This year’s theme, ‘Protecting Nature’s Beauty’, is a poignant reminder of the need to take care of the world’s finite natural resources, including diamonds. Open to all aspiring jewellery design students across Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, finalists receive valuable business development skills in the areas of jewellery design, manufacturing, sales and marketing.
Paul Rowley, Executive Vice President, De Beers Global Sightholder Sales, said: “We are privileged to play an important part in turning the dreams of students from our producer countries into a lasting reality, especially in this instance where we are empowering them to add value to a natural resource.”
Brent Eiseb, Senior Manager, Sales and Marketing, Namibia Diamond Trading Company, said: “As host country, Namibia has been involved in the Shining Light Awards since 2008 and is looking forward to hosting the awards in 2017.
“The awards are also perfectly positioned to support the Prosperity Plan’s pillars on improving vocational training, as well as youth development and skills development, as recently announced by the Namibian Government.”
Pat Dambe, Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Government Relations, De Beers Global Sightholder Sales, said: “The awards have grown and developed significantly over the past 20 years, with previous winners having had the opportunity to spend time in Milan at one of De Beers’ design centres and work with the finest trade artisans in the world.”
Constantino Papadimitriou, Head of Brand Strategy and Innovation, Forevermark, said: “We are so proud to contribute to the development of local talent and design skills in diamond producing countries. The Shining Light Awards really challenge students to translate a brief, form an idea, and transform it into a jewellery collection, with a Forevermark diamond at its heart.”
In past years, the competition has been widely regarded as a gateway for young designers to gain access to the global diamond jewellery market. Last year’s brief moved young designers away from the more elaborate diamond pieces created in the past to creating commercially-viable pieces.
Stephen Lussier, Executive Vice President, Marketing, De Beers Group; and CEO, Forevermark, said: “Forevermark is proud to support the Shining Light Awards, nurturing talent and developing the creativity of the new generation growing up in the countries from where our most beautiful diamonds come from.”