Monday, September 17, 2012

Russia Sitting on Diamond Trove

Russia is now a girl's best friend: A 62-mile-wide crater in Siberia sits on top of a diamond field that's home to "trillions of carats," scientists say. "By comparison, present-day known reserves" in Russia's Yakutia diamond operations are thought to be in the neighborhood of 1 billion carats. The Siberia trove could supply the world's needs for 3,000 years—and the country has known about it since the 1970s, but kept it quiet since it was already making a mint off of its Yakutian diamonds. Officials are now permitting scientists to discuss it with journalists.

The find could "overturn" global markets, notes one of the scientists, offering Russia an effective monopoly as scientists and industries increasingly use precision diamond instruments. The crater's gems are "twice as hard" as standard diamonds, according to official Russian news. As "impact diamonds," they are apparently the result of a meteoric collision with an existing diamond site, the Christian Science Monitor notes.

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