Russia Found Enough Diamonds to Last 3,000 YearsRussia has apparently been sitting on a massive, massive reserve of diamonds How massive? How about several several trillions of carats worth? That's enough diamonds to keep Russia a prominent supplier for the next 3,000 years. And they have managed to keep their find secret since the 1970's.
The diamonds are the result of an asteroid collision, what are known as impact diamonds. About 35 million years ago, a meteor collided with the Earth and left a 65 mile wide crater. Because of the unique conditions under which they formed, impact diamonds are uniquely suited to industrial and scientific work. The impact left their crystals twice as hard as normal diamonds. Thanks in part to their small size, these diamonds can never be used as jewels, but that doesn't matter to much. These diamonds were always more valuable for making precision instruments.
So why the secrecy? Well, Russia has other diamond mines. And because of the way that the global diamond trade is regulated, Russia had little financial gain to introduce a supply of incredibly cheap industrial diamonds. Now that things are finally changing, however, Russia's discovery can be put to the use it deserves.
This is going to change everything. There are enough diamonds here that Russia can easily beat the competition on price. De Beer's century-long monopoly on diamonds could finally be coming to a close.
But even Russia is urging patience. These diamonds won't find their way to a wedding ring, so there is little chance that those prices will drop any time soon. But diamonds are critical to lasers, and these diamonds are specially suited to producing strong beams. To consumers that means cheap Blu-Ray drives. And diamonds are instrumental in making the sharpest of instruments, and making high precision cuts, too, so perhaps we will see a price drop there, also.
Regardless, Russia is now in a position where it can dominate the diamond market. They are just waiting for the next diamond shortage.