People’s Choice now open with one voter to win a seat on the 2019 Australian Pearl Masterclass Voyage – vote now!

The winners are:

Australian Pearl Design Master: Nephila Lucilia by Richelle Perks

Handmade Award: Something in the Way She Moves by Veronica & Matthew Arkins

Apprentice Award: Fusion by Erin Pearce

Man Pearl Award: Saturn Cufflinks by Tina Gjersen-Sav

Australian Akoya Award: Siren’s Helm by Danielle Shay

Highly Commended: Pearls in Full Bloom by Madeleine McDonald

Highly Commended: Undamages by Kadri Alekand

Pearls of Australia is thrilled to congratulate the winners of the 2018 Australian Pearl Jewellery Design Masters.

Receiving a record 60 entries of extremely high calibre, this year’s winning designers will share in $30,000 worth of prizes including cash and pearls from Pearls of Australia and Pallion vouchers, with highly commended and apprentices to receive $2,550 worth of membership at Jewellery Training Solutions.

Entries were received from across Australia and around the world, including USA, Denmark, Singapore and Canada.

Now in its third year, the pieces were judged by a panel of technical and fashion experts including Peter Keep (Director of Jewellery Training Solutions), Catherine Birch (Corporate Adviser to Jimmy Choo) and Kate Hwang (Senior Creative Designer for Pallion).

Each piece was scored for their creativity, technical skill and the strength of featuring the Australian South Sea pearl of Cygnet Bay in WA, and Australian Akoya pearl of Broken Bay in NSW.

Masters entries were judged at the International Jewellery Fair in Sydney, with the winning designs announced at the Australian National Maritime Museum.

The exhibition will now tour the country starting at the Shinju Matsuri Festival in Broome and Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm Harvest Festival before flying across Australia with Pallion, the largest precious metals services group in Australasia.

The calibre of quality in this year’s designs were exceptional as explained by judge Peter Keep who was a founding partner of the competition in 2016.

“The quality of workmanship and the creativity from the competitors this year was truly outstanding, and finding our winners was an incredibly difficult task,” said Peter.

“The judging panel was perfectly balanced to assess not only the incredible skills but how marketable and innovative they were by the expert eyes of my colleagues Cat Birch and Kate Hwang.”

All designs are now online with the People’s Choice award open for the public to vote for the winning piece on the Cygnet Bay Pearls website, one lucky voter will win a seat on the 2019 Australian Pearl Masterclass Voyage with two runner ups to win Cygnet Bay and Broken Bay pearl jewellery.

The Australian Pearl Masterclass Voyage is an immersive experience of the Australian pearl from east to west, starting at Broken Bay Pearl Farm (1 hour north of Sydney), travelling via Broome to the Shinju Matsuri Festival of the Pearl in Western Australia to Cygnet Bay Pearl Farm (2.5 hours north of Broome).

Applications will soon open for the 2020 Australian Pearl Jewellery Design Masters, with designers encouraged to start considering their entries with 18 months to create.

For further details and to register your interest to enter the next Masters please email: 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 vote CLICK HERE.

Congratulations to ALL designers who have entered stunning designs in this year’s competition:

Kadri Alekand
Hannah Alexander
Veronica & Matthew Arkins
Rachel Bird
Renee Blackwell
Celeste Boonaerts
Jacqueline Calvert-Lane
Kate Case
Ruth Casey
Kirra-Lea Caynes
Melissa Crennan
Kimberley Ebbeck
Victoria Edgar
Samuel Farmer
Tina Gjersen-Sav
Aida Guirguis
Kai Hagberg
Angela Hampton
Katherine Hubble
Dean Irvine
Anita Jamieson
Anita Jamieson
Antonina (Anita) Lauria
Jo Lillicot
Christina Lim
Jennie LoRusso
Jennifer Martin
Yuki Mathwin
Shauna Mayben
Madeleine McDonald
Melanie Michael
Amanda Newton
Amanda Newton
Erin Pearce
Richelle Perks (Jamieson)
Tori (Victoria) Poynton
Tamahra Prowse
Mark Roots
Benjamin Ryan
Mark Seddon
Danielle Shay
Amy Smith
Carolyn Stevenson
Asato Tanaka
Claire Townsend
Simone Vanderschool
Erin Venville
Christine Wolf
Shari Wright
Yuxi Xie
Alister Yiap Yiap


We are delighted to have 3 diverse and experienced judges that bring decades of experience and knowledge to this competition. 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.

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 artefacts.

Kate Hwang

Kate is senior designer and creative at Pallion who has worked as a CAD and creative designer for the largest jewellery manufacturing company in Korea for eight years where she developed deep insights into the Asian and American markets.

Her career at Pallion has furthered her insights into the Astralian market, rounding out a vast understanding of the international jewellery market.

Kate studied visual and production design as well as jewellery design and silver smithing at university where she was awarded a scholarship for excellence in design.

Click Here to see the 2017 Award winners Click Here to see the 2016 Award winners