2018 Australian Pearl Jewellery Design Masters

Cygnet Bay Pearls is pleased to announce the 2018 Australian Pearl Jewellery Design Masters, a competition which celebrates of the iconic Australian pearl and Jewellers, Silver and Goldsmiths from around the world.

Now in its third year, formerly known as the Australian Pearl Jewellery Design Competition, the Masters shines a spotlight on the Australian South Sea Pearl harvested from the giant Pinctada maxima shell which produces only one pearl every 2 years. They are the rarest and most valuable pearl on the global market today.

An exciting development for the 2018 competition is the introduction of the Australian Akoya pearl, harvested from Broken Bay Pearl Farm and renowned for its exceptional lustre and varied natural colour.  Applicants are encouraged to incorporate the Akoya in their designs, or use only this pearl in the new Australian Akoya category.

Managing Director of Cygnet Bay Pearls, James Brown is proud to be part of the Masters since its inception three years ago.

“From the pristine Kimberley waters of far North Western Australia, the Australian South Sea Pearl is in high demand world-wide.  Yet few jewellers have mastered the intricacies of working with this very precious and rare gem.

“With the introduction of the Australian Akoya category this year, we’re excited that the Masters now celebrates two different types of pearls – both premium products by global standards, yet both native to Australia,” said James.

To offer applicants a kick-start with their designs, Cygnet Bay and Broken Bay Pearl farms are pleased to gift a hand-selected pearl from their harvest to the first eight jewellers who apply.

The Masters will be judged by an independent panel comprised of industry experts.  Categories include Handmade, Australian Akoya, Apprentice and Australian Pearl Design Master Award, additional to the public voted People’s Choice.  Introduced for the first time this year is the Man Pearl Award to encourage diversification in the Australian pearl’s appeal.  The total prize pool is valued at more than $30,000 across all categories.

Entries are now open, and all pieces must be received by Wednesday 8 August 2018.

James explains the motivation behind the design competition, to connect the Australian pearl industry’s rich heritage with the pearl jewellery design masters of the future.

“From Indigenous Master Pearl Shell Carvers, Pearling Masters to modern pearl farmers, these awards pay tribute to those who have forged the path of the Australian pearl. We invite jewellers to become a master of the pearl in the jewels that are designed for this competition.”

Australian Pearl Jewellery Design Masters is an initiative in partnership with Pallion and Jewellery World Magazine.

For further details and to enter please email: sales@cygnetbaypearls.com.au or contact us here


Australian Pearl Design Master Award                  

$5,000 cash, 14mm Round pearl worth $3150, $1,000 Pallion voucher

Handmade Award                                              

$3,000 cash, 12-14mm Keshi pearl worth $2,000, $500 Pallion voucher

Apprentice Award                                              

$2,000 cash, 13mm Drop pearl worth $1325, $500 Pallion voucher

Man Pearl Award                                               

$2,000 cash, 13mm Drop pearl worth $1325, $500 Pallion voucher

Australian Akoya Award                                     

$2,000 cash, Australian Akoya strand bracelet worth $1,500, $500 Pallion voucher

People’s Choice Award                                      

$2,000 cash, 13mm Drop pearl worth $1325, $500 Pallion voucher

People’s Choice Award determined by public voting with the chance to win a prize pool to be announced.