Sketches cover the counter at Corinne Jewelers. The retailer is sponsoring a jewelry design competition at a local elementary school, and the winning student will have their piece made by the store.Toms River, N.J.--This Mother’s Day, one New Jersey jeweler is taking its design cues from 9- and 10-year-olds to create a custom piece for one local mother figure.

Corinne Jewelers in Toms River is sponsoring a “Junior Jeweler” competition at the local elementary school, North Dover.

Open to fourth graders, the contest challenges them to draw a piece of jewelry they would like to give their mother or another special person in their lives for Mother’s Day, which is May 10.

The staff at Corinne Jewelers will pick a winner and the store’s bench jewelers will recreate the drawing for free as a custom piece, to be presented at an assembly at the school on May 4. Corinne owner Ryan Blumenthal said the piece will be made in sterling silver and the students were told they could include their birth stone. Any color used on the winning drawing will be recreated using enamel.

He said the contest is a “fantastic way” to get kids excited about jewelry design. “They create something on paper, and then they see it brought to life,” he said. “The enthusiasm these kids showed when I announced the Junior Jeweler program was off the charts. Even while I was still talking to them, I could see they were already thinking about what they could make.”

It’s also a great way for Corinne Jewelers to connect with the community and to call attention to the store--and jewelry as a possible present--this Mother’s Day.

Blumenthal said next year, he hopes to expand the program to more elementary schools.

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