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Gold is bold, but ice is twice as nice

By Xu Junqian ( China Daily ) Updated: 2013-11-17 10:35:26

Gold is bold, but ice is twice as nice

Rio Tinto's Diamond Fashion Jewelry series features necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings studded with small-sized diamonds shaped into patterns of butterflies, ballet girls and auspicious Chinese characters. Photos provided to China Daily

Diamonds are set to sparkle in the Chinese designer jewelry market with an upsurge of interest in every girl's best friend, Xu Junqian writes in Shanghai.

If world-leading mining company Rio Tinto has its way, diamonds will not merely be the epitome of eternal, exclusive and everlasting love.

Gold is bold, but ice is twice as nice
Rio Tinto's Diamond Fashion Jewelry series

For the past few decades, the brilliant, sparkling, mainly white stones have supplanted the traditionally most favored gold among Chinese brides. Diamonds have become the very testament of love, thanks to the preaching of foreign companies like Tiffany, Cartier and the pioneer De Beers.

In 1993, the Luxembourg-based company De Beers debuted its translated advertising slogan, "A diamond is forever", on Chinese TV. Like a curse, the line has created such an upsurge in the demand for diamonds that a successful proposal cannot be secured without a diamond ring.

But now, British-Australian metals and mining corporation Rio Tinto is trying to set a new trend in one of the world's largest jewelry markets by introducing what it calls "Diamond Fashion Jewelry".

"First, it's an accessory. Then there is the element of design. And it's priced between $300 to $1,000, meaning one can have many of them, instead of just one," explains Jean-Marc Lieberherr, the global managing director of Rio Tinto Diamonds, in an interview with China Daily in Shanghai to launch the concept.

In collaboration with five talented Asian designers, including Liu Fei, the first Chinese winner of the British Goldsmith Jewelry Design and Craftsmanship Award, a collection of four styles - Symbolism, Enchanted Nature, Romance Inspired and Play Pattern - is being introduced to "identify the design directions for diamond fashion jewelry" in China. Other designers of the collection are Aya Kamimura, Huang Chaoyan, Tong Wenwei and Zhong Hua.

Using stones from the Rio Tinto-owned Argyle diamond mine, the collection features necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings studded with small-sized diamonds designed into patterns of butterflies, ballet girls and auspicious Chinese characters.

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