by Greg Klein | September 10, 2015
Among the debuts at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival was the largest diamond found in Canada so far, according to Birks. As a sponsor of the festival, the jeweller used the event to present its North Star stone on January 9. Mounted on a platinum ring, the 15.1-carat round brilliant comes with a $3.69-million price tag.
The sumptuous stone came to surface seven months ago as a 55.07-carat rough from Diavik, the Rio Tinto NYE:RIO/Dominion Diamond TSX:DDC 60/40 joint venture in the Northwest Territories’ Lac de Gras region. From there it went to Antwerp for cutting and polishing before being mounted in Birks’ Montreal atelier.
The jeweller classified the North Star as “D colour grade, SI2 clarity (slightly included) and excellent cut grade, as certified by the GIA [Gemological Institute of America]. Its polish and symmetry are excellent.”
The size is unusual for Canada, which doesn’t produce particularly large stones. But their quality brings high prices. Last year’s average of $166.78 per carat for Canadian rough compared with the global average of $116.17. The NWT places third internationally for diamond production by value.
Birks gets all its diamonds from Canadian mines. The company “has been committed to sourcing and providing its customers with Canadian diamonds exclusively, which have the unique attribute of being traceable back to their mine of origin, guaranteeing their provenance and ethical nature.”
Following the North Star’s Toronto debut, Birks will display the ring at its various stores in Canada and the U.S. “until it finds an owner.”