The Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) has announced the winner of this year’s Gem Empathy Award as Marina Jacob Design.

The Frankfurt-based designer and manufacturer of fine diamond and gem set jewellery was awarded the prize for her stunning white-gold Crushed Ice ring, created with a 13.83ct green beryl and 30 baguette diamonds.

Gem-A’s Gem Empathy award is presented annually on the last day of International Jewellery London to the exhibitor displaying, in the opinion of the judges, a single piece or collection of jewellery that makes captivating use of one or more gemstones and provides accurate ethical descriptions as well as displaying creativity and imagination.


The winner, selected by a panel of judges from Gem-A, was designed by Marina Jacob, who conceives of and creates all her own work. Celebrated as a unique and pioneering artist across Frankfurt, Jacob’s designs use portraits and paintings of her clients to create truly personalised pieces of jewellery.

On receiving the news of their selection for the award, Jacob said: “I was and still am absolutely overwhelmed by winning this award, especially because Gem-A so clearly recognised the very essence of this design, which harks back to the roots of our profession: to stage the precious gifts of our planet in the most beautiful way, allowing people fully enjoy them.”

Gem-A gemstone and diamond tutor Claire Mitchell commented on the winning piece, saying: “Marina’s design was sublimely unique and matched pure measured precision with stunning conceptual design. The visual appearance of the Crushed Ice ring harmonised its name and character, reflecting the precise, yet beautiful form of icicles or snowflakes. The colour of the 13.83ct green beryl with a turquoise hue and the cool white-gold gave it an icy, artic feel and the use of baguette diamonds and superb metalwork worked into points with sharp straight lines like stalactites of ice erupting from its surface.”

Similarly, Charles Evans, Gem-A’s acting chief executive officer added: “We thought Marina’s work displayed a superb and spectacular use of stones throughout, to produce a piece that was measured and precise from concept to final production. Her diamonds and gemstones were all sourced from local dealers in nearby Idar-Oberstein and Marina showed stunning work with both beautiful but very simple stone choices. We look forward to seeing more of Marina’s work and inviting her to either take a one-day workshop with Gem-A or a day at our international Conference 2015 – taking place from 21-22 November.”

All winners of the Gem Empathy Award win a free full-page advert in an upcoming issue of Gems & Jewellery as well as a free one-day workshop or attendance for one delegate at the Gem-A Conference 2015.