Several hundred large diamonds have been discovered in a small sample of frozen lava following the Tolbachik eruption in 2013, the Russian Ministry of Science has recently announced. Interestingly, despite appearing synthetic to the naked eye, the geological and mineralogical characteristics of the diamonds do not reflect those seen in any other diamond class to date. As such, these diamonds have been classified as an entirely new type of diamond.

“The solidified lava of the Tolbachik eruption [in 2012-2013] carries within it a new and never-before-seen type of diamond,” the Russian Ministry of Science announced in July 2015. “They were named – Tolbachik diamonds.”

Unlike traditional diamonds which are slowly formed over millions of years due to extreme temperature and pressure, the Tolbachik diamonds are reported to have been created from the volcanic gases being under immense pressure, crystallised “under the influence of electrical discharges of lightning.” Russian scientists believe that the Tolbachik diamonds are the natural realisation of a French patent filed in 1964, suggesting that synthetic diamonds could be produced from gas using an extremely powerful electric discharge.

The statement released by the Russian Ministry of Science continues: “From a small sample of solidified lava there were several hundred diamonds recovered – that’s a lot! This is the number of diamonds that can only be compared with abnormally high enrichment of diamond lava rocks on the field of Dachin in India (77 diamonds in a 1-kilogram sample) and an unusual magmatic rock in Canada (1,500 diamonds in 28-kilogram sample).”

As if the report wasn’t fascinating enough, the diamonds also appear to be fairly large for volcanic rocks, ranging from 250 to 700 microns in size. Geologists working in the area have also concluded that at least some of the other unexamined lava yields on the Kamchatka Peninsula area are diamondiferous. Considering the latest eruption sent rivers of lava tens of kilometres down the summit area and the southern slope, this is certainly cause for excitement.

Sadly, here at Marlow’s Diamonds we don’t have any of these newly discovered Tolbachik diamonds for sale. We do however stock an extensive collection of high quality diamond engagement and wedding rings to suit any taste or budget.