The DTC Shining Light Awards Southern Africa 2009 Collection was launched by Diamond Trading Company (DTC) at the Radisson Hotel in Sandton last evening. There are 18 pieces of diamond jewellery set with over 14 thousand diamonds including natural black diamonds, green diamonds, canary yellow and cape coloured diamonds and brilliant white diamonds. An assortment of fancy cut diamonds including marquise, princess, baguettes and emerald cut diamonds also dress the jewellery with a total weight of over 400 carats.
The designs of the jewellery have been created by various artists - eight jewellery pieces are crafted by local South African designers, five designs by Namibian designers, and five designs created by Botswana designers. This is the first ever DTC Southern Africa Shining Light Collection. Eight of the pieces contained Forevermark diamonds.
. Overall Winner, designer Bhekithemba Ngema created a ring using 18ct yellow gold and 725 diamonds with a total carat weight of 16 carats, provided by sponsor and DTC client, Schachter & Namdar. This piece was chosen for its contemporary minimalism and unique execution in design.
First launched in 1996, the objective of the DTC Shining Light Awards has been to provide support for the future of the South African jewellery industry by helping to develop both technical and design skills of South African designers, and an ethos for South African jewellery design. This year, Namibia and Botswana participated in the awards for the first time. Through the competition the DTC has pioneered the way for DTC Sightholders, the sponsors of the collection pieces, local manufacturers and designers to collaborate in producing innovative and progressive design work. “A direct result of this collaboration,” said Head of Marketing for Southern Africa, De Beers Group Marketing - Ms Thoko Modisakeng, “has been the securing of employment at a time when the challenges in the global economy remind us of the interdependence of nations and economies, and of the necessity for us to meet our goals through co-operative endeavour. The DTC illustrated the transference of skills and knowledge through the awards, during the manufacturing stage of the competition when two of the Shining Light winners were flown to India by their sponsors to participate in the manufacture of their winning pieces. Additionally, it was with the input of previous Shining Light winners that some of the 2009 winners were assisted in the final manufacture of their pieces.
Intrinsic to the competition are the design workshops hosted by the DTC on a biennial basis in all three major centres of South Africa, and in Windhoek and Gaborone. It is at the Design Forums that students of jewellery design, established jewellers and experts in the field of design from around the world, come together to network and increase their skills base. The design workshops, fully sponsored by the DTC, cover a host of business and design related topics and are offered to attendees every year the competition is run.
Additionally, as part of the DTC Shining Light Awards competition, the Company provides five jewellery design schools with education grants in recognition for their commitment and dedication in the field of jewellery design.