Yearly jewellery and silversmithing competitions and awards
Jewellery and silversmithing competitions are a great way to get your work recognised within the creative community, make your CV stand out and get noticed by potential clients and future employers.
If you are lucky enough to be shortlisted or win a competition, you could also end up being listed in online publications, like magazines or blogs, or be featured on social media. So, it might be a good time to start planning and thinking about which competitions might be worth entering this year.
We’ve drawn together some of the industry’s annual competitions and awards to get you started:
The Goldsmiths’ Craft and Design Council competition is open to anyone in the UK engaged in designing or working with precious metals, gemstones and other allied trades. With over 30 competition briefs, from 2D to 3D works, there are plenty of categories to enter in pursuit of excellence in craft and design excellence.
The deadline is usually in January and you need to register online.
The British Art Medal Society – Student Medal Project encourages and promotes the art of making medals throughout art colleges in the UK. Each year over one hundred student medals, from as many as fifteen art colleges, are submitted for judging for prizes and selection for exhibition. The Goldsmiths’ Centre is among one of the organisations supporting this project.
The New Medallist Scheme provides a framework by which artists in Britain and Ireland who are relatively new to medal-making can develop their interest in the medal as a vehicle of artistic expression. Each year one artist who will have left art colleges (at whatever level) is chosen for this special award.
The deadline for the British Art Medal Society’s Student Medal Project is usually in February and New Medallist Scheme is usually in June.
The Contemporary Cutlery Design competition is run by The Cutlers’ Company, one of the most ancient livery companies in the City of London, whose members’ produced items with a cutting edge, such as swords, knives and surgical instruments. The annual Contemporary Cutlery Design competition, which launched in 2021, sees young designers, resident in the UK, create a set of contemporary cutlery, consisting of a knife, a fork and a spoon. The winning design each year will be produced by a professional craftsperson / manufacturer and is scaled up in order to produce a 6-piece dining set, becoming part of the permanent heritage collection of the Cutler’s Company.
The deadline is usually in March.
The Horners Jewellery and Fashion Accessory Award is presented by The Worshipful Company of Horners, which is an ancient guild and livery company, and a modern City Institution, in conjunction with Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (London Metropolitan University). Open to students, this annual award is for the most effective use of plastics and/or horn, with sustainability in mind, in a range of durable, wearable jewellery.
The deadline is usually in July.
The Silver Society Prize is open to young silversmiths who are under the age of 35 or in the first five years of their career as a practising craftsperson. Founded in 1958 to advance the study of silver of all periods, places and forms, The Silver Society supports the winner with a cash prize.
The deadline is usually in September.
Retail Jeweller’s Rising Stars 30 Under 30 profiles the very best young talent from across the jewellery and watch industry. Retail Jeweller produce a supplement and associated event profiles of 30 of the industry’s brightest talents from a variety of disciplines who have all made a difference to the businesses they work for.
Nominations usually close in January.
Professional Jeweller Awards celebrate the UK jewellery industry’s achievements. The awards are designed so that all jewellery industry professionals can nominate, including self-nominations. the best retailers, brands and suppliers.
Nominations usually close in September.
The Goldsmiths’ Fair Graduate Bursary Scheme encourages and supports new talented, independent jewellers or silversmiths resident in the UK who have not exhibited at Goldsmiths’ Fair before. Open to those who have graduated in the last six years from an HND, BA, MA course or as a Goldsmiths’ Company apprentice, the scheme offers 10 free stands, a £1,500 grant to help prepare towards the Fair, an optional interest free silver bullion loan and professional training from the Goldsmiths’ Centre in support of the next generation of craftspeople.
The deadline is usually in February.
Inclusion in this article does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by the Goldsmiths’ Centre. It is the reader’s responsibility to research and verify that each competition or award is suitable for entering.