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Jewelry contest celebrates Chinese design

By Mei Jia | | Updated: 2014-02-25 09:17
Jewelry contest celebrates Chinese design

The exquisite jewelry piece that won the China Jewelry Design and Craftsmanship Contest shows mastery of inlay skills, as well as original Chinese jewelry design. Photo by Mei Jia/China Daily

Jewelry contest celebrates Chinese design
Emporio Armani Autumn/Winter 2014 collection 
Jewelry contest celebrates Chinese design
Versace Autumn/Winter 2014 collection
A yearly jewelry competition has revealed that original jewelry designed and crafted by Chinese hands shows the country is capable of creating rather than just copying high quality luxury goods.

And in terms of gems and jewelry design, China carries its cultural tradition and heritage well.

The China Jewelry Design and Craftsmanship Contest is a yearly competition that draws more than 3,000 designers and teams, as well as craftsmen, mostly from the Chinese mainland, and with some coming from countries such as Italy and Japan.

The contest is organized by the National Gems and Jewelry Technology Administrative Center, and Gems and Jewelry Trade Association of China, both authorities of jewelry-related authentication and training.

University students of related majors also have been participating to add fresh blood to the contests, revealing grand prospects for Chinese haute couture jewelry.

Over the past 20 years since its inception, the Chinese jewelry industry, like other industries, is not merely content to be subcontracted manufacturers of foreign fashion brands. And jewelry professionals believe their industry can only evolve with original creative designs, says Ke Jie, vice director of the National Gems center.

Now Chinese designers are combining traditional skills with chic designs, and drawing their inspiration from traditional Chinese culture.

In the past, some of the skills were exclusive only for jewelry made for the royal family. The craftsmanship was passed down from generation to generation, and today masters like Bai Jingyi, who is a "representative inheritor" to royal filigree and inlay skills, one of the country's intangible cultural heritages, is passing the skills on.

Bai has a workshop in Beijing that offers custom-made high jewelry with a royal twist.

Here are some of the winning pieces from the contest, categorized in attire for workplace, sports, leisure, parties and evening gowns. The jewelry exhibits have already toured six Chinese cities, including Beijing and Nanjing.

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