Russia says it's flush with 'trillions of carats' in extraterrestrial gems
Russia claims it has uncovered a diamond field of record dimensions in eastern Siberia which is the product of a prehistoric asteroid collision.
The Christian Science Monitor reports that the Russian government has recently declassified the discovery of the Popigai Astroblem in Siberia which is believed to contain "trillions of carats" in diamonds deposits, which would be more than enough to send global diamond markets into upheaval.
The crater in the east of Siberia is reportedly 62 miles in diameter and believed to be the result of an asteroid collision with the earth approximately 35 million year ago.
The authorities claim deposits were first uncovered in the 1970's yet the Soviets and successive Russian governments opted to keep the discovery confidential in order to avoid compromising the profits of existing diamond finds in Yakutia as well as artificial diamonds operations.
Nikolai Pokhilenko, director of the Novosibirsk Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, says the the Popigai diamonds are twice as hard as usual because they are "impact diamonds" resulting from a meteor collision with graphite deposits, which makes them particularly suited for industrial and scientific applications.
Pohkilenko also says the super-hard diamonds are "by a factor of ten bigger than the world's all known reserves," which would make them abundant enough to supply humanity's diamond needs for centuries to come.