Five diamond jewelry designers were recognized earlier this week for their winning entries in HRD Awards 2011, titled "You and Me." Diamond jewelry designer Jiang Zhe, who is from China, was awarded first prize for her "Porcupine Theory" (pictured) diamond brooches.
The other four finalists were: Alia Mouzannar from Lebanon, Gabri Schumacher and Maja Houtman from The Netherlands, and Chun Man Ping from Taiwan.
The event also recognized Ling Qiang, the president of the Shanghai Diamond Exchange, with the "Office of the Order of King Leopold II" for fostering strong diplomatic relations between Belgium and China.
The HRD Awards ceremony was held in Shanghai and included many important Belgian guests, including the governor and vice-mayor of Antwerp, the Belgian ambassador to China, the Belgian consul general in Shanghai and representatives from the industry.
The HRD Awards this year were jointly organized by HRD Antwerp and the Shanghai Diamond Exchange, were supported by the Gems & Jewelry Trade Association of China and sponsored by Kimberlite Diamond. The theme this year, Toi Et Moi, or You and Me, referred to the mystery of dualism and Yin and Yang, the balance of extremes.
In the initial selection process, which took place in October 2010, had a panel of experts select 29 designs out of 1,396 original submissions. During the course of this year those 29 finalists created their finished jewelry piece. The top five were then unveiled December 11.
''The fact that we held this year’s HRD Awards ceremony in China indicates that China's diamond industry is highly valued and recognized by the international industry experts,'' said Qiang. ''With the steady development of China’s economy, China's diamond sector has become a major partner in the world's diamond industry.''
Georges Brys, the general manager of HRD Antwerp, added that Chinese consumers are becoming increasingly aware of quality and authenticity, especially when buying diamond jewelry. ''Quality and authenticity is exactly what HRD Antwerp is promoting through its Diamond Certificates. The introduction of the HRD Awards collection in Shanghai will help us to further develop our business opportunities in China, by opening doors and connecting by means of the magic of diamond jewelry.''