(NEW YORK) – The Cultured Pearl Association of America (CPAA) has announced the U.S. winners of its 13th Annual International Pearl Design Competition.
On Nov. 1, 2022, judges inspected 14 live U.S. division finalists’ pieces as well as entries in both the International and new Student Division in a private location in Manhattan. This year’s judges included Jean Francois Bibet, workshop and production director at Cartier, Patricia Faber, co-owner of Aaron Faber Gallery in Manhattan (whose store will show and offer for sale the U.S. winning entries and the finalists of Faber’s choice), Lenore Fedow, associate editor, National Jeweler; Maria Tsangaropoulos, supervisor of instruction at GIA’s New York City campus; Michael Coan, assistant professor, jewelry design department, Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT); and Kathy Zaltas, owner, Zaltas Gallery, Mamaroneck, N.Y. Peggy Grosz, senior vice president, Assael, helped judge part one of the entries but was not present for live judging.
After votes were tallied, seven winners had been chosen across seven categories for the U.S. Division. New for this year is the Retailer’s Choice Award. Here, CPAA challenged 4,000 of the nation’s top retailers to vote on their single favorite design and one winner did emerge. Finally, winners in the new Student Division were also selected by judges present.
Winners are as follows:
President’s Trophy. This top prize is given to the piece deemed the most beautiful and original design concept that is well made, celebrates pearls, and leaves a lasting impression of pearls as must-have gems.
Winner: Oceana Pearl earrings by Tariq Riaz LLC
Earrings in 18k white, rose, and yellow gold with 4.5 – 6.6 mm Akoya, 21 x 15 mm South Sea, and 10 x 7 mm freshwater pearls, 7.40 cts. t.w. diamonds, 1.28 cts. t.w. pink sapphires, and 1.25 cts. t.w. tsavorites
Luster Award. These winning pieces represent the evolution of best-selling pearl jewelry designs bearing covetable and marketable concepts with wide appeal for the marketplace. New for 2022: these pieces must retail for $3,000 or less.
Winner: Tahitian Pearl Drawstring earrings by Chaulri
Earrings in 18k white gold with Tahitian black pearls, diamonds, and removable neon pink drawstring bows, $1,720 retail.
Visionary Award for Classic Styles. This winning piece is attractive, creative, and salable, championing a fresh look for an iconic pearl style – strands, studs, bracelets, or a ring – to help change the dated perception of pearls in the market.
Winner: Nautilus earrings by Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry, Inc.
Earrings in proprietary gradient SpectraGold™ featuring ombré suites of 36 pearls ranging from 10.6 mm golden South Sea pearls graduating down to 2.5 mm white Akoya pearls with 0.48 cts. t.w. pavé-set diamonds.
Wedding Day Pearls. These winning pieces best capture what a contemporary bride or groom might wear on their wedding day.
Winner: Sunrise Revisited, Tribute to Monet pin/pendant by S. D. Cusson LLC
Pin/pendant made in three flexible sections of 18k white and yellow gold containing one 13.12 mm South Sea golden pearl, 1.70 cts. t.w. round yellow and green tourmaline, 1.19 cts. t.w. round mandarin garnets, 0.65 cts. t.w. round blue sapphires, 0.35 cts. t.w. round yellow sapphires, and 0.25 ct. t.w. round diamonds.
Fashion Award. This winning piece features a creative compilation of materials fashioned into a youthful, high-fashion, and original pearl jewelry design that looks as if it came straight from a Paris runway.
Winner: Treasure of the Sea bracelet by Crevoshay
Bracelet in 18k yellow gold with 11 mm white South Sea pearls, 9.88 cts. t.w. sapphires, 8.62 cts. t.w. moonstones, 8.07 cts. t.w. tsavorite garnets, and 6.09 cts. t.w. diamonds.
Spotlight Award – Baroque-Shape Pearls for 2022. This category focuses on designs where 75 percent of the piece features one type of pearl – the baroque-shape pearl in 2022. These winning pieces should make viewers think about baroque-shape pearls of all varieties – saltwater and freshwater – and all their different colors and shapes in a way that is attractive, clever, challenges the standard of designs that feature it, and entice a non-pearl-lover to start collecting.
Winner: Detachable South Sea baroque pearl, natural Namibian chalcedony, and diamond earrings by Ashleigh Branstetter of Ashleigh Branstetter
Earrings in 18k white gold with rhodium with baroque 18.19 x 15.75 mm and 18.24 x 15.83 mm white South Sea cultured pearls, 25.09 cts. t.w. Namibian chalcedony, and 1.58 cts. t.w. diamonds.
Retailer’s Choice Award. CPAA asked 4,000 of the nation’s top jewelry stores to choose their single favorite piece from all U.S. finalists.
Winner: Thermal Blue Byzance earrings by Katerina Wheeler of Katerina Evanthia
Earrings in 14k rose gold with natural-color blue akoya pearls and 6.48 cts. t.w. princess-cut blue topaz.
Student Award (for U.S. students only).
This piece of jewelry should be sketched or presented in a CAD rendering and can feature any color, shape, or variety of fine cultured pearls available on the market. The design should be fresh, modern, wearable, and defy outdated thoughts about wearing pearls.
Winner 1: Voguedelier earrings from Victor Rouesné, Fashion Institute of Technology
The Voguedelier pearl earrings are made in 18k yellow gold with white freshwater pearls ranging in size from 3 mm to 7.5 mm. The earrings are inspired by Art Deco as well as Vogue magazine covers from the mid-1920s.
Winner 2: Ribbon Statement necklace from Luna Gwak, Fashion Institute of Technology
Necklace in 18k rose gold with akoya pearls, white diamonds, pink morganite, and light green beryl.
U.S. pieces that will go on display and sale at the Aaron Faber Gallery in New York City include:
- Oceana Pearl earrings by Tariq Riaz LLC
- Asymmetrical cuff by Barbara Heinrich
- Treasure of the Sea bracelet by Crevoshay
- Tahitian Pearl Drawstring by Chaulri
- Nautilus earrings by Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry, Inc.
- Sunrise Revisited, Tribute to Monet Pin/Pendant by S.D. Cusson LLC
- Detachable South Sea baroque pearl, Namibian chalcedony and diamond earrings by Ashleigh Branstetter
- Black Lace Tahitian ring by Brenda Smith of Brenda Smith Jewelry
- Twist and Turn South Sea pearl earrings by Susan Gordon Jewelry
- Spiral Tendril earrings by Etienne Perret
CPAA is a nonprofit founded in 1957. The group comprises the finest manufacturers, wholesalers, dealers, and suppliers of cultured pearls in the United States, and its goals are to improve retail marketability of pearls and cultivate demand among consumers. Through promotion, education, public relations, and unwavering commitment to the category, CPAA aims to inspire an authentic passion for all cultured pearl varieties. For more information about becoming a certified pearl expert, please visit PearlsAsOne.org. To learn more about the Cultured Pearl Association of America, please visit CPAA.org.