PLATAFRICA-18 Winners Express Love for Platinum

L to R- Nicky Bottcher, Jefta Mtole, Mark Freed, Vaishali Banerjee, Callen Miller, Lonwaba Majola

Mumbai: Platinum Guild International (PGI) – India recently introduced the winning designs of PLATAFRICA 2018 – a jewellery design and manufacturing competition.

Presented by the world’s leading producer of the precious metal Anglo American Platinum, in collaboration with Metal Concentrators and PGI India, this is Plat Africa’s 19th edition. The prestigious competition is open to student, apprentice and professional jewellers in South Africa to promote innovation and technical expertise in the design of platinum jewellery.

Inspired from young women of today this year’s design theme “Blessings of love” celebrates the young women as she navigates her way in pursuit of an equal society. All under the blessing of her parents. The parental blessing focusses on a brighter future, the realisation of the child’s dreams and aspirations and her parent’s desire for a life filled with happiness and love. Significant milestones in her life like graduation, first job, etc are often made memorable with an everlasting gift of jewellery. The contestants were challenged to create a timeless piece befitting of an emotional milestone.

This year’s theme looked to emphasise the rarity and strength of both platinum and her wearer through modern but timeless design, showcasing no more than two or three simple elements of the highest quality production, through three broad design categories namely;

  •  Nature’s Spirit
  •  Modern Feminine
  •  Cultural Confluence

The winning designs at Plat Africa 2018 were contemporary with a beautiful story celebrating platinum’s finest attribute – love.

Taking the first place were:

  •  Ms. Nicky Bottcher from the professional category with her piece themed ‘Universal Love’
  •  Ms. Callen Jade from the student/apprentice category place for his piece ‘Able to be’

Runners up were:

  •  Mr. Jefta Mtole (2nd) from the professional category with his piece themed ‘From a Larvae to a Queen’
  •  Ms. Lonwaba Majola (2nd) from the student’s category with her piece themed ‘Bell of Love’

Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Vaishali Banerjee, Managing Director, Platinum Guild International – India said, “It’s been a privilege to be associated with PlatAfrica. This collaboration is a win-win for South African designers and PGI India. The winners get to experience an international market integrated with the recognition they receive, and for us, it’s an opportunity to get disruptive new thinking in platinum jewellery. This year the stories were deeply meaningful, and the passion and love for the metal platinum is visible in every piece”.

Mr. Mark Freed, Head of Market Development, Precious Metals, at Anglo American Platinum Limited added, “PlatAfrica is more than just a competition. It is a platform that hones designing skills and offers South African jewellery designers and manufacturers a unique opportunity to learn to design for the global jewellery market. We are in our 19th year, and this competition over the years has been able to encourage and empower the local designers to broaden their vision and develop their talent to meet international market demands. We greatly value PGI India’s support in furthering this development by giving these contestants exposure to the Indian jewellery industry”.

The judging process was managed independently of the management of the awards to ensure a balanced, fair and objective judging assessment. Moreover, an Anglo-American Business Assurance Services oversaw the adjudication process to ensure transparency.