The diamond company said, finalists were selected for their ‘captivating jewellery designs’ from more than 130 entries.
“The focus of the awards has evolved over recent years, moving away from designing and producing intricate artistic pieces to more commercial jewellery collections, which would appeal to a broader consumer market,” said the company.
“This year’s entrants were required to create a jewellery collection that represented the design brief theme of ‘Protecting Nature’s Beauty’. The brief was set by Forevermark, and recognises De Beers Group’s and Forevermark’s commitment to conservation and sustainability.”
Costantino Papadimitriou, Senior Vice-President, Brand Strategy and Innovation, Forevermark, said, “For this year’s competition, Forevermark was honoured to set the design brief, which has been inspired by our brand’s values and promise of protecting nature’s beauty.
“It has been fascinating to see the different responses to this brief and the innovative jewellery collections featuring one of Forevermark’s beautiful, rare and responsibly sourced diamonds at the heart.”
The diamond group targeted a niche segment of design students. Both De Beers Group and Forevermark conducted regional roadshows and workshops to attract entrants and engage with students across universities and technical colleges in South Africa Botswana, and Namibia.
Workshops were conducted in 2016 at nine universities regionally, including:
- Botswana: Botho University and Oodi College of Arts
- Namibia: University of Namibia; College of Arts; International University of Business Management
- South Africa: Tshwane University of Technology; Durban University of Technology; University of Johannesburg, College of Cape Town.
Pat Dambe, Vice-President, Corporate Affairs and Government Relations, De Beers Global Sightholder Sales, said, “De Beers Group is committed to ensuring that the youth in the countries of our diamond producer partners benefit from the diamond industry.
“Through the Shining Light Awards, we are providing a platform to nurture and develop emerging talent, while also highlighting the positive opportunities that exist along the diamond value chain. We have been blown away by the level of talent across our partner countries, and the beautiful and creative designs that were developed by our nine finalists.”
The Shining Light Awards, now in their 20th year in South Africa and eighth year in Botswana and Namibia, are part of the De Beers Young Jewellery Designers Skills Development Initiative, designed to support beneficiation efforts in De Beers Group’s producer countries across southern Africa. The awards support the development of participants’ business skills in the areas of jewellery design, manufacturing, and sales and marketing.
The 2016/2017 Shining Lights Awards finalists are:
- Botswana: Gaone Otsile, Tshepo Dithebele and Mbako Baraedi
- Namibia: Richardlee Shoombee, Frans Uunona and Taleni Udeiko
- South Africa: Omphile Sibanda, Gabrielle Lourens and Andile Mbeje.
The winners will be announced at a red carpet event in Windhoek, Namibia, on 30 November 2017.