[caption id="attachment_1003731085" align="aligncenter" width="400"] The x-ray view of the matryoshka diamond. (Image: Alrosa)
YAKUTIA, CIS – Russian miner Alrosa
has unearthed a one-of-a-kind diamond at its Yyruba division. It is named after the traditional Russian matryoshka dolls because it contains a diamond within a diamond. More astounding is that the inner stone freely moves within the larger, outer gem.
Despite its complexity, the stone weighs only 0.62 carat and has outer dimension of 4.8 x 4.9 x 2.8 mm. The inner diamond is 1.9 x 2.1 x 0.6 mm and weighs an estimated 0.02 carats. Scientists believe the diamond may be over 800 million years old.
The matryoshka diamond was discovered during sorting at the Yakutsk Diamond Trade Enterprise. It was immediately turned over the Alrosa’s geological R&D arm. The diamond was examined using Raman and infrared spectroscopies, as well as x-ray micro-tomography. The studies determined that the inner diamond formed first, and the outer one later.
Even more intriguing is the manner in which the air space formed within the larger stone. Two hypotheses have been put forward. Perhaps a mantle mineral captured a diamond during its growth and later was dissolved. Or a layer of porous polycrystalline diamond substance was formed inside thanks to ultra-fast growth, and minerals were dissolved by an aggressive dissolution process, leaving behind a void. Once the cavity formed, the inner stone could move freely.
As far as anyone knows, this diamond is truly unique.
The Russian miner’s website is at www.Alrosa.ru.