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How to Recognize Canadian Diamonds January 6, 2010

Posted by Jill Renee in : Canadian Diamonds, Diamonds , trackback

Canadian diamonds provide a new alternative to people who want to buy diamonds, but are not comfortable with buying pieces that are potentially “conflict diamonds.”  A “conflict diamond,” by the UN’s definition, is a diamond mined by a non-legitimate government force in order to fund a rebellion.  Additionally, some people are still concerned about the legitimate governments that deal in diamond mining and production, because there is a lot of talk about human rights violations in those circumstances as well.

While diamond production and mining has become far safer and more politically-correct in the past few years, one way to be absolutely sure that no wrong has been done by producing the diamond you buy is to seek out a Canadian diamond.  Canadian diamonds account for only 15% of all the diamonds in the marketplace, but they account for 80% of all Excellent and Ideal cut diamonds.

Other diamond miners and producers have caught on to the popularity of Canadian diamonds, and have tried to mislead consumers by marketing their diamonds (mined in places other than Canada) as Canadian diamonds, so there is a little confusion in the diamond marketplace about how to recognize a Canadian diamond.  There are only two ways to be sure.

One way to be sure is the GNWT Certificate of Authenticity.  The GNWT (Government of the Northwest Territories) certification system tracks the diamond all the way from extraction from the ground to its velvet cushion at the jeweler’s.  This is important, because some diamonds mined in Canada are still sent to Asia or Africa for cutting and polishing – which gets you back into the sticky questionable human rights territory.  GNWT-certified diamonds guarantee the diamond in question was mined in Canada, and handled ethically (most likely in Canada the whole time) all throughout the process.

The certificate bears the GNWT’s polar bear insignia and includes a Gemprint of the diamond.  A Gemprint is just what it sounds like – it is a “fingerprint” of the diamond:  a digital scan of the landscape of the diamond so you can be sure the diamond you’ve bought is actually the diamond that is certified.

To take the precautions one step further, each Canadian diamond that is mined, cut, and polished in the Northwest Territories of Canada come laser-imprinted with a unique serial number.  The number can only be seen with a microscope, so no worries about staring into your pretty gem and seeing somebody’s serial number.  The number is etched into the girdle of the diamond (which is the “rim between the flatter top and the pointed bottom”) and is proof-positive that the diamond is legitimately a Canadian diamond.

Again, while diamond mining and production practices have improved a great amount in past years, the extra piece of mind obtained from buying a Canadian diamond can make all the difference for someone who still has questions or concerns about typical diamonds that are mined in the usual places and could potentially be in league with those who have questionable business practices.  Additionally, Canadian diamonds are some of the cleanest, brightest, most perfect diamonds on the market.  Isn’t your special someone worth the extra effort?


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