Nina’s Jewellery in the East Kimberley are one of Australia’s most unique jewellers, specialising in rare pink and coloured diamonds.
We spoke to their Product Manager and designer of the Rainbow Collection, Shivangi Modi, on what makes their gems so special.
Can you tell me about your background and your role as Product Manager at Nina’s Jewellery?
I’ve been in jewellery since I was 16. I studied at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in New York and have worked as a Diamond Buyer in the Diamond District (USA) and Range Developer and Designer in Mumbai Seepz. I always aspired to move to Australia and work with gems that were so rare and unique. It was a really good opportunity when I started at Nina’s: it gave me so much growth in my diamond knowledge as well as in coloured diamonds.
Nina’s has a long relationship with the Argyle Mine in the East Kimberley, which produced some of the rarest coloured diamonds in the world. How did it first begin?
Not only were we the first ateliers, but Nina’s was also the very first to buy a pink diamond from the Argyle Mine – we even have that receipt framed! From there, we shared a very close relationship with the mine for 35 years. Another advantage for Nina’s is that we are located so close to the Kimberley region, as we are based in the mining town of Kununurra.
The Argyle Mine is famous for its rare pink, blue and even violet diamonds, as well as a range of champagne and white diamonds. What gives these diamonds their unique colours?
The unique composition of Argyle diamonds is attributed to a volcanic pipe — commonly known as the Argyle pipe — made of olivine lamproite. Argyle diamonds are type IIa diamonds (a rare type of diamond with an exceptionally pure chemical composition: almost all carbon, with negligible amounts of nitrogen or boron) with a very uniform pink color. There’s no other mine or mining site in the world which has the mineral composition or carbon structure that gives the diamonds their famous pink colour and intensity. This is why the Argyle diamonds are so rare. Interestingly, the blue diamonds can often be more expensive than the pink!
What are some of the features that make a diamond more valuable?
For white diamonds, there are the four C’s: cut, colour, clarity and carat. But with the pink diamonds, it’s a different ball game. The most important thing is the intensity of the pink. You have the four P’s — P, for true pink with no secondary shades; PP, which is pink with a hint of purple; PR, which is pink rose; and PC which is pink champagne — and they are ranked on a scale of intensity from 1-9, with 1 being the highest. 3P, 4P and 5P is a good range.
What is the process of designing and crafting a piece of diamond jewellery for the Rainbow Collection?
We have a workshop in Dunsborough, which is our head office, where we have qualified master jewellers with years and years of experience. The difference between a Nina’s piece of jewellery and others is that we pay a lot of attention to the manufacturing, such as the quality, structure and strength. The devil is always in the details. The placement is also really important when you design these coloured diamonds, because they need to be placed in a certain way to reflect and complement each other: green next to pink, rose gold bevels for the pink diamonds to make them pop, and so on. We always try to be ahead of the market, and create something extraordinary
Our rainbow collection is very unique and inspired by the colours and textures of the landscape and nature. The boab pendant is representative of the most popular Kimberley designs that we have, and is our most loved and signature piece. My inspiration has been to work with the whole spectrum of coloured diamonds, and to create something that no one has seen before.
Many people are now investing in pink diamonds. Do you have many customers who are looking just to invest?
Yes, as we offer loose pink diamonds as well, which not many jewellers do. When the time is right, our customers often come back to us to get their diamond set in a unique design, because we are one of the few who offer this service as well.
What’s next for the diamond industry and Nina’s in particular?
We have come to this point where we really want to embrace ourselves as coloured diamond specialists. The unique coloured diamonds are giving us an edge. I think my greatest contribution from a design perspective would be the Rainbow Collection, because we’re doing something so different. We have diamonds in every colour of the rainbow: the burnt oranges, yellows, blues, pinks, greens and white. It’s become so popular because it’s so unique, and there’s nothing quite like it on the market.
Dazzled by diamonds? Learn more about pink diamonds here.