De Beers announces winners of 18th Shining Light Awards

 De Beers announces winners of 18th Shining Light AwardsWinners of the 18th Shining Light Awards were announced in a grand finale held in the Circa Gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa. The platform is a jewellery design competition sponsored by The De Beers Group of Companies. A wide variety of De Beers Group stakeholders, including key partners and shareholders, and leading figures from the mining industry, joined the finalists, with their close ones, at the ceremony.

Philippe Mellier, Chief Executive, De Beers Group, told the finalists: “You truly are the shining lights of southern Africa and I look forward to watching you light up the diamond industry in years to come. As the modern diamond jewellery designer needs a head for business, just as much as they need an artistic eye and a skilled hand, this year’s awards have sought to identify those that have the commercial acumen to match their creative flair.”

The Shining Light Awards aims to showcase young talent from Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. The competition is open to current students, as well as those who have completed their studies at a tertiary institution in the past two years.

The overall winner was Lilja Pesanka Hastie, from the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria, who picked up the highest accolade of ‘The Forevermark Promise Award’. Lilja is offered a year’s training scholarship with De Beers Group’s Forevermark design team in Milan, Italy. Louise Kriek and Madeli Viljoen, both also from the Tshwane University of Technology, received ‘The Cursor Sursum Award’ as runners-up and will be offered three-month training scholarships in Milan. Julius Brettschneider, from Adrian Meyer Jewellers (Windhoek, Namibia), Mpho Mokgatle, from the Oodi College of Applied Arts Technology (Gaborone, Botswana), and Omphile Sibanda, from the Tshwane University of Technology, were all given ‘The Shining Light Development Award’.

The 12 finalists were presented with ‘The De Beers 2015 Shining Light Recognition Award’, and each producer country finalist also received a two-year scholarship with the Keith White School of Jewellery Design and Manufacturing in South Africa.

This year, entrants designed a commercial collection including a ring, a bracelet, a pendant and earrings under the chosen theme, ‘The Promise’. This theme resonates deeply with De Beers and is aligned to the Forevermark promise.

Kevin Goodrem, Vice President of Beneficiation, De Beers Global Sightholder Sales, said: “We are thrilled with all the nominees of this year’s Shining Light Awards. They are a group of individuals who have truly taken the challenge at hand and made it their own, while at the same time making the ethos of ‘The Promise’ the golden thread that can clearly be seen running through all their masterfully designed pieces of jewellery. From De Beers’ and our partners’ side, it has been the greatest reward knowing that we have invested in diverse greatness, upskilling and significantly developing the careers of 12 unique individuals, which will in turn be sown back into their respective countries.”

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