Designers fly in to exhibit traditional and contemporary designs.

The Jewellery Council of South Africa and the Department for Trade and Industry for the Republic of South Africa exhibited at this year’s IJL, showcasing an eclectic mix of fine and costume jewellery creations from designers from the southern African state.

The collection comprised a mix of brightly coloured bead and wire designs, tanzanite jewellery, fine jewellery inspired by the World Cup stadium and Nelson Mandela, and jewellery made by brands working with local communities in South Africa to support causes such as women with aids.


Designer Vera Basson of Vera Bridal Jewellers said this was her first time exhibiting internationally, having only launched her brand in January this year. “I spent so much time with nice dresses but only costume jewellery that I decided to make my own collections,” she explained.

Her resulting bridal range includes silver, pearl and zirconia-set designs that she says have been designed to be passed down through the wearers’ families.

Stella Pretorius of brand uSisi Designs is showcasing a collection that she hand makes with a group of 25 South African women that is crafted using colourful wires usually found inside telephones.

“The designs are based on classic Zulu culture jewellery, with colourful beads,” explained Pretorius. “Our name means sisters and that’s what we are.”

The jewellery collections also included pieces made with animal bone and traditional glass beads, lion’s claws and tanaznite, for which jewellery students were tasked with creating collections using the famous African gemstone.