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Rio Tinto
Pink diamonds from the Argyle Diamond Mine in Western Australia (2019 Tender) Image courtesy of Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto has launched the new Icon Partner program, as part of its strategy for the future development of  the Argyle Pink Diamonds brand.

Following the November 2020 closure of the Argyle mine in Western Australia, Rio Tinto has retained and managed the Argyle Pink Diamonds brand and has been working with its exclusive distribution network to ensure it remains the world’s only official custodian of Argyle Pink Diamonds.

Rio Tinto has appointed two preeminent Argyle Pink Diamonds market developers – John Calleija and John Glajz – as its first Icon Partners. They will be licensed to use the Argyle Pink Diamonds brand for the remaining polished Argyle Pink Diamonds inventory and develop jewellery and limited edition pieces in keeping with their rarity, beauty and collectability.

Calleija is a designer and owner of luxury jewellery house Calleija, known for his award-winning craftsmanship, having worked with Argyle Pink Diamonds since the beginning of the mine in 1983.

Renowned for producing some of the most iconic Argyle Pink Diamonds jewelled art and wearable treasures, he will continue to honour the Argyle legacy by developing further one-of-a-kind creations and limited edition collections.

Singapore-based Glajz, of rare gem specialist Glajz THG, has been creating bespoke Argyle Pink Diamonds jewellery and collectibles for more than 25 years.

He has designed tiaras, collectible coins and numerous exclusive designs in creative collaboration with mints, manufacturers and luxury diamond jewellery houses.

His most recent collaboration brings together Muzo Emeralds and Argyle Pink Diamonds in a fusion of colour and creativity.

The Icon Partner program is part of a strategy designed to protect the provenance of Argyle Pink Diamonds. Rio Tinto is also introducing a certification service, a concierge trading platform for certified Argyle Pink Diamonds, a new Beyond Rare Tender platform for special sales events and a number of strategic collections and collaborations involving existing inventory and the secondary market.

The secondary market for Argyle Pink Diamonds comprises almost 40 years of rare polished pink diamonds, together with heirloom pieces of jewellery, collectibles and objects.

Rio Tinto Minerals chief executive Sinead Kaufman said it was the start of a new chapter for Argyle Pink Diamonds, to ensure they maintained their value and investment potential as a finite, unrepeatable natural resource and achieved the status of outstanding heritage diamonds.