A Sparkling Opportunity

By Karen Simmons

Canada is the world’s 3rd largest diamond producer and the Diamond Bourse, the hub for the diamond industry with headquarters in 30 major countries around the world, Canada’s office is in Toronto, Ontario and is the only all inclusive bourse in the world.  The BIG IDEA is to put Alberta on the map as a centre for the diamond industry with the majority of diamond mines located directly above us in Northwest Territories. There are already diamonds being found in Alberta, Buffalo Hills specifically.  DeBeers just relocated their headquarters from Toronto to Calgary. Opportunity awaits – there is a lot that can and should be done in Alberta.

Not only is Alberta centrally located to serve the diamond business, it has land available to create a strong centre in this region.  And Calgary is opening direct flights to major centres such as China and Asia which makes international trade much easier than it used t be.  Also, most of the North American gem centres are either on the east or west coast of the continent such as New York, Los Angeles, Vancouver and Toronto.  Alberta would be the central hub for Canada and central US.  Additionally, Alberta is the only source in the world for Amolite, a rare gemstone that is made from a prehistoric creature named “Amonite”.  Also nephrite jade is found in British Columbia and is highly sought by Asia due to a shortage in the availability of jadeite jade.  There are far more gems and minerals in Alberta’s hills than previously imagined by our forefathers.  We are barely digging into the tip of the iceberg.

An associated idea addresses opportunities in  manufacturing for the Alberta workforce – and a unique applicability for people with autism. Consider that jewelery manufacturing requires a very focused, engineer-type mind, and an aptitude to do things repeatedly.  These skills are applied to faceting, polishing and grading diamonds and other gems which encompass the science and application of gemmology.  These skills are also applicable in standarized grading of diamonds to a standard set out by grading laboratories. Jewelry manufacturing also involves Computer Assisted Design (CAD), computing and programming.

– Karen Simmons is a Gemmologist, Proprietor of Gem Gallerie, Author of Perfectly Clear, Buying Diamonds for Pleasure and Profit and CEO of Autism Today.

Source: Alberta Council of Technologies