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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Diamond jewellery design changing young peoples’ lives

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Diamond jewellery design is increasingly emerging as a vehicle to spark youth employment, entrepreneurship and innovation among young people in Africa and North America as the continents position themselves to take a greater slice of the global diamond jewellery market.

In 2019, the total global jewellery market was valued at approximately $229.3 billion, and was forecast to reach $291.7 billion by 2025, according to global research expert Mahsa Shahbadeh. “Africa and Canada’s share of this market is steadily growing, thanks to the creativity of entrepreneurs, modern production technologies and online sales platforms”, says Peter Phemelo Moeti, Senior Vice President of De Beers Sightholder Sales SA.

A key initiative in this regard is the De Beers Group Designers Initiative (DBGDI), a youth beneficiation skills development initiative aimed at giving young jewellers world-class diamond jewellery design and manufacturing skills.

DBGDI through the Shining Light Awards has established a growing footprint in each of the De Beers Group’s diamond producer countries: Botswana, Canada, Namibia, and South Africa.

The 2020/2021 instalment of the Shining Light Awards (SLA) jewellery design competition invites young diamond jewellery designers to showcase their talent. The SLA, which have existed for 23 years in South Africa, 11 years in Botswana and Namibia and two years in Canada, have created a range of partnerships with tertiary institutions and industry to provide a platform for as many young jewellers as possible to compete to win an opportunity to enhance their jewellery design skills.

This year’s design theme ‘The Evolution of Love and Life’, aims to inspire young designers to create innovative and game changing pieces showcasing their interpretation of the theme. The pieces should be versatile and combine commerciality with red carpet elegance, celebrate fresh thinking, showcase the beauty, strength & sustainability of natural diamonds and appeal to a millennial consumer anywhere in the world.

Three winners will be selected from each producer country and stand a chance to win a 12-month post-graduate programme at Politecnico di Milano in Milan, the design and fashion capital of the world, a 12-month artisanal goldsmith training programme in South Africa, and a three-month exposure in a De Beers Group business unit. Previous awardees of the SLA have secured employment with international jewellery manufacturing houses, established their own businesses in South Africa and internationally, and are lecturing at tertiary institutions.

Entries for the 2020/2021 competition opened on 30 January 2021, and close on 31 March.

For more information visit www.shininglightsawards.com 

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