By Ashley Davis
This Assael cuff won the Cultured Pearl Association of America’s Spotlight Award last year.
New York—The 10th International Pearl Design Competition is now open for entry.

Hosted by the Cultured Pearl Association of America, the competition “casts a spotlight on the creativity of pearl jewelry designers,” said the association’s executive director, Jennifer Heebner, in a press release.

The CPAA said that this year’s awards will have eight categories: the President’s Trophy, awarded to the design considered most beautiful and original; the Luster Award, awarded to a best-selling pearl design; the Orient Award, given for an item ideal for a new pearl collector with an accessible price; the Visionary Award for Classic Styles, awarded to a design that provides an update on a pearl staple; the Wedding Day Pearls Award for a bridal design; the Fashion Award for a design that is creative, youthful and original; the Spotlight Award, reserved for one particular type of pearl, which changes each year; and the Popularity Award, which is chosen by the number of received Instagram likes on the CPAA account.

This year’s Spotlight Award will be given to an entry in which Tahitian pearls make up 75 percent or more of the pearls used in the design.

As with last year’s competition, there will be one winner in each category from both the domestic and international division.

U.S. designers must submit professional-quality photos of their entries by Oct. 4. Finalists will then mail their completed work for the final judging, with winners announced Nov. 1.

International designers will compete only by submitting renderings and sketches by Oct. 4, with the winners also being announced Nov. 1.

Winning domestic jewels will immediately go on display at Devon Fine Jewelry in Wyckoff, New Jersey. Unsold pieces will be returned to their designers in January 2020.

CPAA Marketing Manager Kathy Grenier remarked: “This is our 10th and finest year yet. Our retail component rounds out the contest in the most complete way, designer to consumer. Winners not only gain exposure in a top U.S. retailer’s store, but the jewelry is offered for sale. What designer doesn’t dream of this?”

A panel of judges consisting of Devon Fine Jewelry owner Nancy Schuring, Cartier Workshop and Production Director Jean Francois Bibet and National Jeweler Editor-in-Chief Michelle Graff will select the winning designs.

Cost for entries is $175 for one piece and $150 for each additional. Full contest details are available on

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