Designer John Calleija
Calleija is a name synonymous with exquisite design and remarkable craftsmanship.
From a young age, John Calleija recognised his own innate desire to design beautiful works of art. From putting pen to paper as a boy, to becoming one of the world’s few Argyle Pink Diamond Select Ateliers, John has dedicated his life to creating beautiful objects.
John’s journey from artistic youngster to master jeweller started with an apprenticeship with a Maltese jeweller who taught him the trade and nurtured his passion for creativity and unique design.
John’s passion for bespoke jewellery only grew with time and led him to eventually strike out on his own, building the brand we know as Calleija today. With a keen eye for detail and a dedication to quality, John soon became a household name among both the jewellers and jewellery enthusiasts of the world. John has a unique ability to create pieces which enhance the beauty of their wearers, at once stealing and sharing the limelight. Capturing the natural beauty of the highest quality of diamonds, gemstones, gold and platinum, Calleija is recognised for creating beautiful jewellery which is as much a piece of artwork as it is a wearable treasure.
“The astonishing beauty of precious gems gives me the desire to express myself through the splendour of jewellery,” says John. “If you can imagine it we can breathe life into it – much to the delighted eyes of our clientele.”
Over the years, the Calleija family has steadily grown to incorporate in-house master jewellers who share John’s enthusiasm for exceptional design. Meanwhile, John himself can still be found scribbling away at his hand-drawn designs in the flagship Calleija boutique at the Gold Coast’s Marina Mirage. Preferring to eschew computer-aided design in favour of pencil and paper, John credits his success to this approach.
While many jewellers seek to create pieces that will be recreated countless times for large jewellery houses, John has no interest in this type of design. Calleija’s clients recognise John’s commitment to one-of-a-kind creations, brought to life through imagination and collaboration with his clientele. This philosophy is held by John’s entire Calleija team, who work tirelessly to ensure that the highest quality of craftsmanship is met with singularly distinctive design.
“Bespoke, handmade and individually created with dedication – that’s our passion. In my mind handmade jewellery creations that personalise and reflect your individual style are always treasured for generations to come,” says John. “It’s intangible – you can feel it, touch it but it’s hard to explain it. You just know it.”
Calleija’s newly unveiled artisan workshops, in the Gold Coast’s Marina Mirage and London’s Royal Arcade in Mayfair, are a melting pot of truly remarkable talent. Housing Calleija’s skilled artisans, these workshops offer clientele a rare glimpse into the mastery behind a world-renowned, award-winning jeweller.
No stranger to international recognition, John’s talent and skill were honoured most notably in 2000, when he took home the much-coveted De Beer International Diamond Design Award for his ‘Virtual Eros’. The $500,000 futuristic diamond face mask features almost 44 carats of brilliant diamonds and has since been chosen to appear in Alexander McQueen’s catwalk collection and featured in countless publications. Style icon, Madonna, named Virtual Eros her favourite piece among the Design Award entrants in its winning year. The exquisite piece can now be viewed in Calleija’s Royal Arcade boutique in Mayfair, London.
John Calleija has since gone on to be awarded countless awards, having been named The Grand Prix winner The Australian Jewellery Design Award for his creation of a diamond tiara featuring white and rose gold with Australian Argyle Pink Diamonds and brilliant white diamonds, as well as being awarded the Harpers Bazaar Diamond Guild of Australia Award for another two of his innovative creations.
Not content to simply design pieces with carefully chosen materials of the highest quality, John spent over two years perfecting his very own, exclusive diamond cut. The Glacier Diamond was created to capture maximum brilliance while maintaining the feminine quality so famously represented by traditional cushion cuts. Since its introduction, the Glacier cut has gone on to inspire Calleija’s clientele in a range of incredible diamond engagement rings. To date, John counts the Glacier among his most significant achievements, which will no doubt carry Calleija’s legacy for many a lifetime.
As further testament to John’s remarkable skill and talent for design, he also boasts the title of Argyle Pink Diamond Select Atelier. This exclusive league of artisans is invited to attend Rio Tinto’s Argyle Diamond Mine’s annual Argyle Mine Pink Diamond Tender and each of the ateliers is afforded the opportunity to secure the world’s rarest and most valuable pink and red diamonds. Calleija’s superb range of pink diamond creations can be seen at any of its exquisite boutiques, including Marina Mirage, Mayfair’s Royal Arcade and Sydney’s Fullerton Hotel on Martin Place.
John Calleija’s lifetime of dedication to innovation, exceptional design and superior quality is highlighted by his continued worldwide recognition as a truly gifted jeweller and designer. To own a Calleija piece is to possess a work of art, a true masterpiece.
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