New York—Platinum Guild International is collaborating with renowned Brooklyn, New York art school Pratt Institute.

The former has announced the creation of a new jewelry design competition, the Platinum DNA Awards, which will be open to Pratt jewelry design majors.

Students will submit their proposed platinum jewelry designs to a judging panel consisting of Pratt Institute faculty and jewelry industry experts.

Faculty judges will be Pratt professors David Butler, Russell Jones, Patricia Madeja and Katrin Zimmerman.

Judges from the jewelry industry are as follows:
--Jeweler Zoltan David;
--Author and jewelry historian Marion Fasel of The Adventurine;
--Designer Deirdre Featherstone of Featherstone Designs;
--National Jeweler Editor-in-Chief Michelle Graff;
--Gumuchian’s Patricia Gumuchian;
--Michael Pollak of, formerly of Hyde Park Jewelers; and
--John Carter of Jack Lewis Jewelers, immediate past president of the American Gem Society.

Judges will pick three winners, awarding a first-, second- and third-place prize, based on originality, creativity, manufacturing viability and engineering, and commercial appeal.

Each design must be intended to be rendered exclusively in platinum, with the optional inclusion of gemstones.

The winning jewels will be manufactured in New York City.

“Our students design a piece of platinum jewelry in their junior year, at which time they are introduced to the metal’s qualities and idiosyncrasies,” Zimmermann, the Pratt professor, said.

“In their senior year, they deepen their understanding by submitting designs to this new and exciting competition, which the winners are able to see come to life in a collaboration with the industry. This really allows us to significantly expand our education in the use and appreciation of platinum. We could not be more thrilled about this new program.”

The finished winning designs will be tentatively showcased at the annual Pratt Design Show, scheduled for May 2021 barring any pandemic-related changes, plus a virtual online exhibition platform Pratt has recently developed.

Platinum Guild International USA will present winners with awards with their names on them and potentially offer the produced designs for sale to benefit the Pratt Jewelry Design Program.

Kevin Reilly, president of PGI-USA, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Pratt Institute on this exciting new program. Our hopes are by affording young designers the opportunity to work with platinum in the beginning stages of their careers, we will witness a new generation of talented, platinum-focused ambassadors in the years ahead.”

Winners will be announced in January.

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