A blog published by Susan Eisen that has columns on all the latest jewelry fashions, news, and store information.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Siberian Meteorite Crater Holds 'Trillions of Carats' of Diamonds, Say Russian Scientists
Russian scientists divulged over the weekend the existence of "trillions of carats" of super-hard diamonds – enough to supply global markets for the next 3,000 years – at the site of a meteorite crater in eastern Siberia. But here's the rub... the diamonds are industrial grade.
According to a report in the The Christian Science Monitor, the enormous diamond riches were found at Popigai Astroblem, the 62-mile-wide crater that was formed 35 million years ago when a meteor crashed into the earth. The incredible force and heat generated by the impact was probably a contributing factor to how the diamonds were formed.
The discovery of diamonds at the crater had been kept a secret since the 1970s, when the territory was part of the former Soviet Union. Officials chose to leave this enormous resource out of the spotlight and unexploited because their existing industrial diamond production was already generating huge profits and they didn't want to disrupt the global diamond markets, according to various reports.
The news finally came to light this past weekend after the Russian government declassified the information and permitted scientists from the Novosibirsk Institute of Geology and Mineralogyto talk about it with journalists.
Although some may worry that the immense source of new diamonds is going to have a softening effect on diamond prices, the Popigai diamonds are suitable only for industrial and scientific purposes and shouldn't have any effect on the jewelry market.
Russian scientists said the diamonds of Popigai are actually twice as hard as common diamonds. This is quite a feat because diamonds are already the hardest natural substance known to man. Dubbed "impact diamonds," the huge reserve of superhard material is believed to be the result of a meteor plowing into a graphite deposit at high velocity.
The scientists estimated the trillions of carats in diamond reserves contained in the Popigai crater to be 10 times greater than all the world's known diamond reserves.