CPAA Opens 13th Annual International Pearl Design Competition with Retail Initiative
New York, NY – July 6, 2022. The Cultured Pearl Association of America (CPAA) kicks off its 13th Annual International Pearl Design Competition (IPDC) today, complete with another exciting collaboration with our retail partner the Aaron Faber Gallery to showcase (and sell!) winning designs. The contest is open today through Friday, Oct. 7, 2022.
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 possible sales.
Like last year, there are two divisions—international and domestic--for entries. 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. U.S. entrants must be prepared to sell their piece if it reaches finalist or winner status.
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. U.S. finalists will be announced on Monday, Oct. 17, 2022.
The second stage is that U.S. 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, the Aaron Faber gallery in New York City. Please do not enter pieces that are already sold or which you are not willing to sell.
Winners will be chosen across all categories on the day of live judging and will be announced on Thursday, Oct. 27. Select pieces will immediately go on display and sale at the Aaron Faber gallery in New York City. Unsold items will be returned to their makers in early January.
U.S. Finalists whose pieces are not chosen as winners will receive certificates, but their pieces could still be chosen to go to the Aaron Faber gallery for display and sale. Notifications about all decisions will be made on Thursday, Oct. 27.
Awards categories are revised for this year. The Spotlight Award highlights one variety of pearl--baroque shapes of both saltwater and freshwater pearls--this year in order to drive attention to the beauty and uniqueness of the different types of pearls available. A new Student award allows those still studying at a university with a jewelry arts program to enter with a sketches or a CAD rendering. A new Retailer's Choice award replaces the Popularity Award and allows 4,000 of the nation's top jewelry stores to choose their favorite pieces from all U.S. finalists. Pieces considered for the Luster award now must retail for under $3,000, so all entrants need to include wholesale prices of entries. The Orient award has been discontinued.
Judges include Patricia Faber, co-owner of Aaron Faber, and Jean Francois Bibet, workshop and production director at Cartier, as well as others to be announced later.
The cost of entries is $175 for your first, with each additional entry costing $150 apiece. Students pay $75 for their first entry and $50 for each additional entry. Students may email JHeebner@cpaa.org for a coupon code to enter at the discounted rate.
In its 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 Friday, Oct. 7, 2022. Winners will be announced on Thursday, Oct. 27, with a cocktail reception—pending citywide Covid-19 restrictions—at Aaron Faber.
"Every year, IPDC designers capture the beauty of pearls from so many unique perspectives," says Jeremy Shepherd, CPAA vice president and founder of Pearlparadise.com. "It’s inspiring and a privilege to be a part of this celebration of pearl in its 13th year."
For awards categories, entry instructions, and complete contest details, click here.
To purchase an entry, click here.
2022 IPDC Timeline
Wednesday, July 6, 2022. Contest Opens
Friday, Oct. 7, 2022. Contest Closes for Entries
Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022. Judges get U.S. finalist choices to CPAA
Monday, Oct. 17, 2022. U.S. finalists announced. All finalists’ pieces are photographed this week by CPAA. Finalists must ship out their goods to CPAA’s photographer on this date.
Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022. Live judging in Manhattan occurs.
Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022. All winners announced. Select U.S. winners and finalists will go on display and sale at the Aaron Faber Gallery in New York City.
Image by Ted Morrison with baroque saltwater and freshwater pearls from Eliko Pearl.
Need Pearls for Your Design? Consider reaching out to a CPAA Foundation member below who specializes in loose goods.
Contact: Joshua Israileff
Specialty: South Sea pearls of all colors and akoyas
Contact: Peggy Grosz
Specialty: Top-quality South Sea pearls and akoyas
Contact: Anil Maloo
Specialty: Tahitian, white and golden South Sea pearls, baby akoyas, and white and blue akoya pearls
Contact: Eddie Livi
Specialty: South Sea pearls and high-quality freshwater pearls
Contact: Aziz Baselely and Raphael Baselely
Specialty: High-end freshwater and South Sea pearls, including myriad shapes, mabé pearls, and Maki-e mosaic pearls. Eliko also carries all colors of akoya pearls.
Contact: Richard Blake
Specialty: No pearls—all clasps!
Contact: Betty Sue King
Specialty: Tahitian, South Sea, and some high-end natural-color freshwater as well as akoya pearls in all colors
Contact: Sonny Sethi
Specialty: All varieties, including a wide assortment of conch pearls
The Cultured Pearl Association of America (CPAA) is a nonprofit founded in 1957. The group comprises the finest manufacturers, wholesalers, dealers, and suppliers of cultured pearls in the United States, and its goals are to improve retail marketability of pearls and cultivate demand among consumers. Through promotion, education, public relations, and unwavering commitment to the category, CPAA aims to inspire an authentic passion for all cultured pearl varieties. For more information about becoming a certified pearl expert, please visit PearlsAsOne.org. To learn more about CPAA, please visit CPAA.org.
Comments on this post (1)
I’m interested in your pearl design competition. The design I have in mind requires undrilled pearls. 3 to 4 mm round pearls would be ideal. I’m flexible on color and origin. Do any of your members sell undrilled pearls? I’ve had trouble finding them.
— Donald Friedlich