Nine finalists of this year’s Sri Lanka Jewelry Design Awards now vie for the post of being the chosen Jewelry Designer of the year for 2015 in four different categories
Organized by the Sri Lanka Gem and Jewelry Association, the competition was held under the theme of ‘A new Sri Lankan style’ for local participants and ‘Exotic Sri Lankan Blue Sapphires’ for the international participants.

Chairman of the Committee Sellakumar Kandasamy commented that the awards honor outstanding work and applaud the most innovative jewelry designs. With Sri Lanka set to host the 25th anniversary edition of FACETS, the award certainly encapsulates what Sri Lanka has to offer in the form of these gorgeous statement pieces.

This year’s awards saw 27 local and 21 international applications, yielding a final shortlist of 9. The selected local semi-finalists went through a mentoring program by the Academy of Design (AOD). During the mentoring program, finalists met with lecturers at the Academy who advised them on the finer points of jewellery design.  The judging panel comprised of eminent industry experts from various fields of art, architecture and design.  KPMG was also part of the whole process to ensure that the integrity and credibility of the awards was maintained.

The local finalists include Thamira Sajeewa Thotagamuwa, Priyanthie Dammika Kariyawasam, Chathurika Madushani Jayasinghe, Chamini Sajeeva Dasanayake, Achini Indika and Lakisha Weerakoon.

For the first time, the awards also opened up the opportunity for foreign jewelry design enthusiasts to send in their designs. The international segment asked to skillfully use the Blue Sapphire as a primary piece of gemstone.

Out of 26 designs, three finalists were chosen; they include Kevin Susanto Ngo from Singapore, Zhang Yee Jing from Malaysia and Dhillon Harleen Kaur from India.
With creativity and design being at the heart of the 2015 Awards, the Export Development Board which plays a prominent role in promoting, developing and recognising industry talent said that innovation is the cornerstone of the sector.

“When it comes to precious gemstones, the value addition of it would be in jewelry. For a long time, Sri Lankan jewelry designers have been catering to the international retailers and market but the design segment locally is largely underdeveloped,” said Bandula Egodage, Chairman and Chief Executive of the EDB..”

He also added the EDB has provided the opportunity for local jewelry manufactures to showcase their products at the SME Pavilion since 1991. Last year, students of the University of Moratuwa were given the opportunity to present their creations. This year the Sri Lanka College of Technology will be given a free space at the designer corner at the EDB pavilion.

This year’s awards are sponsored by AMA Careem Jewelers, Colombo Jewelry Stores, Devi Jewelers, Lalitha Jewelry Mart Pvt. Ltd, Ravi Jewelers, Sifani Jewelers, Unique Jewelers, Wellawatta Nithyakalyani Jewelers.