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Establishment of Platinum DNA Awards Announced

Winners of the inaugural competition will be announced in January.




(PRESS RELEASE) Pratt Institute’s Jewelry Design students have been invited to submit designs for the 2020 Platinum DNA Awards, a new jewelry design competition presented in partnership with Platinum Guild International USA. The program, which is an opportunity for the institute to introduce its students to the unique characteristics of the world’s most precious metal, will also provide the unique opportunity for winners to work with local, New York-based manufacturers to produce their designs.

The panel of judges, comprised of both Pratt Institute faculty and jewelry industry experts, will select three winning students, awarding 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place Awards. Professor David Butler, Professor Russell Jones, Professor Patricia Madeja, and Professor Katrin Zimmerman will serve on behalf of Pratt Institute. From the jewelry industry at large, the judging panel includes Zoltan David of Zoltan David; Marion Fasel of The Adventurine; Deirdre Featherstone of Featherstone Designs; Michelle Graff of National Jeweler; Patricia Gumuchian of Gumuchian; Michael Pollak of, formerly of Hyde Park Jewelers; and John Carter of Jack Lewis Jewelers, the immediate past president of the American Gem Society.

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The judging criteria will focus on the design’s originality, creativity, manufacturing viability + engineering, and commercial appeal. All designs must be intended to be made exclusively in platinum, with the addition of select gemstones if desired.

The three winning students’ designs will be showcased at the next annual Pratt Design Show slated for May 2021, as well as virtually through a newly-developed online exhibition platform in collaboration with the Institute. PGI-USA will present the winners with a recognition award bearing their name, as well as feature the winning designs in the Guild’s digital marketing activities, with potential to offer them for commercial sale. Proceeds from the sales would benefit the Pratt Jewelry Design Program.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Pratt Institute on this exciting new program,” said Kevin Reilly, PGI-USA’s vice president. “Our hopes are by affording young designers the opportunity to work with platinum in the beginning stages of their careers, we will witness a new generation of talented, platinum-focused ambassadors in the years ahead.”

“Our students design a piece of platinum jewelry in their junior year, at which time they are introduced to the metal’s qualities and idiosyncrasies,” said Katrin Zimmermann. “In their senior year, they deepen their understanding by submitting designs to this new and exciting competition, which the winners are able to see come to life in a collaboration with the industry. This really allows us to significantly expand our education in the use and appreciation of platinum. We could not be more thrilled about this new program.”


Winners of the inaugural competition will be announced in January 2021.



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