by Greg Klein | November 3, 2015
The practice of wearing food is no longer limited to sloppy eaters. Some especially imaginative designers have turned diamonds into food-themed jewelry for wealthy sophisticates. On November 2 HRD Antwerp announced winners of its biennial contest intended “to foster creative talent while extending the limits of contemporary diamond jewelry design.” After inviting designers “to find inspiration with their own culinary heritage,” HRD awarded the US$10,000 first prize to Tomoko Kodera of Japan for a brooch containing 400 diamonds shaped like rice husks.
She attributed her inspiration to a man she saw with several rice husks stuck to his coat. “I started to imagine the smell of the rice harvest, the sound of the husker, the aroma of cooked rice wafting from a grandmother’s kitchen, the shiny surface of cooked rice and a dinner table surrounded by family members,” she explained. “When you wear this jewel or see someone wearing it, you will find the doors of your imagination opening one by one.”
Out of 1,531 entries, a jury selected 29 designers who were then supplied with stones to work with. Four other finalists got US$2,500 each for adornments ranging from a bracelet dangling with diamond-stuffed chili peppers to a teapot necklace pouring diamonds into a teacup. The winning collection will go on public display in Belgium and abroad.
HRD Antwerp describes itself as one of the world’s largest and most respected diamond grading facilities, with the most prominent laboratory adhering to International Diamond Council standards.
But for all the artistry of the HRD contestants, their carbon-based creations probably got less publicity than a calcium-based effort. Gone viral was the nose-rings-across-the-border proposal in which a Canadian man offered his American girlfriend a wisdom tooth-studded engagement ring. “Diamonds are so overrated,” bride-to-be Carlee Alisan Leifkes told BuzzFeed.com.