Gem Empathy Award open to IJL visitors for the first time

09 Jul 2019

IJL and Gem-A launch the Gem Empathy competition 2019 and ask for jewellery designs for a unique and precious coral jewel

[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.

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 before 12 August 2019.

For more information, including the exact dimension of the gemstone, please visit or email

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.


For media enquiries please contact Catherine Anderson, Midas PR, / 0207 361 7860

Notes to Editors:

About IJL
IJL 2019 will run from 1 to 3 September at Olympia, London.

International Jewellery London (IJL), the UK’s leading trade event for the international jewellery industry, will return to Kensington Olympia from 1-3 September 2019 with an expanded events programme, and will showcase the latest ranges from over 550 high end, finished jewellery manufacturers and designers, and loose gemstones and retail services suppliers. IJL is an unrivalled opportunity for the international jewellery trade to network and find out about the latest industry trends and market developments which will help retailers and suppliers make the right commercial decisions. For buyers, the show is the once-in-a-year chance to shop for the widest range of gems, jewellery, packaging and services, and to find out about the most topical issues in the industry.

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.

For further information please visit

About Reed Exhibitions

Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organiser, with over 500 events in 30 countries. In 2015 Reed brought together over seven million event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 40 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of the RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries.

Jewellery and Fashion Accessories events are: Jewelers International Showcase (JIS) in January and April; Girls Jeweller Tokyo (IJT); Bijorhca Paris; JCK Tucson; Tokyo Fashion Jewellery Expo (April); Garderobe; International Jewellery & Watch Show (JWS); International Jewellery Kobe (IJK); Luxury and JCK Las Vegas.

For further information please visit:

About Gem-A

Gem-A, The Gemmological Association of Great Britain, is the world’s longest established provider of gem and jewellery education. The Gemmology Diploma evolved from the first gem course proposed for the UK jewellery trade in 1908, and the prestigious Gemmology and Diamonds Diplomas — taught in seven different languages and 26 countries around the world — are recognised throughout the world.

About Gem Empathy Competition

Criteria: The judging panel is made up of three representatives from the jewellery industry and Gem-A. They will judge the designs based on the evaluation criteria below:

• Relationship between stone and design
• Practicality of design
• Style and beauty

Judging procedures
• All designs will be reviewed independently and anonymously by each judge. If the judges do not feel that the design can be considered for the award the judge will clearly mark this on the judging form with a No. Any designs that receive a No from ALL judges will be eliminated from the competition.
• The remaining entries will be reviewed by the judges using a points system. Each design will be awarded points between 1 –10 based on the evaluation criteria. The design with the highest score will be the winner of the Gem-Empathy Award, announced at IJL and presented from the Gem-A booth on the first day of the show.

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