Curating luxury for the discerning traveller

A CUT ABOVE

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It’s amazing to think that had it not been for a jewellery advert on TV, the world might have lost one of its most innovative jewellery designers to a different career altogether. Hearing her son profess his interest in the career he has dedicated the past 30 years to - an admission sparked by the advert being watched at the time - we have John Calleija’s mother to thank for seizing the initiative to set up an interview for him to become a jeweller’s apprentice.

CREATIVE SPIRIT
With a natural aptitude for drawing and design, it wasn’t long before the young Australian jeweller was showing his potential, and when, at the tender age of 21, the opportunity came to take on the business owned by his mentor, Calleija naturally jumped at the chance. He soon attracted the attention of Rio Tinto, owners of the Argyle Diamond Mine in Western Australia, and became one of only 30 Argyle Pink Diamond Select Ateliers in the  world, entering into a partnership that Calleija has treasured over the past two decades. “I spent years devoting myself to the art of diamonds – blue, yellow, cognac, champagne, white, and so many others,” Calleija reveals. “Then I realised we had the rarest and most valuable diamonds right on our doorstep at the Argyle Diamond Mine. These diamonds come in a full range of hues and it’s  these gemstones that have truly inspired me, and continue to inspire me, year after year.”

Mar 6th 2014
Watches & Jewellery

It is Calleija’s ability to take these incredibly rare stones and use their beauty to their full potential that really sets this Australian jewellery house apart from the rest. Take the Aurora ring, for example. Here a 0.86-carat Fancy Intense Purplish Argyle Pink diamond is encircled by a halo of fine white diamonds, an effect which perfectly sets off the fiery hues of the star of the show at its centre. The design is sure to become an heirloom piece, one that will long outlast the mine from where the diamond originated.

Indeed, what makes Calleija’s jewels so attractive is the cachet of  of knowing that you are buying a finite natural resource whose value is only going to increase. The Argyle Diamond Mine might be the world’s primary source of pink diamonds now, but its supply is due to be exhausted in the next six years, meaning its already scarce treasures are only going to become even rarer. “Armed with this information,” says Calleija, “collectors can expect pink and red diamonds to continue to escalate in value and rarity, speaking volumes about their investment potential and their legacy for future generations.”

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30 YEARS YOUNG
This year sees Calleija honour his own 30 year heritage with the release of an iconic collection that relects the design details for which the brand is known. Comprising rings, pendants, earrings and bracelets, it is perhaps itting that an Argyle pink diamond will take pride of place in the collection. Working with his talented Master Craftsmen, who have the ability to turn their founder’s imaginative designs into reality, John Calleija has created a stunning ring that features a 0.53-carat round brilliant cut Argyle Pink diamond sourced at the Argyle Pink Diamond Tender in 2012 (an annual event where only 55-60 pink diamonds are sold to a select gathering of invited bidders). Set in platinum and rose gold and complemented by white, yellow and further pink diamonds, the piece perfectly showcases the culmination of three decades’ worth of experience.

Calleija is about so much more than these beautiful pink stones, however.In 2000, John Calleija famously won the De Beers International Design Award with Virtual Eros, a futuristic headpiece composed of 219 white diamonds that glittered on the catwalk of Alexander McQueen’s show in New York; five years later he broke new ground with the release of the company’s exclusive Glacier cut, which brought femininity to the traditional angular cushion cut.

Also, in 2012, the jeweller realised a six-year vision to create a series of pieces that celebrated the launch of Aston Martin’s One-77 – one of the most expensive supercars ever put into production. “When it comes to jewellery design, I am always trying to improve and hone my craft, and often say that my last design is my best, probably because I’m always excited about my latest creation,” he laughs. And with clients also able to commission bespoke, handcrafted pieces that are complete one-offs, Calleija undoubtedly has a long and prosperous future ahead. Here’s to the next 30 years.

14 The Royal Arcade, 28 Old Bond Street, W1S 4SW
020 7499 8490 
www.calleija.com.au

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