A bright light shone over the world of South African design for the seventh time when the DTC Shining Light Awards for Excellence in Diamond Jewellery Design came to elect its ten winners.

Shining light

73 diamonds (sponsored by Rosy Blue) weighing a total of 23.18 cts proc essed by Roys ton Lamond, painter, sculptor, writ er, owner and co-director of a magazine, to form a flexible shawl-necklace

This once small and regionally oriented competition has now developed to become an internationally renowned event. The ‘DTC Shining Light Awards for Excellence in Diamond Jewellery Design’, devised by the Diamond Trading Company (DTC), showcases the creativity and talent of designers from around South Africa. First established in 1996, the objective of the diamond award has been to provide support for the future of the South African jewelry industry by helping to develop both the technical and design skills of South African designers as well as an ethos for South African jewelry design. A decade on, the competition can congratulate itself on having discovered some truly magnificent talent among the South African jewelry designers as on having captured the world’s attention.

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This neckla ce by multi-award winning designer Jeanne Barnes in white gold and blue Perspex with 749 diamonds won over t he jury. The designer drew her inspiration from  the idea of a roaring waterfall

1 out of 1000

This sculptural ring by student Jessica Smith was “highly recommended” by the jury. The 365 diamonds she used were sponsored by Diamdel South Africa

Joyce Coetzee, in her third year of jewelry design at the Tshwane University of Technology, won the highly coveted first place as Overall Winner. The jury described her intricate bracelet as a ‘true masterpiece’. The bangle was created in 18 karat yellow gold and is set with 668 round brilliant cut diamonds, demonstrating a total carat weight of 22.55 cts of diamonds. The diamonds were provided by the company Vancut DW (Pty) Ltd/Tache Company NV. Jessica Smith was awarded ‘highly recommended’ status for her sculptured yellow gold ring which incorporates 365 diamonds, with a total carat weight of 6.61 cts, from the company Diamdel South Africa. Jeanne Barnes introduced an extra splash of color, using blue plexiglass for her flexible white gold neckpiece along with 749 diamonds weighing 22.85 cts. Other winners of the seventh DTC Shining Light Awards 2007 included Mxolisi Ncongwane with a spherical white and yellow gold ring using 221 diamonds, Royston Lamond with a celestial diamond neckpiece using 73 diamonds of varying colors, Deirdre Botes and her filigree diamond cuff created using 544 diamonds, Silumko Leslie Zwana and his organic gold ring created using 231 diamonds, Catherine Sizer and her white gold disc using 846 white and black diamonds, Nadia Delport, who created a pair of white gold chandelier earrings using a total of 152 diamonds and Kevin Zhang with his gold shell ring made from 109 diamonds.

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This year’s winning piece by Joyce Coetzee is a yellow gold bangle created by using 668 diamonds. She described her inspiration as follows: “Through the swirling, gaseous fissures emitted by the volcanic vents I stumbled upon a thing of beauty so mystical and divine, so by chance, it almost passed me by, that I wondered where this discovery would lead me”

Overall, more than 3,900 diamonds of varying sizes, colors and shapes were used to fire the imaginations of the designers’ dreams, bringing 10 breathtaking creations to life. This was only possible thanks to support from various renowned sponsors in the diamond sector who supplied the winners with the gemstones required for their creations – without the generosity of these sponsors, the creativity and inspiration behind each of these winning design pieces could not be celebrated.

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