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The winners of the 17th Annual PlatAfrica Jewellery Design Competition were announced recently in Sandton, Johannesburg with each winner getting the opportunity to design for the in Indian jewellery market, where platinum has become the symbol of love.
India is one of the fastest growing platinum jewellery markets in the world, increasing tenfold in less than a decade – from 16 000 ounces in 2008 to over 200 000 ounces in 2016 – with significant potential for further growth.
The PlatAfrica Awards has become synonymous with excellence in platinum jewellery design and is an important aspect of Anglo American Platinum’s beneficiation activities.
Platinum jewellery remains one of the most sought-after metals and South Africa supplies approximately 80% of global demand for this rare resource. The competition is open to students, apprentices and professional jewellers working in South Africa and the industry’s top achievers were recognised for their work.
This year’s finalists in the competition were challenged with ‘Nuevo Traditions’. The design theme creates an opportunity for a modern interpretation of ancient philosophies, rituals and stories using new technology, creating modern heirlooms which are balanced depictions of both modern and ethnic elements. There are five governing theme design hooks (slice, organic, liquid reflections, micro-texture and symbolic) which enable the designers to explore the platinum metal surface to create unique, symbolic statement pieces for both men and women.
Joint winners in the student category were Jefta Mtole for the Women, bubbles as dreams pendant and Alexandre Antoine Thomy Vencatasawmy for the Unity ring. Second place was awarded to Vuyiseka Luke for Symbolic Messages bracelet, while Simphiwe Dumengane won third place for Heroic Symbols earrings. Bongumusa Mtshali achieved fourth place for the Izinyembezi neckpiece.
The the professional category, Sylvester Louw took top honours for The Spear of time bracelet, second place went to Magda Nieman & Abram Mathabatha for the Khoi San neck piece, Phumlani Mngoma achieved third place for the Isiphandla bracelet and fourth place was awarded to Manuel Mpho Helepi for the Revelations ring.
Over 250 invited guests, fashionistas and local celebrities attended the prestigious event, including the likes of businesswoman Sonia Booth; singer and songwriter Mariechan Luiters, The Voice SA finalist Lana Crowster, comedian Riaad Moosa, Miss South Africa Ntando Kunene, soccer player Manti Mekoa as well as MC for the evening, SABC2 anchor, Ayanda-Allie Paine.
Chris Griffith, CEO of Anglo American Platinum commented, “I am pleased to congratulate this year’s talented winners of the PlatAfrica Jewellery Design Competition. These awards are an important part of Anglo American Platinum’s efforts to develop local designers for global markets.”
All winners receive a cash prize; additionally, first prize winners in both categories are invited to attend and participate in PGI India’s design sourcing workshops early in 2017, exposing them to an international consumer and retail market. They will interact with renowned jewellery designers and industry experts to gain insights and skills which will help them in their chosen field back in South Africa. Should they be successful, their designs could be selected to feature in retail stores in India.
Platinum Jewellery in India
India, the world’s oldest civilisation, is home to one of the planet’s youngest populations – with 70 percent younger than 45 years of age. The rapidly changing dynamics in Indian society and innovative marketing has led to the adoption of platinum jewellery as a love symbol.
About 60 per cent of this market is made up of wedding-related platinum jewellery purchases. Anglo American Platinum’s wholly-owned Platinum Guild International India (PGI India) has launched the exquisite ‘Evara Platinum Blessings’ collection, jewellery that places platinum at the very heart of the wedding ceremony. Evara is rooted in Sanskrit and means blessings, a gifted jewellery set from the bride’s parents to the bride and groom, carrying with it the platinum promise of everlasting love.
The everlasting bond of love is at the heart of every Evara design, as each piece has a unique platinum bond that holds together multiple strands of platinum, symbolic of the couple and their two families coming together, to create a beautiful new relationship.
This range of jewellery offers an ideal opportunity for the parents and family to bless the bridal couple’s marriage by the giving of platinum jewellery, which is designed so that it can be worn beyond just the wedding day. Importantly, every time the bride wears her Evara jewellery she will be carrying with her, her parents’ love and blessings.
In India many marriages are still arranged, so the couple will not necessarily have gotten to know each other all that well before they experience the traditional wedding, an occasion where their families come together, and wealth is transferred mostly in the form of jewellery. Recognising the couple discovering their love for each other at a later stage, PGI India is promoting the exchange of Platinum Love Bands on their “Platinum Day of Love”, a moment in time when the couple celebrate their affection and love for one another by exchanging these rings.
Symbolically, these two platinum jewellery collections are defining a place for platinum jewellery that is both personal and emotional and highly differentiated from gold. These market development initiatives in India have already seen a surge in platinum sales, forecasted to deliver a market demand of around 500 000 platinum ounces by 2020.
ABOUT ANGLO AMERICAN PLATINUM LTD
Anglo American Platinum Limited is a member of the Anglo American plc Group and is the world’s leading primary producer of platinum group metals. The company is listed on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE). Its mining, smelting and refining operations are based in South Africa. Elsewhere in the world, the Group owns Unki Platinum Mine in Zimbabwe. Anglo American Platinum has a number of joint ventures with several historically disadvantaged South African consortia as part of its commitment to the transformation of the mining industry. Anglo American Platinum is committed to the highest standards of safety and continues to make meaningful and sustainable difference in the development of the communities around its operations.
For more information visit: www.angloamericanplatinum.com