Russian Impact Crater Might Contain Trillions of Carats of Diamonds


Trillions of carats of diamonds lie beneath the Popigai crater in Siberia.

On Monday, Novosibirsk scientists of the Institute of Geology and Mineralogy at the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences announced that there is a huge deposit of diamonds buried under an impact crater in Siberia. These diamonds are twice as hard as normal because of their origin.

The trillions of carats are located underneath the Popigai crater in Siberia and they represent 10 times as much as the entire world’s supply of diamond reserves all put together. The Russians have known about this for about 40 years, but have just recently declassified the data.


The Popigai crater is the seventh largest impact crater on Earth at 62 miles (100 kilometers) in diameter and was formed about 35 million years ago when an asteroid somewhere between three and five miles (five and eight kilometers) in size struck Earth’s surface. The impact area contained graphite and the intense temperature and pressure of the impact transformed the graphite into raw diamonds.

These impact diamonds retained some of the structural properties of the carbon from which they originated. They are twice as hard and unusually abrasive. This means that they’re ideal for industrial uses from cutting diverse materials to making semiconductors.

Diamonds like this haven’t been discovered anywhere else in the world, making Russia a monopoly owner over the supply that scientists forecast to be, “enough for the entire world for 3,000 years.”

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