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PlatAfrica honours best platinum jewellery designs

Overall winner in the professional category: “Khalifah” neckpiece by Lungile Xhwantini from The Platinum Incubator

Overall winner in the student/apprentice category: “Unity” neckpiece and bracelet by Jana Basson from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology

30th October 2023

By: Darren Parker

Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online

     

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The winners of the twenty-fourth yearly PlatAfrica Jewellery Design and Manufacturing Competition were announced during a gala awards ceremony held in Melrose, Johannesburg, on October 27.  

Hosted yearly by platinum producer Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), refinery Metal Concentrators and platinum marketing organisation Platinum Guild International (PGI) India, the awards contribute to showcasing local jewellery manufacturing and design flair, and to building a pipeline of talent in the South African platinum jewellery design and manufacturing industry by providing skills development among local jewellers, artisans and students.  

The competition supports the local beneficiation of platinum. 

Using the 2023 competition theme “Emergence”, contestants created designs drawing from uncharted territories to create pieces that were meant to inspire and resonate with potential customers, while also “pointing to the promise of better things to come”, according to the hosts.  

This year’s competition also saw the introduction of capsule collections – a condensed version of the designer’s vision that transcends trends and seasons by being functional and commercial – as well as a collaboration with diamond producer De Beers, which loaned selected diamonds to the winners for showcasing their platinum designs. 

“De Beers is . . . passionate about supporting local talent in the countries where we recover diamonds, and this year’s entries give me hope in the imaginative and technical capabilities that exist on the African continent and makes me excited about the transformative potential of this collaboration,” De Beers managed operations MD Moses Madondo said. 

PlatAfrica winners receive a cash prize, media exposure and the opportunity to participate in an all-expenses-paid design workshop at PGI India to learn more about the design and manufacturing of platinum jewellery. This international exposure for their innovation and technical expertise is a key attraction for those entering the PlatAfrica competition. 

“Platinum is such a versatile metal, from being used in the manufacture of . . . jewellery to its application in the emissions-free hydrogen fuel cell within the . . . BMW iX5 that is on display here this evening as a result of the collaboration between Amplats, [energy company] Sasol, and [car manufacturer] BMW,” Amplats CEO Craig Miller said at the ceremony. 

The competition is one of the market development initiatives through which Amplats contributes to the local platinum jewellery manufacturing industry. This year, PlatAfrica attracted 192 entries across South Africa – 65 of which were professional and 127 of which were students or apprentices. Judges assessed the entries for creativity, originality, interpretation of the theme and technical excellence. 

This year's winners in the professional category are: 

Lungile Xhwantini from The Platinum Incubator was announced as the overall winner in the professional category for his “Khalifah” neckpiece. 

He was also this year’s People’s Choice award winner. This award and cash prize, sponsored by Metal Concentrators, was given to the finalist with the highest number of votes from the public on diversified miner Anglo American's social media pages. 

Esther Boshoff and team from Beaudell Designs were the first runners-up for their “Nature’s awakening” ring. 

Mandelenkosi None and Nnete Mokgothu from The Platinum Incubator were the second runners-up for their “Armoured one” neckpiece and ring design. 

The fourth-place position was shared by two entries: Kim Nel from Van Deijl Jewellers for her “Querencia” wrist cuff, and Nihal Shah and Vijay Shah from Vijay Shah Concepts for their neckpiece titled “Kairos – an opportune moment”. 

In the student/apprentice category, Jana Basson from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) won overall for her multipurpose “Unity” neckpiece and bracelet. 

Thapelo Masingi, also from the CPUT, was the first runner-up for his “Mushia Poppy” ring design. 

Thembani Gobingca from the CPUT placed third for his “Arise” ring. 

In fourth place was Mamosa Lesenyeho from Preuma Academy of Excellence for her “Tisetsang” angel thorns neckpiece. 

The judges also awarded special mentions to submissions from Phillipus Wilhelmus Vorster of Rare Earth Creations, Tanya Gamble of Stellenbosch University, Tor Kaplan of City Goldsmiths/Uwe Koetter, and Mongameli Thafeni of CPUT. 

Competition pieces were sold through an online auction on the night of the event. 

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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