Gem-A Offers Scholarships to Trio of GCDC Award Winners

Inspired by the level of jewellery design talent on display at the recent Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council Awards, Gem-A opted to present not one, but three scholarships to worthy entrants.

Gem-A has long-partnered with the Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council to offer a Special Award that highlights designers with a unique, unusual and/or creative approach to diamonds and gemstones in their designs. This year’s trio of winners, chosen by Gem-A president Maggie Campbell Pedersen FGA and Gem-A chairman Justine Carmody FGA, will receive a free place on our Diamond Grading and Identification course.

This five-day course at Gem-A HQ is designed to give participants practical, hands-on experience of working with diamonds in a professional context, from observing laboratory-grown diamonds and weighing mounted diamonds, to identifying clarity enhancement treatments and grading techniques.

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On the sixth day, participants take an exam to test their knowledge. If they pass, they are awarded a Gem-A Diamond Practical Certificate, which they can present to their customers, clients or colleagues as a reflection of their training. Plus, all those who complete the Gem-A Diamond Grading and Identification course can keep the portable diamond kit they are presented with on the first day.

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This year’s Goldsmiths Craft & Design Council Awards saw a phenomenal 642 entries across 32 categories. Following multiple days of judging, 130 winners were chosen for their talent, ingenuity and skills at the bench. For the Gem-A Special Award, Maggie Campbell Pedersen and Justine Carmody considered hundreds of entries and eventually decided upon three worthy winners.

The first is Glasgow School of Art student and jewellery designer, Alice Fry, who impressed with a CAD design for a unique ‘Reflection’ ring, inspired by the facets of a diamond and set with a 1.5 carat cushion-cut centre stone, plus sapphire, citrine, tanzanite and tourmaline accents in the collar and shoulders. Although this design is unlikely to be realised in real-life, the CAD design alone was deemed impressive and imaginative enough to deserve an award.

Alice Fry Gem A Special Award Winner Reflections Ring Goldsmiths Craft and Design Council Awards 2019A CAD design by Alice Fry that imagines an impressive diamond-inspired gold ring. Image courtesy of GCDC. 

Emerging jewellery designer Roxanna Moznabi also wowed the judges with a striking locket from her own-brand, Moznabi Jewellery. Taken from the Jabeh Lockets range, her Alborz Locket is crafted in silver and 18k yellow gold with a pear-shaped green sapphire at its heart.

Roxanna Moznabi Gem A Special Award Winner Silver Locket Goldsmiths Craft and Design Council Awards 2019
Moznabi Jewellery is inspired by its eponymous designer's Persian roots. Image courtesy of GCDC.

Finally, Isla Gilham secured the third Gem-A Special Award with her ‘Bitten’ ring collection, featuring amethyst, carnelian and malachite gems carved as if someone has bitten a chunk out of them. Isla is a recent graduate from Central Saint Martins and creates a fantastic selection of pieces themed around indulgence, mouth-watering sweets and temptation.

Isla Gilham Gem A Special Award Winner Bitten Collection Rings Goldsmiths Craft and Design Council Awards 2019
Isla Gilham's fantastically fun take on gemstones in her Bitten Collection. Image courtesy of GCDC.

Gem-A president, Maggie Campbell Pedersen said: "It is always fun to judge the awards because it gives a chance to see - in one place - a large collection of work that is being designed in the UK today. When judging we not only examine the designs or pieces but also consider the applicants’ accompanying comments, helping us to choose the people who would benefit most from the Diamond Grading and Identification course.

"We need to know why they want it, as well as how good their work is. The standard was high this year and ours was not an easy task. The winning pieces were all very different, but all showed skill, imagination and enthusiasm."

Find out more about Gem-A Short Courses, including the Diamond Grading and Identification course, here.

Would you like to start your gemmology journey with Gem-A? Contact our team on to find out more.