Connect with us

Press Releases

A Fairy-Tale Ending to the Second Edition of ‘Together by Design’

Two first responders won a custom engagement ring in Black in Jewelry Coalition’s competition.

mm

Published

on

Nana and Jennifer during the engagement proposal in December 2023. Photo by Hinesight Media and Official Mike Lens.
Nana and Jennifer during the engagement proposal in December 2023. PHOTO: Hinesight Media and Official Mike Lens.

(PRESS RELEASE)NEW YORK – Black in Jewelry Coalition (BIJC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to uplifting Black professionals in the gem, jewelry and watch industry, has completed the second annual two-part contest and competition that awarded a love story winner a custom engagement ring designed by the winning jeweler of the competition. BIJC created the Together by Design Competition to spotlight Black love, award an emerging Black designer, and increase representation within the jewelry and bridal industry. Watch the proposal here.

A Fairy-Tale Ending to the Second Edition of ‘Together by Design’

The bespoke engagement ring was beautifully designed and crafted by Michael Hogan of Michael Hogan Jewelry. The 1.44-carat fancy yellow diamond is bound by platinum that was contributed by Platinum Guild International USA and is surrounded by melee diamonds and natural sapphires. Photo by Michael Hogan.

Phase one of the Together By Design contest asked couples to share their captivating love stories. Nana, the future groom and winner of the contest, shared details about what made his bond with Jennifer, the future bride, unique and special. Using Nana and Jennifer’s love story as inspiration, phase two of the competition invited jewelry designers to sketch a bespoke ring. Michael Hogan, founder and designer of Michael Hogan Jewelry, brought the couple’s story to life and won the competition. Hogan designed a one-of-a-kind ring that incorporates elements of the couple’s love, centering around a 1.44-carat GIA-graded fancy yellow diamond that was generously donated by Nungu Diamonds.

“The creation of this ring draws profound inspiration from the couple’s narrative, weaving in the significance of their special place at Coney Island, the Roman numeral date they value discreetly placed at its base, the sapphire gemstones representing their spiritual journey, and the Ferris wheel delicately etched on its inner circumference. Each element holds deep personal meaning, meticulously intertwined within the design,” said Hogan. “That’s why I call it ‘Elements of Love,’ it encapsulates these cherished symbols that resonate intimately with their story and emotions.”

The 1.44-carat fancy yellow diamond is bound by platinum that was contributed by Platinum Guild International USA and is surrounded by melee diamonds and natural sapphires.

BIJC’s Together By Design Competition brought together professionals in the jewelry industry and created a platform where Black jewelry designers could illustrate their skills for the opportunity to win a package of industry resources. The prize package included $5,000 cash, a scholarship for one two-hour GIA online Continuing Education Seminar, a scholarship for one Basic Tuition class at GRS, and one year of membership to BIJC, Jewelers of America (JA) and Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC).

Advertisement

The Together By Design Committee was led by Nellie Barnett, Manager of GIA corporate communications, and includes Adrianne Sanogo, Graduate Gemologist; Amanda Gizzi, Director of PR and Events at JA; Annie Doresca, Chief Financial Officer at JA; Elyssa Jenkins-Pérez, Director of Membership and Marketing at JVC; Grace Barretti, Marketing and Social Media Manager at Greenwich St. Jewelers; Lisa Jones, VP of Human Resources at GIA; Rebecca Moskal, VP of Marketing at Platinum Guild International; and Michelle Graff, Editor-in-Chief of National Jeweler.

All the judges of Together By Design are BIJC members. Love Story contest judges included: Michelle Graff, Editor-in-Chief of National Jeweler; Tanya Dukes, Jewelry Editor and Writer; Lisa Jones, VP of Human Resources at GIA; and Severine Ferrari, Founder of Engagement 101.

Design competition judges included: Johnny Nelson of Johnny Nelson Jewelry; Lauren Harwell Godfrey of Harwell Godfrey; Adrianne Sanogo, Graduate Gemologist; and Christian Bolling of Christian Stoné.

Learn more about BIJC at Blackinjewelry.org.

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Moving Up in the World? Wilkerson Can Help You Get There

Promoted Headlines

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Subscribe


BULLETINS

INSTORE helps you become a better jeweler
with the biggest daily news headlines and useful tips.
(Mailed 5x per week.)

Facebook

Latest Comments

Most Popular