The Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council Award 2018

This week we were delighted to attend the 110th Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council awards, which were held at Goldsmith’s Hall. Following the success of last year’s inaugural Fairtrade Gold Design Awards, we were very pleased to accept an invitation to bring these awards under the umbrella of The Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council’s annual competition, in the knowledge that the prestige and long-standing nature their awards would help to maximise awareness of Fairtrade gold within the industry, and would attract the greatest possible number of high-quality submissions.

Our design brief evolved from last year’s. Instead of limiting submissions to engagement rings and wedding bands, this year entries could consist of any exclusive one-off design. They were to be designed ready for casting and hand finishing in 9ct, 14ct or 18ct Fairtrade gold (white, yellow or rose, or in some combination of these) to a maximum finished weight of 15g. They could incorporate up to a total of 0.3ct of round brilliant cut white diamonds.

The quality of submissions was excellent, resulting in the judges giving a bronze, two silver awards, and a coveted gold award. We had no hesitation in giving the gold award to Susan Blackler for her stunning ‘Parched Earth’ design, which captures the appearance of arid land with a ‘parched’ matt texture. As well as being visually striking, this design was a stark reminder of how sixty million people in sub-Saharan Africa will likely be forced to migrate as a result of desertification.

Susan will retain the copyright on her design, and will work with us to oversee the production of the finished piece. This will then be donated to the Fairtrade Foundation.

Our long-term aim with the Fairtrade Gold Design Awards is to help the Fairtrade Foundation build significant momentum within the fine jewellery market.Globally, fifteen million people work in small-scale gold mining, and more than a hundred million people depend on the industry for survival. Many are children, often working in unsafe conditions, and facing a lifetime of backbreaking labour as they struggle to earn a living. They generally don’t have access to the international markets, making it almost impossible for them to get paid a fair price for their gold. We believe that increased awareness of Fairtrade gold offers their best chance of a safe and prosperous future.

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