Rio Tinto’s stones have stories to tell—much to the delight of the diamantaire’s consumers, who are eager to hear about their origins. According to research undertaken by the Shand Group for the mining giant, more than 75 percent of consumers care about diamond origins, the mining process, and the story behind finished pieces. “Millennials don’t want pieces that are too blingy,” explains Rebecca Foerster, US vice president at Rio Tinto Diamonds.
To satisfy the educational appetites of these new consumers, Rio Tinto added a new dimension to its Diamonds With A Story Initiative at the recent LUXURY show in Las Vegas. Now four unique diamond stories—Shaped by Origin, Cutting Impact, Mixed Medium, and Color My World—will help drive home messaging that appeals to a new generation of jewelry shoppers, and finished pieces from eight different designers (contracted by Rio Tinto) speak to the themes of each story and are available for wholesale purchases.
Designers Zoltan David and Casa Gi made pieces inspired by the Origin category, which centers on diamonds’ provenance; Phyllis Bergman of Mercury Ring and Alexandra Hart made pieces for the Cutting Impact category, which deals with the positive effects of buying Rio Tinto diamonds; Joan Park and Kristin Hanson contributed to the Color My World category, featuring pieces that celebrate natural colored diamonds; and Kara Ross worked on Mixed Medium, the most design-intense category. The diamonds in the collections were all sourced from Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine in Australia and Diavik mine in Canada.
“Our purpose in this initiative is to provide inspiration to industry,” explains Foerster.
Rio Tinto asked each designer—selected based on their portfolios of work—to submit eight to 12 sketches of finished pieces featuring diamonds from the Argyle or Diavik mines (“Ninety percent are from Argyle,” adds Foerster). Of those, about four pieces were manufactured. “The hope is that retailers will be interested in showcasing these collections in stores, since the designers brought the stories to life, and for others to be inspired to make their own beautiful jewelry based on these themes,” she says.
Customizable training and point-of-sale materials are available to retailers with multiple outlets to sustain large-scale, in-store initiatives through Rio Tinto’s Select Diamantaires and manufacturers within its Argyle Diamond Network. For more information, contact Foerster at Rebecca.firstname.lastname@example.org or at 646-429-1624.
A Kristen Hanson ring for Rio Tinto’s Diamonds With A Story initiative