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Huge Diamond Deposits Revealed In Russia

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the devaluing-bond-villain-exploits dept.

Earth 243

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from the Christian Science Monitor: "'Russia has just declassified news that will shake world gem markets to their core: the discovery of a vast new diamond field containing 'trillions of carats,' enough to supply global markets for another 3,000 years. The Soviets discovered the bonanza back in the 1970s beneath a 35-million-year-old, 62-mile diameter asteroid crater in eastern Siberia known as Popigai Astroblem. They decided to keep it secret, and not to exploit it, apparently because the USSR's huge diamond operations at Mirny, in Yakutia, were already producing immense profits in what was then a tightly controlled world market."

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243 comments

And how will this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41367651)

Impact the price of the Damned shiny rocks that I buy for my wife?

Re:And how will this (4, Funny)

preaction (1526109) | about a year and a half ago | (#41367657)

If Russia can help it, not at all.

Re:And how will this (1, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year and a half ago | (#41367799)

In Russia, Diamond deposits reveal YOU!

Re:And how will this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41367911)

That meme's as old as you, JC.

Re:And how will this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41368377)

Plus it's only in Soviet Russia that diamond deposits reveal you.

1. Find huge deposit.
2. Sit on huge deposit for 30 years.
3. ???
4. Profit.

Re:And how will this (1)

pitchpipe (708843) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368541)

He (Jeremiah Cornelius) came up with that meme before 'meme' was a word you whipper snapper.

Re:And how will this (5, Insightful)

wiedzmin (1269816) | about a year and a half ago | (#41367731)

Nope. The price of diamonds is completely artificial, agreed upon by all the suppliers and does not reflect their actual value or supply availability. It's the biggest case of non-penalized price fixing in the history of the world.
 
I am curious if there's going to be a huge diamond down there... I'm assuming that they formed from the pressure created by the impact...

Re:And how will this (3, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year and a half ago | (#41367781)

Re:And how will this (2, Interesting)

DigiShaman (671371) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368543)

The four C's. Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat Weight. Cut is an artificial item, so let's focus on Color, Clarity and Carat. Of all the diamonds found in nature, what percentage of them are valuable to the consumer market? Low grade yellows and industrial diamonds are in fact dirt cheap by comparison.

BTW, I'm married. I don't discount the fact there is pricing fixing going on, I just questions the natural ratio of quality diamonds that we all know and love (or she does anyways)

Re:And how will this (2)

QuantumRiff (120817) | about a year and a half ago | (#41367823)

There has long, long been a rumor that DeBeers will never open an "official" office in the US..

Re:And how will this (4, Informative)

niado (1650369) | about a year and a half ago | (#41367833)

According to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] graphite in an 8.5 mile radius of the impact was turned into diamond due to impact pressure.

Re:And how will this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41368025)

Except for oil. There's a ton of oil out there, but a cartel called "OPEC" artificially creates scarcity.

Re:And how will this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41368703)

In the 70s maybe. These days the world is pumping all it can muster, using advanced extraction techniques, which will likely cause the crash to be faster than it otherwise would have [theoildrum.com].

Re:And how will this (5, Informative)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368075)

Here is an informative article, a must-read if you're interested in diamonds. It's old (written in 1982) but everything still applies. In fact it's amazing that the public still hasn't gotten wise to the diamond racket in the 30 years since the article.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1982/02/have-you-ever-tried-to-sell-a-diamond/304575/1/?google_editors_picks=true [theatlantic.com]

Not surprising (2)

catchblue22 (1004569) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368467)

There are diamond reserves in the older regions of Africa and North America. It is not surprising that there are diamonds in the centre of Asia as well. The geology is similar. Basically what you need is an area with very old rock that hasn't been hugely disturbed by geological processes. The Canadian Shield contains 3 to 4 billion year old rock, and I believe there are also areas with similar rocks in both central Africa and central Asia. Diamonds can be found in areas with rocks with ages more than 2.5 billion years [nrcan.gc.ca]. I think this is because the kimberlite pipes that bring them to the surface only happened that long ago, though I'm not absolutely sure of this. Once deposited by those pipes, the diamonds remain at or near the surface, where they can be mined.

Re:And how will this (4, Interesting)

Dodgy G33za (1669772) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368473)

"It's the biggest case of non-penalized price fixing in the history of the world."

It would be interesting to see whether OPEC price fixing cost the world more than this cartel. I have a sneaking suspicion it would win hands down.

Re:And how will this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41368573)

I'm pretty sure Israel will be soon declaring war on Russia the jewish monopoly on gemstones will be lost together with all the revenue.

Re:And how will this (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year and a half ago | (#41367863)

This was my first thought, as my girlfriend knows to expect something shiny in the relatively near future

Re:And how will this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41367961)

A DVD about blood diamonds and their artificial worth is shiny.

Re:And how will this (2)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about a year and a half ago | (#41367999)

This was my first thought, as my girlfriend knows to expect something shiny in the relatively near future

Ya, girls, like fish, like shiny things, so might I suggest a two-fer: silver [crittergittertackle.com] or gold [crittergittertackle.com]?

Let me know how it turns out :-)

Re:And how will this (1)

AdamHaun (43173) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368455)

This was my first thought, as my girlfriend knows to expect something shiny in the relatively near future

Get a lab-created diamond. A huge, high-quality stone costs a fraction of the price of a natural one. Being real diamonds (carbon crystals), they're indistinguishable without special equipment. There's no reason to pay a fortune for gemstones today (unless you're rich or are stocking a museum, I guess). Find a good local jeweler; they can tell you more.

Re:And how will this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41368889)

Do you even know a woman? She would not like this. She wouldn't like the truth and she wouldn't like you lying to her.

Re:And how will this (5, Funny)

davidwr (791652) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368031)

This Slashdot. You must be new here.

What is this "wife" of which you speak?

Re:And how will this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41368313)

Get a book called, "The Rise And Fall of Diamonds". Dimonds are nearly worthless rocks and are in no way precious. The only value associated with them is the value created by 100% artifically manipulated supply and demand. Before WWII, you literally couldn't give diamonds away. DeBeers PAID stars of the era to wear them as if they were precious. This created demand. Over the years, by means of extremely strict control of the market, people now pay a lot for what is literally a worthless gem, outside of industry.

In parts of Africa, simply picking up a diamond is punishable by death. At one point in time, diamonds were harvested by forcing slaves to place buckets around their necks with twine. They would then crawl across the sand, shoulder to shoulder, dropping diamonds into their bucket. The noise was compared to machine guns in a war zone. Now you know why its illegal to pick up diamonds.

Regardless of how you feel about diamonds, one things is for sure, the world would literally be a better place if the DeBeers family were removed from the face of the earth. In case you didn't know it, DeBeers is directly responsable for the resurgance of slavery and indentured servitude.

Re:And how will this (5, Insightful)

martinX (672498) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368777)

The price of the diamonds may go down, but the amount of money you are required to spend on your wife to demonstrate your love for her will remain fixed. Bigger diamond, more diamonds, platinum band, all these options are open to her to make sure you don't spend less on her than she expects. And she expects
you to spend enough on her that you notice the cost. Not enough to cause resentment, but enough to delay discretionary and hobby purchases for yourself for anything up to year or so, depending on the occasion (e.g. an eternity ring).

This will elevate her status amongst her peers, confirming to them and her family that she made the right choice in a lifetime mate: someone who has the financial wherewithal to make these purchases and someone who has an emotional attachment to her that's strong enough to actually do it. It will also increase her financial self-worth, giving her something she can personally contribute to the family (at high emotional cost) in times of great need, or something of intrinsic and emotional value she can hand on to favoured descendants. At worst, she can flog it off if you separate.

Buy these things for her, and be happy with your lot. With luck, you may get a blowjob on your birthday.

Re:And how will this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41368827)

Suggestion: stop buying useless things and tell her to stop being so superficial and useless.

Wow, this is REALLY old news (4, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | about a year and a half ago | (#41367655)

I remember learning about DeBeers and having this bit of information come up at some point.... lots of people in Russia dying mysterious deaths surrounding the topic of diamonds in Russia.

Diamonds are fairly plentiful and common. That they are expensive and considered valuable is marketing... or racketeering... whatever you want to call it.

Re:Wow, this is REALLY old news (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41367771)

I remember learning about DeBeers and having this bit of information come up at some point.... lots of people in Russia dying mysterious deaths surrounding the topic of diamonds in Russia.

People dying mysteriously in Russia isn't really enough to cause anyone to ask further questions. It's probably more of a deterrent.

Re:Wow, this is REALLY old news (1)

Formalin (1945560) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368045)

Collusion is the term you are looking for.

Absolute rarity is not be the entire thing with value, though... demand is important too... and faith, apparently. Must be the same reason that diamonds harvested by poor in wartorn shitholes are more valuable than synthesised ones.

The bismuth in your pepto-bismol is much less prevalent than silver (there is roughly twice as much bismuth as gold, and 20x as much silver as gold), yet it is considerably cheaper.

Re:Wow, this is REALLY old news (1)

Formalin (1945560) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368175)

On second thought, maybe racketeering is (was) right at least, when de beers pressured others to enter their cartel, using their near monopoly to become even more near monopoly...

But they ain't the only show in town anymore, and diamonds are still expensive...

Not unlike the Washington Monument (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41368357)

The Washington Monument was supposed to be capped with the world's most expensive metal -- aluminum. Perhaps diamonds will go the same way as aluminum did and become proliffic. Overheard in the not too distant future: "That Cubic Zirconia looks so good on you, it looks so much better than those diamonds, they're _everywhere_!"

Good News (2)

P-niiice (1703362) | about a year and a half ago | (#41367665)

please let this drop diamond prices down to what they should be and force deBeers to find other ways to earn money like flipping burgers or whatever they have where they are

Re:Good News (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#41367909)

please let this drop diamond prices down to what they should be

And what price should they be [wikipedia.org]?

Re:Good News (2)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about a year and a half ago | (#41367945)

The price that would reflect the real supply rather than the monopoly and cartel controlled supply.

Re:Good News (1)

zlives (2009072) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368131)

its the buyers fault as much as D-cartels... only YOU can stop diamond cartels :)

Re:Good News (1)

Dodgy G33za (1669772) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368563)

Problem is that as well as being shiny shiny diamond is also quite useful if you want to cut things. Which means that a large part of the diamond market is industrial.

It doesn't help that Notch has given a new generation a love of the things. And you need a lot of diamonds for that breastplate.

Diamonds, like paper (4, Insightful)

oGMo (379) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368217)

Yeah it's almost like someone decided to put a funny pattern on some paper, cut it up into small rectangles, and declare it worth something. Can you imagine people accepting something like that?! A completely artificially-restricted supply of controlled by one organization! What next, they arrest people who try and print their own!?

In seriousness, there is no value beyond consensus. Gold is not any more intrinsically valuable than diamonds (or fiat currency!); people simply agree to trade a certain amount of one thing (paper, bank balance, etc) for it. This is why people pay for BitCoins (and other virtual goods), why currency fluctuates, and in essence, how the economy works.

(The malleability of gold and other arguments of function are entirely irrelevant; people always agree on value for some reason, from "I have too much money and I felt like it," to "I need it for my research." Reason is a constant, and one reason is not inherently better or more valid than another.)

Re:Diamonds, like paper (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368893)

Yeah it's almost like someone decided to put a funny pattern on some paper

Almost, but actually not.

If diamonds were the foundation of our currency then it would make sense to restrict the supply. Currencies must of necessity be scarce or they become worthless, and in the case of paper that scarcity must of necessity be artificial. That it is artificial and thus allows for overprinting and the resultant devaluation is why many (myself not among them) would much prefer a gold-backed currency. They choose gold as opposed to, say, diamonds, because gold represents actual scarcity and thus makes it extremely unlikely that any entity could flood the market and drop the bottom out of the price.

Controlling and limiting the supply of currency helps everyone participating in the economy.

Limiting the supply of diamonds only helps those participating in the scam.

Of course price is only a matter of consensus blah blah blah everything is the same so let's not distinguish...

Except what do you think would actually happen if DeBeer's got hit in the metaphorical head and unleashed the floodgates, or Russia started exploiting this diamond source to its maximum potential, or anything else happened to change the availability of diamonds to reflect their true scarcity?

Yeah, virtually nobody would agree to pay the prices currently being asked. The only reason anyone does is because of the artificial scarcity (which relatively few even know is artificial).

Re:Good News (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368117)

please let this drop diamond prices down to what they should be

What do you need diamonds for? Industrial purposes? The whole consumer market, both supply and demand, is an invention. They managed to convince people that they wanted them, then they constrained the supply, then they invented a pricing scheme (two months salary (or whatever it is)) that creates the seller's dream of a perfectly tiered market.

Re:Good News (1)

Nursie (632944) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368433)

There is just no way I'm spending to months salary on shiny rocks for a girl. Unless it's twice this month's, which would still be $0 (taking a little career break :)

I mean, that's ludicrous. That's a serious proportion of a car, or mortgage paid down, or hell, an amazing holiday.

Re:Good News (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368419)

Sure they could get cheaper, but they'll also be larger and of better quality. The difference would be that your spouse would now demand the diamond that X amount of dollars would buy.

Re:Good News (3, Informative)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368501)

This isn't really news, Canada has large diamond depots [nrcan.gc.ca] in the far north as well. Most are in production now, we've got several others that were discovered under the permafrost as well but they're not being mined. They're even larger than the ~28million metric ton Victor Pit open mine.

Industrial quality? (2)

holmstar (1388267) | about a year and a half ago | (#41367681)

Reading through TFA it sounds like these are industrial quality diamonds rather than the sparkly, clear, goes on a ring type. Still a big find though.

Re:Industrial quality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41367737)

lol diamond = diamond

Re:Industrial quality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41367847)

For sale: raw, black porous diamonds cylinders padded with wood around them. May require some pressure to become clear and shatter-proof.

Re:Industrial quality? (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | about a year and a half ago | (#41367867)

lol diamond = diamond

No, it does not, as long as people are willing to pay for the pretty ones. The majority of diamonds that are mined are great for industrial use (drill bits, etc.) but not very nice to look at. Add to that the price fixing fostered by DeBeers, which is really just a 'legalized' organized crime ring, and diamond != diamond.

Re:Industrial quality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41367989)

lol diamond = diamond

And you wonder why you never get laid.

Re:Industrial quality? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year and a half ago | (#41367773)

Reading through TFA it sounds like these are industrial quality diamonds

When I read the headline, my first thought was "The Bear and the Dragon in real life". This is a bit disheartening, but still... (I'm actually reading it right now, talk of a coincidence!)

Re:Industrial quality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41368003)

It's been a few years since I read the book, but in The Bear and The Dragon, didn't the Russians discover gold and oil rather than diamonds?

Re:Industrial quality? (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368069)

The difference is only in marketing. One successful marketing campaign can turn industrial diamonds into gem quality diamonds.

Re:Industrial quality? (1)

boristdog (133725) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368235)

Exactly. Now that you can make large diamonds cheaply with vapor deposition, things have already changed.

Back in the old days a small defect made a diamond worth far less. Now I've seen people charge more for diamonds with small defects because "you can tell it's a natural diamond, not a man-made diamond." And even the old, worthless, yellow "honey diamonds" are commanding higher prices.

Re:Industrial quality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41368429)

Incorrect. Man made diamonds do not ever reach the really rare flawless qualities. Only the upper mid range (VS, occasionally VVS). Color, for sure man made are perfect.

Re:Industrial quality? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368683)

These aren't even proper diamonds. Apparently, it's some strange combination of a regular diamond structure with that of lonsdalite [technion.ac.il]. It has some very neat properties from industrial use perspective (up to twice the hardness of regular diamonds - think about what that means for tools), but it's not exactly "shiny".

Re:Industrial quality? (4, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368757)

To be even more specific, let me translate a quote from one of the scientists involved (source [www.ria.ru]):

"This isn't even diamond. The hardness of this phase (lonsdalite) is 1.54 higher than that of diamond, and here we have nanometer-sized crystals of cubic diamonds and lonsdalite - it's a very viscous matrix, which is what defines the extraordinary qualities of the Popygay impactite. The proportion of lonsdalite in some of these samples is as high as 70%."

Also, according to the same article, the market price of those crystals is estimated as $2-2.5 per carat. For comparison, jewelry-grade diamonds go for thousands of dollars per carat.

Diamonds are Carbon - Common as Dirt (4, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year and a half ago | (#41367703)

Unlike Gold, or even many other gemstones which have a rarity that enhances value? Diamonds are only of spectacular value, when they achieve very large carat size, without flaws or inclusions.

But there's a mystique , deliberately crafted, to conflate the value of a 2-carat Zales engagement ring with something like the Koh-i-noor.

 

Re:Diamonds are Carbon - Common as Dirt (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#41367881)

Diamonds are only of spectacular value, when they achieve very large carat size, without flaws or inclusions

HUGE industrial demand, compared to gold. Gold has some industrial demand, but if diamond was as cheap per pound as carbide or HSS you'd see a lot more cutting tools using it. Imagine metal cutting tools using a diamond insert instead of a carbide insert. I wonder if they'd ever wear out?

You don't want to know how much I paid for my diamond wheel and diamond stone. Well, I'm sure gemstone quality would make it cost as much as my house instead of just as much as a (cheap) car payment for industrial diamond grinding tools.... Maybe its cheaper now? donno.

Diamond wheel is the only reasonable way to sharpen carbide cutting tools. Word to wise do not cut plain steel with diamond... something about the carbon steel metallurgy makes the diamond break down fast and its a waste of money. Diamond being carbon can supposedly dissolve into low carbon steels so it wears extremely quickly.

You know what would be cool, in a cheap diamond world? One of those dremel cutoff fiberglass wheels impregnated with industrial diamonds. That would probably be $30 to $50 now, but in a cheap diamond world could be as little as $5 each. You'd only buy one per lifetime, as long as you don't cut steel with it.

Re:Diamonds are Carbon - Common as Dirt (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368213)

The material holding the diamond wears out long before the diamond itself does. That's the actual tool life limit.

Re:Diamonds are Carbon - Common as Dirt (1)

Formalin (1945560) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368271)

I was under the impression that small industrial diamonds, for grit and such, have been synthetic since the 50s... and fairly cheap.

Think general electric came up with the process.

Iron likes to eat carbon when it's hot - doesn't matter if it's coke or diamond.

If you can easily shape it, maybe (1)

bigtrike (904535) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368495)

I have no idea these days, but last time I spec'd out the purchase of carbide cutting inserts they weren't much more than $5 when sintered into your desired shape in bulk. Wouldn't the diamonds burn up pretty easily?

Not very usable, not very secret (2)

Khyber (864651) | about a year and a half ago | (#41367717)

We've known about this for years. All the fucking diamonds are radioactive as hell.

Graphite field + meteor impact = nuclear diamonds.

Re:Not very usable, not very secret (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41367907)

I, for one, welcome our new nuclear diamond overlords.

Re:Not very usable, not very secret (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41368143)

You are right that Popigai impact diamonds have been known for many years (paper from 1997 for example [univie.ac.at] [PDF]). I don't understand what is new about this news article. There's nothing new there at all, and the Popigai diamonds are industrial diamonds, not the big, single crystals for jewelry. But what you say doesn't make any sense either, because graphite subjected to impact pressures and temperatures does not produce radioactivity.

Re:Not very usable, not very secret (2)

Khyber (864651) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368371)

You didn't know that Russian Diamonds are almost all radioactive, did you? That's one of the easiest ways to find out where the stone came from, is with a Geiger counter. If it sets it off, you're talking Russia/Ukraine/Slavic areas.

And meteorite impacts are well-known for making areas slightly radioactive.

That will likely make these diamonds good for industry, shit for optics.

Re:Not very usable, not very secret (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41368337)

Has there ever been a more successful cartel? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41367749)

This makes me wonder if there has ever been a more successful cartel. The last time it was threatened was when they found them in Canada. Of course the Canadians knew better than to just let them out in a free market. Even if you're not in DeBeers, everybody understands that you have to release.... them... slowly...

Show her you really care by spending outrageous cartel prices. Has to be one of the greatest scams in history.

Re:Has there ever been a more successful cartel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41367819)

Catholic church circa 1000AD?

Re:Has there ever been a more successful cartel? (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368009)

This makes me wonder if there has ever been a more successful cartel

DeBeers annual revenue 6 billion per year per wikipedia

OPEC 33 million barrels per day shipped at 100 bucks a barrel = 3.3 billion bucks per day or "about one and a quarter trillion" per year.

Re:Has there ever been a more successful cartel? (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368307)

..and I can fill up for (today's rate) $1.229 CDN/L. That price includes land leases, drilling, transport of raw material, processing into sellable product, redisdribution to buyers, transport to the local gas station, maintenance of all equipemnt, and lots of taxes. Also, everyone is taking a cut at every stage. It's still only $1.229/L.

Its really amazing how cheap gas actually actually is.

Resource curse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41367807)

This will help the Russian government stay corrupt [wikipedia.org] even after they run out of oil.

I don't get it... (2)

xor.pt (882444) | about a year and a half ago | (#41367871)

So the USSR was financially strangled during the Cold War by low oil prices while at the same time they had these diamond deposits?

Re:I don't get it... (1)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368055)

So the USSR was financially strangled during the Cold War by low oil prices while at the same time they had these diamond deposits?

This was before the Canadians were shipping their rocks, so dumping diamonds on the market to implode the market would only piss off the south africans, who were on the west's sh!t list at the time for the whole apartheid thing. So if anything, dumping their diamonds would make "us" happy. Maybe not happy enough to give them oil out of the goodness of our hearts, but...

I have no idea how to prove that the S.A. were not paying a bribe in metals to the russians to keep their diamonds off the market. That would have been the intelligent thing for them to demand. But even confiscating the entire production of S.A. isn't going to keep USSR afloat, so...

Re:I don't get it... (0)

Khyber (864651) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368087)

Nobody wants radioactive diamonds. Especially from THAT area.

Re:I don't get it... (2)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368333)

I am curious what kind of radiation they produce now.

Are they alpha emitters? Gamma emitters? Beta emitters?

Either alpha or beta emitters in a clear crystalline matrix could have interesting applications when coupled to rare-earth oxide layers, for instance.

Not something you would wear around your neck, but something you CVD a layer of silicon onto, and etch a photocell on.

If they are radioactive enough to be harmful, they are radioactive enough for passive power generation; assuming beta or alpha decay at least. Gamma decay would make them basically useless, except as reference signal sources for density meters.

Where can I get more information on these diamonds?

Re:I don't get it... (2)

dtmos (447842) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368631)

Can you either:

(a) explain how an impact can make something radioactive;
(b) cite a source for your belief that these diamonds are radioactive; or
(c) stop going on and on about it?

Thank you.

Monopoly. (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | about a year and a half ago | (#41367917)

I recall reading that some time ago De Beers had conspired with GE to fix the price of industrial diamonds. I've also been told that synthetic diamonds can be produced with higher quality than most naturally occurring diamonds, but their manufacture is kept at a relative minimum to keep prices high. Although apparently De Beer's monopoly isn't what it used to be, not that it means an end to price fixing or other questionable practices.

The DeBeers strategy is twofold: (1)

bdwoolman (561635) | about a year and a half ago | (#41367965)

Control supply and stimulate demand. The 'tradition' of a diamond engagement ring is a DeBeers invention that dates to the twenties. Also DeBeers subsidizes advertising. Jewelers can get money from DeBeers to help them place ads provided they stick to certain themes. DeBeers will even supply stock art. Something else few people realize. DeBeers is heavily invested in gold production. They own controlling interest in a lot of mines. So it is not only diamonds that have been manipulated, but gold as well. Same deal: stimulate demand with subsidized ads and control supply. Gold is not as well controlled as are diamonds, but a review of the recent price trend gives a clue. Watch what happens to gold when the world economy goes back on the boil. It may be a while, but trust me. The people who cornered this market will clean TF up.

Popigai crater: Origin and distribution of diamond (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41368101)

A peer reviewed paper describing the occurrence is here (paywalled):
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1945-5100.1998.tb01639.x/abstract
The diamonds are ~0.2-0.5mm, elongate or tabular layered grains. They are sometimes colorless but often are yellow, grey, or black. Rarely there are diamonds which reach 10mm found in the alluvial gravel.

If the deposit is as rich as the article claims it looks like an excellent source for industrial diamonds, although given how fractured they are it won't change the gem diamond market much.

Quick, invade them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41368225)

They are obviously planing to build a weapon of mass destruction satellite with it!

Does the Mohs scale now go to 11? (3, Funny)

es330td (964170) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368241)

Forgive my ignorance but I thought diamond was a defined crystal lattice structure. How can it be "twice as hard" if it is a diamond? Is this another naturally occurring state of carbon that should be called something else?

Re:Does the Mohs scale now go to 11? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41368859)

There are impurities (inclusions) in all diamonds. This affects hardness.

Goodbye DeBeers (1)

minstrelmike (1602771) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368475)

Your monopoly is gone. New monopolists such as Monsanto and MPIAA are taking over.

Re:Goodbye DeBeers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41368807)

DeBeers entered into a mineral agreement with Russia in 1992 giving them right of first refusal for all diamonds mined in Russia.

know what's hot? (1)

Sebastopol (189276) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368519)

Fiancees who reject the diamond industry!

Yay for rejecting the marketing that every engagement needs a big sparkly rock!

Re:know what's hot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41368903)

Yay. Then we can go back to needing more gold and all those other gems than the next guy! Or revert to who owns the most land. Or.... hold on. Are we Anglos the only people where the man has to pay to get married? Don't our left defined non white "betters" gets paid by the woman?

Udachny (2)

udachny (2454394) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368775)

Back in the eighties I spent 6 years in Udachny [wikipedia.org] (see the nick?) What are and were near 20,000 people doing so far north? Why was there an underground nuclear explosion there? Diamonds. [wikipedia.org] For the longest time that place supplied 80% of Soviet and then Russian diamonds. Udachny is the deepest open diamond mine at 610 meters. The largest diamond in Russia was found there on the 23 of December 1980. It was 48x36x25 mm, at 342.5ct, it was very clear, yellow stone.

  Some pictures. [narod.ru]

Russia is full of diamonds, but mostly they are small, used to make drill bits, parts of machines.

WOW, and I am planning to move to Russia (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about a year and a half ago | (#41368829)

I was planning to move to Russia and marry a babushka and start a goat farm,
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