“I’m looking for a diamond that maximizes sparkle and fire. Want it to be relatively colorless and very clean to naked eye. Looking for a Canadian ICE diamond as well.. but not entirely sure if necessary. Budget .. want to spend as little as possible but for diamond + ring ~6000 and would be happy if I could get in for 4 or 5 thousand or even less. Thanks! R.J.”
Blue Nile offers Canadian diamonds and James Allen offers CanadaMark diamonds, however the extent of the inventory is rather limited, especially in ideal cut diamonds and those that meet my selection criteria . Be forewarned that diamonds from Canada tend to cost more because of tariffs charged by the Canadian government and costs related to branding Canadian diamonds.
Blue Nile offers a limited quantity of conflict free diamonds from Canada, which are sometimes inscribed with the Canadian Maple Leaf Diamond brand icon on the girdle edge, as will be indicated on the diamond grading report under the heading of laser inscription. I used the option to Search for Canadian Diamonds on Blue Nile within the range of 0.50 to 5.00 carats, D to J color and SI-1 to VS-1 in clarity, with a cut rating of Ideal to Blue Nile Signature Ideal and a polish and symmetry rating of GIA Excellent or AGS Ideal, with a total depth between 59 – 61.8% and a table diameter between 53 – 59% and Blue Nile provided me with three Canadian diamonds to choose from.[separator]
Now if you happen to be familiar with my preferred selection criteria which is outlined in the article 15 Seconds to Diamond Buying Success, you might realize that a table diameter of 59% is beyond my preferred range of 53 – 58% however there were no options available in Canadian Diamonds from Blue Nile within that range, so I had to expand things slightly in order to provide you with some options to consider.
Of the three Canadian diamonds which Blue Nile currently has available within the range of characteristics specified above, the only one that peaks my interest is this 0.90 carat, J-color, SI-1 clarity, Canadian Diamond from Blue Nile which is graded by the GIA with an overall cut grade of Excellent with a total depth of 60.6% and a table diameter of 59% with a crown angle of 34.5 degrees that is offset by a pavilion angle of 40.6 degrees with a slightly thick, faceted girdle and no culet. While the table diameter is one percent beyond where I’d like to see it, the crown angle and pavilion angle offset are great and I have no doubt that this diamond will be a firecracker![separator]
What I don’t like about the Canadian diamonds which Blue Nile presented as options for this particular search is that none of them bore the Canadian Maple Leaf Diamonds inscription that usually appears on the Canadian Diamonds offered by Blue Nile… so there is no way to verify that the origin of the diamond rough these diamonds were created from is actually from Canada:
Note that the other two options from Blue Nile referenced above have proportions which are well beyond my preferred range and thus they do not meet my selection criteria. Links are provided so that you may view the diamond grading reports and see that the reference to the inscription provided on the GIA diamond grading reports do not include an inscription of the Canadian Diamonds Maple Leaf logo, the only indication that these diamonds are from Canada is that they appear in the search results for Canadian Diamonds on Blue Nile.
All right, so the 0.90 carat, J-color, SI-1 clarity, Canadian Diamond from Blue Nile which is of interest to me is currently selling for $4,625.00 but why the heck would I purchase that “Canadian Diamond” when I could purchase this 0.904 carat, H-color, SI-1 clarity, round brilliant ideal cut diamond from Blue Nile which is selling for about three hundred dollars less? This is a much better diamond for the money, not only is it two color grades better and cut to a tighter range of proportions which does fit within my preferred range, but it is also graded by the American Gem Society Laboratory (AGSL) on their proprietary Light Performance grading platform which relies on Angular Spectrum Evaluation Technology (ASET) to measure the brightness of the diamond! That little red, blue and green graphic in the middle of the report reveals a lot about this diamond.[separator]
So what makes the Canadian Diamond from Blue Nile so much more expensive than the ideal cut diamond of unknown origin? It’s a combination of tariffs and taxes that are added to the cost of Canadian diamond rough by the Canadian government, and additional profits that are added to the stone for the sake of being able to assure you that it’s a conflict free diamond… even if it’s not actually inscribed with the Canadian Maple Leaf Diamonds logo!
I have to say that as a diamond buyer with almost 30 years experience, I don’t really see any difference in terms of the social or global impact between diamonds produced from Canadian diamond rough that is mined from Canada or any other country which actively participates in the Kimberley Diamond Act of 2003.
Companies which actively market diamonds from Canada make a pretty big deal about the diamonds being from Canada and how they’re “conflict free” and not “blood diamonds” but the fact is that every diamond cutter and diamond vendor I know religiously adheres to the conditions of the Kimberley Diamond Act of 2003, not only because they are intent on operating their business in a legal and ethical manner, but also because none of them would intentionally deal in blood diamonds.
By the way, the term “blood diamonds” stems from a small percentage of diamonds which were being smuggled out of Africa during the Sierra Leone Civil War which lasted from 1991 – 2002. Guerrilla forces which were fighting in the region were reportedly forcing inhabitants of the region to mine diamonds under slave-like conditions and then would try to sell the diamonds to fund their activities… while legitimate members of the diamond industry worked to restrict the flow of these diamonds to the market by creating legislation like the Kimberley Diamond Act of 2003, the Blood Diamonds movie which was released in 2006 made it appear like “blood diamonds” were a rampant problem throughout the industry.
Public interest and in some cases outrage, created by the emotions stirred by the Blood Diamonds movie, makes “conflict free diamonds” from Canada seem like the best option for people who want a diamond engagement ring, but want to ensure that their purchase is not contributing to the oppression or harm of other human beings… but I feel that the people who market Canadian diamonds are taking advantage of people’s emotions by painting a picture of the diamond industry which is not accurate, especially when the civil war in the Sierra Leone has been over for more than eleven years.
While it might seem like diamonds from Canada are a conflict free option, there is a rip tide lying just beneath the surface of the water that results from battles between the Aboriginal Tribes of Canada and the entities which stand to profit from mining diamonds in Canada.
An article published by Mining Watch Canada states: There are no clean diamonds. Exploring for them, digging them out of the ground and selling them requires sacrifices from the natural environment, from the wildlife and fish that live on it, and from the Aboriginal people who depend on it.
It goes on to say that “… in Sierra Leone, other factors have come together to stop the war, and the diamonds produced there are still an important source of income for many of its citizens. The Network Movement for Justice and Development’s Campaign for Just Mining in Sierra Leone does not want to see diamond mining stopped; they want justice, human rights and environmental protection for miners.“
And I couldn’t agree more… the fact of the matter is that for many people who live in the Sierra Leone region of West Africa and other diamond mining countries like Namibia and Botswana, working for the diamond mining companies enables them to provide for their families.
The majority of vendors which I work with sell diamonds which are produced from diamond rough that is sourced from Russia, Botswana, Namibia and the Sierra Leone region of West Africa, these countries are well known for their diamond production and all of them export diamonds under the provisions set forth by the Kimberley Diamond Act which requires a certificate of origin for every piece of diamond rough to ensure that it originates from a legitimate diamond mining operation.
From my perspective a diamond is a diamond, regardless of where it originates from… the only reason why I would pay more for a Canadian diamond is if I were Canadian or my girlfriend was Canadian, or I wanted a Canadian diamond to commemorate a trip to Canada or something like that… As far as it being “conflict free” or not being a “blood diamond” I think it is nothing more than marketing hype at this point in time.
And in the case of “Canadian Diamonds” which aren’t even inscribed with a logo or reference number that coincides with some sort of proof that the diamond is actually Canadian, as in the case of the 0.90 carat, J-color, SI-1 clarity, Canadian Diamond from Blue Nile referenced above, I don’t even see the point… Because there are options like the 0.904 carat, H-color, SI-1 clarity, round brilliant ideal cut diamond from Blue Nile which are better cut and more affordable.
Speaking of other options… there is a 0.802 carat, H-color, VS-1 clarity, Crafted by Infinity Diamond listed with High Performance Diamonds (HPD) and a 0.913 carat, H-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond that really peak my interest… both diamonds are cut within my preferred range of proportions, have an overall cut grade of AGS Ideal-0, exhibit crisp and complete patterns of hearts and arrows and look exceptional in all of the reflector scope images that I rely on to judge the overall diamond cut quality ~ which is something that Blue Nile does not provide on their diamond details pages.
Now if you want something will a little less color, I’d go with this 0.810 carat, G-color, VS-2 clarity, Brian Gavin Signature round diamond or this 0.740 carat, F-color, SI-1 clarity, Brian Gavin round ideal cut diamond which exhibits strong blue fluorescence. I’m a big fan of diamonds which exhibit blue fluorescence, so this one is particularly tempting to me!
Are Twinning Wisps in Diamond Good or Bad? (Alarming Insight)
James Allen vs Brian Gavin Diamonds (Updated 2019)
Is K Color Diamond Too Yellow? (Secret Ways to Save BIG)
One carat diamond buying guide (tips and tricks to save big)
BGD Signature Emerald Cut Diamond (Rocks the House) Amazing!
Introducing Astor by Blue Nile Diamond (Unmatched Sparkle?)
Victor Canera Emilya Antique Cushion (Bold, Fiery Bliss)
Two Carat Diamond Ring Crafted by Infinity (Best Pick of 3?)