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IDI Launches Exhibition of Jewelry Design Competition Finalists

IDI Launches Exhibition of Jewelry Design Competition Finalists

5 October 2009

“Sixty Diamonds and Many More” opened September 7 at Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Museum.

The diamond jewelry design competition held by the Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies (IDI) in honor of Israel’s 60th anniversary is the basis for a new exhibition opening at the Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Museum here today. The exhibition was launched at a festive reception in the presence of Mayor of Ramat Gan Tzvi Bar; Chairman of IDI, President of IDMA and IsDMA Moti Ganz; Senior Deputy President of IDE Kobi Korn and President of the Israel Precious Stones Exchange Shlomo Eshed.

The competition was intended to encourage the use of Israeli diamonds by jewelry designers here, to foster cooperation between Israeli jewelers and the diamond industry and to position Israel as a manufacturer of unique and original diamond jewelry.

Of the dozens of submitted designs 11 were chosen as finalists and will be on display in the exhibition entitled, “Sixty Diamonds and Many More,” curated by Yehuda Kassif, IDI’s Jewelry Promotion Director and Art Director of the museum.

“The jewelry designs showed many different influences, some of them surprising. There were motifs that reflected local plants such as pomegranates, the Sabra cactus and sheaves of wheat, as well as birds of Israel, archaeological sites, desert landscapes, urban high rises and even quotes from Israel’s Declaration of Independence,” said Yehuda Kassif.

Shmuel Schnitzer, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the museum, said that the competition, the first after a break of several years, is an attempt to revive an important channel for integrating diamonds into original Israeli jewelry design. “I am amazed at the originality and creativity of the designers and how they have been able to weave their personal histories into their designs. I am convinced that Israeli design can make an important contribution to the world of diamond jewelry.”

Eli Avidar, IDI Managing Director said “The designers represent the variegated fabric of Israeli society, with the winners ranging from a 2nd generation precious stone merchant and student of Jewish mysticism, to a successful insurance agent and her deep sea diver partner, and an artist-craftsman who designed and created jewelry in Thailand. We are hoping to show this exhibition in other venues around the world, and thus to bring the spirit of Israeli design to the attention of the jewelry design industry

The prize-winning designs are:

First prize – “Tree of Life” ring made of blackened gold and set with 60 diamonds. The ring was designed to reflect the Biblical moriah plant (murraya paniculata) by Shaoul-Aharon Elisha, a Haifa-based jeweler and student of mysticism, and reflects motifs from the Kabbalah and other Jewish mystical sources. According to Elisha, the ring is interactive and can be rearranged according to the desire of the wearer. In this way the wearer becomes an active participant in the design process.

IDI Launches Exhibition of Jewelry Design Competition Finalists
“Tree of Life” by Shaoul-Aharon Elisha

Second prize – “Heart Earrings”, made of white gold, with white and black diamonds. The earrings were designed by Orly Eizenman, an insurance agent and poet, together with Drorit Vaserberger, an artist and diver. The design is based on the olive branch, and includes heart-shapes. According to the designers the olive, one of the Biblical “Seven Species” found in the Holy Land, symbolizes peace, while the hearts symbolize love.

IDI Launches Exhibition of Jewelry Design Competition Finalists
“Heart Earrings” by Orly Eizenman

Third prize – “Eternal Light” Ring, made up of moving parts, of white and yellow gold, with white and colored diamonds. The ring was designed by Yaniv Shapiro, a 10th-generation Israeli and Shenkar jewelry design graduate. According to the designer, the ring exemplifies the past, present and future of Israel and includes such symbols as the Israeli Declaration of Independence, the Star of David and ancient Hebrew script.

IDI Launches Exhibition of Jewelry Design Competition Finalists
“Eternal Light” Ring by Yaniv Shapiro

“Sixty Diamonds and Many More” will be shown from September 8 until the end of December, 2009 at the Harry Oppenheimer Diamond Museum in the Israel Diamond Complex, Ramat Gan.

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