Russia has just declassified a secret it has been keeping for 40 years: it is sitting on trillions of carats of diamonds, enough to supply the global diamond market for 3,000 years.
The diamonds are “twice as hard” as normal, making them ideal for industrial applications, such as diamond saws.
We've previously discussed an even bigger stash of diamonds which may eventually flood the markets: one which is 10 billion trillion trillion carats.
Postscript: The PBS special The Diamond Empire hinted at Russia's diamond resources in 1994:
If the Russians had dumped their diamonds on the market, it might have put an end to the [diamond] cartel ....
It is perhaps amusing to think that, at the height of the cold war, the eternity ring that was being so successfully marketed in America was filled with stones from Siberia.
Russia has more leverage than other producers. It's diamond production is greater than South Africa's. Its deposits in the ground are immense and its stockpiles may exceed even those of De Beers.
Russia's instability and desperate need for hard currency are potentially devastating to De Beers. These millions of carats of diamonds [they were off by a hundred million times or more ... but who's counting?], if suddenly dumped onto the market, could destroy the cartel.