With the deadline for submitting finished jewelry pieces by the 31 designers whose creations were selected to go through to the finals of HRD Antwerp's biennial jewelry awards having passed, the competition is closing in on the finals. The 2013 edition of the awards set a new record, with 2,013 designs submitted.
The overall winner and four finalists will be selected by an international jewelry in July. And for the first time in the history of the awards, the public is being invited to take part by voting for what they consider to be the best design.
Diamond companies based in Antwerp and around the world are sponsoring the diamonds used in the designs, with the theme for this year's awards being Trompe-l’oeil. Designers were asked to explore the themes of deception and illusion to produce diamond jewelry items that look at the boundary between image and reality.
HRD Antwerp set designers the task of creating a unique jewel that surprises, fools, and deceives. "Remember this: the power of 'trompe-l'oeil' mainly lies in the effect of surprise. Therefore, we would like to be surprised by your design!"
The HRD Awards is held every two years by HRD Antwerp as a showcase for talented jewelry designers from across the world with the aim of promoting creativity in contemporary diamond jewelry. They also serve to introduce young designers to the international diamond jewelry industry.
The HRD Awards is a competitive forum organized every two years by HRD The competition aims at extending the limits of the modern diamond jewel and avant-garde ideas. The artist is given free rein and exclusive creations are a must.
In the final stage, five winning items will be selected by an international jury. The designer of the first prize will receive a $10,000 prize, while the four finalists will each receive $2,500.
The HRD Awards 2013 collection will be displayed and promoted worldwide during this year and next, with exhibitions at international jewelry fairs, such as the Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair, and other events and at jewelry galleries.
Recognized today as one of the world’s most important jewelry design competitions, the HRD Award competition was launched in 1984 as the Antwerp Diamond High Council Awards, with the aim of enhancing creativity and design excellence in contemporary diamond jewelry in Belgium.
In 1988, the contest became biennial and introduced another innovation, the selection of a theme around which the contestants would base their design.
You and Me was the theme of the 14th edition of the HRD Awards, and was organized for the first time by HRD Antwerp. The contest set a new record as there were 1,396 entries from 654 designers hailing from 55 countries. The inauguration and prize awarding ceremony show took place in Shanghai.
Two years earlier, the 13th edition of the HRD Awards contest centered upon “Once upon a time… my favorite fairy tale.” Designers were invited to delve into the world of fantasy and legend, producing jewelry pieces that conjured up fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, witches and magical princesses. The international nature of the contest ensured that the variety of source material was broad and multi-cultural.
Previously, the HRD Awards 2007 took both a theatrical and musical turn, with its theme being “A Night at the Opera.” Its spectacular awards ceremony featured a range of divas, and a selection of laureates, who had been inspired by a range of operatic works from Puccini’s Madame Butterfly to The Magic Flute by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
And before that, the HRD Awards 2005 theme “Diamonds Are Fun,” was revealed at a fashion show at the 2004 BaselWorld trade show in Switzerland. The show ended with a group of colorfully dressed models marching onto the stage carrying balloons, to reflect the theme of the 2005 contest.
It was in 2003 that the design competition went international for the first time, and immediately drew hundreds of entries from 35 countries. In reaching out to the international jewelry design community, the aims was to focus on the creation of unique and original items of jewelry where the emphasis was on diamonds and the design was characterized by creativity, originality and ingenuity. The success of the new concept became clear from the more than 900 submitted jewelry designs on the theme of Movement.
The HRD Awards has simple and straightforward rules: the competition is international and open to professional and non-professional designers, students, graduates, teachers, jewelers, goldsmiths, and so on. And participation is on an individual and not a company basis and is free of charge.
As for the criteria for diamond jewelry items, submitted entries must be original designs, which have previously not been put on display or commercialized. Diamonds must be an absolutely indispensable part of the jewel, and the item should contain a minimum of 1 carat of diamonds and a maximum of 25 carats.
Precious metals and/or other materials used need to correspond with the aura of the diamonds in the jewelry item. This does not exclude new and innovative materials. Fancy shapes and fancy color diamond can be used in moderate way, while rough diamonds are not accepted.
Designs will be judged according to originality, wearability, the creative use of diamonds and technical skill. And because the HRD Awards collection tours the world, it is important to take into consideration possible damage that could be caused during display, transportation and packing. It is strongly recommended to avoid the inclusion of fine chains in a design and make sure the jewelry item is manufactured well.