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Winners of Platinum DNA Awards Revealed

Virtual ceremony celebrated culmination of inaugural Pratt Institute and Platinum Guild International USA collaboration.




(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK — It was all about earrings as the winners of the inaugural Platinum DNA awards were announced to a virtual audience of notable industry members. The first, second and third place awards all went to female students of Pratt Institute’s Jewelry Design program, which partnered with Platinum Guild International USA on the competition. The next step of the program, which served as an opportunity for the renowned Institute to introduce its students to the unique characteristics of the world’s most precious metal, will now provide the unique opportunity for winners to work with New York-based manufacturer Paul Catania, of PCAT Custom, to produce their designs.

First, Second, and Third Place Platinum DNA Award-Winning Designs: Celine Dussaud, Jo Sabavala, Maria Baquerizo, respectively

First, Second, and Third Place Platinum DNA Award-Winning Designs: Celine Dussaud, Jo Sabavala, Maria Baquerizo, respectively.

“We could not be happier with the results of this inaugural program,” said Kevin Reilly, PGI-USA’s vice president. “The designs submitted truly pushed the boundaries of innovative platinum design and have us very excited to watch these talented young designers progress in their jewelry journey. The future of platinum jewelry is truly bright.”

The judging criteria for submissions focused on the design’s originality, creativity, manufacturing viability and engineering, and commercial appeal. Design requirements included the intention for the piece to be made exclusively in platinum, with the addition of select gemstones if desired.

The panel of judges included Professor David Butler, Professor Russell Jones, Professor Patricia Madeja, and Professor Katrin Zimmerman of Pratt Institute. From the jewelry industry at large, the judging panel included 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, former CEO and co-founder of Hyde Park Jewelers; and John Carter of Jack Lewis Jewelers, the immediate past president of the American Gem Society.

Professor Katrin Zimmermann said, “Material exploration is a central tenet of our jewelry education at Pratt Institute. Introducing our students to the most precious of materials, platinum, through this amazing collaboration with Platinum Guild International is a meaningful and important expansion of our teaching. The impact on the students has been immediate, positive and measurable.”


The award-winning designs, along with all of the competition’s entries, are available to view on CritiART’s website, The organization, co-founded in 2020 by Xin Xu, a Pratt Institute Jewelry Design alumna herself, is “committed to building an innovative online art community to support artists, art organizations and in general, art enthusiasts to exhibit, communicate and critique art virtually.” The designers’ biographies, as well as their design inspiration, are also included on the website. The finished pieces will be featured at the Pratt Design Show, currently scheduled for Spring 2021.



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