Barker & Co. To Distribute Ekati Diamonds

April 1999


Barker & Co. To Distribute Ekati Diamonds

North American diamonds debut in the U.S.

Barker & Co. of Scottsdale, AZ, and Sirius Diamonds Ltd. of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, have formed a partnership to distribute diamonds from Canada's Ekati mine in the United States.

"The North American origin of the diamonds will be a major marketing angle benefiting jewelers," says Bill Barker of Barker & Co. and Craig de Gruchy of Sirius. To underscore the North American origin, a polar bear logo is lasered on the diamonds' girdles.

Cut diamonds from the partnership became available in February. Barker says prices are comparable to those of diamonds from other world sources. Depending on cutting and production efficiencies, prices actually could become more attractive and competitive in the future, adds de Gruchy.

Barker & Co., primarily a colored gemstone operation, was chosen as a distributor for most of North America because of its high ethical standards and previous experience marketing diamonds, says de Gruchy. David Glenn of The Color Connection, Seattle, WA, will distribute the diamonds in Washington and Oregon.

Sirius Diamonds Ltd., meanwhile, is a diamond-cutting operation that Broken Hill Proprietary chose as a direct purchaser of rough diamonds from its Ekati property in Canada's Northwest Territories. The company, already cutting diamonds in Canada, is building a new cutting facility in nearby Yellowknife. The facility will employ and train local cutters. "We want everything – from the mine to the cutting – to be a North American product," says de Gruchy.

The company is cutting primarily round brilliants in Ideal makes (Tolkowsky standards) and "fine" makes, which have slightly broader proportions. De Gruchy says the company is issuing certificates from the Gemological Institute of America Gem Trade Laboratory for fine makes and from the American Gem Society Laboratory for diamonds cut to Ideal standards.

De Gruchy says his company is service-oriented and does not want to penalize smaller accounts. "We want North American diamonds to be available to any interested parties," he says.

  • Barker & Co, Scottsdale, AZ; (602) 483-1403.
  • The Color Connection, Seattle, WA; (206) 624-2522.

– by Robert Weldon, G.G.

Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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