Aside from being a girl’s best friend, diamonds have a special place in our culture and expressions of love. When scientists found a one-of-a-kind nested diamond in Siberia, it made a lot of people sit up and take notice. Let’s explore how this diamond was found and its potential worth.
Finding A Matryoshka Diamond
Scientists started calling the nested diamond a Matryoshka diamond after the Russian nesting dolls. These dolls could be placed inside one another, hiding as many as seven or eight dolls inside a single one. Similarly, this internal diamond was completely locked inside its larger sibling.
The diamond was found in 2019 in the sorting hub in Yakutsk. Reports state that the diamond was recovered at the Nyurba mine in Yakutia. Experts suggest that the diamond is around 800 million years old. It was the first time anyone at the hub had ever seen something like this, so they decided to ask around.
A Rattling Wonder of Nature
It’s a strange spectacle to look at the Matryoshka diamond. There’s a solid diamond outer shell with enough space inside it to house the smaller diamond. There is a small air pocket between the diamonds, allowing the inner diamond to rattle around if shaken.
The internal diamond is tiny, with an estimated weight of just 0.02 carats. Scientists have calculated its volume as a mere six mm squared. Alrosa, the company that brought the diamond to the world’s attention, states that it knows of no others in existence that mirror this one, making it a one-of-a-kind find.
How Was It Formed?
When the diamond was initially discovered, no one was sure about its formation. Alrosa suggested that the inner diamond may have been formed first, with the outer diamond encasing it like a shell afterward. For most observers, this seemed like a solid guess as to how a unique gem like this was created.
Through dedicated research, gemologists concluded that the diamond was initially solid. However, the inner section of the diamond was selectively dissolved, either through chemical interaction or impurities within the diamond. The inner, smaller diamond resisted the dissolution and remained solid, with the cavity emerging from the missing diamond matter around it.
Typical Diamond Formation is Different
Diamonds are solidified carbon subjected to temperatures and pressures far beyond what we can imagine. Over time, these pressures change the carbon into a crystalline form known as a diamond. Thanks to this understanding, we can now produce lab-made diamonds.
Natural diamonds are usually rough and strangely shaped. The diamonds we’re used to, like the ones we see in rings and necklaces, have been shaped by master artisans. They cut facets into the diamond to make it glow the way we know, reflecting light and making it seem to shine with its own light.
Nature Abhors a Vacuum
As most people might have spotted, the space in between the diamonds should have been filled in by other minerals. Nature abhors a vacuum, and the distance between the diamonds, even though it’s filled with air, is still something truly unnatural. So, why does the cavity exist?
Scientists aren’t sure why the diamond’s space wasn’t filled in for now. Investigators suggest that the chemicals causing the initial cavity were formed inside the diamond, suggesting there may not even be a channel to gain entry to the cavity.
Not So Lonely Anymore
Remember how Alrosa said they didn’t know of any other Matryoshka diamonds in existence? Well, in 2021, another company in Western Australia found a second diamond similar in construction to the one found in 2019. This one is less round and more triangular, with a much smaller inner diamond.
While the second diamond shows that maybe Matryoshka diamonds are not as much of an oddity as we first thought, the report is still sketchy. According to IDEX, there’s a good chance that there are many more of these but that they are discarded as too flawed or that appraisers and sorters were unsure what they were looking at.
So, What’s This Thing Worth?
That’s a question that many people would like to know the answer to. Most people today should know that diamonds are not nearly as rare as they were initially thought to be. Thanks to good marketing by companies like DeBeers, diamonds still retain their value and significance in modern culture.
Despite that, these diamonds are likely to be pretty expensive for several reasons. Since we’ve only discovered so many of them, there might be a massive demand by collectors to own one of the two. Secondly, they are natural marvels, making them even more expensive because of their unique nature.
Exactly How Rare Are They?
Through clever manipulation and a brilliant advertising campaign, the DeBeers diamond company made a diamond a must-have for an engagement celebration. However, diamonds aren’t that rare, at least in their natural form. Many countries in the world have natural diamond mines.
These Matryoshka diamonds are legitimately rare finds, but there may be more out there. When diamond sorters go through new diamonds, they don’t look in detail at each one. If a diamond seems tarnished or flawed, they toss it. They may likely have mistakenly discarded some of these nested diamonds as inferior.
What This Teaches Us
Diamonds are, by their very nature, interesting geological specimens. From them, we can learn a lot about the earth’s formation, the geological processes involved, and how the world as we know it today exists. They’re also among the prettiest gemstones in existence.
However, these Matryoshka diamonds are strange, intriguing, and unique. We still don’t know how many of them are actually out there. What we do know is that if one were to be sold, they’d fetch quite a price on the open market. This isn’t a gem you’ll find in any everyday engagement ring, that’s for sure.