String of pearls

Pearls are making a comeback | Source: Tiffany Anthony via Unsplash

The Winning Designs of the International Pearl Design Competition

While a string of pearls will always be a timeless and classic accessory, the fashion world is spruiking a pearl revival. Now more than ever, the humble pearl is finding itself weaved into jewellery and accessories in all of its shapes and lustres, even being named by Pinterest as one of the key trends to dominate in 2022.

In celebrating the jewellery industry’s top creative and impressive pearl jewellery designs, the Cultured Pearl Association of America (CPAA) announced the international winners of its 12th Annual International Pearl Design Competition (IPDC).

President’s Trophy: Nebula Brooch by Stasia Parker

Awarded to the most beautiful and original design concept, the President’s Trophy is the CPAA’s top prize. This year, the pearl piece that was recognised for leaving a lasting impression of pearls as must-have gems was this blue and green brooch by Stasia Parker of the UK. Titled the Nebula Brooch, the piece is proposed to be made in 18k yellow gold with natural-colour blue Akoya pearls, green and blue tourmaline, cabochon-cut moonstones and diamonds.

Described as a “wearable constellation”, the Nebula brooch creates beams of celestial light and swirl into a sparkling centre. Stasia Parker’s Nebula Brooch also took out the Spotlight Award for its stunning proposed use of predominantly one pearl type, in this case the incredible blue Akoya pearl.

Blue and green pearl brooch, the Nebula brooch.
Image: Nebula Brooch by Stasia Parker | Source: CPPA

Luster Award: Foam and Pearl Earrings by Chamal Jayaratna

Granted to the best design with a covetable and marketable appeal, the Luster Award recognises designs that will appeal to a wide audience in the marketplace. This year, Sri Lankan jeweller Chamal Jayaratna took home the award for his Foam and Pearl Earrings, which are proposed to be made in 18k yellow gold and adorned with natural colour blue Akoya pearls.

Gold and pearl drop earrings
Image: Foam and Pearl Earrings by Chamal Jayaratna | Source: CPPA

Orient Award: Splash Double Finger Ring by Subhankar Das

Based on attractive design, the innovative use of pearl and an accessible price point, the Orient Award went to Subhankar Das’ Splash Double Finger Ring. Set to be made with 18k yellow gold, a stunning 12mm white South Sea pearl, freshwater pearls and diamonds, the ring is inspired by the ripple effect of a splash of water.

Pearl ring design
Image: Splash Double Finger Ring by Subhankar Das | Source: CPAA

Visionary Award for Classic Styles: Rhapsody in Blue by Llyn Strelau

Canadian designer Llyn Strelau took out the Visionary Award for Classic Styles in 2021 with his 50-inch long sautoir necklace. Handwoven with countless Vietnamese-origin blue and blue-green Akoya pearls, the piece titled Rhapsody in Blue was selected for its fresh look of an iconic pearl style and can be worn as a necklace or even as a belt.

Rhapsody in Blue pearl necklace design
Image: Rhapsody in Blue Sautoir by Llyn Strelau | Source: CPPA

Fashion Award: Joint first for Lijun Jiang and Millie Ho

Awarded to the design featuring a creative compilation of materials that create a youthful and high-fashion look, 2021’s Fashion Award was granted to both Huale Jewelry’s Lijun Jiang and Hong Kong designer, Millie Ho. Chinese designer Lijun Jiang’s Temptation Earrings were selected for their striking scorpion silhouette and appeal to “urban fashionistas and antiheroine femmes fatales”.

As for Millie Ho’s Reversible Dice pendant, the CPAA pointed to the design’s versatility and overall fun look with its long pendant.

Pearl and gold earrings
Image: Temptation Earrings by Lijun Huale | Source: CPPA
Pearl pendant necklace
Image: The Reversible Dice | Source: CPPA

Wedding Day Pearls Award: The Dawn Necklace by Hanna Korhonen

Awarded to the best design for a contemporary bride, the Wedding Day Pearls Award went to Finnish jewellery designer Hanna Korhonen for her design titled The Dawn necklace. Proposed to be made in 18k yellow gold and embellished with cultured white South Sea pearls, the piece takes inspiration from “bright golden sunrays in the early morning”.

Pearl and gold necklace
Image: The Dawn Necklace by Hanna Korhonen | Source: CPAA

Join The Rich List

Receive the beautifully curated selection of what's trending in luxury with inside stories and tips from our experts

You may also like

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This