The "Matryoshka" diamond found in Siberia

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An unusual diamond was excavated near Yakutsk, the capital of the Sakha Republic, which is the Far-Eastern part of the Russian Federation.

A regional division of mining giant company ALROSA claims it has found the very first "Matryoshka" diamond – gem caged in another gem.

Firstly considered as a cloud blemish, the hidden object was later recognized as a fully formed diamond. What is curious, the outside diamond is shallow so that the inside one can move around freely. Nicknamed after the Russian doll, it is reportedly the first diamond of such kind humanity has ever found. Mineralogists estimate its age as near 800 million years old. 

Employees of Yakutsk Diamond Trade Enterprise have found it while sorting one of the parties of rough diamonds.


"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 matryoshka nesting doll," said Oleg Kovalchuk, Deputy Director for innovations at ALROSA's Research and Development Geological Enterprise.


The diamond itself has quite "modest" templates: 0,62 carats in total, it has dimensions of 4.8x 4.9x2.8 mm. The inner diamond is estimated to be 0.02 carats and 1.9x2.1x0.6 mm.


"As far as we know, there were no such diamonds in the history of global diamond mining yet. This is a unique creation, especially since nature does not like emptiness. Usually, some minerals are replaced by others without cavity formation," said Kovalchuk.