The Champagne Diamonds Blog
Warm. Chic. Exotic. Alluring. Classical. Champagne diamonds are the haute couture of natural color diamonds

Rio Tinto Diamonds Announces Winners of Global Design Competition

January 10, 2012 15:16 by Kate Guimond

New York, NY, November 8, 2011, Rio Tinto Diamonds today announced the winners of its Global Design Competition, awarded by an elite panel of eight judges from the fashion and jewelry industries.

The judging panel, at an event at the Kristin Hanson Gallery, selected nine winners from a record number of entries from the US, Canada, Australia, India, China and Hong Kong, across four categories of jewelry design: Champagne, Silvermist, Canadian Diamonds and Sustainable Jewelry.

According to jewelry judge and style editor Mr Michael O’Connor, “I was extremely impressed with how each of the designers interpreted the challenge and came up with unique and beautiful jewelry pieces that highlight the use of Rio Tinto’s diverse diamonds portfolio.”

The judging panel also referred to the incredible variety of designs, from classic pieces through to contemporary interpretations, often with nature and the elements as the source of inspiration.

Rebecca Foerster, Manager of Rio Tinto Diamonds' US Representative Office, commented on the results, "We were delighted with the level of interest in the competition from all over the world and we look forward to working with the winning designers to showcase their creativity".

As a result of their efforts, the nine winning designers will have many opportunities for significant exposure to the US jewelry industry, including their designs being showcased at a suite at the 2012 Academy Awards.

The winning designs are as follows:

Champagne Diamonds Master Craftsman- Nejal Rajesh Mehta, India,

“The World of Champagne” earrings feature pave set champagne diamonds in a captivating gradient of color.

Champagne Diamonds Rising Star- Stacey Lindsell, Australia,

The "Desert Rose” bracelet featuring champagne diamonds tapering in color and pave set in petals to enhance the form and reflect the rich and natural colors of the earth. It is set in 18K white gold with white diamonds to accent the flowers.

Silvermist Diamonds™ Master Craftsman- Joseph Weinreich, US

The “Nature’s Beauty” flower cuff is encrusted in Silvermist Diamonds™, symbolizing this gift from Mother Nature and featuring a pearl in its centre.

Silvermist Diamonds™ Master Craftsman- Dean Walker, Australia

The “Silvermist Express” bangle was inspired by a desire to create something that will inspire hope. This 18K white gold bangle appears to float around the wrist of the wearer. The “train”, adorned with striking Silvermist diamonds, moves on its track also made with Silvermist diamonds.

Silvermist Diamonds™ Rising Star- Vijayshree Sovani, India

This Silvermist Diamond™ bracelet "The Sands of Time", is inspired by the ripples in desert sand as well as the winds of time. It is set in white gold with black rhodium accents.

Canadian Diamonds Master Craftsman- Reena Ahluwalia, Canada

The “Canoe” Canadian Diamond necklace is inspired by the poetic image of a magical Canadian landscape- a canoe in an icy, crystalline frozen lake. The Canoe is known as a carrier of Canadian myths, a symbol that represents voyage, discovery, harmony with nature, and courage.

Canadian Diamonds Rising Star- Michelle Buxani, Temptations, Hong Kong

“Rain Dance” earrings featuring Canadian Diamonds are set in white gold with yellow gold accents. This design was inspired by the sun shining through the clouds after rain, with rays of light hitting the water.

Sustainable Jewelry Master Craftsman- Nadia Neuman, Australia

The “Tyger, Tyger” fan melds together functionality and luxury all from a sustainable perspective. In addition to using 100% sustainable materials in the design, the Tiger motif represents nature as an endangered creature and reminds its user of the need to care for the earth.

Sustainable Jewelry Rising Star- V. Saravanan, India

“The Creator” necklace is a true homage to nature. Utilizing recycled materials such as plastic toothpaste tubes and mixing in the natural beauty of Silvermist Diamonds™, this design uses a mesh design to remind people to protect the earth and nature and find ways to recycle plastic materials.

- ends -

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (48) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

Rio Tinto Diamonds Announces Judges for Global Design Competition

November 2, 2011 13:15 by Meryl Chatham

October 28, 2011 New York October 18, 2011, Rio Tinto Diamonds has announced an elite panel of eight judges from the jewelry and fashion industries, to decide the winners of the Rio Tinto Diamonds Global Design Competition. The prestigious design competition was launched in August to inspire creativity and innovation across four categories of jewelry design, which reflect the diverse nature of Rio Tinto’s diamonds and its strong commitment to sustainable jewelry practices. These categories include Champagne Diamonds, Silvermist Diamonds, Canadian Diamonds and Sustainable Jewelry. The panel of eight judges will announce the winners at the awards event to be held at the Kristin Hanson Gallery, featuring a private diamond atelier, in New York City on November 1st. According to jewelry designer Kristin Hanson, "I am honored to be on the judging panel and hosting the 2011 Rio Tinto Diamonds Global Design Competition. As an educator and an artist it will be great to see the work of talented jewelry designers from around the globe." Entries for the design competition close on October 28th, 2011.

Eight winning designers will be selected, and their designs will be showcased at a suite at the 2012 Academy Awards. Details of the panel of eight judges are as follows:

Fern Mallis – Fern Mallis is widely credited as the creator of New York Fashion Week while Executive Director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and later as Senior Vice President at leading events management company IMG, as their Fashion Week global ambassador. Fern is also President of her own international fashion and design consultancy firm.

Phillip Bloch - One of Hollywood’s premiere fashion stylists and commentators, Philip Bloch has styled many notable celebrities such as Halle Berry, Sandra Bulloch, Mariah Carey and Nicole Kidman. As an author, television personality, and fashion designer, Philip is in much demand for his insights into the world of fashion and style.

Ramona Singer - Ramona Singer is a New York businesswoman who has developed several innovative fashion jewelry collections that have earned the acclaim of design critics. Ramona is currently a cast member of the US television program, “The Real Housewives of New York City.”

Kristin Hanson - Kristin Hanson is a jewelry designer whose creative philosophy embodies contemporary designs to accentuate the innate beauty of rare diamonds and exotic gems. In 2006, Kristin Hanson established the Fine Jewelry School in New York.

Melissa Lum - Melissa Lum is the Senior Accessories Editor of the shopping and style publication, Lucky Magazine.

Jennifer Heebner - As Senior Editor of the Jewelers Circular Keystone (JCK) Magazine, Jennifer Heebner has covered jewelry and business trends for JCK for over 13 years.

Michael O’Connor - Jewelry and red carpet style expert with more than 25 years experience, Michael O’Connor is a coveted style correspondent and Style Editor for the television shopping channel QVC.

Glenn Curtis - Glenn Curtis is the Director and Founder of Curtis Australia, who specializes in fine, traditional handcrafted jewelry and object d’art.

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (10) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

Rio Tinto Diamonds Launches Global Design Competition

August 11, 2011 11:30 by Meryl Chatham

Rio Tinto Diamonds Launches Global Design Competition

Rio Tinto Diamonds has announced the launch of an exciting global design competition aimed at inspiring creativity and innovation across four categories of diamond jewelry design.  These categories reflect the diverse nature of Rio Tinto's diamonds and its commitment to sustainable jewelry practices.

According to Rebecca Foerster, Manager of Rio Tinto Diamonds US Representative Office,

"We are delighted to be announcing this competition at a time when the jewelry industry is hungry for product innovation and design. This competition has a number of unique categories which will provide the opportunity for both new and emerging designers to showcase their craft."

The competition is open to entrants from the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, China, India, and Australia, who can submit designs in the following categories: Champagne Diamonds, Silvermist Diamonds, Canadian Diamonds and Sustainable Jewelry.  There are also two levels of entry - "Rising Star" and "Master Craftsman" - and participating designers will have the opportunity to express the unique story of inspiration for their design.

The design competition closes on October 26, 2011, with judging to take place in New York on November 2, 2011.  The eight winning designs will be chosen by a panel of elite jewelry designers, fashion experts and celebrity stylists. The winning designs will be showcased at a suite at the 2012 Oscars, along with significant media exposure.

For more information and to enter the Rio Tinto Diamonds Global Design Competition please download the rules and entry forms below:

RTDGlobalDesignComp_Facts.pdf (48.24 kb)

RisingStar_RTDCompRelease.pdf (139.89 kb)

MasterCraftsman_RTDCompRelease.pdf (139.74 kb)

RTDGlobalDesignComp_Rules.pdf (235.11 kb)

Its all about Fringe

July 28, 2011 17:58 by Meryl Chatham

Summer is the perfect time to have fun with accessories, particularly jewelry. With significantly less fabric covering our bodies, hemlines hiked up and sleeves slashed, we're given a golden opportunity to let our wrists, necks and ears make some major stylistic statements.  
Fringe jewelry is my absolute favorite way to make an impression with accessories this summer. 
I love fringe accents in general –  on bags, shoes, clothes – I enjoy it all, which is why I’m so glad it’s made a ripple-like influence into jewelry this season. And it’s fantastic. 
This year, Louis Vuitton and Chanel incorporated amazing pieces of fringe jewelry into their 2011 summer collections, including long fringe earrings in metallic colors; a great add-on to a summer wardrobe that can be dressed up or down.   
My mission now was to find fringe jewelry accented with champagne diamonds.  Not surprisingly, I found many pieces that showcase champagne diamonds in dramatic and beautiful fringe designs.  
Just one look at Nina Bukvic's gold and silver fringe drop earrings with cognac diamonds make me want to party! They have rock star written all over them… champagne please… the kind WITH bubbles.
These 18k gold chandelier earrings with black and brown diamond fringe, contrary to the previous design, are classic and delicate; proving that fringe does not only have ‘rock-star’ appeal.  
Now for a statement piece. This fringe necklace is stunning, made all in 18k Italian gold. I love that the clasp is just as glamorous, featuring a large piece of carved jade embedded with champagne diamonds.  
Last but not least, a pair of fabulous fringe earrings, designed by Italian jeweler Lucia Odeschalchi. Made in 24k gold with brown diamonds and oxidized silver fringe, these shoulder dusters are chic and graphic in an Art Deco sort of way. Not to mention that they immediately dress up any look.  


Arthropods in Champagne

July 12, 2011 22:43 by Meryl Chatham

Amidst the flash and glamour of the modern fashion world, not to mention the hard exterior of the metropolis that is New York City (where I call home), it’s easy to fail to see and appreciate the beauty of nature. 

I think that’s why I’m so enthralled with intricate jewelry designs inspired by the complexity that nature embodies. I always appreciate unique jewelry and right now I’m especially intrigued by pieces that replicate insects, snakes and all of the creatures that would usually have me screaming in terror.

 In my search to find the most impressive and intricate arthropods I found that so many of these designs contain Champagne Diamonds. And why not? Champagne Diamonds epitomize nature with their warm and earthy color palette. They are the perfect medium to bring these designs to life. Here are some of my favorites.

I love these Roberto Coin Scorpion Earrings. The dark cognac color of the diamonds give the earrings a mysterious depth which provide just the right tinge of danger - a true testament to the insect they are meant to embody.


Here, Champagne Diamonds come together to capture one of nature’s creatures in Ileana Makrid’s beautiful Beetle pendant. I especially love how the chain is made of steel. The juxtaposition of the warm natural color diamonds with the hard steel is something I love to see.


I even found insect designs on the fashion runway. They appeared in a major way in Lanvin’s Spring 2011 collection where Alber Elbaz incorporated insect accessories in almost all of his looks.  

I can’t say for sure that his designs contained diamonds but for the champagne color palate used in this beautiful shot below I had to feature it.  

Champagne Diamonds - The best way to compliment Fashion Week's HOTTEST color trend

September 20, 2010 18:19 by Meryl Chatham

I know you’re all sulking, myself included, that summer is over. Yes - its over! And although change is sometimes more frightening than being caught wearing linen after Labor Day the good news is we once again have a 'legitimate' reason to shop. 

As both a New Yorker and a fashion lover, there’s no better reminder of this than New York’s famed Fall Fashion Week. We all know that what comes down the runways during this acclaimed week in September will set the stage for the must have trends that will hit our favorite stores come Spring 2011.

Now as much as it pains me to say it, I didn’t make it inside of the tents but I did make it my mission to know exactly what was going on behind them.  My research found that what was going on behind the tents wasn't much different than what was actually occurring outside of them. 

Not making sense? Think a bit harder! What else is synonymous with Fall? Here’s a hint – Color! Leaves in every possible shade of beige, yellow, gold and orange begin dressing the trees (pun intended). 

Show after show I saw ensembles of earthy hues walk the runways of top designer's including Rebecca Minkoff, Michael Kors, Donna Karen, Derek Lam and Charlotte Ronson to name just a few. Take a look!



  Donna Karan  

                                                                           Richard Chai LOVE



More striking than the unique differences in each of the collections is the striking commonality - the color palettes used! Hues from light beige to cognac and browns were everywhere, and as you know it’s not only cut and style trends that make a look current but its color that really pulls a look together. This earthy color spectrum is fashion's most decadent neutral and the trend doesn’t end with clothing. It translates into jewelry as well and what better way to accessorize the season's hottest looks than with Champagne Diamond jewelry.




With soft, radiant tones and exquisite shades from light champagne to rich brown, natural color Champagne Diamonds radiate warmth, sophistication and beauty which make them the perfect accompaniment to your wardrobe.  


This season, take a lesson direct from New York's runways and make Champagne Diamonds your jewelries most decedent neutral!
Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (5) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed


November 2, 2009 12:33 by Meryl Chatham

 The one-of-a-kind winning pieces from Rio Tinto’s 2009 Champagne Diamond Design Competition are debuting for the first time to the public. The designs, that began as sketches, are finally complete after months of anticipation! The winning designs - a necklace, two sets of earrings and a brooch - will form part of a nation-wide travelling exhibition, hosted by leading US jewelry retail locations! The winning jewelry designs will tour throughout the US to eight different US retail outlets from November 2 to December 27.

All four designs do a wonderful job of emphasizing the beauty that can be attained through the use of all of the different shades in the Champagne diamond spectrum. To see the finished pieces in person and possibly meet the designers themselves you can visit the following locations during the dates specified below! Dont miss out!

November 2-8   
George Walton's Gold & Diamond Co.  
4300 Old Seward Highway        
Anchorage, AK 99503        

November 9-15  
Hyde Park  
3000 East First Ave                        
Denver, CO 80206  

November 16-22

Hyde Park  
Biltmore Fashion Park  
2442 E. Camelback Rd.  
Phoenix, AZ 85016  
(602) 667-3541

November 23-30  
St John & Myers  
150 South Elkhorn Village                   
4379 Harrodsburg Road                     
Lexington, Kentucky 40513  

December  1-6

Wick and Greene
121 Patton Avenue                 
Ashville, NC 28801   

December 7-13

3134 East Camelback Road
Phoenix AZ 85016

December 14-20

Black Starr & Frost
3333 Bristol Street, Suite 2413                                     
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

December 21-27

Calhoun Jewelers
500 Main Street
Royersford, PA 194
(610) 948-851

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (3) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

Champagne Diamond Design Competition

August 13, 2009 12:13 by Meryl Chatham

Diamonds have a life of their own. This was proved true at the Rio Tinto Champagne Diamond Design Competition, where four competitors succeeded in bringing champagne diamonds to life by combining the warm range of light champagne to deep cognac colors in their expressive and inspired designs.
Evelyn Huang of evelynH Jewelry Inc. was named the "Champagne Visionary" as the 1st place winner of Rio Tinto Diamond’s Champagne Diamond Contest! In her piece, "Bulles de Champagne Collier", she wanted to create a champagne diamond necklace that conveyed elation, joy, and spirit. Rio Tinto is honored to award Evelyn Huang with the title of Champagne Visionary for her beautiful necklace that best highlighted the range of light champagne diamonds to the deeper tones.

Joana Miranda was awarded the second place "Champagne Wishes" title for her "Champagne Tango Earrings". Her love for the tango comes across in the movement of these graduated color champagne diamond earrings which appear to twist magically through the ear.
The third place, "Champagne Evenings", was awarded to Graham Edney. He brought butterflies into his gorgeous design: a delicate yet bold pair of butterfly drop earrings. These gorgeous babbles made of marquis diamond back cut peridot were topped with a Tsavorite stem. This unusual design stems from his couture design studio work in Santa Barbara.
Vincent Bisazza, on behalf of Charles Koll Jewellers in San Diego, was awarded the fourth place prize entitled "Champagne Days." He designed a gorgeous brooch called "Flute", composed of a stunning range of champagne diamond colors. These colors made the brooch seem to move whimsically in the light as does bubbly Champagne in a crystal flute.
Congrats to the four winners of the Rio Tinto Design Contest!

Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (3) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

Brown is the New Black

July 10, 2008 17:40 by Admin
For those of you fashionistas, you know that Brown is the New Black and is all the rage on runways worldwide.  It used to be that brown was not considered a high fashion color but now you see it everywhere and it is beautiful.  The subtle but sophisticated tones of the champagne diamonds- which range from light champagne tones to the darker and rarer fancy cognacs - are finding a  large audience here in the States.  Even celebrities are wearing them to go with their red carpet gowns.  They are really neutral and can be worn with almost any color as well.  A  nice fresh, affordable alternative to white diamonds.  Chanpagnes, because of their various colors allow you to express your individuality and be different.
Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (21) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

Where do champagne diamonds come from?

April 10, 2008 23:07 by Rebecca Foerster

Rio Tinto’s Argyle Diamond Mine in the rugged and beautiful East Kimberley region of Western Australia is the world’s largest producer of champagne diamonds. The East Kimberley is a land of rugged mountain ranges, deep gorges and arid savannah within which lie pipes of lamproite, diamond-bearing ore.

The Australian Aborigines who are traditional owners of the land in the East Kimberley believe that the diamonds were formed when a barramundi fish escaped through a spinifex net. According to that myth, the colors of the diamonds mined from the red earth of the region come from different parts of the barramundi.

Rio Tinto’s Argyle Diamond Mine operates in partnership with local communities within this region, ensuring that it provides a legacy of stronger, healthier communities, and that the rights of traditional owners are observed and respected.