Friday, 25 August 2023 13:36

Romanian Jewelry Week


The 4th edition of the Romanian Jewelry Week is behind us. The world race for the title of the highest rated work of goldsmithing art was won by the artist from the Legnica QUALITY exhibition. Beating several hundred other authors who submitted works from dozens of countries, from America to Asia, it was Sharareh Aghaei's (Iran/Germany) necklace that won the Grand Prix of the Romanian Jewelry Week. Recall that it was made and submitted for the May 31st International Jewellery Competition QUALITY and also awarded in Legnica. The work entitled. "The right one" once again captivated with the idea and precision of execution, as well as the surprising idea of aesthetic use of fragments of an old jewelry tool. In place of the large pendant, the author clearly exposed a maturingly empty space. The necklace alluded to the rhetorical question of true value in today's world of commercially produced ornaments.





The right one necklace, brass, 18ct gold leaf, synthetic quartz*, dop sticks (stone holding tool)**, 575 g, 260 × 200 × 35 mm, 2021

*The fragments used in this piece are collected from the takeaway pile of synthetic gemstone carver after his death.

**The brass dopsticks are used to hold the stone during the grinding process against the diamond wheel to get easier into shape.

Which is the right one? Synthetic or natural? The necklace was created after facing a sad reality in the gemstone world. When the first time I entered a room full of colorful synthetic stones, which was the inheritance of an old master carver to his family, I had a very contradicting feeling as this place was located in the heart of the natural gemstone world. The tension between the value of treasures inside this room and standards outside of it, in the real gem world, was so strong that suddenly the seductive little gems became a bunch of worthless trash, treated so valueless and careless. The stones were laying everywhere on the floor between the dirt and dust. Everyone was stepping on them, in a very disrespectful manner. Just because they were not the right ones according to the requirements of the gemstone world.


Grand Award at the Romanian Jewelry Week (October, 2023)

Honourable Mention of the Director of the Gallery of Art in Legnica at the Legnica Jewellery Festival SILVER (May, 2023)


Sharareh Aghaei (Iran/Germany) – Lives and works in Idar-Oberstein (Germany). Education: Art University of Tehran, Iran; ALCHIMIA Contemporary Jewelry School – an exchange semester, Florence, Italy, 2015; University of Applied Sciences Trier, Gemstone and Jewellery, Idar-Oberstein, Germany. She works as a professional stone carver and sculptor.



The cyclical International Jewellery Competition is the leading event of Legnica SILVER Festival, organised by  Legnica Art Gallery since 1979.

The competition is dedicated to designers and creators of artistic jewellery. It promotes creative explorations within jewellery and, at the same time, creative expressions on the problems of contemporary world. The theme of the current edition of the Competition is QUALITY. What is quality nowadays? Is the growing awareness of consumers based - as it used to be - on an assessment of craftsmanship and the market value of bullion? Or is it drifting towards a concern for the welfare of the planet, a broader reflection on the maker's intentions and the relationship with the client? The material of goldsmithing is increasingly becoming the idea itself, which takes the shape of objects with a variety of styles that enter into a dialogue with the viewer. If the artist's message becomes more important than the formal aspects of  jewellery, what is the ideological background? Are there, therefore, specific material manifestations and aesthetic determinants that define the quality of an artistic statement?

317 works by 189 artists from 30 countries have been submitted in response to the Competition open call. The jury selected works by 40 artists from 16 countries for the main exhibition.



In times of constant change, at least one thing about jewellery seems unchangeable. It is the quality parameter. However, is quality today still defined by the long-learned perfection of craftsmanship, the material equivalent measured by the conversion rate of an ounce of gold or the use of precious stones, or perhaps the marketing value of the logo or the artist's signature? First fashion designers and now all designers in general have re-evaluated the meaning of basic concepts that once seemed paradigmatic. The new benchmarks that set the quality standard are sustainability, experience instead of possession, the democratisation of luxury, the relationship with the viewer. Surely, creators of designer jewellery will find equally inspiring answers. What is QUALITY for you?


prof. Sławomir Fijałkowski




Legnica Jewellery Festival SILVER

Legnica Jewellery Festival SILVER is co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage from the Culture Promotion Fund.