South African jewellery design student Renate Kriegler was amongst the winners of Gold Virtuosi, the world's first global gold jewellery design competition, announced at the Vicenza Jewellery Fair in Italy today.
Ms. Kriegler (22) a second year jewellery design student at Stellenbosch University, was one of the 30 winners selected from over 3000 entrants from 34 countries, putting South African gold jewellery design in the spotlight of the global gold industry.
Gold Virtuosi, sponsored by the world's biggest gold producer, South African-based AngloGold, the World Gold Council and the Vicenza Fair, is the first competition of its kind to celebrate gold's versatility and encourage design excellence across international borders.
Renate Kriegler's winning jewellery set, titled "Thando", comprises a ring, pendant and bracelet made from 271 grams of 18 ct gold. The matt gold pieces are hollow, and are strung on a black rubber cord. Ms. Kriegler took her inspiration from the natural geometry of nature and universal symbols. The combination of warm yellow gold and the futuristic coolness of black rubber are symbolic of Africa's renaissance.
"I had never worked with so much gold before and it was a very luxurious and sensual experience," said Ms. Kriegler. "I encourage gold jewellery designers in South Africa, both professional and amateur, to enter these kinds of contests because they generate publicity for our world-calibre goldsmithing talents and provide the opportunity to work with large quantities of African gold."
"As sponsors of Renate's jewellery suite, we are delighted that Renate has been chosen as one of the Gold Virtuosi winners. AngloGold encourages jewellery designers, professional and amateur, to work with high carat gold and experiment with new designs and techniques through sponsorship initiatives." Said Kelvin Williams, Executive Director: Marketing, AngloGold.
"One of the biggest challenges the gold industry faces today is keeping up with the fashion trends and the ever-changing tastes of increasingly discerning modern women. These design competitions help the industry to showcase not just the beauty of gold but also its versatile and unique qualities. AngloGold congratulates all the winners of design excellence that is Gold Virtuosi."
As the world's largest producer, AngloGold is spearheading initiatives to ensure the continued growth of the gold industry through stimulating demand for this precious metal. AngloGold is the largest contributor to the global marketing of gold, with annual contributions to the World Gold Council exceeding US$9 million and a further US$11 million allocated to its own marketing programmes.
The 30 winning jewellery suites will tour the world during the year, including a South African exhibition, the date of which is to be announced.