New York, NY – June 30, 2023. The Cultured Pearl Association of America (CPAA) has opened its 14th Annual International Pearl Design Competition (IPDC), complete with another collaboration with retail partner the Aaron Faber Gallery to showcase (and sell!) winning designs. The contest is open through Friday, Nov. 3, 2023.
The CPAA celebrates pearls of all varieties, so it encourages all levels of artisans to compete in the IPDC. The goal: to create compelling new pearl jewelry designs worthy of recognition, media exposure, and possible sales.
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. 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, Nov. 13, 2023.
The second stage is that U.S. finalists are expected to mail in their live pieces of finished jewelry for 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, Nov. 30. 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 by late February.
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, Nov. 30.
Awards categories are revised for this year. The Spotlight Award this year highlights multicolor combinations of pearls (three or more together). A Student award allows those studying at a university with a jewelry arts program to enter with one sketch or a CAD rendering.
New for this year is an Early Bird discount for completed entries received by Friday, Aug. 18, 2023. Use the coupon code EARLYBIRD to get a discount of 22%. CPAA members can benefit both from the Early Bird discount and a members-only discount of 30%. (Click here to learn more about the benefits of CPAA membership.)
Judges include Patricia Faber, co-owner of Aaron Faber, as well as others to be announced later.
The cost of entries is $225 for your first, with each additional entry costing $175 apiece.
Student entries are free. Email JHeebner@cpaa.org your sketch or CAD rendering along with the name of your academic institution, program administrator, the administrator's email address, name of your degree program, and your expected date of completion.
In its years of operation, the IPDC has attracted thousands of entries from more than 40 countries. The contest kicks off June 30, and final entries are due on Friday, Nov. 3, 2023. Winners will be announced on Thursday, Nov. 30, and select winners and finalists will go on display and sale at Aaron Faber.
"CPAA is excited to see what artists will submit this year,” says Anil Maloo, CPAA president and founder of Baggins Jewelry. "This marks the 14th year of our competition, and we continue to be wowed by the creativity of entrants.”
For awards categories, entry instructions, and complete contest details, click here.
To purchase an entry, click here.
2023 IPDC Timeline
Friday, June 30, 2023. Contest Opens
Friday, Aug. 11, 2023. CPAA announces this year’s judges
Friday, Aug. 18, 2023. EARLYBIRD deadline closes, regular rate applies
Friday, Nov. 3, 2023. Contest Closes for Entries
Monday, Nov. 13, 2023. 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. 28, 2023. Live judging in Manhattan occurs.
Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023. All winners announced. Select U.S. winners and finalists will go on display and sale at the Aaron Faber Gallery in New York City.
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, including baroque strands
Contact: Peggy Grosz
Specialty: Top-quality South Sea pearls
Contact: Anil Maloo
Specialty: Tahitian pearls, baby akoyas, and white and blue akoya pearls
Contact: Aziz Baselely and Raphael Baselely
Specialty: High-end freshwater and South Sea pearls, including myriad shapes and mabé pearls and Maki-e mosaic pearls. Eliko also carries akoya pearls of all colors.
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 of all colors.
Contact: Andrew Moline
Specialty: Top-end saltwater pearls, including natural-color blue akoyas and all colors of South Sea pearls.
Contact: Sonny Sethi
Specialty: All varieties, including a wide assortment of conch pearls
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 the Cultured Pearl Association of America, please visit CPAA.org.