Russia Reveals Vast Secret Diamond Reserves

These previously classified diamonds aren't forever, but they could last us the next 3,000 years.

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REUTERS / Ria Novosti / Kremlin / Alexei Druzhinin

Russia's Prime Minister Putin talks to workers of a diamond mine in Eastern Siberia

Scientists of the Russian Academy of Science are claiming that a secret diamond deposit in Russia’s remote Northeast contains “trillions of carats” of the rare gem.  The vast natural treasure, whose existence has remained classified for almost half a century, could fundamentally change the world’s diamond market.

“The resources of super-hard diamonds contained in rocks of the Popigai crypto-explosion structure, are by a factor of ten bigger than the world’s all known reserves,” Nikolai Pokhilenko, director of the Institute of Geology and Mineralogy at the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS. The reserves would be enough to meet the entire planet’s demand in industrial-grade diamonds — a lower grade from those intended for jewelry — for the next three millennia, the state-run news agency claimed citing unnamed scientists.

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The diamond deposit is the result of a meteorite crashing into earth in Siberia some 35 million years ago. By the immense force of its impact, the meteorite transformed graphite in the ground into a field of “impact diamonds,” twice as robust as ordinary diamonds and hence with outstanding industrial qualities. When the deposit was first discovered in the 1970s, the Soviet Union had been pushing for the development of artificially produced industrial diamonds. Thus, exploration was halted and knowledge about it classified until very recently. Results of the recent studies “were sufficient to talk about a possible overturn of the entire world market of diamonds,” said scientist Pokhilenko.

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