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De Beers Launches 2024 Shining Light Awards for Young Designers

Diamond Design Contest Open to Canadian, African Young Talents Now

by Adenike Adeodun

Diamond miner De Beers has announced the opening of its 2024 Shining Light Awards, inviting submissions from young diamond jewelry designers in Canada, Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. This prestigious program aims to discover and nurture emerging talent in the jewelry design industry and promote local value addition in the countries where De Beers operates.

Since its inception in 1996, the Shining Light Awards have played a crucial role in the professional development of young jewelry designers. Initially launched in South Africa to support the local industry and foster design skills among South African designers, the program has expanded to include additional countries, now held biennially across four nations.

The 2024 edition of the awards is centered around the theme “redefine luxury,” challenging entrants to push the boundaries of traditional jewelry design to create innovative and luxurious pieces. The competition is open to young designers between the ages of 18 and 35, who may be enrolled in a jewelry design and manufacturing program, recent graduates from a related program, or working as freelance designers.

De Beers encourages participation from students across various educational institutions, including schools, universities, and other training establishments that support young jewelry designers. Entrants are given a three-month period to develop and submit their designs, during which they can seek guidance and mentorship from their teachers, lecturers, and mentors.

The evaluation process involves a meticulous judging panel comprised of experts from the jewelry industry and related fields. Each submission is rigorously assessed based on a set of predefined criteria. Initially, the top five designs from each participating country are selected. From there, the judges then determine the top three, who will receive first, second, and third prizes, respectively.

Kagiso Fredericks, the beneficiation manager at De Beers, highlighted the transformative impact of the awards on the careers of young designers. “The purpose of the awards is to enhance the expertise of our winners and support their future endeavors within the jewelry sector,” Fredericks explained. Previous winners have received scholarships to prestigious international institutions and valuable internships that have greatly advanced their careers.

Furthermore, De Beers has successfully facilitated the commercialization of jewelry based on winning designs from past years. This effort is made possible through collaborations with sightholders, who play a vital role in bringing these innovative designs to the market.

The Shining Light Awards also support small jewelry manufacturers and distributors by introducing new talent with fresh, creative perspectives into the industry. This initiative not only opens doors for budding designers but also injects a vibrant, innovative spirit into the sector.

In addition to fostering individual talent, the program encourages educational institutions to enhance their resources. This includes acquiring modern design tools such as computer-aided design (CAD) software and courses, which are essential for the development of contemporary jewelry design skills.

De Beers collaborates closely with key industry stakeholders to ensure the success of the Shining Light Awards. Partnerships with entities like the South African Diamond and Precious Metals Regulator and the South African Diamond Manufacturers Association are pivotal in realizing the goals of the program.

As the Shining Light Awards continue to evolve, they remain a cornerstone in De Beers’ commitment to advancing the jewelry design industry, supporting economic development, and promoting sustainable practices within the communities they operate. The program’s ongoing success underscores De Beers’ dedication to nurturing the next generation of jewelry designers and expanding the global reach and impact of their unique, luxurious designs.


Source: Mining Weekly

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