This morning in Midtown, I got a peek at Rio Tinto’s newest crop of designer talent for its 2015 Diamonds With A Story campaign. Each year since 2012, Rio Tinto has selected four jewelry designers whose inventories and niches align with the mining company’s vast inventory of natural-colored diamonds from its Argyle mine in Australia and its selected themes of Cutting Impact (sustainability), Color My World (range of color), Shape by Origin (Argyle origin), and Mixed Medium (nontraditional materials). For 2015, the brand chose to work with Jennifer Dawes, Suzanne Kalandjian of Suzanne Kalan, Sandy Leong, and Matthew Campbell Laurenza of MCL, all of which created collections with upwards of 18 pieces and retail prices roughly ranging from $500 to $5,000. All collections will be available for wholesale purchase at LUXURY 2015, where they will debut to the trade.
“We want to make sure that retailers can sell the product,” observes Brandee Dallow, director Rio Tinto Diamonds North America. “We’re the only mine with stones that can be tracked to their origin—we don’t mix our diamonds from Argyle with our diamonds from Diavik. It’s typical for most miners to mix inventories.”
The beauty of the Argyle-mined diamonds—beyond simply being diamonds—is that they are largely melee size (think 0.01 to 0.07 ct.) in hues of colorless, gray, champagne, and cognac.
The designers themselves were on hand today to discuss their newest offerings, some of which are shown below, but retailers can see all the goods—as well as a new Oculus experience—at Rio Tinto’s booth at LUXURY 2015.
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