Guidelines for the

NCJA Design Competition


The annual NCJA Design Competition is the first step in advancing to the Jewelers of America national jewelry design competition.




Pieces must be entered into one of the following categories.  Retail value:

1. Up to $2,000

2. $2,001 to $5,000

3. $5,001 to $10,000

4. $10,001 and Over

5.  Handcrafted

Prices refer to the cost of materials used to create the piece. First place awards will be presented in each of the above categories. All pieces compete for the “Best of Show” award regardless of their price category.  



First place in each of the four price categories, handcrafted category and a “Best of Show” award will be presented. Price category winners and the Handcrafted Category are determined by a panel of industry judges. The “People's Choice” winner is determined by voting open to all attendees of the NCJA Annual Convention.


Judging Criteria

All pieces are evaluated on the basis of:


1.      Overall design

2.      Marketability

3.      Practicality/Wearability

4.      Craftsmanship


These criteria are given equal weight and winning pieces will successfully balance these four elements.


NCJA and the competition judges reserve the right to disqualify any piece that does not meet the standards and criteria as described in the competition guidelines and on the entry form.



Competition winners are announced during the NCJA Annual Convention. Winning pieces are professionally photographed while in New York. Press releases announcing the winners are sent to major national and international trade publications. Placement of releases is at the discretion of individual editors. NCJA cannot guarantee that its press releases will be published.


Winners are identified as follows:

Name of Designer

Name of Member Store

Store Name and Location


Please note: The name of the NCJA member store submitting the piece (as written on the original competition entry form) will be used in all publicity.



·        The piece cannot have participated in any other contest for at least a year before NCJA’s Design Competition takes place.

·        Designers must be NCJA members or have been employed by a NCJA member retailer for at least one year.

·        Pieces must be original designs created and crafted by the person whose name appears on the “Designer Name” section of the entry form.

·        Pieces created by more than one designer are allowed as long as all persons contributing to the creation of the piece are listed on the entry form.

·         Sets (necklace and earrings, matching wedding bands, etc.) can be entered as long as the pieces were designed and created as a set, display a unified design theme, and were entered as a set into the qualifying state design competition.


General Competition Guidelines

·        All designers must complete an official entry form before submitting pieces to NCJA.

·        All entries must have been designed and produced within 12 months of the NCJA Design Competition.

·        Winning entries may not be modified before proceeding to the national competition.

·        Entries must be made out of precious metals (platinum, gold, sterling silver or a combination of these metals).

·        Only natural precious or semi-precious gemstones may be used. Any enhanced or treated stones must be fully disclosed on the entry form.

·        In keeping with NCJA’s view that its members should set the standard for professionalism and ethical behavior, all designers are strongly encouraged to follow the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Guidelines for the stamping of all jewelry and the disclosure of any gemstone enhancement or treatments.





April 28-30, 2017
Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina

Click here for more information

  Site Map