The high-end gemstone jewelry brand Diacolor has been in the news for having acquired a rare rough 5655-carat (1.13 kgs) emerald ‘Inkalamu’, at the Gemfield auction at Singapore in November 2018.Recently, Diacolor unveiled the beautiful stone at its store in the Emporio Mall in New Delhi. The event created a huge buzz, as it is not often that one is able to see up close a stone of this size and quality. Neither Gemstone nor Diacolor have disclosed the price. Rishabh Tongya, the suave Creative Director of Diacolor, was at hand to answer the many queries. He responded to a speculative cost of $2.5 million with a laugh, and said, “It is a lot more than that”.The giant emerald was unearthed at the Gemfield owned Kagem Mines in Zambia, and christened Inkalamu, which in Chibemba means ‘Lion Emerald’.
This is not the first time that Diacolor has acquired a newsmaker like the Inkalamu. In 2017, Diacolor’s Founder Chairman Raj Kumar Tongya and Rishabh Tongya had made the winning bid at an auction in Lusaka, Zambia, for one of the largest emeralds ever mined, the ‘Insofu’ weighing 6,100-carats (1.22 kgs). Insofu,which in Bemba language means ‘Baby elephant’, came from the same Kagem Mines owned by Gemfield.
Inkalamu will eventually be broken up into smaller pieces, but each piece will be traceable to the original big mother stone. This will be possible because the Inkalamu emerald utilizes the Gübelin Provenance Proof nano-tagging, allowing all future stones cut from the rough to be traced not only to the mine of origin but to the gem of origin.
Rishabh Tongya spoke at length about his family’s four generations in the lapidary business, and how his father Raj Kumar Tongya grew the business into a globally reputed firm as exporters and importers of quality diamond and gemstone manufacturing. The addition of luxury jewelry compliments the Diacolor’s other businesses of gemstone manufacturing, luxury retail and gemstone mining in Mozambique, Ethiopia and Columbia under the umbrella of Gemrock.
Commenting on the high cost of a Diacolor piece of jewelry, Rishabh said, “Diacolor is the only brand in India to use the purest and best stones.We are different. Our product is much superlative.” He also emphasized that each piece of Diacolor’s precious jewelry is like a work of art.
Comparison with other jewelry brands in India is inevitable. Rishabh Tongya said, “Most jewelers offer the sales pitch of ‘no making charge’, which is no way to sell a work of art. We have fine craftsmen and we have to pay for their expertise, knowledge, experience. And if we need to make a good product, we need to have the right people, right team. You cannot do it with 1% making charge or 2% making charge.”
As a creative director, Rishabh Tongya goes into minute details to be able to create a collectable heirloom piece. He showed a beautiful Diacolor ring, where the brownish yellow central diamond was from South Africa, the pink stones were from the Argyle Diamond Mine in western Australia, the white diamonds were from Russia, the gold was from South America.
Despite India having thousands of jewellery brands, in the business since generations, there is no luxury brand out of India, not counting Neerav Modi. Diacolor has the right ingredients to fit the bill and occupy the spot.