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Article: The Mysterious World of Diamonds: Discover the Story of the Unique "Matryoshka" Diamond from Siberia

"Matryoshka" Diamond from Siberia

The Mysterious World of Diamonds: Discover the Story of the Unique "Matryoshka" Diamond from Siberia

The world of diamonds is, by no doubt, full of mysteries and curiosities. For example, did you know the story of the diamond found trapped inside another diamond? The Russians who discovered it in a mine in Siberia named it, due to its peculiarity, the "Matryoshka" diamond, after the famous Russin traditional dolls that have smaller dolls inside them, and it's one of a kind in the world of diamonds.

The discovery was announced in October 2019 by Russian state-controlled company Alrosa, a leader of the world diamond mining industry.

"As far as we know, there were no such diamonds in the history of global diamond mining yet. This is really a unique creation of nature. Usually, some minerals are replaced by others without cavity formation", said Oleg Kovalchuk, Deputy Director for innovations at Alrosa's Research and Development Geological Enterprise.

The "Matryoshka" diamond was mined in Yakutia at the Nyurba mining and processing division of Alrosa, and, according to the experts who studied it, the intriguing gemstone "may be over 800 million years old".

It is One of a Kind in the World of Diamonds

The "Matryoshka" diamond was studied using several methods, including Raman and infrared spectroscopies, as well as X-ray microtomography. Based on the results of the study, the scientists made a hypothesis that the inner diamond formed first and was then enclosed by the larger diamond during the subsequent stages of growth.
"Matryoshka" Diamond from Siberia

"The most interesting thing for us was to find out how the air space between the inner and outer diamonds was formed. We have two main hypotheses. According to the first version, a mantle mineral captured a diamond during its growth, and later it was dissolved in the Earth's surface. According to the second version, a layer of porous polycrystalline diamond substance was formed inside the diamond because of ultra-fast growth, and more aggressive mantle processes subsequently dissolved it. Due to the presence of the dissolved zone, one diamond began to move freely inside another on the principle of the matryoshka nesting doll," said Oleg Kovalchuk.

Unique "Matryoshka" Diamond from Siberia


The Dimensions of the "Matryoshka" Diamond

The diamond weighs 0.62 carats (0.124 grams) and has maximum dimensions of 4.8 millimeters x 4.9 millimeters x 2.8 millimeters.

The internal cavity volume is 6 cubic millimeters, while that of the tiny inner diamond, which is moving freely inside, is 1.6 cubic millimeters.

The "insider" has a tabular shape, an estimated weight of only 0.02 carats (0.004 grams) and measures only 1.9 millimeters x 2.1 millimeters x 0.6 millimeters.

See YouTube Video here. 

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