Code of conduct for authenticating Canadian diamonds approved

Canada's diamond industry has drawn up a new code of conduct for authenticating Canadian diamonds.

The Canadian Diamond Code Committee launched the Voluntary Code of Conduct for Authenticating Canadian Diamond Claims. The code is endorsed by the Competition Bureau and complaints about any failure to comply will be investigated by the bureau.

Representatives from mining, cutting and polishing, wholesale and retail sectors and the Canadian Jewellers Association make up the committee.

The code comes on the heels of efforts by the international diamond industry to prevent "blood diamonds" from infiltrating the market. These are illegal gems sold from countries such as Sierra Leone and Angola. The diamonds have paid for civil wars in those countries.

But Phyllis Richard of Jewellers Vigilance Canada says the new rules are not about dirty diamonds.

"It's simply a patriotic question. Some Canadians wish to know that their diamond was mined in Canada."

The code sets out the precise paper trail for a diamond, from the mine to the consumer. A Canadian diamond is one that is mined in Canada. The cutting and polishing can occur elsewhere.

  • It costs $25 plus GST for up to two diamonds per piece of jewellery and $50 plus GST for three or more diamonds per piece
  • Call: 1 866 399 1118
  • Visit the Web site
  • A diamond identification number will be assigned to each polished diamond, put on by lasers. That ID number will correspond to a production number (assigned by cutters and polishers) which in turn, will be linked to another number (the rough diamond parcel number) assigned by the mining company.

    The code sets out the process for authentication at every level of a diamond's production from rough to polished to sale. At each level, names and addresses of the companies involved, certification numbers, descriptions and dates of invoices will accompany each diamond.

    Cutters and polishers will be required to retain invoices from where the rough diamond was purchased for a minimum of seven years.

    Retailers who have signed on to the code will display a decal or signage indicating they are complying with the new rules.

    When a Canadian diamond is bought, the consumer should get a polished diamond certificate/report and an invoice containing:

    • A description of the diamond
    • A Diamond ID number
    • A statement that it originates from Canada and the address of the issuer of the certificate
    • A date of purchase
    • Name and address of the retailer
    • Information about the Canadian Diamond Authentication Process