NTJ - New Traditional Jewellery 2014, Design Contest 
“between layers – worlds within agate”
Inscrições até 15 Jan 2014


The worlds within the agate, its unusual layered structure and variety of colours, have fascinated man for thousands of years. Each agate druse is irreplaceably unique; its cut excites the beholder’s imagination and evokes fantastical images.

Since its discovery, the abstract beauty of agate has inspired countless artists to create objects as well as jewellery from it. In addition, its special layered structure allows the creation of actual pictures; the ancient Egyptians were already familiar with the gem cutters’ technique of using two or more different coloured layers to cut an image in relief.

Its layers, which make agate so valuable from an artistic perspective, are caused by deposits of silica which, combined with iron, manganese and other mineral oxides, create banded layers of different colours. The structure of the layers, whether concentric, horizontal or irregular, is influenced by both the deposition process and tectonic shifts in the surrounding rock.

The history of agate in art and jewellery is very diverse. Recent years have seen it become devalued, as a so-called semi-precious stone used to make mass-produced ornaments. Engravings, on the other hand, tend to be based on traditional images and themes, which no longer reflect the Zeitgeist and the depth of artists’ experiences. The aim of the competition therefore, is to reset the focus on the uniqueness of agate and to find contemporary ways of working and artistically interpreting it.

Theme of the competition
The focus of the competition is on producing an innovative piece of jewellery or an object from, or in connection with, an agate.

For the purposes of the competition, a cut agate, revealing its inner world through concentric or irregular strata can as well provide inspiration as an agate with two or more horizontal layers, which would traditionally have been used to create cameos or intaglios.

In using banded agate, care must be taken that the object or piece of jewellery steps away from classical gem-cutting tradition and demonstrates a unique, innovative approach to this traditional stone. There are no restrictions with regards to the origin or variety of agate. The competition is organised by the German Gemstone Museum in Idar-Oberstein.

The competition is particularly aimed at jewellery and gemstone designers, apprentices and school, college, university and academy students from Germany and abroad.

Jury members:
Jiro Kamata (JP), Helena Lehtinen (FIN), Estela Sàez Vilanova (E), Gerhard Schmidt (D) and Dr. Marjan Unger (NL)


Submission deadline
Important: registration is available online only at:

After sending the online form the participant will receive an email containing an automatically generated code allocated per individual piece to be submitted.
Pieces must be sent by 15th January 2014 along with this confirmation of registration and clearly marked with the reference “mineralART”, to the following address:

Deutsches Edelsteinmuseum
“mineralART” + sender’s name
Hauptstrasse 118,
D-55743 Idar-Oberstein

Terms and conditions of entry
Each entrant may submit up to four pieces, which are their own property in terms of copyright and have been pre-registered in their name. However each person can only win a maximum of two prizes. All entries must be pre-registered via the online form at and must comply with the conditions detailed there.

All participants who do not collect their pieces from Idar-Oberstein or take responsibility themselves for the return transport (by making a note in the online registration), must pay a 30€ administration fee towards the cost of return transport. The administration fee applies per package and not per individual piece included in the package or per number of entrants. This applies, for example, to group submissions from organisations and schools.

The administration fee can be paid by cheque, sent with the competition piece or by bank transfer by 28th January 2014 at the latest.

The organiser retains the right to publish photographic material relating to the competition pieces in print and electronic media free of charge. The decision of the jury is final and not subject to appeal, recourse to legal process is excluded. The jury is entitled to make an alternative distribution of the prize money, dependent on the choice and quality of entries submitted.

Award ceremony
The award ceremony will take place on Thursday 13th March as part of a celebratory event inside the State Collection of Antiques in Munich. The competition winners and other outstanding pieces will be displayed here during SCHMUCK 2014 and until 11th May 2014 during museum opening hours. This will be followed by a further exhibition in the German Gemstone Museum in Idar-Oberstein until October 2014.

The prizes are as follows:
1st Prize 2.500 Euro
2nd Prize 1.750 Euro
3rd Prize 1.000 Euro


> Download the application form here
> Download Flyer here

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