By Michelle Graff
These “Kaleidoscope” earrings are from the Pattern Play jewelry collection. Zhong Hua designed them for Rio Tinto’s “The Fashion of Diamonds” marketing initiative in China.
Shanghai--In an effort to tap into the growing demand for diamond fashion jewelry in China, mining company Rio Tinto has launched a new diamond marketing initiative called “The Fashion of Diamonds” there.

For the campaign, Rio Tinto collaborated with five designers, Fei Liu, Zhong Hua, Aya Kamimura, Wen Wei Tong and Huang Chao Yan. The partnership resulted in 13 collections with a total of more than 90 pieces of jewelry using diamonds from the company’s Argyle mine in Australia.

The pieces were unveiled in Shanghai.

“I am delighted to be in Shanghai to see the results of this next phase in our China market strategy. Increasing wealth will continue to underpin China’s demand for diamond jewelry, which is in strong demand as a fashion accessory,” said Jean-Marc Lieberherr, managing director of Rio Tinto Diamonds.

“Rio Tinto Diamonds initially launched its China strategy in 2010 at Shanghai World Expo. Since that time, we have continued to focus on developing together with our trade and retail partners the diamond fashion jewelry market in China and creating opportunities for diamond purchasing beyond the solitaire engagement ring.”

The initiative will provide the Chinese diamond trade with retailer support materials, including marketing, training and a dedicated website.

Rio Tinto has done extensive market research about the growing demand of diamond fashion jewelry In the Chinese market, including the results of a study it commissioned from global market research company Ipsos released last year that said diamond fashion jewelry is desirable in China as part of a broader trend toward “affordable luxury” and is considered a versatile accessory for every-day wear.

The study also showed that design is important to Chinese consumers, challenging the idea that they appreciate only large high-quality diamonds or gold jewelry.

The company said that China’s growing demand for diamonds and diamond accessories will be met with the increased volume that has come with the opening of the underground portion of Argyle earlier this year. The average annual production is expected to be 20 million carats per year.

Get the Daily News >
National Jeweler

Fine Jewelry Industry News

Since 1906, National Jeweler has been the must-read news source for smart jewelry professionals--jewelry retailers, designers, buyers, manufacturers, and suppliers. From market analysis to emerging jewelry trends, we cover the important industry topics vital to the everyday success of jewelry professionals worldwide. National Jeweler delivers the most urgent jewelry news necessary for running your day-to-day jewelry business here, and via our daily e-newsletter, website and other specialty publications, such as "The State of the Majors." National Jeweler is published by Jewelers of America, the leading nonprofit jewelry association in the United States.