Amy Denton, HND Jewellery Design student at Glasgow City College, has won a competition with family business Diamond International to manufacture her own jewellery design.

“I’m always up for a challenge and willing to experience new things, so I put myself forward for anything whether I’m ready for it or not,” Amy told the Evening Times.

The 22-year-old, from Livingston, entered her wedding designs along with five of her classmates.

“We were given a brief by Diamond International themselves to design a ring and a band that could interlock and interfit. We looked at more current designs, and worked towards a final one.

“The owner, Jim, told us what made each design stand out. Diamond International makes their designs by taking jewellery from a customer, revamping and redesigning it but keeping the essence of the original. They chose mine because it still kept that original brief despite being redeveloped.”

After the initial round of judging from a Diamond International employee, the entrants were shortlisted to a final three whose designs were refined and amended in the second phase. The most commercially viable design would have a chance to become a reality; in this instance, the winner was Amy.

Designing an engagement ring and a wedding band for their current collection, Amy will now see her creation come to life in Diamond’s workshop in the Argyll Arcade.

This opportunity holds a particular potency with Amy, who’s father bought her mother’s wedding ring from Diamond International about 27 years ago.

“It was an interesting thing to find that out!” said Amy. “Being a part of the competition is good exposure and experience.

“I’m going to get the chance to work with people who have done this for years. Making jewellery is my passion, and it’s something that I would like to do in the future.”

David Findlay, Amy’s Jewellery lecturer at the College, was integral to the competition between Glasgow City College and Diamond International.

“The competition started because an ex-colleague who works now in Diamond International suggested we put something together between the college and employer, basically as a way to bridge the gap in the industry between education and employer,” said David.

“We thought it would be an ideal to have the entrants design a wedding ring and engagement ring set as part of collection, and the winner would have the chance to manufacture the design under the supervision of a professional designer.”

The competition offers students like Amy a chance to breathe life into their designs, at no personal cost – an opportunity as rare as gold dust to the students of today.

“Jim, the current director of Diamond International, will put up the materials and offer the opportunity as a sort of work experience placement” said David.

“Amy will use 18 carat gold as well as diamonds, of course, to make her designs.”

Competitions like these are vital for the students of today, David believes, who are set to be the professionals of the future. What is the most important part of giving Glasgow students these opportunities?

“I think it’s just bridging the gap between industry and education, preparing young students to go into the workplace and teaching the skills they need to know,” said David.

Amy has some advice to those hoping to make their own jewellery one day.

“Put yourself forward. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and stick to your guns, even if people are telling you its not the right thing to do.”