Professional Jeweler Archive: Whoa, Canada

May 2003


Whoa, Canada

Diamonds from the north are making noise: Sirius settles its polar bear dispute and a new global partnership forms to sell Canadia™ brand diamonds

Canadian diamonds are settling in for the long haul, as evidenced by some recent moves in the market. Sirius Diamonds settled its polar bear logo dispute with the government of the Northwest Territories and will become part of the GNWT Certification and Monitoring Program, which guarantees diamonds mined, cut and polished in Canada. Meanwhile, diamond companies Beny Sofer & Sons, Rosy Blue and Backes & Strauss formed a global partnership called Tri-Star Worldwide LLC. The new company will distribute Canadia™ brand diamonds throughout the world.

The Sirius Bear

Sirius Diamonds, which has a cutting factory in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, has ended its multiyear struggle with the provincial government over the four-legged polar bear logo on its diamonds. The provincial government owns a three-legged polar bear registered trademark and contended Sirius Diamonds’ polar bear infringed on it.

Now the government has granted Sirius a license to laser-cut its polar bear logo on the girdle of its diamonds. Sirius is the only manufacturer allowed to do so. Its diamonds are mined, cut and polished in the Northwest Territories. Sirius also has exclusive rights to market and promote the phrase “Polar Bear Diamonds™” for the next 10 years. The license may be renewed for additional two-year periods.

The Northwest Territories’ government continues to own all official polar bear marks and may license these marks for use on material supporting its certification program. Sirius joins two other cutting factories located in the Northwest Territories that will sell diamonds certified as Canadian by the GNWT program.

Tri-Star’s Canadia

All of Tri-Star’s Canadia branded diamonds are supplied by Arslanian Cutting Works NWT Ltd., a Rosy Blue affiliate in Yellowknife, which has its diamonds vetted Canadian by the GNWT program. Beny Sofer & Sons, New York City, launched Canadia in May 2002. Now Canadia diamonds will be sold in North America, Europe and the Far East, taking advantage of the financial and marketing strength and global reach of Tri-Star.

Tri-Star Worldwide is based in New York City and headed by Oren Sofer of Ben Sofer & Sons. Fine jewelry retailers offering Canadia diamonds will continue to be supported by a multimedia marketing package including a Web site with a secure retailer section; point-of-sale displays; TV, print and radio advertising; multimedia CD-ROMs; promotional material; and local and national public relations campaigns.

“To realize the full potential of the Canadia brand, we have formed a diamond company the likes of which the industry has never before seen,” says Dilip Mehta of Rosy Blue Worldwide. Rosy Blue is a family-owned diamond company and De Beers client doing business in 14 countries. Backes & Strauss, founded in Antwerp in 1789, supplies more than 40 markets worldwide.

– by Peggy Jo Donahue

The buzz about Canadia™ has started. Actress Ali Larter wears $30,000 worth of Canadia diamonds to an event where jewelry was auctioned to benefit Step-Up, a women’s charity.

Copyright © 2003 by Bond Communications