Image: Rio Tinto

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

John 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.

John Calleija said “I am enormously proud to work with Rio Tinto as an Icon Partner. Argyle Pink Diamonds have been much of my life’s work and I am looking forward to continuing to create works of art and wearable treasures for our clients around the globe that are worthy of the brand’s heritage diamond status.

Singapore based John 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.

John Glajz said “I am delighted to be appointed an Icon Partner and continue a long association with the Argyle Pink Diamonds brand. The mesmerizing beauty of an Argyle Pink Diamond, its beautiful birthplace, its status and mystique will continue to be upheld through the program to ensure the brand integrity of the one true source of rare pink diamonds.

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 RareTM 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 forty years of rare polished pink diamonds, together with heirloom pieces of jewellery, collectibles and objets.

This market requires careful management to preserve the precious provenance of Argyle Pink Diamonds and continue the legacy of careful custody that underscores its rarity. Rio Tinto Minerals Chief Executive Sinead Kaufman, said “This is the start of a new chapter for Argyle Pink Diamonds, to ensure they maintain their value and investment potential as a finite, unrepeatable natural resource and achieve the status of outstanding heritage diamonds.

Rio Tinto is proud to continue to manage the legacy of this uniquely Western Australian product and I pay tribute to the unrivalled craftsmanship and deep engagement of all our customers and partners who have been, and continue to be, instrumental in creating the global phenomenon that is Argyle Pink Diamonds.