By Ashley Davis
This ring, called “Moebius No.1” by designer Pierre-Yves Paquette, won a Saul Bell Design Award in the Gold/Platinum category in 2019.
Albuquerque, N.M.—Rio Grande is now accepting entries for its 20th annual Saul Bell Design Award competition.

This year, the categories will be a little different. There won’t be a specific enamel category, though enamel pieces can be submitted into any other categories of the maker’s choosing.

Also, the Couture/Fine and Fashion/Bridge categories have been combined into one: the Jewelry Collections category. The category requires designers to submit a “cohesive set of wearable pieces, such as a coordinated necklace, bracelet and pair of earrings,” Rio Grande said in a release. 

In addition to Jewelry Collections, the 2020 edition of the jewelry design competition will feature six other categories: Gold/Platinum, Silver/Argentium Silver, Hollowware/Art Objects, Alternative Metals/Materials and Emerging Jewelry Artist for two different ages groups—18 and younger, and 22 and younger.

As with previous competitions, judging will be done in two rounds by two separate panels, each comprised of five jewelry industry judges.

For the first round, judges will consider originality, materials designers want to use to execute their proposed designs, as well as overall aesthetics.

The second round of judging will review completed pieces and consider quality of craftsmanship and wearability (except in the Hollowware/Art Objects category).

It costs $75 to enter the competition through Sept. 16, or $125 if submitted between that date and Oct. 25.

Full guidelines are available at

“My father would have had so much admiration for every metalsmith who has ever entered this competition,” commented Molly Bell, Rio Grande Executive Vice President and daughter of Saul Bell, Rio Grande’s founder who inspired the contest.

“The spirit of the competition embodies not only his passion for making jewelry and his appreciation for the creativity and technical challenges of the work these artists do but also his respect for those striving to learn more, pushing past obstacles, and thriving in doing what they love. He was so generous with his knowledge and always had time for any bench or technical question.”

Get the Daily News >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.