When a country announces that it has been sitting (literally) on “trillions of carats” of diamonds, enough to supply the world’s demand for the “next 3,000 years,” lets just say they’ve got my attention. Before stuffing my bags full of rubles, fur hats, Rosetta Stone in Russian and making my way towards Siberia, I thought I’d do some research. This massive Russian asteroid diamond source is reportedly located in the Popigai asteroid crater, a 62-mile wide impact zone in Siberia created some 35 million years ago when a meteorite hit the earth.
There are 2 ways diamonds could conceivably be formed when a meteorite hits the earth: A meteorite hits the earth in an area that is carbon-rich (diamonds are 99% carbon so this is crucial) and the pressure and heat from the impact of the meteorite simulates the same conditions under which diamonds form in the earth’s mantle; alternatively, the meteorite itself could contain large quantities of carbon which are transported to the earth’s surface and the impact with the earth creates diamonds and flash-fuses them into the earth.
The Russians reportedly knew about this diamond deposit in the 1970′s but the information was not declassified until recently. Apparently, there are more diamonds in this asteroid crater than in the rest of the world combined. So is that it? Is the world now flush with diamonds? Has every diamond been rendered worthless as a result? Oh the horror! Not to worry, the situation is not at all so dire. As it turns out, the Russian asteroid diamond source produces industrial quality diamonds, “The Siberian branch of Russian Academy of Sciences said that the Popigai crater in eastern Siberia contains ‘many trillions of carats’ of so-called ‘impact diamonds’ good for technological purposes, not for jewelry.” These impact diamonds are reportedly twice as hard as normal diamonds and extremely useful as abrasives. Tangent: La Mer makes their refining facial with diamond dust but one couldn’t possibly have enough dead skin on one’s face to justify double the hardness!
One has to wonder, if the Russians have known about this for forty or so years, why haven’t they tapped into its economic potential yet? In diamond mining, one has to weigh the value of the diamonds against the cost of mining. If the diamonds were gem-quality trust me, the digging would have commenced already. It doesn’t matter if there are enough Russian asteroid diamonds to pave all the streets in the world, as long as they are of industrial quality, the value of gem-grade diamonds will not be affected. The poor guys that make synthetic diamonds for industrial purposes may be out of luck if the Russians decide to dig, but jewelry diamond prices aren’t going anywhere. As far as my DMD darlings are concerned, our position is, “Mazel tov Kremlin, but wake me when you find gem quality diamonds.”
Big Kiss and Bigger Diamonds,