Michigan Designer Wins BIJC’s ‘Together by Design’ Competition
Patricia Carruth was chosen to craft the ring for the couple who won the love story portion of “Together by Design.”
The honor went to Patricia Carruth, founder and co-owner of Your Personal Jeweler in Royal Oak, Michigan.
Launched late last year, “Together by Design” was established by BIJC to celebrate Black love and Black jewelry designers.
The two-part contest and competition started in October, asking U.S. couples to share their love stories for a chance to win a custom engagement ring designed around a 1.31-carat diamond donated by Leo Schachter.
A panel of judges comprised of BIJC members chose the most compelling love story from among the many entries.
The second part of “Together By Design” was open to jewelry designers, who submitted ring sketches inspired by the winning couple’s story. A separate panel of judges chose the designer who submitted the most compelling interpretation.
Judges of the design portion of the competition were: Jennifer Gandia, co-owner of Greenwich St. Jewelers; Ronke Nedd, founder and creative head at Rebecca Noff Designs Inc.; Sheryl Jones of Sheryl Jones Inc.; and Marla Aaron of Marla Aaron Jewelry.
The prospective fiancé then worked with the winning designer to create a one-of-a-kind ring.
“[This competition] entailed doing my favorite part of my business, creating a custom engagement ring based on a couple’s love story,” Carruth said in a press release. “I want them to feel like I’ve captured the essence of their love and translated it into a beautiful physical token for her to cherish.”
The ring’s center stone is a 1.31-carat, GIA-graded round diamond. While the exact design details are being kept under wraps until after the proposal, BIJC did reveal that the the 14-karat yellow gold ring has two radiant-cut accent diamonds.
“Carruth’s craftsmanship is seen in the details of the piece. It was designed with heirloom quality in mind,” said BIJC.
“At BIJC, we believe in ‘shining together’ and this competition did just that. It created a platform for a couple to share their love story and for Patricia to express her creativity to the max by bringing their story to life through her design,” said Annie Doresca, BIJC co-founder and president.
“What is most rewarding for BIJC is that throughout each area of this contest and competition, it showed representation of Black love and the talented Black designers in the jewelry industry.”
In addition to designing the ring, Carruth won:
— A $5,000 cash prize;
— Scholarship for one 2-hour GIA online Continuing Education Seminar;
— Scholarship for one basic tuition at GRS for engraving or stone setting;
— Scholarship for one basic tuition at the New Approach School in Tennessee;
— A one-year membership in Jewelers of America; and
— A one-year membership in the Jewelers Vigilance Committee.
“Having a community of industry professionals that looks like me means a lot. It’s something I don’t take for granted. When my grandfather entered the jewelry industry, he did not have a community like me,” said Carruth.
For more information about BIJC, visit the organization’s website.
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The winners, picked by a group of judges and voted as the public’s favorite, will be announced in a webinar on Oct. 11.
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