Rio Tinto has unveiled its inaugural Bunder diamond jewellery collection featuring stones from samples at its developing Bunder project in Madhya Pradesh, India.
Called Courageous Spirit, the collection incorporates 25.34 carats of polished diamonds and 2.8 carats of rough diamonds, including a 5.04 carat round brilliant cut white diamond and a 5.02 carat round brilliant cut cognac diamond, in a statement necklace and matching earrings.
Unveiling the collection, Dr Nik Senapati, managing director of Rio Tinto India, said that seven years after the discovery of the Bunder diamond project he was delighted to showcase “these exquisite pieces of jewellery that provide a window into the enormous potential of the gems contained in the deposit”.
“The Courageous Spirit jewellery collection holds a very special place in Indian diamond history as it has been at least a century since India has mined, designed and manufactured its own diamond jewellery.”
Maintaining the Indian pedigree of the collection, the diamonds were cut and polished in Indian factories while the jewellery was designed by Madhya Pradesh-born designer Reena Ahluwahlia and manufactured by Mumbai-based Uni-Design Jewellery.
Rio Tinto Diamonds managing director Bruce Cox said that “by harnessing the skill and creativity of India’s respected diamond artisans, these magnificent jewellery pieces are symbolic of an important new chapter in the country’s proud diamond history”.
“The Bunder project, likely to come into commercial production in 2016, presents enormous opportunities not only for the Madhya Pradesh region, but for the broader Indian diamond industry as well, with Rio Tinto presenting a unique opportunity for India to mine, manufacture and market its own diamonds.”
The Courageous Spirit collection is not available for sale, but will be showcased at a number of events throughout the second half of 2012.