Mining company Rio Tinto announce their involvement in the Bunder diamond project in style with a collection of jewellery called Courageous Spirit designed by Reena Ahluwalia. The Bunder is Rio Tinto's first diamond venture in India and it is a world-class diamond resource in Madhya Pradesh, India discovered seven years ago. The Courageous Spirit collection one-of-a-kind jewellery being produced from the very first diamond samples taken from the area. This is exciting news as it has been at least a century since India has mined diamonds since the famous Golconda mines became depleted.
The Courageous Spirit collection is made of an impressive statement necklace accompanied by a pair of earrings and features a mix of diamond cuts. The necklace includes 25.34 carats of polished Bunder diamonds, 2.8 carats of rough diamonds, as well as a 5.04ct round brilliant white diamond and 5.02ct round brilliant cognac diamond. Rio Tinto chose award-winning designer Reena Ahluwalia, a Toronto-based jeweller born in Madhya Pradesh, India. Ahluwalia sees jewellery with an Indian eye and makes note of its symbolic as well as physical properties. Ahluwalia won De Beers Diamonds-International Award and the Rio Tinto Diamonds Global Design Competition, Ahluwalia has proven a superb choice. The Courageous Spirit necklace features an impressive diamond-encrusted disc that displays the wide range of diamonds at the Bunder deposit. The circular nature of the necklace echoes the earthly origins of the gems themselves: the geographical coordinates of the Bunder diamond deposit are inscribed on the reverse if the necklace.
Rio Tinto Diamonds' Managing Director Bruce Cox explains why they sought to realise Reena Ahluwalia's desings using master craftsmen in Indian cutting and polishing: "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 artisans were part of Mumbai-based Uni-Design Jewellery Private Ltd, keeping the collection's Indian pedigree alive.
Rio Tinto has worked closely with the Madhya Pradesh state government to create a community programme as an offshoot of the Bunder project. The aim is to help those in the Chhattarpur district that form the core community of the Bunder deposit, looking at problems such as nutrition, literacy, and healthcare. Not only this, but Rio Tinto are continued supporters of the Kimberley Process and a founding member of the Responsible Jewellery Council.
Environmentally and ethically responsible jewellery is a must now and it's good to see Rio Tinto not only promoting these ideals . The Courageous Spirit collection is not available for sale, but will be showcased throughout the world over the next few months, so keep your eyes peeled on red carpet events.