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The 2017 JAA Jewellery Awards Judging Panel

The JAA Australasian Jewellery Awards recognise the best emerging and experienced jewellery designers in Australia and New Zealand through a variety of categories that allow them to showcase their individual skills and talents.

The judging panel is comprised of industry leaders that have been selected for their skills, experience and knowledge of the Australasian jewellery industry. The panel represents significant facets of the industry from retailers and manufacturers, to small and large businesses.

The judging process is carefully crafted to ensure the highest levels of confidentiality. At no time during the judging process does the Judging Panel have access to the details of entrants in any form. The pieces are expertly handled by the JAA Head Office staff who hold extensive experience in the display and handling of high-value items and fine jewellery pieces.


The judges for the 2017 JAA Australasian Jewellery Awards are:

Jason Ree

Jason Ree began making jewellery soon after leaving high school. Travelling through Europe, Ree was struck by the elegant artistry of the Art Nouveau Period which inspired him to become a jeweller. After working for his father, John, Ree opened his own shop Diamond Design by Jason Ree in the Dymocks Building in Sydney. Jason won the JAA ‘Jeweller of the Year Award’ in 2002 and will be a valuable addition to the 2017 judging panel.


Ben Preston-Black

Ben Preston-Black has been immersed in the world of jewellery since age four. After completing his apprenticeship he joined the family business Creations Jewellers in Manuka, Canberra where his passion for local jewellery manufacturing solidified. Preston-Black won the JAA ‘Diamond Design Award’ in 2014 with a piece titled “Falling Water” and is delighted to be joining the 2017 judging panel.


Jo Tory

Jo Tory possesses over 30 years’ experience in the Australian jewellery industry as the founder and Creative Director of jewellery house Najo. Inspired by the exotic art and culture of far off destinations, Jo has skilfully stayed true to the Najo brand through its mission: Self-Expression by Design. With extensive knowledge of the retail and manufacturing sectors, Jo brings passion and individuality to the 2017 JAA Jewellery Awards judging panel.


Andrew Pitcairn

With commissions for members of the Royal Family and exclusive jewellery houses in London, Andrew Pitcairn is considered a master of his craft. He completed a five-year diamond mounting apprenticeship and studied jewellery design and manufacturing at the City of London University. Andrew later returned to the University to lecture on platinum, his speciality. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Professional Goldsmiths (UK) and a member of the Guild of Gold and Silversmiths of Australia (GGSA).


The judging process upholds the highest standards of integrity and anonymity. Each piece individually critiqued by the judges and assigned a score out of 100. The judging criteria are allotted as follows:

        Innovation and uniqueness of design /50

        Craftsmanship /30

        Market Appeal  /20

Winners of each category will be determined from the finalists through judge consensus. The credibility of the judging process is complemented by the extensive knowledge of jewellery handling and presentation of the JAA Head Office Staff. Pieces are kept under tight security at all times.

The JAA appreciates the time our 2017 Panel has kindly put aside to judge the 2017 JAA Jewellery Awards entries. The finalists and winners of the 2017 Awards categories will be announced to the industry at a live presentation evening to be held in August. Publications showcasing our sponsors, judges, entrants, finalists, and winners will be sent out to the Trade and Consumer sphere respectively.