Diamonds and the "Cold War" of COVID Vaccines: Alrosa to Name a 100-carat Diamond after “Sputnik V” Vaccine

Russian giant ALROSA - a state-controlled company that dominates the world diamond mining industry - announced in February that it will name a large gem-quality rough diamond after Russia’s “Sputnik V” COVID-19 vaccine.

The light yellow diamond was mined from Yakutia’s alluvial deposits.

“Rough diamonds of this size and color are true natural wonders. Therefore, we decided to name this outstanding crystal after the first Russian coronavirus vaccine, which is also a miracle created by our scientists. The vaccine itself and the fact that it was developed so fast are both exceptional. This gives us hope of getting back to life as usual in the foreseeable future,” said Sergey Ivanov, the CEO of ALROSA.

yellow diamond

Picture Credit Alrosa 

The flattened octahedron-shaped gemstone weighs 100.53 carats and has dimensions of 27,15 х 28,81 х 29,56 millimeters.

According to the Rusian state-controlled enterprise, the alluvial deposits in northwest Yakutia, where ALROSA's subsidiary Almazy Anabara operates, are traditionally the leaders in the mining of natural colored diamonds, including those with exceptionally rare hues.

Diamonds and Geopolitical Context

Alrosa's announcement should be viewed in the geopolitical context of today.

Named after the first Soviet space satellite, “Sputnik V” - Russia's anti-COVID vaccine - has become, as some political analysts state, Moscow's new ideological weapon in what appears to be a new "Cold War" on the European vaccine front. Since the stake is high, Kremlin is aggressively promoting its anti-COVID vaccine, while criticizing the vaccines already approved on the EU market.

Russia wants to introduce as quickly as possible the “Sputnik V” vaccine to the EU market but, for this, it needs to be authorized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

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