Design Competition

The Hawaii Jewelers Association (HJA) holds a Design Contest annually which showcases the incredible designs of Hawaii's jewelry professionals. Typically held concurrently with the Annual Fundraiser Banquet, this nationally and internationally recognized design contest is open to HJA members.

Submitted pieces are graded by three independent judges the week prior to the Annual Banquet and the winners are announced during the banquet. In addition to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners from the formal judging, banquet attendees vote for their favorite entries as "People's Choice" award winners in each category.

This year (2023), the design contest will be held in October. The deadline to submit entries is Wednesday, October 25th. Entries needed to be delivered to Tom Wheeler at Opal Fields (International Market Place, Waikiki - by the Tesla dealership) with entry forms and payment submitted prior to delivery.

Voting for the 2023 People Choice Awards will done in-person at the Annual Banquet on October 28, 2023.

Click here to download the 2023 Design Contest Rules and Entry Form

Design Contest Categories:

  • Jewelry under $3500
  • Jewelry $3500 and Over
  • Hawaiian Themed Jewelry
  • Estate/Vintage Jewelry (People's Choice Award only) - NOTE: there is no Estate/Vintage category in the 2023 Design Contest.

Entries are judged on a point system (does not apply to Estate/Vintage):

Judging Criteria

A) Overall Design40 points maximum
B) Marketability20 points maximum
C) Practicality/Wearability20 points maximum
D) Craftsmanship20 points maximum
Total100 points maximum

A) Is it compelling?
B) Does the price match the piece?
C) Is it comfortable to wear?
D) Is it well made?

The designer of the highest scoring entry across all categories is designated the Hawaii Jewelers Association "Designer of the Year". So the Designer of the Year could come from the Under $3500, $3500 and Over, or Hawaiian Themed category.

Estate/Vintage pieces are not eligible for Designer of the Year. Estate/Vintage pieces do not have to have been designed by an HJA member. NOTE - the 2023 Design Contest does not have a Vintage Category.

Entries in the Under $3500, $3500 and Over, and Hawaiian Themed categories must be designed by an HJA member and produced within 18 months prior to the Design Contest.

A designer must be from an HJA member company and can only submit one entry per judged category. More than one designer from a company may submit entries. Estate/Vintage entries are not associated with a designer and an HJA member company may submit as many Estate/Vintage pieces as they wish.

Featured at the Hong Kong Jewellery Show
Biennially, the HJA Designer of the Year is awarded a qualifying entry at the prestigious Hong Kong Jewellery Show.

2023 Design Contest Fee Schedule (per company):

  • $75 Single Entry
  • $70 Per Entry - 2 Entries ($140 total)
  • $60 Per Entry - 3 Entries ($180 total)
  • $55 Per Entry - 4 or more Entries ($220 for 4 Entries)

The winner of each category will receive a free entry in the following year's Design Contest.

Each new HJA member will receive one free entry Design Contest entry for the year that they joined (the free entry does not apply towards multiple entry pricing).

After the Design Contest, entrants who wish to know how they did relative to the scoring system may request an email with their score (per entry) along with a score break-down for each of the judging criteria. The total score of the winning entry for the same category will be listed for comparison. This feedback is intended to help designers see how they did and what areas they need to focus upon in the future.

List of previous Design Contest Winners

Archive of previous Annual Banquets and Design Contests.