By Ashley Davis
Six designers, including Ana Khouri (pictured), created some of their signature pieces with Australian diamonds from Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine.
New York--To promote Australian diamonds, miner Rio Tinto enlisted a group of talented independent designers to create some of their signature pieces with the stones.

Ana Khouri, Eva Fehren’s Eva Zuckerman, Ileana Makri, Anita Ko, Alison Lou’s Alison Chemla and Arpana Rayamajhi all participated in the “Diamonds with a Story Featuring Australian Diamonds” project.

Launched last week, the capsule collection consists of an array of the aforementioned designers’ signature pieces, updated with natural color diamonds in shades of champagne, pink and yellow from Western Australia’s Argyle mine, which is fully owned and operated by Rio Tinto.

20180124 Diamondswithastory insertFrom left to right: Arpana Rayamajhi, Alison Chemla, Anita Ko, Eva Zuckerman and Ana Khouri

Rio Tinto employs a chain of custody program that offers proof of a diamond’s provenance from mine to market and many of the “Diamonds with a Story” designers remarked on the importance of transparent and ethical sourcing.

“We do our best to research and ensure all of our materials are responsibly sourced,” said Chemla. “My customers expect that. Australian diamonds are tracked, so they’re an easy choice.”

The designers and friends feted the collection last week at Mailroom in downtown Manhattan, with a performance by French actress and singer Josephine de la Baume with her band Film Noir, and DJ sets by Ruby Aldridge, Alix Brown and Chloe Caillet.

A coffee table book by celebrity and fashion photography duo Herring & Herring commemorating the collection and designers was on hand at the event. The book features interviews with jewelry tastemakers wearing pieces from the capsule collection, including celebrity stylist Jeanann Williams, Barneys New York Fashion Director Marina Larroude and Claire Distenfeld, owner of New York boutique Fivestory.

Commenting on the collection, Distenfeld said, “I think it’s important to know where everything in our life comes from—food, clothing, and especially diamonds. Diamonds are millions of years old, and I believe they carry the memories of the earth within them. Australian diamonds are carefully mined and tracked with great concern for the environment and, to me, that’s showing respect for these memories.”

Pieces from the capsule collection are available now on each of the six designer’s respective websites. Retail prices start at $1,000.

This is the not the first time the mining company has brought in independent jewelry designers to create pieces around its colored diamonds. Through its “Diamonds with a Story” campaign, Rio Tinto has previously collaborated with designers like Jennifer Dawes and Suzanne Kalan.

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