Production at De Beers’ Victor Mine in northern Ontario has officially come to an end after almost 11 years of operations. Located in the James Bay Lowlands, 90 km (56 mi) west of Attawapiskat First Nation, the site was the province’s first and only diamond mine.
In an effort to increase sales in leading global markets, primarily the U.S., China, and India, De Beers has announced a plan to spend more than US$140 million on marketing. This is the company’s biggest spend since 2008.
There’s a lot to say about the power of branding. The Polar Bear Diamond was among the first wave of branded diamonds. De Beers had just discontinued its Diamond Promotion Service (DPS), so the timing was opportune. The Polar Bear brand relied on Canadian origin as its primary differentiator; juxtaposing Canada’s pristine image to that of blood and conflict in Africa. The idea of branding a diamond, from the very beginning, is founded in the promotion of one diamond at the expense of others.