The GEM Award for Jewelry Design is given to an individual, not a brand, for excellence in jewelry design. Each honoree has an extraordinary design aesthetic and creates jewelry that shapes the future of design.
Fernando Jorge
Brazilian-born jewelry designer Fernando Jorge takes inspiration from the laidback attitude and effortless sensuality of his home country. Though based in the UK, his brand’s aesthetic is inherently Brazilian, using locally sourced gemstones and minerals detailed with his signature finish: unique cuts and the use of delicate gold snake chain. Jorge worked for over a decade for Brazilian jewelry labels before earning an M.A. in jewelry design at Central Saint Martins in London and launching his eponymous collection in 2010. He is considered among the brightest emerging jewelry designers garnering international media attention and awards from COUTURE, Town & Country, and the British Fashion Council among others.
Silvia Furmanovich
Silvia Furmanovich was born in São Paulo, Brazil, to a line of Italian goldsmiths who created sacred adornments for the Vatican. She established an appointment-only jewelry business in 1998, and opened her first standalone boutique in São Paulo in 2009. Her daring designs combine her meticulous attention to detail with her wide-ranging passions for the natural world, ancient cultures and unusual materials like oxidized copper, shells or woven bamboo. “I love to find something unexpected in a remote part of the world and transform it into jewelry that someone will cherish,” says the designer, whose pieces are all handmade by artisans in São Paulo.
Valérie Messika
The daughter of a diamantaire, Valerie Messika lived and breathed diamonds growing up, eventually working at Chanel, then her father’s business where she learned the diamond trade from the inside out. She is a true innovator injecting the age-old diamond with a new-found cool factor -- and inspiring a new generation of clients to fall in love with diamonds. In 2005, she founded her brand, Messika, with the philosophy that diamonds should be wearable and comfortable. In 2013, Valérie opened Messika’s flagship store in Paris and two years later her Parisian High Jewelry Atelier. She remains the only businesswoman in France to head her own independent jewelry Maison.