Events & Awards

First Responders Win BIJC’s Second ‘Together by Design’ Contest

Events & AwardsFeb 13, 2024

First Responders Win BIJC’s Second ‘Together by Design’ Contest

The couple won a bespoke engagement ring set with a 1.44-carat fancy yellow diamond and designed by Michael Hogan.

Nana and Jennifer
First responders Nana, left, and Jennifer won the Black in Jewelry Coalition’s second “Together by Design” contest. As the winners, they received a bespoke yellow diamond engagement ring created by designer Michael Hogan.
New York—It’s a story perfect to share ahead of Feb. 14.

A pair of first responders who met during training and later reconnected are the winners of the Black in Jewelry Coalition’s (BJIC) second “Together by Design” contest and competition.

The future groom, Nana, was the one who entered the “Love Story” portion of the contest, sharing details of how he met his now-fiancée, Jennifer, while the two were attending an EMS training academy.

They initially were just friends but after graduation, they reconnected and became more.

Phase two of Together by Design challenged jewelry designers to sketch a bespoke ring based on the couple’s love story as well as the dates, symbols, and landmarks Nana listed as being special to the pair.

Michael Hogan, of Michael Hogan Jewelry, won the competition and, with Nana’s input, refined his sketch to create a one-of-a-kind platinum ring centered on a Gemological Institute of America-graded 1.44-carat fancy yellow diamond. 



“The creation of this ring draws profound inspiration from the couple’s narrative, weaving in the significance of their special place at Coney Island, [with] the Roman numeral date they value discreetly placed at its base, [three] sapphire gemstones representing their spiritual journey, and the Ferris wheel delicately etched on its inner circumference,” Hogan said.

“Each element holds deep personal meaning meticulously intertwined within the design. That’s why I call it ‘Elements of Love;’ it encapsulates these cherished symbols that resonate intimately with their story and emotions.”

Nungu Diamonds donated the yellow diamond, while Platinum Guild International USA donated the metal used to create the ring. 

While Nana and Jennifer went home with a bespoke engagement ring, the winning designer’s prize package included $5,000 cash, various scholarships for continuing jewelry education, and one-year memberships to BIJC, Jewelers of America and the Jewelers Vigilance Committee. 

 Related stories will be right here … 

Launched in 2021, Together by Design was conceived by BIJC to spotlight Black love and award an emerging Black jewelry designer.

Nellie Barnett, GIA’s manager of corporate communications, led the Together by Design committee.

She was assisted by Adrianne Sanogo, G.G.; Amanda Gizzi, director of PR and events at JA; JA Chief Financial Officer Annie Doresca; Elyssa Jenkins-Pérez, director of membership and marketing at JVC; Grace Barretti, senior marketing manager at Greenwich St. Jewelers; GIA Vice President of Human Resources Lisa Jones; Rebecca Moskal, PGI’s vice president of marketing; and Michelle Graff, editor-in-chief of National Jeweler.

All the Together By Design judges are BIJC members.

Love Story contest judges included Graff and Jones along with jewelry editor and writer Tanya Dukes, and Severine Ferrari, founder of Engagement 101.

Sanogo, Johnny Nelson of Johnny Nelson Jewelry, Lauren Harwell Godfrey of Harwell Godfrey, and Christian Bolling of Christian Stoné judged the jewelry design portion of the competition.

For more about the BIJC, visit the organization’s website.

To see a video of Nana’s proposal, check out BIJC’s YouTube channel.

The Latest

Alfred W. DeScenza
IndependentsApr 15, 2024
Alfred W. DeScenza of DeScenza Diamonds Dies at 95

He is remembered by loved ones for his loyalty, integrity, and kindness.

Joyce’s Jewelry
TechnologyApr 15, 2024
Judge Rules Jeweler’s Lawsuit Against PNC Bank Can Move Forward

Joyce’s Jewelry sued the bank after cybercriminals drained its accounts of nearly $1.6 million through a series of wire transfers.

Madeleine K. Albright
AuctionsApr 15, 2024
Madeleine K. Albright Jewelry, Pins Coming to Auction

Hosted by Freeman’s | Hindman, the sale will take place May 7-8.

1-(3.18).JPG
Brought to you by
The Blueprint for Success in Scalable, Personalized Jewelry Retail

With Ho Brothers, you can unlock your brand's true potential and offer customers the personalized jewelry experiences they desire.

Audemars Piguet circa 1985 emerald car watch
AuctionsApr 15, 2024
All of Sotheby’s ‘Rough Diamonds’ Sold in Less Than an Hour

The auction house said all 24 timepieces offered in its underground sale of rare and avant-garde watches quickly found buyers.

Weekly QuizApr 11, 2024
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this seven-question quiz.
Take the Quiz
My Next Question webinar
Recorded WebinarsApr 12, 2024
Watch: What Jewelers Need to Know About Insurance

From cybersecurity liability to trade show coverage, insurance experts share tips on how to build the right policy.

Evil Eye Charm with Turquoise Disc
CollectionsApr 12, 2024
Piece of the Week: Lionheart’s Evil Eye Gemstone Charm

The charm is a modern rendition of the evil eye amulet that has been worn for thousands of years.

Jewelers of America Fly In Washington, D.C.
Brought to you by
How Jewelers of America Represents Your Business

For over 30 years, JA has advocated for the industry, fought against harmful legislation and backed measures that help jewelry businesses.

SRK Empire and SRK House
Policies & IssuesApr 11, 2024
SRK Exports’ Journey Toward Net Zero Impact

By the end of this year, SRK’s diamond manufacturing complexes will achieve net zero emissions, one of an impressive array of achievements.

AGTA logo
Lab-GrownApr 11, 2024
AGTA Bans Lab-Grown Diamonds, Gemstones at GemFair

Members can still sell lab-grown stones, it said, but only natural gems are allowed on the show floor.

Steven Rosdal
IndependentsApr 11, 2024
Steven Rosdal, Co-Founder of Hyde Park Jewelers, Dies at 77

He is remembered for his charisma, passion, integrity, kindness, and wit.

Macy’s Herald Square store
MajorsApr 11, 2024
Macy’s Opens Books for Possible Buyout

The retailer also appointed two new board members, avoiding a proxy fight from a potential buyer.

Sylvie Jewelry model
CollectionsApr 10, 2024
Sylvie Launches New Nature-Inspired Collection, ‘Tulira’

The bridal collection consists of 35 engagement rings and seven wedding bands.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Deepsea in 18-karat yellow gold
WatchesApr 10, 2024
These Are Rolex’s New Watches for 2024

The crown introduced a dozen timepieces in Geneva, including a heavy metal version of its deep-sea divers’ watch.

Levy’s Fine Jewelry diamond education
IndependentsApr 10, 2024
Levy's Fine Jewelry Explores Diamond History

The family-owned jeweler has a new education section on its website dedicated to the history of diamond cutting.

With Clarity NFL wedding bands
CollectionsApr 10, 2024
With Clarity Partners With NFL on Wedding Bands

The limited-edition men’s rings can be customized with one of 12 team logos.

Asian Star’s diamond manufacturing facility in India
SourcingApr 10, 2024
Compliance, Caution, and Concern: The Current Outlook of Indian Diamantaires

There is a willingness to comply with new government-mandated regulations, with an insistence that they should be practical and realistic.

Chrono24 watch inspection lab
WatchesApr 09, 2024
Chrono24 Debuts Pre-Owned Watch Authentication Program

The program, now live in Europe, will roll out to the U.S. this summer.

6.21-carat fancy vivid pink diamond
AuctionsApr 09, 2024
Phillips to Offer 6.21-Carat Vivid Pink Diamond

Colored gemstones and signed jewels are the focus of its upcoming Geneva sale.

Lucapa rough colorless and pink diamonds
SourcingApr 09, 2024
Former De Beers Exec Appointed to Lucapa Board

Stuart Brown, who was De Beers’ CFO and interim CEO, is now Lucapa’s independent non-executive chairman.

Jewelers for Children POS System Donations
MajorsApr 09, 2024
Jewel360 Announces New POS Integration, JFC Partnership

The point-of-sale software can now prompt customers to round up their credit card purchases as a donation to Jewelers for Children.

Bharat Ratnam, a Mega Common Facilitation Centre (CFC)
SourcingApr 09, 2024
Reinvigorating SEEPZ, the Epicenter of India’s Studded Jewelry Exports

The zone’s modernization will enhance and increase India’s jewelry manufacturing capabilities while aiding small and mid-sized businesses.

Charles & Colvard moissanite bypass engagement ring
SourcingApr 08, 2024
Charles & Colvard Debuts B2B Portal for Moissanite

Select independent jewelers and retailers can now purchase moissanite through Charles & Colvard Direct.

Amber Rank
Events & AwardsApr 08, 2024
AGS Announces First Recipient of ‘Women in Leadership’ Scholarship

Amber Rank of Exclusively Diamonds will receive mentorship, registration to AGS’s 2024 Conclave, and $500.

Jaeger-LeCoultre citrine pinky-ring watch
AuctionsApr 08, 2024
Sotheby’s ‘Rough Diamonds’ Sale Is All About … Watches

The auction will take place Thursday and is underground, literally.

JOGS logo
Events & AwardsApr 08, 2024
JOGS Show Returns to Las Vegas for a Second Year

The trade show is moving downtown to the Expo at World Market Center.

Kira Diam solar plant
Lab-GrownApr 08, 2024
Indian Lab-Grown Diamond Manufacturers Keep Growing

A combination of factors is driving growth in the industry despite the precipitous drop in prices across the board.

×

This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy