Diamond jewellery designed by two of India's finest jewellery designers, Vijayshree Sovani and Nejal Mehta, were showcased to the world as they made their way down the red carpet at the 84th Annual Academy Awards.
Vijayshree's diamond cuff bracelet, "The Sands of Time," was worn by actress Tabatha Coffey as she hosted the TV Guide Channel's Oscar coverage, while CSI star Barbara Eve Harris looked stunning in "The World of Champagne" earrings, designed by Nejal Mehta.
India-born designers V. Saravanan and Reena Ahluwalia were also among the nine winners of Rio Tinto Diamond's jewellery design competition, whose spectacular creations were on display to high-profile celebrities and stylists at an exclusive Oscar's suite in Los Angeles.
Jean-Marc Lieberherr, Rio Tinto's general manager for Diamonds Sales and Marketing, is delighted with the increasing global appeal of Indian jewellery designers.
"When the Argyle Diamonds marketing team first embarked on its partnership with the Indian diamond industry some 20 years ago, India-made jewellery did not have a strong profile on the international stage.
"Now, we are seeing Indian designers gaining international experience and credibility and competing successfully with the best around the world," Lieberherr said.
He added that the recent signing of the "Letter of Intent" by the Government of Madhya Pradesh, which gives Rio Tinto permission to develop the Bunder Project into a world-class mine, will give India a further foothold in the diamond industry.
"This is a very exciting time for all aspects of the diamond industry in India – from mine to market," he said.
Successful international jewellery designer and creator of the award winning "Canoe" diamond necklace, Reena Ahluwalia, is excited at the prospect of one day being able to incorporate diamonds mined from her birthplace of Madhya Pradesh into her jewellery pieces.
"To be able to design around diamonds that originated in my birthplace would be like coming full circle," said Ahluwalia.
Rio Tinto developing a Bunder mine in Madhya Pradesh would open up very exciting possibilities for the region and for the country's diamond industry as a whole, she added.
"It will mean employment for people in the region and excitement in the Indian market [since] they will have their own diamond mine and will be able to create uniquely Indian narratives," Ahluwalia said.
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