Winners Announced

Thank you to all of the designers who entered in the Australian Pearl Jewellery Design Competition.  The effort and quality that has gone into the entries is outstanding and we are grateful for your participation.  All entries with the designers named and prices listed (where provided) can be viewed via the link “View 2016 competition entries”

This will be an annual event and we invite you all to stay in touch for next year’s competition.


The 2016 winners are:

South Sea Pearl 18ct Yellow Gold Sterling Silver Ring


Overall Winner

First Place Renee Blackwell

From Renee Blackwell Designs QLD

South Sea Dreaming

18ct Yellow Gold, Sterling Silver Featuring Cygnet Bay Pearl

South Sea Pearl 14ct Yellow Gold Diamond Ring


Second Place Alister Yiap

From Alister Yiap WA

The Pearl Fishers

14ct Yellow Gold, Diamonds (0.43 TW) Featuring a Cygnet Bay Pearl.

South Sea Pearl Diamond Ring
South Sea Pearl Diamond Ring Brooch
South Sea Pearl Diamond Brooch


Third Place Benjamin Hart

From Benjamin Hart Jewellers NSW

Saturn Rising

18ct White Gold, 18ct Yellow Gold, Diamonds Featuring a Cygnet Bay Pearl

South Sea Pearl 18ct White Gold Diamond Ring


People Choice Winner is:

First Place Adina Jozsef

From Adina Jozsef NSW


18ct White Gold, Champagne Diamonds (0.25ct TW), White Diamonds (F/G/VS, 0.60ct TW), tapered Baguettes (0.40ct TW) Featuring a Cygnet Bay Pearl.

South Sea Pearl Diamond Ring
South Sea Pearl Diamond Ring

Second Place Angela Hampton

From Hampton Fine Jewellery & Design QLD

Pearl Poseidon

Platinum, White Diamonds Featuring Cygnet Bay Pearl

South Sea Pearl 14ct Yellow Gold Diamond Ring


Third Place Alister Yiap

From Alister Yiap WA

The Pearl Fishers

14ct Yellow Gold, Diamonds (0.43 TW) Featuring a Cygnet Bay Pearl.

South Sea Pearl Sterling Silver Earrings


Apprentice Award winners is

First Place Yuki Mathwin

From Minzenmay Vic

Sea Chimes

925 Sterling Silver Featuring Cygnet Bay Pearls.

South Sea Pearl 9ct Yellow Gold Sterling Silver Sapphire Pendant


Second Place –Rachel Reilly

Outback Moon

From- My Jewellers Tas

 9ct Yellow Gold, Sterling Silver, Queensland Sapphires Featuring a Cygnet Bay Pearl.


We are delighted to announce we have 3 diverse and experienced judges that bring decades of experience and knowledge to this competition.  Each widely recognised as leaders in their industries we are grateful for their time and energy in bringing their talents to judge the skills and creativity of Australia’s designer jewellers and their Australian Pearl Jewellery creations.

Penny Arrow

Penelope has spent a lifetime around pearls. In 1979 her brother Stephen Arrow established a pearl farm north of Broome and the company Arrow Pearl Co.  Penny formally joined the family business in 1995 to assist with the operation and strategic management.

Penny worked as Director in a broad pearl farm management role. During this time, she mastered the intricacies of pearl grading and acquired a great understanding of the highly specialized world of the international South Sea pearl market.

Over a 20 year career in pearling Penny has:
• Represented the industry’s peak body – Pearling Industry Advisory Committee;
• With her family built an iconic Broome heritage tourism project Pearl Luggers;
• Established pearl jewellery retail stores;
• Assisted with international pearl jewellery trade fairs and other major fashion and jewellery events;
• Directed marketing, advertising and brand development campaigns;

Peter Keep

Peter is a qualified jeweller & trainer and has been teaching jewellery apprentices since 2006.

He has been an active JAA committee member and Director and is at present is a councillor on the education committee of the Jewellery Industry Council.

He was trained at the School of Jewellery & Silversmithing in Birmingham UK and has never forgotten the amazing experience that quality training and passionate teachers gave him.

After 30 years of running a successful jewellery design and manufacturing business in England and Australia he was offered the position of Jewellery Trade Lecturer at North Metropolitan TAFE in Perth.

He implemented a relevant and disciplined training program using innovative teaching techniques that combined modern and traditional techniques.

The apprenticeship program in WA has enjoyed successes in design competitions as well as national and international Worldskills finals.

Catherine Birch

It has been said that Catherine Birch’s initiatives and projects tick all the boxes in terms of economic diversification, employment and creation of new industries through education, training and tourism to promote Australia to the World.

As the Corporate Advisor to Professor Datuk Dr Jimmy Choo OBE, Head of Fashion for Arab Business Club, Senior VP for ASEAN World Fashion Brands and Merchandising Group of World Fashion Organization and Co-Founder of Fashion Diplomacy International (an international trade exchange initiative), Catherine pioneers and bridges borders between trades, locally and internationally.

It is quite evident that Catherine knows the inner workings of the creative business as her 2015 Leadership Tour for the Aboriginal female youth from her Life Skills program to the United Arab Emirates obtained interests from sixty(60) art galleries in the Middle East for Australian Aboriginal artworks and arte-facts.

In an Australian first, Cygnet Bay Pearls presents the Australian Pearl Jewellery Design Competition.  As part of our 70 year celebrations of pearl pioneering we are proud to announce this jewellery design competition to celebrate the iconic and famous Australian South Sea Pearl and the talents of Australia’s Jewellers, Silver and Goldsmiths.   To be showcased, and winners announced, during the Shinju Matsuri “Festival of the Pearl” held in Broome, the pearling capital of Australia, from 11th – 18th of September 2016.  Our association with the Shinju Matsuri festival began in 1970 when Cygnet Bay Pearls donated the pearls that adorned the very first Shinju Queen. This is the inaugural competition and will become an annual event, one we hope will be keenly anticipated by the Australian jewellery industry.

Since the Australian cultured pearling industry emerged in the late 1950’s Australia has consistently produced the highest quality and most beautiful and valuable pearls in the world. For all its fame it is perhaps the least understood gem in a jeweller’s showcase.  We want to share our passion and expertise about the industry from pearl growing, harvesting and the virtues of a perfect pearl.
To give things a kick start, Cygnet Bay Pearls is offering Free hand selected pearls from our harvest, to the first few jewellers to enter from each state of Australia. Approximately $10,000 of Australian South Sea Pearls in total. (NSW, VIC, QLD & WA have three pearls per state and NT, SA, ACT & TAS have two pearls to each state/territory). All entrants will receive a Cygnet Bay Pearl guide with detailed information about pearls and Australian Pearling.

With 3 categories to win and a prize pool of over $14,000, we hope to see some exciting, beautiful, intriguing and innovative designs.

Cygnet Bay Pearls is excited to engage the Australian Jewellery Industry in the current Australian Pearling story and to showcase the wide and varied stunning pieces of jewellery that can be created featuring Australian pearls. To this end there are few constraints on what can be made, as long as its wearable, and how the jewellery is created or the alloys used. We are hoping to invigorate the way pearls are perceived and invite jewellers to amaze.

For further details and to enter please email: or contact us here


Pearl jewellery design competition