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CPAA Kicks Off 10th International Pearl Design Competition with a Retail Initiative

The contest is open today through Oct. 4.




NEW YORK — The Cultured Pearl Association of America (CPAA) kicks off its 10th Annual International Pearl Design Competition (IPDC), complete with a collaboration with a prominent retailer to showcase (and sell) winning designs. The contest is open today through Oct. 4.

The CPAA celebrates pearls of all varieties, so it encourages seasoned and award-winning artists and beginners alike to compete in the IPDC. The goal: to create compelling new pearl jewelry designs worthy of recognition, media exposure, and other potential rewards.

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Two divisions—international and domestic—will take place again this year. Those who live outside the U.S. compete by submitting renderings and sketches, while those who live within the U.S. will compete in two stages with finished jewels.

The first stage for U.S. contest entrants is submitting professional photographs of completed pieces in one to three different angles (artist’s choice). Prejudging will take place from these photos, from which a list of finalists will emerge.

The second stage is that finalists are expected to mail in their live pieces of finished jewelry for final live judging in New York City. Finalists must be willing to sell their pieces at the store of our retail partner.

Winners will be chosen across all categories on the day of live judging and will be announced on Friday, Nov. 1. Pieces will immediately go on display and sale at Devon Fine Jewelry in Wyckoff, N.J. Unsold items will be returned to their makers in early January.


Finalists whose pieces are not chosen as winners will receive certificates, but their pieces could still be chosen to go to Devon Fine Jewelry for display and sale. You will be notified about all decisions on Nov. 1.

Awards categories are the same as last year. The Spotlight Award highlights one variety of pearl (Tahitian this year) and aims to drive attention to the beauty and uniqueness of the different types of pearls available. The Popularity Award will allow CPAA followers on Instagram at @PearlsCPAA to choose their favorite pieces from all the U.S. entries.

Judges will be Nancy Schuring, owner of Devon Fine Jewelry; Jean Francois Bibet, workshop and production director at Cartier; and Michelle Graff, editor in chief of

The cost to enter is $175 for first entry and $150 for each additional entry.

In its 10 years of operation, the IPDC has attracted thousands of entries from more than 40 countries. The contest kicks off today, and final entries are due on Oct. 4, 2019. Winners will be announced on Nov. 1, with a cocktail reception that night at Devon Fine Jewelry.

“This is our 10th and finest year yet,” says Kathy Grenier, marketing manager. “Our retail component rounds out the contest in the most complete way, designer to consumer. Winners not only gain exposure in a top U.S. retailer’s store, but the jewelry is offered for sale. What designer doesn’t dream of this?”


“The IPDC casts a spotlight on the creativity of pearl jewelry designers, and we hope to reward winners with possible sales at Devon Fine Jewelry,” says Jennifer Heebner, CPAA executive director.

For awards categories, entry instructions, and complete contest details, log onto Enter the contest at this link.

For more information about the CPAA, log onto

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