The HRD Design Awards: 18 editions of
young designer talent
Every two years, HRD Antwerp invites the most creative and visionary jewellery designers from around the world to showcase their talent in the prestigious HRD Design Awards. This year marks the 18th edition of this global competition, which has been a launching pad for many successful careers in the jewellery industry.
The HRD Design Awards is more than just a contest. It’s a platform for emerging designers to express their unique vision, challenge themselves with a specific theme and material, and connect with an international network of peers, experts and mentors. The winners receive not only the manufacturing of their piece but also worldwide recognition and exposure.
An Exceptional Jury of Jewellery Professionals The quality and originality of the designs submitted to the HRD Design Awards are evaluated by an esteemed jury of jewellery professionals, who represent different aspects of the industry such as design, manufacturing, retail and media. The jury members are selected for their expertise, experience and reputation in the diamond & jewellery industry.
A Community of Jewellery Lovers For 36 years, HRD Antwerp has been committed to fostering talent and innovation in the jewellery sector. Through the HRD Design Awards, they aim to inspire the next generation of designers and to promote excellence and diversity in jewellery design.
After this great success, HRD Antwerp wants to go a step further and create a community. A place to share their passion for design and innovation. Through HRD’s website and social media channels, HRD invites everyone to discover the amazing work of the participants, and to join the conversation about jewellery trends and inspirations.
Category winner accessories: Wang Xuerui
Enter the glamorous world of Chinese jewellery designer, Wang Xuerui, who recently dazzled the judges at the 18th HRD Design Awards with her breathtaking masterpiece – “Mutualistic”.
Wang Xuerui said “Mutualistic refers to a type of symbiotic relationship between species that benefit from their interactions. This is exactly what I’m trying to convey with this piece, that is, the symbiosis of human and nature. When human fire the guns, the wings at their back are also clipped. So when human try to hurt the nature is time they are doomed. There is absolutely no winner when the guns fire.
When I saw the design theme, “Peace”, it immediately led me to the narrative between man and nature. I then envisioned the general idea and shape of the piece, began my design research and carried out brainstorm with drawings, which helped me reach the result you know.
1st runner-up accessories: Jun Yuying Zhang
Jun Yuying Zhang came second in the accessories category with her design “Birds And Fruits”,
Her inspiration was the peace dove and the olive branch, which are considered as symbols of peace and friendship by the world. She wanted to create a calm, soft and happy atmosphere with her design, as if she represented the peace around us.
Her design consists of a brooch and a pair of earrings that are made of white gold, diamonds and colored gemstones. The brooch has the shape of a dove holding an olive branch in its beak. The earrings have the same olive branch shape as the brooch, but with small fruits on them. The whole set radiates elegance and harmony.
Jun Yuying Zhang said that she was very happy to finish second in this prestigious competition. She thanked HRD Antwerp for organizing this event that taught her a lot about diamonds and jewelry design. She hopes that her work can inspire more people to strive for peace and love.
Category winner gemstones: Amalia Rachim – Italy
Amelia Rachim from Italy won the gemstones category with her EARRINGS design ‘Piece by Piece into Peace”. Her inspiration was the concept of peace and harmony among different cultures and religions. She said that she wanted to create a design that reflects diversity and unity.
Her design consists of a necklace that is made of 18K white gold with various gemstones. The necklace has a pendant that is composed of four pieces that can be separated and reassembled. Each piece represents a different religion: Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism. The pieces are decorated with symbols and colours that are associated with each religion. The pendant also has a diamond in the center that symbolises peace.
The necklace has 12 gemstones on bezel setting: ruby, sapphire, emerald, amethyst, citrine, garnet, peridot, topaz, turquoise, pearl, coral and jade. The gemstones represent the 12 months of the year and the diversity of nature.
Amelia Rachim said that she was very happy and proud to be the winner of this prestigious competition. She thanked HRD Antwerp for giving her this opportunity to express her creativity and vision for jewellery design. She hopes that her work can inspire more people to respect and appreciate each other’s differences
1st runner-up gemstones: Maho Nozawa – Japan
Maho Nozawa’s stunning creation, “Tamaki,” won the second place in the gemstone category. She was inspired by the meaning of Tamaki in Japanese, which is endless circulation. She wanted to convey that peace is based on the harmony and solidarity of all people in the world.
Her design consists of a necklace that is made of 18K white gold with freshwater pearls and diamonds. The necklace has a circular shape that represents the cycle of life and peace. The pearls have different sizes and colours that reflect the diversity and beauty of humanity. The diamonds add sparkle and value to the necklace, symbolising precious life and freedom.
Tamaki has no clasp and can be worn over the head. This makes it easy and comfortable to wear for anyone, regardless of age or gender. It also shows a modern and global style that suits the new era of peace.
2nd runner-up gemstones: Chao Yu – China
Chao Yu, a Chinese designer, won the third place in gemstones with her bracelet “Iris”. Inspired by a Van Gogh painting and nature, she said, “I felt that the Iris painted by Van Gogh was beautiful and lovely, but a little melancholic and lonely, and even presented a struggling posture, just like the yearning and anxiety in my heart. In 2022, I saw patches of Iris bulleyana in the Alpine meadow of Shangri-La at an altitude of 3,300 metres. Against the lofty snow-capped mountains, the serene and zealous purple-blue Iris looked like a butterfly, which was light, flexible, and vitalized. Free and spectacular, they fought against the harsh cold weather and did not bloom for anyone, but only for their own life. Looking back at Van Gogh’s Iris, I gained a different understanding and perspective. The encounter and conversation with Iris bulleyana enabled me to find inner peace and strength.”
Her bracelet is made of 18K yellow gold with sapphires, emeralds, rubies, and diamonds. It has a floral shape like an iris flower. The colors and textures of the gems create contrast and harmony. Chao Yu’s bracelet is a tribute to art and nature, reflecting her own journey of finding peace and strength.
Category winner diamonds:Indika Wjayarathna – Sri Lanka
Indika Wjayarathna submitted a stunning design named “The Moment” for the competition that revolves around the theme of ‘Peace. It starts with you!’ The design brilliantly depicts a bird escaping from its cage, embodying the moment of freedom. Indika Wjayarathna beautifully articulated, “That’s the moment he gets his freedom. I let him fly, where I believe peace starts with me…” The design showcases a ring with a captivating cage-like structure and a loose diamond that symbolises the bird. The diamond can be easily removed from the ring and worn on a necklace, emphasising the essence of freedom.
1st Runner-Up: Benoit Schrijnemakers – Belgium
Benoit Schrijnemakers designed a unique accessory named “Serenity,” which is inspired by his love for nature and his desire to create a jewel that represents peace and harmony.
His design features a cuff made of wood and gold, decorated with diamonds. The cuff has a wing-like shape that resembles a dove, which is the universal symbol of peace. The wood used for the cuff is rare and exhibits different colors and patterns depending on the angle of light.
Benoit Schrijnemakers’ bracelet is a masterpiece of creativity and craftsmanship. It also conveys a message of hope and beauty in a troubled world.
Benoit Schrijnemakers expressed his pride and happiness upon receiving recognition from HRD Antwerp, one of the leading diamond certification institutes in Europe. He hopes that his work will inspire more people to appreciate accessories and their limitless possibilities.
2nd runner-up: Lily Leung – China
Lily Leung won third place in the diamond category with her bracelet design called “The Dancing Dove.” She was inspired by symbols of peace such as doves and olive branches and aimed to create a piece of jewellery that expresses her desire for a peaceful world.
Her design comprises a bracelet made of platinum and diamonds with two detachable parts that can be worn together or separately. The bracelet has a dove-like shape that holds an olive branch in its beak. The diamonds used for the bracelet are exquisite, reflecting the light and movement of the dove.
Lily Leung’s bracelet is an innovative work of art that represents hope and beauty in a turbulent world.