First Ontario-made diamonds go up for sale
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, April 22, 2010 11:38AM EDT
TORONTO - Starting next week, you'll be able to show your love with a home-grown diamond -- if you can afford it.
Some of the first diamonds to be mined in Ontario will be going up for sale at Birks' flagship store in downtown Toronto on Monday.
The 100 Ontario-certified gems are extremely high-quality, with a retail value that's 10 to 15 per cent higher than other diamonds because they are mined and processed in one place.
Mining Minister Michael Gravelle says shoppers who buy the sparkling rocks will be supporting Ontario's diamond industry -- one of the few in the world that can take the diamonds from the mine to a store all within one province.
It's the first batch available from DeBeers Canada's Victor Mine, near Attawapiskat in northern Ontario, which began operations in 2008.
The glittering gems will be available in Toronto until May 1st, when they will travel around Canada to be exhibited in other major cities.
But this won't be the first time Ontario shows off its gems: the Victor crystals made a sparkling entrance at the Ontario legislature as part of a diamond-studded mace last spring.
The Victor Mine is expected to produce about 600,000 carats of diamonds each year during its projected 12-year lifespan.
It's the province's first diamond mine and DeBeers' second in Canada, after the Snap Lake mine in the Northwest Territories.