Posted at 10:47 AM ET, 09/18/2012

Massive diamond field discovered in Russia

Russia has revealed that, decades ago, the country discovered a diamond field underneath a meteorite crater containing “trillions of carats,” the Christian Science Monitor reported.

The discovery, which was made in the ‘70s but kept secret until it was declassified this week, could supply global diamond markets for thousands of years.

“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,” the Director of the Institute of Geology and Mineralogy at the Russian Academy of Sciences Nikolai Pokhilenko told the ITAR-TASS news agency.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean these stones will be studding engagement rings all over the world.

The diamonds are “super-hard,” meaning they are two times harder than regular gems and have a different structure. These types of diamonds are mainly used for scientific and industrial purposes, according to the CSM, but Russia would be the monopoly owner of the resource.


The Popigai crypto-explosion structure in Russia. (Screenshot: Google earth)

The deposit is located in Russia’s far-north Yakutia region, in the Popigai crypto-explosion structure, a 60-mile crater formed by an asteroid 35 million years ago.

In 2009, Russia surpassed De Beers as the world’s largest diamond producer, making it a main arbiter of global diamond prices, according to The New York Times.

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By  |  10:47 AM ET, 09/18/2012

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