Celebrating its 20th year of encouraging jewellers, students and apprentices in South Africa to design and manufacture statement jewellery pieces in platinum, 16 finalists have been selected in the two divisions of this year’s prestigious PlatAfrica competition.
Hosted annually by Anglo American Platinum in partnership with Metal Concentrators and Platinum Guild International (PGI) India, PlatAfrica is a market development initiative aimed at promoting innovation and technical expertise in platinum jewellery.
While South Africa is by far the world’s largest producer of platinum, it only contributes a very small portion to global platinum jewellery production.
The theme for PlatAfrica 2019 is “Your love has gone platinum – celebrate the milestones in this journey of love”. Platinum has been symbolic of love due to its intrinsic qualities of being precious eternal, pure and rare, and entrants were tasked with designing a statement piece for an urban customer of between 20 and 40 years of age, male/female, celebrating a milestone occasion.
The winners of this year’s competition will be announced at an awards dinner on 23 October 2019 at the Inanda Club in Johannesburg.
The Story of Platinum
The first platinum nuggets were found in South Africa in 1924. Follow-up work by geologist Hans Merensky led to the discovery of the Bushveld Igneous Complex, which was formed 2-billlion years ago. The complex is home to about 80% of the world’s known platinum group metals-bearing ore.
Platinum has been symbolic of love due to its intrinsic qualities of being precious, eternal, pure and rare. It is 30 times rarer than gold.
The Platinum Incubator - For the Love of Platinum
The Platinum Incubator is the only small business start-up hub in the world devoted to encouraging budding entrepreneurs to develop world-class products and applications using Platinum Group Metals (PGMs). Established in 2006 in partnership with the Platinum Trust of South Africa and the North West Province with funding by the Department of Trade and Industry’s Seda Technology Programme, we have spent the last 10 years helping aspiring jewellers to build careers in the design and manufacturing of jewellery using platinum, silver, palladium, gold, diamonds and semi-precious stones mined in southern Africa.
Meet PlatAfrica winner and judge Bheki Ngema as he shares his platinum journey
Bheki Ngema won PlatAfrica in 2015 with a beautiful ornate ring made from platinum and colourful gems. This year he'll return to PlatAfrica as a judge for the competition.