#Emergence – celebrating innovation and ingenuity in jewellery design

Winners of the 24th PlatAfrica jewellery design competition announced at a gala event in Johannesburg.

By Debbie Hathway
Fahmida Smith, Jana Basson and Yvonne Mfolo

The 24th PlatAfrica jewellery design and manufacturing competition recently announced its winners during a gala event in Johannesburg. Hosted by Anglo American Platinum, Metal Concentrators, and Platinum Guild International (PGI) India, the competition aims to promote local talent and skills development in the South African platinum jewellery industry. This year’s theme, #Emergence, inspired contestants to create innovative designs reflecting unexplored territories and future promise. The introduction of capsule collections and a collaboration with De Beers further enhanced the competition’s scope.

Winners in the Professional and Student/Apprentice categories were awarded cash prizes, media exposure, and an opportunity to participate in a platinum jewellery design workshop in India. The competition received 192 entries, evaluated based on creativity, originality, theme interpretation, and technical excellence. In the Professional category, Lungile Xhwantini from The Platinum Incubator secured the top spot with his “Khalifah” neckpiece. Xhwantini also won the People’s Choice award, sponsored by Metal Concentrators. Meanwhile, Jana Basson from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology emerged as the overall winner in the Student/Apprentice category for her versatile “Unity” neckpiece/bracelet. Additionally, special mentions were given to outstanding submissions from Phillipus Wilhelmus Vorster (Rare Earth Creations), Tanya Gamble (Stellenbosch University), Tor Kaplan (City Goldsmiths/Uwe Koetter) and Mongameli Thafeni (Cape Peninsula University of Technology.)

Lungile Xhwantini

Speaking at the ceremony, Anglo American Platinum CEO Craig Miller said, “PlatAfrica is a demonstration of our commitment to bringing our Purpose to life, exposing the talented and dynamic finalists to access and use platinum metal to expand their creativity and talents to greater design possibilities. I am proud and impressed by how each of the finalists has amazingly translated the concepts, designs and creativity to this year’s theme of #Emergence. Platinum is such a versatile metal, from being used in the manufacture of the most beautiful and intricate jewellery to its application in the emissions-free hydrogen fuel cell within the magnificent BMW ix5 that is on display here this evening as a result of the collaboration between Anglo American Platinum, Sasol Limited and BMW Group South Africa.”

Managing director at De Beers Managed Operations, Moses Madondo, said, “De Beers is proud to be part of this year’s PlatAfrica. We are passionate about supporting local talent in the countries where we recover diamonds, and this year’s entries give me hope in the imaginative and technical capabilities that exist on the African continent and make me excited about the transformative potential of this collaboration.”

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