GJEPC’s Artisan Awards 2024 Showcase Pathbreaking Brilliance

GJEPC’s Artisan Awards 2024 Showcase Pathbreaking Brilliance

In a bold celebration of innovation and creativity, the 7th edition of The Artisan Awards, hosted by the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), and powered by GIA India, challenged designers to tap uncharted territory, and integrate unconventional materials and cherished objects into their jewellery compositions and infuse the pieces with a unique identity.

Actress and style icon Sonam Kapoor graced The Artisan Awards in Mumbai and presented trophies to the six proud winners. She was joined on stage by Mr. Vipul Shah, Chairman, GJEPC; Mr. Kirit Bhansali, Vice Chairman, GJEPC; Mr. Sriram Natarajan, Managing Director, GIA India; Mr. Milan Chokshi, Convener, Promotions & Marketing, GJEPC; and Mr. Sabyasachi Ray, Executive Director, GJEPC.

The award winners seen with Sonam Kapoor and GJEPC and GIA dignitaries.

In her address, Sonam Kapoor emphasised the importance of design competitions like The Artisan Awards. She stated, “I am proud to be a part of the jewellery industry, which showcases India’s excellence in design and craftsmanship to the world. The Artisan Awards is a great initiative by the GJEPC to nurture and celebrate young talent, who are pushing the boundaries of creativity and innovation. I believe that jewellery is not just an accessory, but an art form that expresses one’s personality and style. I admire the Indian designers who create stunning pieces that blend tradition & modernity and inspire women to experiment with different forms and colours. For me, the artistic value of a jewellery piece is more than the material value, and that is what makes it truly precious.”

Vipul Shah, Chairman, GJEPC, noted, “The Artisan Jewellery Design Awards, now in its 7th edition, stands as a beacon for creative expression in the jewellery design realm. It offers a coveted platform for talented individuals to unleash their creativity and showcase their innovative designs. Each year, this competition brings forth exclusive, never-seen-before masterpieces that underscore the boundless innovation within our industry. This this competition, our aim is to redefine the landscape of jewellery design and elevate India as a premier design centre. Aligned with the government’s Make in India campaign, The Artisan Awards reinforces GJEPC’s dedication positioning India as a leader in design innovation.”

Mr. Milan Chokshi, Convener, Promotions & Marketing, GJEPC, showcases The Artisan Awards exhibits to actress Sonam Kapoor in the presence of Ms. Dolly Choudhary, Director, PM&BD, GJEPC at GJEPC’s Artisan Awards 2024.

Emphasising that jewellery is one of the highest forms of art, Milan Chokshi, Convener, Promotions & Marketing, GJEPC, articulated, “Fine jewellery is the foremost amongst all art forms, revered for not only its craft and material value, but also its emotional and aesthetic resonance. It transcends mere material worth, personifying a labour of love for the designer and artisan who infuse it with life through their skilled craftsmanship. There is an ever-growing group of discerning customers that are now increasingly looking at jewellery more as an art form, rather than ornamental. The entries in this edition of The Artisan have been particularly inspiring, and we at the Council, are confident that passing the baton to future designers will drive Indian jewellery design to new heights.”

Since its inception, The Artisan has always tested contestants with themes that break stereotypes to elevate jewellery to a status of wearable art – transcending mere intrinsic value. With each edition, The Artisan has championed the idea of envisioning fine jewellery as a canvas for avant-garde creativity.

This year’s two unconventional themes, ‘Objet Trouvé’ (Found Objects) and ‘Unusual Materials’, ignited a spark of ingenuity, prompting nearly 600 participants from India and abroad to venture beyond the confines of tradition and create a new design grammar.

‘Objet Trouvé’ centres around crafting jewellery pieces that encapsulate the essence of treasured objects from the past within a contemporary context. Examples of these ‘found objects’ could include vintage poker chips, antique coins, collected shells, vintage Venetian glass beads, buttons, and shells collected from beachcombed shells, and more.

The winner of the Artisan Awards 2024 for OBJET TROUVÉ, Ms. Yamini Devasree seen receiving the trophy. The pair of earrings designed by her have been manufactured by VBJ.

‘Unusual Materials’ encouraged designers to create a dialogue between the familiar and the unexpected by combining contrasting materials with at least 50% precious materials. Unusual materials could include cement, titanium, wood, porcelain, bamboo, slate, meteorite, glass, recycled plastic, leather and more.

The entries underwent thorough scrutiny by a distinguished jury comprising Alice Cicolini, a renowned UK jewellery designer; Biren Vaidya, Managing Director of The Rose Group; Payal Singhal, Fashion Designer and Senior Director of Education and Market Development at GIA India; Apoorva Deshingkar; and Toktam Shekarriz, a high-end jewellery designer from Dubai.

The technical jury included Devinder Layal, Jewellery Artiste and Educationist; Meenal Choksi, Head of Design, Moksh Fine Unseen Jewellery; Sushama Kalzunkar Sawant, PD & Merchandising Head, Diagold Creation; Janki Choksi, Founder, Janki Choksi Designs; Gunjan Sapra, COO & Head of Department, Jewellery Designs, International Institute of Gemology, and a GIA Instructor, to honour the best and most talented jewellery designers.

Aparna Kesarkar, the winner of the Artisan Awards 2024 for the theme Unusual Materials, seen with the dignitaries on stage. The cufflinks designed her were manufactured by Laxmi Dia Jewel Pvt. Ltd.

During this illustrious event, GJEPC also honoured industry stalwarts whose remarkable contributions have made a lasting impact on both the domestic and global fronts. The nominations were evaluated by a distinguished three-member jury comprising Arundhati De, jewellery expert and bespoke jewellery shopping consultant; Devinder Layal and Sushma Kalzunkar Sawant.

Farah Khan, renowned jewellery designer, was honoured with the Design Excellence Award, while Rahul Jhaveri, Creative Head and Co-founder of Studio Renn, was bestowed with the prestigious Global Indian Jewellery Designer award.

Renowned jewellery artist Farah Khan was honoured with the Design Excellence Award with Sonam Kapoor at GJEPC’s Artisan Awards 2024.
Rahul Jhaveri, Creative Head and Co-founder of Studio Renn, given the prestigious Global Indian Jewellery Designer award.

Intergem Exports (YS18) was chosen as the proud recipient of the Manufacturing Excellence Award, underscoring its commitment to quality and innovation, while Birdhichand Ghanshyamdas Jewellers was acclaimed with the Retail Excellence Award for its exceptional standards and customer service.

Sudeep Sethi (third from right) of Intergem Exports (YS18) was the proud recipient of the Manufacturing Excellence Award.
Dr. Nawal Agarwal (second from left), owner, Birdhichand Ghanshyamdas Jewellers was presented the Retail Excellence Award.

Here’s the verdict of the jury for The Artisan finalists:

Sriram Natarajan, Managing Director, GIA India:  GIA India is pleased to support The Artisan Awards – a platform that fosters a space where creativity in jewellery design thrives. Embracing the themes of ‘Unusual Materials’ and ‘Objet Trouve,’ this initiative by GJEPC aligns with our commitment to pushing artistic boundaries. Our continued support reflects the shared values of celebrating creative expression and advancing jewellery designing arts on a global scale.

Biren Vaidya, Managing Director, The Rose Group:  Judging the Artisan Awards has been a riveting experience, witnessing the evolution of creativity in our field over the last four decades and observing how the participants have conceptualised the story from ideas to designs, crafting them into jewels using innovation, skill, and craftsmanship.

Alice Cicolini, Avant-garde UK jewellery designer: The freedom afforded to India’s young designers through these themes is commendable. Having worked in India for nearly two decades, I can attest that it stands as one of the most extraordinary nations for jewellery production, boasting incredible craftsmanship. It is refreshing to see young jewellery designers break free from traditional constraints, allowing their imaginations to take flight—an approach actively encouraged by institutions like GJEPC.

Fashion Designer Payal Singhal: The Artisan Awards highlight a remarkable standard. The ability to work with challenging materials and produce versatile, aesthetically pleasing, and finely crafted jewellery is a testament to the high level of expertise present in our country. As for elevating jewellery into wearable art, initiatives like The Artisan play a crucial role. Supporting and motivating young designers and jewellery brands to embrace this perspective will contribute to the evolution of jewellery as a form of artistic expression rather than merely a complement to attire or a symbol of status.

Toktam Shekarriz, Dubai-based jewellery designer:

It has been a privilege to serve as a judge for the prestigious GJEPC Artisan Awards. Witnessing the incredible creativity and craftsmanship displayed by the talented designers has been truly inspiring. The attention to detail and the innovative approaches taken by the participants have set a new standard in the industry. I have no doubt that the finalists’ exceptional pieces will leave a lasting mark in the world of jewellery design. My heartfelt congratulations to all the participants for their remarkable contributions to this esteemed event.

The two-day art festival was held on February 12th-13th, 2024, at Ice Factory, Ballard Estate, Mumbai, and drew a diverse audience including curators, art gallery owners, patrons, art school students and faculty members, socialites, celebrities, connoisseurs, architects, painters, sculptors, and jewellery designers.

Among the highlights of the event were the six winning pieces that captured the attention of attendees:



Crafted from fine leather, moss agate, gold and diamonds, the pair of reversible pair of cufflinks features a discreetly positioned SIM card chip tying up fashion and function.

Designed by Aparna Kesarkar; Manufactured by Laxmi Dia Jewel Pvt. Ltd.

First Runner-up

The curvaceous black gold bracelet is designed with areca palm leaves and studded with diamonds.

Designed by Ahalya Vijayakumar; Manufactured by Vummidi Bangaru Jewellers

Second Runner-up

Inspired by the Konark Sun Temple, the stylised spherical earrings employ wood, gold, natural white sapphires, and citrine.

Designed by Dipali Ghadigaonkar; Manufactured by KP Sanghvi Jewels Pvt. Ltd.



The gold danglers use the manjadi kuru, or lucky seeds (Adenanthera pavonine), capturing the essence of pure innocence and joy from childhood.

Designed by Yamini Devasree; Manufactured by Vummidi Bangaru Jewellers

First Runner-up

Made from pinecone wood, the hair accessory features two pinecones looped with 22-karat gold diamond-studded cords of varying lengths.

Designed by  Rashmi Kaushik; Manufactured by Kiran Jewels

Second Runner-up

The earrings are crafted from genuine one-rupee notes, featuring 10-paise old, scalloped coins as posts encased in gold. The folded earrings are adorned with diamonds.

Designed by Vijay Indulkar; Manufactured by Walking Tree Venture Pvt. Ltd.

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