Russian geologists have revealed the existence of "trillions of carats" of diamonds in a meteorite impact crater in Siberia. While the diamonds are not of the type generally used in jewellery, they could prove extremely valuable in industrial applications, with scientists claiming that the deposit could be enough to sustain global markets for the next 3,000 years.
According to a somewhat breathless report from Russia's state-owned Itar-Tass news agency, the stones are primarily interesting due to their large grain size and "unusual abrasive features." While the exact science behind the formation of so-called "impact diamonds" is still murky, they are likely to have been produced through the collision of a meteorite with a large carbon deposit, either contained in the meteorite itself or present on the ground.
The existence of the diamonds at Popigai, in the Northeast of the country, was reportedly first discovered in the 1970s, but was hushed up by the Soviet government to avoid affecting the value of Russian investments in synthetic diamond production. "The Popigai diamonds can overturn everything, and is not clear what will happen to prices in the market," claims Gennady Nikitin, deputy director of the Yakutnipromalmaz Institute.