Jacobs the Jewellers has launched the sixth year of its young designer’s competition in association with the Bishopsland Educational Trust and The Goldsmiths Centre, but – in the midst of the pandemic – the 2020 annual contest has been moved online.

The competition, which usually sees five talented young designers display their work in the Reading-based store, will now be a virtual event, with the shortlisted emerging stars now showcasing their work via an online exhibition.

With this move to online, Jacobs the Jewellers will allow international participation, with internet powered voting.


Moreover, the new virtual format will also help widen the audience for the established event’s growing reputation.

The 2020’s annual contest will feature five talented designers competing in two categories, a silver object and a piece of jewellery.

From May 25 a week of social media posts will share the artists’ inspirations, and then the following week will preview each of the competitors work.

The final week from June 13 will allow online voting with social media posts supporting the competition.

Anyone who views the virtual gallery, hosted on the independent jewellery retailer’s website, can vote, from across the globe.

The winner will be announced on June 21, with the winner of each category securing £350 to spend on tools at HS Walsh, one of the UKs leading jewellery tool suppliers.

Jacobs the Jewellers director, Adam Jacobs, remarks: “Even with the obvious challenges of coronavirus, the competitors were insistent the show goes on. We’ve worked really hard to create a great online experience which will benefit these and other talented designers in the long run, hopefully running hand in hand with a physical shop experience in the future.

“My thanks to the talented makers and our supporting organisations for making this happen in such challenging times”.

The annual competition has been made possible for the Bishopsland Educational Trust through the initiative, co-operation and support of Jacobs the Jewellers, the Goldsmiths’ Centre and HS Walsh.

Local arts organisation ‘Jelly’, supporters since the competition’s inception in 2014, once again lend their enthusiasm and promotional skills through their award-winning organisation’s network.

All parties are supporting this competition with a clear commitment to the craft and artists of Bishopsland Educational Trust not to mention Reading as a creative centre in the South East.