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'The beauty of Siberia took me by surprise'

The world's only ‘Matryoshka’ diamonds unearthed in Siberia

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05 October 2019


The world’s only diamond inside a diamond discovered in the Republic of Sakha. Picture: ALROSA

The inner diamond moves freely within the transparent outer one. 

The larger gem is just 0.62 carats with dimensions of 4.8 x 4.9 x 2.8 mm.

Inside, the tiny nested diamond has an estimated weight of 0.02 carats and dimensions of 1.9×2.1×0.6 mm.

The extraordinary find announced by Alrosa can be seen on an X-ray image.

It came to light during sorting of gems in Russia’s diamond capital Yakutsk but the find is from Nyurba mine in the Sakha Republic, also known as Yakutia. 

Unique Matryoshka diamond found in Russia

A diamond inside a diamond - a one-of-a-kind unique gem was found in Yakutia, dating to approxomately 800 million years. Picture: ALROSA

No value has been put on the one-of-a-kind discovery which is likely to be 800 million years old.

‘As far as we know, there were no such diamonds in the history of global diamond mining yet,’ said Alrosa’s Oleg Kovalchuk. 

‘This is really a unique creation of nature, especially since nature does not like emptiness. 

‘Usually, some minerals are replaced by others without cavity formation.’

Unique Matryoshka diamond found in Russia

Unique Matryoshka diamond found in Russia

Unique Matryoshka diamond found in Russia

Unique Matryoshka diamond found in Russia
Nyurbinskaya mine, and plates with diamonds inside the so-called treasury of Yakutia - a huge vault with gold, diamonds and other precious gems mined in the Republic. Pictures: ALROSA, The Siberian Times

Reports say Alrosa plans to send the Matryoshka diamond to the Gemological Institute of America for further analysis.

'The most interesting thing was to find out how the air space between inner and outer diamonds was formed,’ said Kovalchuk. 

‘There are two main hypotheses: according to the first, in the process of growth, the diamond was captured by a mantle mineral, which was later dissolved in the Earth's surface.

‘According to the second - as a result of ultra-fast growth inside the diamond formed a layer of porous polycrystalline diamond substance, which was subsequently dissolved by more aggressive mantle processes. 

‘Due to the presence of the dissolved zone, one diamond began to move freely inside another on the principle of nesting dolls.’ 

Comments (4)

A little larger than a grain of sand.....not impressive.
SteveC, Florida US
15/10/2019 03:25
Interesting fact from the web, "Most natural diamonds have ages between 1 billion and 3.5 billion years. Most were formed at depths between 150 and 250 kilometres (93 and 155 mi) in the Earth's mantle, although a few have come from as deep as 800 kilometres (500 mi)."
Doc, US
09/10/2019 10:44
Totally agree.
Donate to Kremlin Diamond fund. We visited last year. Amazingly interesting place.
Adele, South Africa
06/10/2019 02:29
I think this gem should be donated to the `Kremlin's Diamond fund. there it will bring in many visitors and attract many a -fan-.
Morak Benedikt, Moscow
05/10/2019 22:09

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