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Canadian Diamonds

Canada has not traditionally been thought of as a major diamond producer, however over the last 25 years this has been changing and many buyers now actively seek out Canadian diamonds. Many people are surprised to hear that Canada is now the world's third most largest diamond producer by value.

Some of the best known brands of Canadian diamonds include the suitably chilly names Canadian Ice, Eskimo Arctic Ice, and Polar Ice Diamonds.

History

The lack of knowledge about Canada's diamond supplies is probably due to their inhospitable location; most of the diamond fields lay under the icy tundra to the north of the country. The first recorded discovery of Canadian diamonds took place in the mid 1980s, however this find was not suitable for commercial production. But spurred on by the discovery further searches were made and a number of diamond rich areas discovered.

The first industrial scale diamond mine in Canada was the Ekati diamond mine in the Northwest Territories. This began production in 1998 and continues today producing an estimated 7.5 million carats of stones per year.

Other currently operational Canadian diamond mines include Diavik, Snap Lake and Victor.

Ethical Standards

One reason for the appeal of Canadian diamonds to modern jewelry buyers is their ethical status. The stones come from an internally stable country so there is no fear of supporting war through the purchase of conflict (blood) diamonds. Canada has been an active supporter of the Kimberley Process for conflict-free certification.

The Canadian government has also put in force regulations to protect the local environment around the mines as well as to ensure that local indigenous populations are treated fairly. For example the Yellowknife Dene First Nation is actively involved in the diamond business with majority ownership of a polishing plant.

At the end of the day diamond production is big business with all that entails. However these high standards, together with the quality and traceability of the stones, mean that many people consider Canadian diamonds one of the best ways to purchase diamonds ethically.

of the better known sources.