Australia is without a doubt renowned for its exceptional opals (raise your hand if you’re shopping for these at JCK Tucson), but in-the-know, and rather intrepid, jewelry designers have long favored the natural, golden-hued diamonds from the country’s East Kimberley region, specifically those from the famed Rio Tinto–owned Argyle mine.
Since 2012, the Rio Tinto Diamonds with a Story program has sought to put these grayish, neutral-to-variegated gold Argyle diamonds in the hands of innovative designers who are passionate about sustainable and ethical mining practices. The latest generation of Diamonds With a Story features the work of designers Eva Fehren, Ana Khouri, Anita Ko, Alison Lou, Ileana Makri, and Arpana Rayamajhi.
Each of the designers has applied her individual, distinctive aesthetic to create a micro collection of pieces that give pride of place to Australian diamonds. The fruits of their labors were formally unveiled at a launch event held on Jan. 18 in downtown Manhattan.
“I recently returned from a trip to Australia, and I really related to the people there,” says Ko. “They are very connected to their country and have a deep appreciation for their land, and I respect and admire that. I’m inspired by all things natural, and I’ve always been drawn to the natural colors of Australian diamonds.”
The limited-edition designs are currently available exclusively for purchase on the designers’ respective e-commerce sites. A taste of the jewelry on offer is presented below.
Ombré Open Chrysler Earrings with ombré Australian diamonds in 18k rose gold, $12,695; Eva Fehren
Cobra Ring with 0.57 ct. t.w. Australian diamonds and 0.02 ct. t.w. rubies in 18k white gold, $4,342.51; Ileana Makri
Flower Bracelet with 1.3 cts. t.w. Australian diamonds, 0.32 ct. t.w. tsavorite and enamel in 18k gold, $6,915; Arpana Rayamajhi
Isabel Earrings with 4.8 cts. t.w. Australian diamonds in 18k gold, $37,280; Ana Khouri
Sister Bracelet with 0.385 ct. t.w. Australian diamonds in 14k yellow gold, $4,020; Alison Lou
Safety Pin Earring with 0.46 ct. t.w. Australian diamonds in 18k rose gold, $1,425 (sold individually); Anita Ko
(Top: Bruna Tena in Arpana Rayamajhi, shot by Herring & Herring for the Diamonds with a Story commemorative hardcover book)
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