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#1

DIAMOND NEWS

A recent article in The Vancouver Sun describes the latest signature
logos applied to diamonds.

If you buy a new diamond with a lasered maple leaf logo and eight
harts, there=92s no doubt it=92s Canadian. It=92s an Ekati.

BHP Diamonds Inc. and Dia Met Minerals Ltd. announced their brand of
Ekati diamonds from Canada=92s only operating diamond mine, 300 km
northeast of Yellowknife. The cutting factory, located in the
Yellowknife Airport, has purchased Ekati diamonds and put its polar
bear logo on them, which raised the ire of the Northwest territories
government, which claimed control of the image.

In the past there have been concerns about authenticity of diamonds
said to be mined in Canada, but now, each diamond will come with three
certificates. One from the American Gem Society laboratories verifies
the specifications; another from the government of the N.W.T.
validates Canadian origin. A third guarantees that the diamond is
from the Ekati mine which is the world=92s fourth-largest supplier of
commercial diamonds by value, has been in production since 1998 and
produces about 240,000 carats a month.

BPH which has made an offer to purchase Dia Met=92s interest in Ekati,
said it deliberated over branding for 18 months. Canadian diamonds
are in demand because of their quality, a triple-zero grade from the
American Gem Society. Less than one percent of the diamonds in the
world will have an ideal grading, let alone the triple zero. Other
diamonds have had the Canadian flag engraved on them. Each Ekati
brand diamond will be laser inscribed with the maple leaf logo, Ekati
name, plus individual identification and certificate number. Also,
each stone will be identified using a Gem-print, a BPH which has made
an offer to purchase Dia Met=92s interest in Ekati, said it deliberate=
d
over branding for 18 months. Canadian diamonds are in demand because
of their quality, a triple-zero grade from the American Gem

Society. Less than one percent of the diamonds in the world will
have an ideal grading, let alone the triple zero. Other diamonds have
had the Canadian flag engraved on them. Each Ekati brand diamond will
be laser inscribed with the maple leaf logo, Ekati name, plus
individual identification and certificate number. Also, each stone
will be identified using a Gem-print, a Canadian technology that
provides an identification number and optical signature, much like a
finger print.

Phyllis Richardson