Made in Canada

The government of Canada’s diamond-producing province, the Northwest Territories, is now certifying diamond origin and cut quality. Three diamond-cutting firms—Arslanian Cutting Works, Deton’cho Diamonds, and M. Ben-Dor Diamonds—are voluntary participants in the program. The government of the Northwest Territories certifies that diamonds cut by the companies are natural and that they were mined, cut, and polished in the Northwest Territories.

To qualify for certification, diamonds must meet cut standards established by the government of the Northwest Territories. Manufacturers sign an agreement that allows the government to inspect and monitor their cutting factories. It’s the only program in the world that follows a mined diamond through the cutting process and certifies its origin. All certified diamonds are Gemprinted and registered in the Gemprint International Database.

Since 1991, numerous diamond-bearing kimberlite pipes have been discovered in the Northwest Territories. At least 300 have attracted the attention of several of the world’s largest mining companies, including BHP and De Beers.

The Ekati Mine, operated by BHP, has an estimated output of 3 million to 5 million carats annually. The Diavik Diamonds Project, a joint venture of Rio Tinto and Aber Diamond Corp., should begin production in 2003. It’s expected to produce approximately 6 million carats annually.

The Northwest Territories’ certificate proclaims each diamond to be the real McCoy and bestows its official brand name—the Canadian Arctic Diamond—on each. The Northwest Territories government says this is proof that the polished diamond is “Canadian by all definitions.”

Branding these diamonds doesn’t preclude the three diamond manufacturers, or others, from creating their own brands to attach to the Northwest Territories designation. M. Ben-Dor, for example, has launched its Tundra Diamond brand.

Probably the most recognizable brand and inscription is from Sirius Diamonds, which does not participate in the voluntary Northwest Territories program. However, the company personally guarantees the Canadian origin of its polar bear brand.

For more information, contact Deton’cho at (867) 669-9914, e-mail:; Arslanian Cutting Works (NWT) Ltd. at (867) 873-0138, e-mail:; M. Ben-Dor at (800) 223-4040,

e-mail:; Sirius Diamonds at (800) 665-4377, Web site: