Alrosa Recovers Unusual 'Matryoshka' Diamond

Mining and Exploration
05/10/2019 15:07

Russian diamond miner Alrosa has made an unusual find in Yakutia - a diamond with another diamond moving freely inside, making it resemble a traditional Russian Matryoshka doll. According to the experts who have studied the find, this is the first such diamond in the history of global diamond mining. The diamond was mined at the Nyurba mining and processing division. 

Specialists of the Yakutsk Diamond Trade Enterprise discovered this unusual diamond during a sorting process and sent it to Alrosa's Research and Development Geological Enterprise which tested it with X-ray microtomography as well as other methods. Based on the results of the study, the scientists hypothesized about how the crystal was formed, concluding there was first an internal diamond and the external one was formed during the subsequent stages of growth. "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," said Oleg Kovalchuk, Deputy Director for innovations at ALROSA's Research and Development Geological Enterprise.

"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 matryoshka nesting doll, explains Kovalchuk. He adds, "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, especially since nature does not like emptiness. Usually, some minerals are replaced by others without cavity formation."