The International Gemological Institute (IGI) will open a Toronto laboratory this summer to certify diamonds mined in North America.
Diamonds were discovered in Canada in 1991. One mine is in full production and several others are in various stages of development. According to the Canadian Government of the Northwest Territories, once all of the mines are in production an estimated 12% of the world’s diamonds will be produced in Canada. This would put Canada in the top five diamond-producing jurisdictions.
IGI will be the first international gem laboratory to open a complete facility in Canada, according to an IGI statement. The Institute has a large pre-existing Canadian client base and has seen the demand for their services in Canada rise considerably over the past few years.
Jerry Ehrenwald, president of IGI North & South America, said the lab will be a pure Canadian operation which will employ a large staff of Canadians within a year of its opening (in July or August).
“We believe Canada has a grand future in the diamond industry,” Ehrenwald said in a statement. “We are opening a lab in Toronto to meet the ever increasing demand for independent, unbiased diamond certification from both jewelers and consumers.”
IGI’s services include: Laserscribe, a U.S. patented diamond laser inscription service awarded to IGI in the early 1980s (invisible to the naked eye), diamond reports, colored stone reports, identification and appraisal reports, and diamond and colored stone courses offered through IGI’s School of Gemology.
The International Gemological Institute, which tests and values gemstones and fine jewelry, was established in 1975 and is located in New York City, Antwerp, Bangkok, Mumbai and Tokyo. IGI educational facilities are also located in Cavalese, Italy; Seoul, South Korea; and Dubai.