Reena Ahluwalia Designs 'Courageous Spirit' Collection 

Rio Tinto Makes Indian Diamond History, Unveils Inaugural Bunder Diamond Jewelry. 

August 2012 - Rio Tinto unveiled the inaugural Bunder diamond jewelry collection comprising diamonds from the sampling to date at its developing Bunder project in Madhya Pradesh. 

The Courageous Spirit jewelry collection holds a very special place in Indian diamond history as it has been at least a century since India has mined, designed and manufactured its own diamond jewelry," said Dr Nik Senapati, Managing Director of Rio Tinto India. 

Madhya Pradesh-born designer, Reena Ahluwalia was commissioned to design the Courageous Spirit jewelry as a tribute to the women of Madhya Pradesh. The focus of the necklace is a stunning diamond-encrusted disc that symbolizes the natural abundance of the Bunder diamond deposit. Inspired by a compass, the disc rotates on a central axis, while a marker points to the true centre of the Bunder story - the earthly origins of the diamonds and the pioneering spirit of the people who are so integral to Bunder's development. The latitude and longitude coordinates of the Bunder diamond deposit are inscribed on the back of the disc.

Titled Courageous Spirit, the jewelry features a magnificent statement necklace and a set of complementary earrings. The collection incorporates a total of 25.34 carats of polished Bunder diamonds and 2.8 carats of rough Bunder diamonds, including a 5.04 carat round brilliant cut white diamond and a 5.02 carat round brilliant cut cognac diamond.

“As a woman born and brought up in the region (Madhya Pradesh), creating this milestone collection is like coming a full circle. I am honoured to tell the Bunder story through my designs and be a part of this historic diamond moment,” said Reena Ahluwalia.

Maintaining the important Indian pedigree of the collection, the rough diamonds have been carefully transformed by master craftsmen in Indian cutting and polishing factories, while the innovative design has been brought to life with designer Reena Ahluwalia by Indian jewelry manufacturer Uni-Design Jewellery Private Ltd - a Mumbai-based company with a reputation for exquisite craftsmanship. Rio Tinto partnered with Venus Jewel and Mahendra Brothers to cut and polish the stones.

Guest of Honour at the event was the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan. According to Bruce Cox, Managing Director of Rio Tinto Diamonds, "By harnessing the skill and creativity of India's respected diamond artisans, these magnificent jewelry pieces are symbolic of an important new chapter in the country's proud diamond history.” 

The Bunder project, likely to come into commercial production in 2016, presents enormous opportunities not only for the Madhya Pradesh region, but for the broader Indian diamond industry as well, with Rio Tinto presenting a unique opportunity for India to mine, manufacture and market its own diamonds."

The Courageous Spirit collection is not available for sale, but will be showcased at a number of events throughout the second half of 2012.

Photos: Rio Tinto Diamonds.