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Winners of The Art of Handmade Tahitian Pearls Design Contest Revealed

Forged Flower necklace by Marianne Jennings. Floral necklace in sterling silver with black Tahitian pearls

New York City. Feb. 1, 2021. Winners have been revealed in the The Art of Handmade Tahitian Pearls Design Contest, organized by Fred Sagues of Black Market Pearls and Jeanette K. Caines of Jewelry Arts Inc in NY.

Sagues, a Tahitian pearl importer, initially worked two design contests with the now defunct Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts and wanted to continue the efforts when Revere closed in 2018. He and Caines teamed up to produce a new competition with rewards that include Tahitian pearls, cash, and roundtrip tickets to Tahiti.

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The contest was advertised to past and present Jewelry Arts in NY students, though the contest will be open to other jewelry school students and groups in the future. (Sagues and Jewelry Arts will reveal a list of organizations that can participate.) The entry fee was $50 per piece, and sponsors, including Black Market Pearls and Air Tahiti Nui, helped offset the cost of prizes. The competition had two categories: pieces with retail prices below $1,500 and pieces with retail values above $1,500. Designs had to be handmade jewels containing at least one pearl of Tahitian origin. Judges included Ganoksin co-founder Charles Lewton-Brain, jewelry designer Etienne Perret, and celebrity personality and jewelry authority Michael O’Connor. Click here to learn more about the competition and its prizes and for details on the next competition.

Eliko Pearl has specialty pearls of all types, including Maki-e mosaic pearls, faceted pearls, and blue akoyas.

Winners are as follows.

Grand Prize Winner

Queen of the Night by Lin Bader. Pendant necklace in Argentium silver with 18k gold granules, pink and white sapphires, and one Tahitian pearl

Queen of the Night by Lin Bader. Pendant necklace in Argentium silver with 18k gold granules, pink and white sapphires, and one Tahitian pearl

Over $1,500 Retail

First Prize: Moonflower earrings by Valerie Blum. Drop earrings in 22k gold with vitreous enamel and Tahitian pearls

First Prize: Moonflower earrings by Valerie Blum. Drop earrings in 22k gold with vitreous enamel and Tahitian pearls

Second Prize: Forged Flower necklace by Marianne Jennings. Floral necklace in sterling silver with black Tahitian pearls

Second Prize: Forged Flower necklace by Marianne Jennings. Floral necklace in sterling silver with black Tahitian pearls

Third Prize: Acorn pendant by Jimena Roel. Pendant necklace in 22k yellow gold with a 14mm Tahitian pearl

Third Prize: Acorn pendant by Jimena Roel. Pendant necklace in 22k yellow gold with a 14mm Tahitian pearl

Under $1500 Retail Category

First Prize: Ta’aroa’s Tears by Laurie Grossman. Pendant necklace in 10k and 22k gold with raw diamonds, polymer clay, resin, glass, and a Tahitian pearl

First Prize: Ta’aroa’s Tears by Laurie Grossman. Pendant necklace in 10k and 22k gold with raw diamonds, polymer clay, resin, glass, and a Tahitian pearl

Second Prize: Chain Mail and Pearls by Tahnee Seiler. Bracelet in a fine and oxidized silver loop-in-loop construction with wire-wrapped black pearls

Second Prize: Chain Mail and Pearls by Tahnee Seiler. Bracelet in a fine and oxidized silver loop-in-loop construction with wire-wrapped black pearls

Third Prize: Dancing Seagulls in silver by Daniela Fisher. Seagull-shape choker in sterling silver with Tahitian pearls

Third Prize: Dancing Seagulls in silver by Daniela Fisher. Seagull-shape choker in sterling silver with Tahitian pearls


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