Gem Empathy Award open to IJL visitors for the first time


Gem Empathy Award open to IJL visitors for the first time

London, 10 July 2019 – IJL and Gem-A are delighted to announce the return of the Gem Empathy Award for 2019, which gives IJL 2019 exhibitors and visitors the chance to win a precious and sustainable coral cabochon for their bespoke jewellery design.

The long-standing Gem Empathy Award – organised by Gem-A (Gemmological Association of Great Britain) and hosted by IJL – gives exhibitors and, for the first time, visitors at International Jewellery London (IJL) a chance to win a chosen gemstone to bring a unique and inspiring jewellery design to life.

Gem Empathy Award open to IJL visitors for the first time

The cabochon for this year’s competition is a 12.9 carat precious coral cabochon sourced from sustainable coral supplier, Enzo Liverino 1894. It was fashioned in Torre del Greco from a trunk harvested in Japan [Dimensions- L: 22.8mm W: 10.09mm H: 6.9mm. Hardness 3–4].

All those who enter the competition, whether an established brand or emerging designer, will have the opportunity to receive the stone, an article in Gems&Jewellery magazine and a voucher to put towards the construction of the piece.

To be in with a chance of winning, entrants are tasked with creating a hand-drawn design or CAD render. The one that showcases the coral in the most innovative and imaginative way wins the Gem-A Gem Empathy Award – walking away with the gemstone in the process.

Entries will be judged by a panel, which includes the Editor of Retail Jeweller Ruth Faulkner, and the winner to be presented on the Gem-A booth at IJL on 1 September 2019.

How to Enter Gem Empathy 2019

Send your design (hand drawn or CAD image) along with an accompanying paragraph describing the materials used and the inspiration behind the piece to [email protected] before 12 August 2019.

For more information, including the exact dimension of the gemstone, please visit or email [email protected].

Why Coral?

The pantone colour of the year is coral which means that it is the perfect time to shine a spotlight on this beautiful stone. Moreover, with pollution, climate change, trawling and overfishing leading to vast levels of reef coral bleaching, stock depletion and damage to sea life in recent years, it is more important than ever to advocate for sustainable sourcing of precious coral which live in a different ecosystem than the endangered reef corals. This sourcing is why we have chosen a stone from Enzo Liverino 1894.

With a history of coral work going back over 120 years, Enzo Liverino 1894 is a long-established family business based in Torre del Greco, Italy. Through constantly developing techniques, and a commitment to creative and original design, Enzo Liverino 1894 has become internationally renowned as a coral jeweller of exceptional quality. Enzo, the company’s director, is also President of the CIBJO Coral Commission, a branch of the World Jewellery Confederation which aims to ensure that all precious coral is harvested in a responsible way and with sensitivity to sea life in order to ensure sustainability.

The particular breed of coral we have chosen is known as Pleurocorallium elatius (Ridley, 1882), a species of precious coral within the Corallidae family that originates from Japan and Taiwan, and tends to grow in depths of 150-350 metres. The Pleurocorallium elatius grows in a fan shape and is the largest type of precious coral; an average colony will reach, in average, a height of 35cm, have a trunk diameter of 25mm and a weigh approximately 500g. This variety of coral typically appears in bright red, salmon, orange and flesh-coloured tones, known in the trade as Cerasuolo, Momo or Satsuma, and can be uniquely identified by its white lengthwise interior, usually visible at the base of the cabochon.

The cabochon for this year’s competition was fashioned in Torre del Greco from a trunk harvested in Japan. The species was initially listed in CITES Appendix III for a 5 year period, but following a request from Chinese authorities it was extended in 2008 for a further 3 years in order to carry out customs monitoring to study local resource management and aid the sustainability of future resources.

IJL is sponsored by the NAJ and supported by the GIA, Gem-A, The Houlden Group, The Company of Master Jewellers, The Responsible Jewellery Council, Euromonitor and CIBJO.