The story of Argyle DreamingTM started with a phone call from Rio Tinto and an offer we couldn’t refuse.
Argyle had just unearthed what could possibly be its last large diamond rough ahead of the mine closure in 2020, the 13.43ct rough had been cut into two amazing round brilliant diamonds of 3.55ct and 1.08ct.
The task was to tell the story of the iconic mine through design and create a piece of jewellery worthy of carrying such iconic diamonds that have become a symbol of the end of the mine’s diamond-producing life. As such, it seemed fitting to create a piece to represent both the origin and the conclusion of the Argyle Diamond Mine.
The necklace-and-ring set was handcrafted in our Gold Coast workshop utilising 673 natural Australian Argyle White and Fancy Colour Diamonds from the iconic Argyle mine in Western Australia and 237 grams of gold from Rio Tinto’s Kennecott mine in the US. All Rio Tinto mines adhere to the Kimberley Process.
Designer Jenna Dickson and our team of master jewellers of Calleija spent over 800 hours designing and crafting this piece under the guidance of John Calleija. Jenna, who has been a designer with Calleija for 16 years, drew her inspiration from the glorious story of the sunburnt lands and snaking rivers of the east Kimberley Region of Western Australia where the mine is located. The place that gave birth to some of the most beautiful diamonds the world has ever seen.
Starting the design breakdown on the right hand side of the necklace, we see the 3.55ct diamond featured at the base, signifying the mine itself. To the right of this diamond is a pattern that has been developed taking inspiration from the peaks and troughs of the Kimberley showcasing the various diamond colours the Argyle mine produces. If you place close attention, this section curves and moves with the person wearing it, which was a personal touch to show how we as humans have influence on our landscape and our own story.
Running through the centre of the 3.55ct diamond setting, there is a selection of blue diamonds, some of which are from a personal collection from the 2012 Argyle Tender representing the vast waterways of the region, specifically Lake Argyle.
Winding around the neck piece are white diamonds, leading towards the left hand side of the necklace. Yellow, Champagne and Pink Diamonds are featured on this side, paired with yellow and rose gold. Illustrating the stunning colours of the Kimberley Sunsets and combined with the inclusion of the 1.08ct white round diamond – which represents the people, traditions and community of the Kimberley region. This side of the necklace shines light and life onto the right-hand side of the necklace which represents the mine.
Because we like to push the boundaries at Calleija, we decided to also make a ring to accompany this beautiful necklace. The ring itself is an interpretation of the canyons that shape the Kimberley region – a statement to the magnificence of the land.
In true Calleija style, there’s more than meets the eye with every single one of our designs. With Argyle Dreaming, the main 3.55ct diamond from the necklace has a mechanism that can be unscrewed and used in the ring. The champagne diamond surrounded by pink diamonds that currently sits on the ring can then be screwed onto the necklace for a different look. It is part of the Calleija brand to be mesmerizing in the details.
When creating a piece with such significance, it was very important for Calleija to utilise responsibly sourced materials. The collaboration with Rio Tinto was an integral factor as their practices align with our ethos and commitment to integrity. Both the materials and craftsmanship can be traced making this an ethically sourced creation from beginning to end.
So, here it is. Argyle Dreaming is a poetic rendition to the beginning and the end of the story of the most beautiful diamonds the world has ever seen. It’s a nod to the ancient land that spend over a billion years creating these diamonds and a testament of our natural history that will stay around for many generations to come even after the story of the mine has come to an end.