The HRD Awards, an international diamond jewelry competition, draws the world’s top jewelry designers with breathtaking pieces from around the world. The Antwerp World Diamond Center in Belgium organizes the annual event.
The 2011 HRD Awards, held in Shanghai, recognized 29 winning designs out of a record 1,396 entries. China rose to the spotlight of the awards, with Jiang Zhe of China winning first place. Zhe’s “Porcupine Theory” design featured unique, eye-catching diamond brooches with quill-like needles.
China’s diamond industry has rose to prominence in recent years, with the rapidly growing economy and increasing interest in diamonds in the nation of 1.3-plus billion people. Ling Qiang, the president of the Shanghai Diamond Exchange, was recognized by the event for his work to improve diplomatic relations between Belgium and China.
Other top finalists at the competition were Alia Mouzannar from Lebanon, Gabri Schumacher from the Netherlands, Maja Houtman from the Netherlands and Chun Man Ping from Taiwan.
The selection process for the 2011 HRD Awards began in October 2010, when a panel of jewelry experts chose 29 finalists from all of the entries. Those finalists completed their designs throughout the year, and the top five were announced December 11, 2011.