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Winners of the 24th annual prestigious PlatAfrica announced

Recently, the gala awards ceremony in Melrose, Johannesburg, unveiled the winners of the 24th annual PlatAfrica jewellery design and manufacturing competition. Spearheaded by Anglo American Platinum, Metal Concentrators, and Platinum Guild International (PGI) India, the awards play a pivotal role in showcasing local jewellery manufacturing and design flair. Additionally, they contribute to the development of talent in the South African platinum jewellery design and manufacturing industry by providing skills development among local jewellers, artisans, and students. Also, this initiative actively supports the local beneficiation of platinum.

Using the 2023 competition theme #Emergence, contestants created innovative designs drawing from uncharted territories to create pieces that inspire and resonate with potential customers, while also pointing to the promise of better things to come. This year’s competition also saw the introduction of capsule collections – a condensed version of the designer’s vision that can transcend trends and seasons by functional and commercial, as well as a collaboration with De Beers, which loaned selected diamonds to our winners for showcasing their platinum designs.

PlatAfrica winners receive a cash prize, media exposure, as well as the opportunity to participate in an all-expenses paid design workshop at PGI India, enhancing their understanding of platinum jewellery design and manufacturing in the world’s fastest-growing market. This international exposure, highlighting their innovation and technical expertise, serves as a key attraction for participants entering the PlatAfrica competition.

Fueling Creativity and Talent

“PlatAfrica is a demonstration of our commitment to bringing our Purpose to life, exposing the talented and dynamic finalists to access and use platinum metal to expand their creativity and talents to greater design possibilities. I am proud and impressed by how each of the finalists have amazingly translated the concepts, designs and creativity to this year’s theme of #Emergence. Platinum is such a versatile metal, from being used in the manufacture of the most beautiful and intricate jewellery to its application in the emissions free hydrogen fuel cell within the magnificent BMW ix5 that is on display here this evening as a result of the collaboration between Anglo American Platinum, Sasol Limited and BMW Group South Africa.”

Craig Miller, CEO of Anglo American Platinum

Managing director at De Beers Managed Operations, Moses Madondo said, “De Beers is proud to be part of this year’s PlatAfrica. We are 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 in on the African continent and makes me excited about the transformative potential of this collaboration.”

In fact, the competition is one of the market development initiatives through which Anglo American Platinum contributes to the local platinum jewellery manufacturing industry. This year, PlatAfrica featured a total of 192 (65 professional and 127 student/apprentice) entries across South Africa for the student/apprentice and professional categories. Judges assessed the entries for creativity, originality, the interpretation of the #Emergence theme, as well as technical excellence.

This year’s winners in the Professional category

Lungile Xhwantini from The Platinum Incubator is the overall winner in this category for his “Khalifah” neckpiece.

Esther Boshoff and team from Beaudell Designs are the first runners-up for their “Nature’s awakening” ring. Mandelenkosi None and Nnete Mokgothu from The Platinum Incubator secured the second runners-up position with their magnificent ‘Armoured one’ neckpiece/ring design. Two entries share the fourth-place position: Kim Nel from Van Deijl Jewellers with her ‘Querencia’ wrist cuff, and Nihal Shah and Vijay Shah from Vijay Shah Concepts with their exquisite neckpiece titled ‘Kairos – an opportune moment’.

The winners in the Student/Apprentice category

Jana Basson from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology for her multipurpose “Unity” neckpiece/bracelet is the overall winner in this category. Thapelo Masingi, also from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, is the first runner-up for his distinctive “Mushia Poppy” ring design. Thembani Gobingca from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology placed third for his “Arise” ring. In fourth place is Mamosa Lesenyeho from Preuma Academy of Excellence for her “Tisetsang” angel thorns neckpiece.

Lungile Xhwantini is this year’s People’s Choice award winner for his “Khalifah” neckpiece. The award and cash prize, which is sponsored by Metal Concentrators, goes to the finalist with the highest number of votes from the public on Anglo American’s social media pages. The judges also awarded special mentions of outstanding submissions from Phillipus Wilhelmus Vorster (Rare Earth Creations), Tanya Gamble (Stellenbosch University), Tor Kaplan (City Goldsmiths/Uwe Koetter) and Mongameli Thafeni (Cape Peninsula University of Technology)

For images of the finalists’ entries, please click here.

Competition pieces were sold through an online auction on the night of the event. To buy any of the remaining pieces, visit the PlatAfrica online store.

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