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The World’s First Diamond Within a Diamond Was Just Discovered—and It Could Be 800 Million Years Old

Eureka x 2.

Matryoshka diamond Alrosa

No, you’re not seeing double: The world’s first diamond within a diamond has just been discovered in Russia—and it may be more than 800 million years old.

Dubbed the Matryoshka after its Russian doll-type structure, the double diamond weighs in at just .62 carats. It measures 4.8 x 4.9 x 2.8 mm and has an internal cavity of 6 cubic millimeters where another diamond of .02 carats resides. This internal rock—sized at 1.9 × 2.1 ×0.6 mm—can roll about freely in the cavity, kind of like a hyper upscale Kinder Surprise.

The rarity was discovered by leading diamond-mining company Alrosa—which is partially owned by the Russian government—at the company’s site in Yakutia (a region in Russia). The unique bling was uncovered while workers were sorting other diamonds at the Nyurba division.

Matryoshka diamond

X-ray view of the Matryoshka diamond  Alrosa

After finding the Matryoshka, the scientists at Alrosa studied the stone with both Raman and infrared spectroscopies, as well as an X-ray microtomography.

“The most interesting thing for us was to find out how the air space between the inner and outer diamonds was formed,” Oleg Kovalchuk, Alrosa’s deputy director for innovations at the company’s research and development geological enterprise, said in a statement.

The scientists offered two main theories on how the unusual diamond came to fruition: One, a layer of porous diamond substance was formed inside the diamond because of ultra-fast growth, then an aggressive mantle process subsequently dissolved the layer so one diamond began to move freely inside the other; two, a mantle mineral captured the diamond during its growth and later it was dissolved in the Earth’s surface. According to Alrosa, it’s the first-ever nesting diamond on record, and scientists believe it may have originated more than 800 million years ago.

“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,” Kovalchuk said.

However it was formed, it certainly is a stunner. There are no details on pricing yet, but you can safely expect the Matryoshka to become the world’s most expensive Russian doll before long.

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