Jewellery Time Magazine

Inspiration can come from the most unlikely sources. For Ian Douglas, the owner of Wellington's The Village Goldsmith, the design inspiration for a diamond ring that has reached the finals of the New Zealand Jewellery Design Awards took the form of a man strolling naked through the streets of Barcelona. Hombre desnudo probably has no idea that he has been immortalised in a technically-ambitious diamond.  The ring has been created by The Village Goldsmith's Dan Palmerwho took the design brief and created the challenging ring in his own inimitable style, blending platinum and gold around a stunning pear shape diamond.

2011 is the fourth consecutive year that a jeweller from The Village Goldsmith has been named as a finalist in the awards. Dan is now in direct competition with the firm's apprentice Nick Hensman, who won the award in 2009 after only 14 months in the industry. Palmer on the other hand, has been a goldsmith for more than 30 years.

Ian Douglas's own entry for the 2010 competition 'What's the Point' was given as a gift to Katy Perry on her recent trip to New Zealand, while the top prize that year was claimed by Nigel Wong - yet another jeweller form The Village Goldsmith.

Each year Ian gives his staff two weeks of paid time and supplies all materials for the team to get creative and work on their competition pieces. Inspiration for last year's competition pieces ranged from Ancient Egyptian mythology to extendable bathroom mirrors.

The inspirations behind this year's entries are eclectic as ever. Ian was out for a mid-morning walk on Barcelona's busiest street when he encountered the inspiration behind 'Naked Barcelona'.

Ian: "It was highly amusing watching the reaction of other people and the casual manner of the naked walker. The whole situation seemed to epitomise the fun and spontaneous nature of Spanish life".

"This is a highly technical ring and required someone with immense skill to execute. Dan was the obvious choice to craft this piece".

 "It's a bit strange having the apprentice and a master craftsman vying for the same prize, but it's a thrill to have just come this far. We can't wait until the final announcement of the grand winner in September."