New York, NY – June 25, 2021.The Cultured Pearl Association of America (CPAA) kicks off its 12th 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. 22, 2021.
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.
Two divisions—international and domestic—will take place again this year. 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, Nov. 1, 2021.
The second stage is that 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, Nov. 18. 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 Nov. 18.
Awards categories are the same as last year. The Spotlight Award highlights one variety of pearl (blue akoya pearl this year) and aims to drive attention to the beauty and uniqueness of the different types of pearls available. The Popularity Award will allow CPAA followers on Instagram at @PearlsCPAA to choose their favorite pieces from all U.S. finalists.
Blue akoya pearls
Judges will be Patricia Faber, co-owner of Aaron Faber, and Jean Francois Bibet, workshop and production director at Cartier
In light of worldwide hardships due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the cost to enter this year remains $175 for your first two entries! Third entries and beyond (up to five total) are $150 apiece.
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. 22, 2021. Winners will be announced on Thursday, Nov. 18, with a cocktail reception—pending citywide Covid-19 restrictions—at Aaron Faber.
“The IPDC is now in our 12th year and is stronger than ever!” says Kathy Grenier, marketing manager. “CPAA is especially excited for 2021 because creativity needs an outlet and the circumstances of the pandemic have silenced many in the past year. Now is the time to bring those pearl creations into existence! The world of pearls is your oyster, let the designing begin!”
For awards categories, entry instructions, and complete contest details, log onto www.cpaa.org.
To purchase an entry, click here.
2021 IPDC Timeline at a Glance
Friday, June 25, 2021: 2021 IPDC Contest opens
Friday, Oct. 22, 2021: Entries due by
Monday, Nov. 1, 2021: CPAA announces U.S. finalists, who prepare to ship their pieces to CPAA for professional photography.
Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021: Day of live judging in New York City
Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021: U.S. and international winners announced. Public reception held—pending citywide Covid-19 restrictions—at the Aaron Faber Gallery.
Need Pearls? Buy with confidence from a CPAA Foundation member!
Contact: Joshua Israileff
Specialty: South Sea pearls, including baroque strands
Contact: Peggy Grosz
Specialty: South Sea and black Tahitian pearls and Japanese Akoyas
Contact: Anil Maloo
Specialty: Tahitian pearls, baby akoyas, 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 and mabé pearls and Maki-e mosaic pearls. Eliko also carries blue 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 blue akoya pearls
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.