In 1991, something of a windfall was created when it was discovered that kimberlite pipes in Canada's Northwest Territories yielded diamonds, rivaling both the quality and quantity of those typically found in other regions of the world, such as Brazil, South Africa and Australia. Shortly thereafter, in 1998, the pipes began to be mined, and the moniker "Polar Bear Diamonds" was internationally trademarked by Sirius Diamonds, Ltd. As it stands now, Sirius intends to increase diamond production from these mines, aiming to eventually supply 12% of the world's diamonds from this location.

The increasingly popular "Polar Bear" diamonds are a wholly-Canadian product: mined in the Arctic, cut and polished in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, and distributed by the aforementioned company, Sirius, which is a fully Canadian-owned business. Though reasonably more expensive than traditional diamonds mined elsewhere in the world, Polar Bear diamonds are nonetheless finding a growing niche market around the world, as people become more and more familiar with the problems of "blood" or "conflict diamonds", both politically-charged terms given to diamonds that are mined through slavery and exist as pawns in the continual, bloody power regime struggles across many regions in Africa. Diamond mines in Canada, on the other hand, are said to be the most industrially and environmentally regulated mines in the world.

To provide measures of authenticity, in addition to the standard AGS and GIA certifications, all Polar Bear diamonds include a near-microscopic, laser-etched polar bear and serial number along the girdle of the diamond. Furthermore, each diamond over 0.30 carats is accompanied by a "Certificate of Origin", affirming that the diamond was indeed mined in Canada's Northwest Territories.

Subjectively speaking, whether you buy much into the whole "A Diamond is Forever" marketing, or whether you care much about the dirty business behind De Beers, the Canadian diamonds do seem like interesting alternatives to the norm. One can only wonder if the prices will go down as production increases...

Works Referenced:

  • "About Sirius Diamonds" :
  • "Molecular Expressions: The Birthstone Collection - Diamond" :

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