said Creative Director Jamie Gros. “The new Jewelry Collection categories add yet another level of opportunity and expression, and I am certain submissions will be nothing short of magic.”

Additionally, the awards will not feature a Metal Clay category this year, though designers may enter pieces in the Silver, Gold or Alternative Metals/Materials categories instead.

Altogether, there are nine categories: Gold/Platinum, Silver/Argentium, Enamel, Hollowware/Art Objects, Alternative Metals/Materials, Jewelry Collection--which includes the aforementioned fine and fashion divisions--and Emerging Jewelry Artist, which will give separate prizes to applicants 18 years of age or younger as of Oct. 26, 2017, and 22 years of age or younger by that date.

Submission guidelines and entry forms are available on

All first-round submissions, which include a photograph of rendering of the jewelry entered, are due by Oct. 26.

The application fee is $75 until Sept. 15. After that, the price goes up to $125. Those submitting designs in the Emerging Jewelry Artist category need only pay $25.

On Nov. 20, five finalists in each category will be notified. Finalists have until Jan. 25, 2018, to submit finished versions of their designs.

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