Sophia Hu of Las Vegas’ “Origami—Window with a View Collection” won Best of Show in last year’s Saul Bell jewelry design contest.
Albuquerque, N.M.—Rio Grande now is accepting entries for the 2019 edition of its annual jewelry design contest.

The Saul Bell Design Award competition consists of a two-round judging process in which a total of 10 jewelers and industry leaders look at submissions.

In the first round, five judges look for originality of design, proposed use of materials and aesthetics to select finalists.

For the final round, a second panel of five judges examines completed finalist pieces up close, in the hand and on a model, looking for successful incorporation of materials, wearability (with the exception of the hollowware category) and quality of workmanship.

The 2019 edition of the competition will have nine categories: Gold/Platinum, Silver/Argentium Silver, Enamel, Hollowware/Art Objects, Alternative Metals/Materials, two categories of Emerging Jewelry Artist and two categories of Jewelry Collection.

The Emerging Jewelry Artist categories encompass two age ranges: 18 and younger or 22-19 years old as of Oct. 25.

The two Jewelry Collection categories ask designers to create a cohesive set of wearable pieces. Jewelers can compete in Jewelry Collection Couture/Fine, presenting a line of luxury jewelry, or Jewelry Collection Fashion/Bridge, presenting a line of trend-setting jewelry.

For work submitted through Sept. 17, entrants will pay a discounted early-bird fee of $75. After that, the prices goes up to $125. All Emerging Jewelry Artist submissions are $25 through the final deadline.

The deadline for submissions is Oct. 25. Finalists’ pieces are due by Jan. 25, 2019.

For detailed information about the jewelry design awards, including submission guidelines and information about each of the categories, or to find an entry form, visit

“The Saul Bell Design Award Competition offers designers a challenge unlike any other to compete on an international level, to have their work judged by iconic names in the jewelry industry and to be celebrated alongside a list of amazing winners and finalists,” Rio Grande Creative Director Jamie Gros said.

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