Diamonds are forever, they say, so it’s important that you know exactly what you are buying whether it’s a diamond engagement ring, diamond earrings or even loose diamonds. An article in today’s Montreal Gazette by Lynn Moore points to even more confusion in the Canadian diamond marketplace.
Canada is already the 3rd biggest diamond producer in the world with a production worth $ 1.4 billion and is growing strongly. Botswana is the biggest with $ 2.9 billion production and Russia is second with $ 2 billion. The total world production is about $ 8 billion and the associated transformation and jewelry sector is worth about $58 billion. So we’re talking large sums of money here.
In 2000, Robert Fowler, Canada’s ambassador to the United Nations, pointed out the dangers of “blood diamonds,” stones mined in war-torn countries or under exploitative conditions. Thereafter the UN adopted a resolution that eventually resulted in the Kimberley Process. Canada is a participant of the program, which requires diamonds to travel with certificates of origin.
There has been a National Diamond Strategy to promote the growth of the Canadian Diamond industry. Unfortunately the Canadian diamond market has been put into a state of confusion by the North West Territories (NWT), which has trademarked the terms, “Canadian Diamond” and other related terms such as “Government Certified Canadian Diamond.” The trademarks are being used exclusively for diamonds produced in the NWT. In consequence, in June 2005, the Canadian Jewellers Association announced its decision to pull out of the strategy, protesting against the exclusive use of the terms.
Polar Bear Diamond, the first Canadian diamond producer, is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec. In 1999 the Polar Bear Diamond? was the first branded diamond to be produced in Canada. All branded diamonds by Polar Bear are 100% Canadian in origin from the diamond mine located in the Northwest Territories (NWT). So they have the right to use the trademark.
Since Quebec and Ontario will both be producing diamonds clearly in Canada, this inability to use the obvious descriptions is causing a real conflict. In consequence recently the NWT has also pulled out of the National Diamond Strategy.
It would seem that if all were united in promoting Canadian Diamonds, this synergy would likely ensure an even bigger slice of the world diamond market. To an outsider, this would seem to be the most mutually beneficial outcome.
Tags: Canadian Diamonds