Call for Entries: 2012 mineralART Design Competition

Published: 10.11.2011

Topic of the competition - ‘inside quartz - precious imperfection’

Quartz, the second most common mineral found in rocks, comes in many different varieties: from quartz sand to the clearest of rock crystals.

It can be used in a wide range of fields: as indispensable basic material for piezoelectricity as well as for the production of glass and porcelain and as a gemstone. In its translucent form,
quartz is among other things popular as rock crystal, amethyst, citrine or smoky quartz.

Whilst in the past, perfect purity and a clear refl ection of light were the top criteria used for measuring the beauty of quartz, these days, apart from haematite, pyrite, tourmaline or rutile crystal inclusions, it is the natural, shell-like cracks and fi ssures with heir oily sheen as well as the druse intergrowth that are considered as truly precious.
What is particularly prized is phantom quartz where one or several phantom crystals are crystallised on top of each other in one rock crystal.

Hence, the features of crystal that used to be seen as imperfections have now become the starting point of creative design-led ideas. They are looked upon as imagination - inspiring landscapes or – as in the case of rutile inclusions – as thunderously stormy natural phenomena onto which an onlooker can project his own emotions.

Subject matter of the competition
The competition focuses on the production of an innovative piece of jewellery or object made of or in connection with quartz that inspires the designer through inclusions of other crystals or structural qualities. It is all about the actual design of the object. There are
no restrictions as to the origin or variety of the quartz used.

The competition is open in particular to jewellery and gemstone designers, trainees, pupils and students from specialist colleges and polytechnics, from universities and academies in Germany and abroad.

Using the heading “mineralART” participants must send their work by 9 January 2012 to the following address:

Kreissparkasse Birkenfeld / Marketing Department
Auf der Idar 2
D-55743 Idar-Oberstein

(Important: The competition entry must arrive at the organisers by that day; the date on the postage stamp is irrelevant.)

The entries will be insured during the duration of the evaluation and awarding process at the value indicated by the sender. The dispatch to and from the venue shall be at the entrant’s risk.

Award ceremony
The award ceremony will take place as part of a celebratory event during the “inhorgenta europe 2012” trade fair in Munich. The winners will receive more detailed information in due course. The winning pieces of jewellery or objects will be exhibited during the “inhorgenta europe 2012” between 10 and 13. February and be displayed in a glass cabinet to an interested specialist public. All entries are going to be featured on the Internet at

The prizes are:
1. Prize 2.500 m
2. Prize 1.750 m
3. Prize 1.000 m

Prof. Ute Eitzenhöfer
Trier University of Applied Science,
Department for Design; study course:
Gemstone and Jewellery Design

Barbara Schmidt
Design Management and Jewellery Design,
Munich, Germany

Amador Braojos
Sculptor, objects featuring minerals and

Bernhard Schobinger
Jewellery artist, Switzerland

Manfred Wild
Board of Trustees of the
German Gemstone
Museum in Idar-Oberstein

Terms of entry
Each participant can submit up to four pieces of work of which no more than two can receive an award. All submitted work must comply with the following terms.

Each piece of work must be given a randomly chosen
six-digit code number. A closed, neutral envelope must be
added to the submitted pieces, which, apart from the same
six-digit code number, must contain the following details:

■ Entrant’s/Entrants’ address and professional activity
■ A declaration that the submitted work has been designed and produced by the entrant/s himself/herself/themselves and/or details (name, address) of the person(s) who has(have) been involved in producing the dispatched work
■ A declaration that the submitted work has been produced for this specifi c competition and has never been exhibited or marketed before
■ A short description of the object and its possible use (wherever possible together with a photo or sketch)
■ A declaration that the sender agrees that his/her work is going to be exhibited and shown to the public
■ The insurance value of the submitted work

Entries that do not meet the competition terms
cannot be assessed.

Additional information
The town of Idar-Oberstein is known throughout the world as a centre for precious stones, where all known types of gem are polished and traded.

In order to preserve this tradition and encourage the precious stone industry and young gemstone designers, the Kreisssparkasse Birkenfeld (Birkenfeld District Savings Bank) has been promoting this materials-related competition since 2006, in cooperation with the district of Birkenfeld and the town of Idar-Oberstein.

The competition is particularly aimed jewellery and gemstone designers, trainees, school pupils and students at vocational colleges, universities and academies both in Germany and abroad.

The competition is held every 2 years. Presentation of the prizes will take place at the inhorgenta Europe trade fair (year has been deleted to keep it general) in Munich. The award-winning items of jewellery will be exhibited in a display cabinet during inhorgenta Europe.

Work submitted will be evaluated by a (deleted to keep it general) panel of international experts from the gemstone and jewellery design industries.