Birks unveils the first 200 diamonds from Quebec

Birks is first jeweller to offer customers diamonds from the Stornoway Renard Mine

MONTREAL, May 11, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - Birks today proudly unveiled the first 200 diamonds from Quebec's Renard diamond mine, owned by Stornoway Diamond Corporation. Located 250 km north of the Cree community of Mistissini and 350 km north of Chibougamau in the James Bay region of north-central Quebec, the Renard mine is Quebec's first diamond mining operation.

Birks had already made a commitment to offer exclusively Canadian diamonds for its engagement rings. In 2010, Birks was the first jeweller to feature diamonds from the Victor mine in Ontario. Birks guarantees the traceability of each Canadian diamond, from the mine where it originated to the finished product, thereby guaranteeing a 100% ethical diamond.

Quebec's first diamonds will be publicly unveiled at an event attended by members of the business community, customers and journalists at the Birks store on Phillips Square in Montreal. The diamonds will be on display at the store for before travelling to other Birks locations (including Laval, Ste-Foy and Ottawa) over the next few weeks. The selection presented is a fine sample of Stornoway's production, with diamonds ranging from 0.18 carats to a magnificent 10.01 carat stone. The stones can be purchased individually as loose diamonds, or mounted into a ring, pendant or earrings, according to the customer's wishes.

"We're very proud to unveil the first certified diamonds from a mine in Quebec. Established in Montreal in 1879, Birks is a resolutely Quebec and Canadian brand. With this year being Montreal's 375th anniversary and the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation, we are delighted to unveil these exceptional diamonds, which come directly from Stornoway's Renard mine in Quebec. They are an outstanding example of the quality of our natural resources. As a Canadian leader in the jewellery market, we are convinced they will appeal to our customers, who are increasingly interested in knowing the provenance and traceability of precious stones," said Jean-Christophe Bedos, President and CEO of Birks Group Inc.

"Stornoway and its partners are pleased to see the first certified Quebec diamonds offered to customers of the legendary Birks store. Mined in Quebec, they are the culmination of many years of hard work and numerous partnerships with local communities of Mistissini, Chibougamau and Chapais, national, international and Quebec-based institutions. We are grateful to Birks for its commitment and could not be more pleased to see Birks creations featuring Renard diamonds," added Matt Manson, president and CEO of Stornoway Diamond Corporation.

Each stone, displayed and available for purchase in the store, comes with a Birks Quebec diamond certificate of authenticity and a unique serial number to confirm its provenance and traceability. Each stone will be micro-engraved with the maple leaf and the fleur de lys, symbols of Canada and Quebec respectively, visible only with a 10x magnifying glass.

With these new diamonds, Birks will expand its offering of Canadian stones, in keeping with its commitment to its customers.

ABOUT BIRKS

Birks Group is a leading operator of luxury jewelry stores in Canada and southeastern United States. The Company operates 26 stores under the Birks brand in most major metropolitan markets in Canada, 17 stores in Florida and Georgia under the Mayors brand, one store under the Rolex brand name and two retail locations in Calgary and Vancouver under the Brinkhaus brand. Birks was founded in 1879 and developed over the years into Canada's premier retailer and designer of fine jewelry, timepieces and gifts. Please visit www.birks.com

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @maisonbirks

ABOUT THE RENARD DIAMOND MINE

The Renard Diamond Mine is Quebec's first producing diamond mine and Canada's sixth. It is located approximately 250 km north of the Cree community of Mistissini and 350 km north of Chibougamau in the James Bay region of north-central Quebec. Construction on the project commenced on July 10, 2014, and commercial production was declared on January 1, 2017. Average annual diamond production is forecast at 1.8 million carats per annum over the first 10 years of mining. Readers are referred to the technical report dated January 11, 2016, in respect of the September 2015 Mineral Resource estimate, and the technical report dated March 30, 2016, in respect of the March 2016 Updated Mine Plan and Mineral Reserve Estimate for further details and assumptions relating to the project.

ABOUT STORNOWAY DIAMOND CORPORATION 

Stornoway is a leading Canadian diamond exploration and development company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol SWY and headquartered in Montreal. Our flagship asset is the 100% owned Renard Diamond Project, Quebec's first diamond mine. Stornoway is a growth-oriented company with a world-class asset, in one of the world's best mining jurisdictions, in one of the world's great mining businesses.

 

SOURCE Birks Group Inc.

For further information: and interview requests: Amélie Forcier, aforcier@national.ca, 514.843.2307

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