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Russia Is Sitting on “Trillions of Carats” of Diamonds

George Washington's picture


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.

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Tue, 09/18/2012 - 03:01 | 2806190 Hobbleknee
Hobbleknee's picture

Yes of course they've had them since the 70s.  That's why they let them sit there as the empire crumbled.

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 22:03 | 2805856 Son of Loki
Son of Loki's picture

They are also sitting on lots of palladium and nickel....much more in demand then diamonds, right?

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 21:42 | 2805815 SafelyGraze
SafelyGraze's picture

diamonds are rare and valuable
or else there are zillions of them

gold is rare and valuable
or else there are tons and tons of it

petroleum is rare / valuable / peaked
or else it's very plentiful
very very very


Mon, 09/17/2012 - 21:02 | 2805718 adr
adr's picture

When my mom told me that diamonds are rare and precious, and I told her that they are neither rare nor precious she yelled at me. I printed out an article on diamond mining once and gave it to her. It kind of broke her heart when she realized some Jews conspired to increase the value of a rock, just about as common as quartz, to the insane levels they demand.

I remember watching "Diamonds" on the History Channel and seeing a member of the cartel go to a diamond exchange in Amsterdam. He paid about $200 for a giant bag of uncut diamonds, that would later be cut into a couple hundred thousand dollars worth of cut stones.

Of course there is a level of artistry in cutting diamonds, and that is truly where the value lays. However, the Chinese have done a great job and cutting good diamonds that sell for 1/10th the price. No woman can tell the difference between a 1 carat $800 Chinese diamond and a $20k DeBeers. I've watched them try and most of the time they pick the Chinese diamond because it is in a fancier gold setting.

I bought my wife a Chinese made 3/4 carat princess cut diamond wedding ring with another 1/2 carat worth of accents on clearance at JCPenney for $275. Her mother still thinks I spent at least $5k on it. My wife took the ring to an appraiser one time and he gave it a $2200 retail value. I laugh every time my brother in law talks about spending $2500 on my sister's ring. I told him he got Jewed.

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 20:29 | 2805633 elementary
elementary's picture

South Africa and London have been "hiding" diamonds for decades to keep the price on the open market elevated. It was estimated about 10 years ago that every diamond bought for the little woman was worth 1/10th of the price paid. In other words, my sister-in-law's rock is really worth only $4250, not the $42,500 my brother paid.  Don't have the heart to tell him, cuz status is everything, you know.

Every market is manipulated. Why would diamonds be any different?

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 21:42 | 2805816 a growing concern
a growing concern's picture

Damn.  42 grand would buy a lot of hookers and blow.

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 20:20 | 2805607 Pejorative Requiem
Pejorative Requiem's picture

Diamonds have always been of controlled value. So Vladamir is threatening to open a spigot that De Beers always knew was there. Why? When you're dealing with a quasi-dictatorship like the USSR, the answer could be as simple as someone pissing off Putin.

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 20:18 | 2805594 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

I wouldn't be too worried about the white dwarf source, heh.

First there's the ridiculous distance.

Then there's the fact that a "white dwarf" is a theoretical mathematical construct, as are black holes and dark matter.  These improbable (to absurd) contructs, come from trying to explain the enormous observed energies soley with gravity, the weakest of all forces.  Electromagnetic energy is 10^37 stronger.  The nuclear furnace model of the sun is also a matter of theory -- a theory that increasingly fails to explain observations. 










Mon, 09/17/2012 - 20:35 | 2805590 Savyindallas
Savyindallas's picture


Mon, 09/17/2012 - 20:01 | 2805545 Gringo Viejo
Gringo Viejo's picture

Actually, diamonds are fairly commonplace. DeBeer's allegedly has warehouses full. It's something of a myth that they have intrinsic value; much like Federal Reserve Notes.......lmfao.

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 22:32 | 2805904 cynicalskeptic
cynicalskeptic's picture

Worked in NYC with someone whose husband was in the diamond trade.  A co-worker wanted to buy an engagement ring.  She sent him to her husband where he got a good (high quality stone) for less than half of what he was quoted elsewhere and you know the guy was STILL Making money on the sale.

If you go out and buy an engagement ring - or any diamond - and go to sell it the next day you'll be LUCKY to get HALF of what you paid.   I won't get into how flaws are covered up and colors artificially enhanced (though one batch of colored diamonds was found to be highly dangerous to any wearer because the colors had been intensified by RADIATION - they'd been put near the core of a nuclear reactor)

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 22:31 | 2805901 CunnyFunt
CunnyFunt's picture

The notion of intrinsic value is a myth. It's all subjective.

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 19:56 | 2805525 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

What would we do without George to "regurgitate" the latest feed from the lefty toads at Yahoo?


Stick to pandering to the phat phuk parasites in DC George.  It's the only thing you do well..., or at all.

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 19:33 | 2805444 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

I think it was Za Za Gabor who said, "girls, when you break off the engagement always return the ring...........just keep the diamond."

Well, it looks like it's going to be the other way round now.

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 19:24 | 2805418 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Time for the diamond cartel to blow up and DIAF!

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 19:12 | 2805372 pursueliberty
pursueliberty's picture

Try explaining this to a woman, though mine does kind of understand it all.  One of the biggest rackets is men spending that kind of money on a stone.  I know a gal whose ring cost exactly one year of her husbands salary.  We joke that she is paying for it with her higher paying job.

My wife got a really nice ring.  I got a really nice yachtmaster as my wedding gift from her.  My watch is "worth" more than her more expensive ring, and much easier to sell in a bind.

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 19:15 | 2805377 Buck Johnson
Buck Johnson's picture

It's called artificial scarcity, unless Russia says F you to the diamond cartel.

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 19:51 | 2805509 jonjon831983
jonjon831983's picture

Unless Russia was secretly part of the cartel - they did say F U to the diamond cartel by playing along with it the whole time...


Keeping the find secret for 40 years... and selling from their other mine all this time???


Sneaky Russians ;)

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 19:07 | 2805356 q99x2
q99x2's picture

What are they stupid. Why don't they sell them before the collapse? They would get more now. After the surviving people climb out of the tunnels they could grind them up and use them of industrial purposes. Probably be a big demand for industrial products then.

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 19:04 | 2805348 The Gooch
The Gooch's picture

Also- "Global Diamond Market" and "3000 years" is a bit of reach.

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 19:11 | 2805364 George Washington
George Washington's picture

Are you trying to insult me?

If so, you might try this:


Mon, 09/17/2012 - 19:44 | 2805485 The Gooch
The Gooch's picture

Sorry George, it's the gin.

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 19:59 | 2805538 George Washington
George Washington's picture

No problem, brother ... add some vermouth ...

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 19:02 | 2805341 The Gooch
The Gooch's picture

At this juncture, WHO FUCKING CARES?


Mon, 09/17/2012 - 18:55 | 2805328 Tango in the Blight
Tango in the Blight's picture

Diamonds can be used to make a killer LaZ0r weapon:


Mon, 09/17/2012 - 18:47 | 2805316 topspinslicer
topspinslicer's picture

I don't trust the Ruskies, they stole my grandfather's shoes

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 18:42 | 2805305 Joebloinvestor
Joebloinvestor's picture

I hope the DeBeer's are reduced to doing charity work.

Another cartel on its' way out.

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 18:46 | 2805297 MrPalladium
MrPalladium's picture

Gentlemen Prefer Blonds.

Those "rocks" might not lose their shape, but, notwithstanding the propaganda campaign, once their commonness is understood prices could collapse to reflect supply.

With low birth rates, every young man in the marrying class will inherit a diamond ring from his grandmother, to give to his sweetheart.

Of course, those who have read Jane Austen's novels, will realize that the giving of an engagement diamond is a modern contrivance and give his lady a 10 oz ingot of gold as a token of his affection instead.

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 19:48 | 2805499 jonjon831983
jonjon831983's picture

Wtf... they used to give gold as a token of affection? ok, screw it keep the diamonds in play.  I'll keep any gold.

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 18:35 | 2805288 Rasna
Rasna's picture

Buying gem quality diamonds is a suckers game. 

As previously noted, the world is awash with diamonds with prices controlled by the cartel.  You buy a diamond at MAX price (how this is determined, I don't know).  If you then sell, a "broker" will buy it from you at a "DISCOUNT" that would make Jon Corzine blush... It's a racket... Now that I think of it I remember seeing Jon down in the Diamond District.

WHY THE HELL HAS JON CORZINE NOT BEEN INDICTED?  Oh, I remember... Eric Assholder is the AG...

My bad.

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 18:34 | 2805286 Diamond Jim
Diamond Jim's picture

There are plenty of diamonds around, both synthetic and naturally mined. But as alluded to above, many are 1/2 carat and under. The half caraters end up in India to be cut if they pass the mustard. Many, not colorless or nearly so end up in diamond polish that I use to polish sapphires, tourmalines etc. There are several stones more rare, more expensive...alexandrite, benitoite, even ruby. Diamonds are a chump game: buy one for $10k, if you need to sell it afterwards because you end up splitting up, you'll be lucky to get $2k.  Larger stones have gone up over 20% in the last couple of years...harder to find in F or better color and VS clarity.

Wed, 09/19/2012 - 09:58 | 2810778 Sweet Chicken
Sweet Chicken's picture

Hey Jim, where you from and are you in the industry? I've been a gemologist now for almost twenty years grading in labs all around the world. Nice to see someone else with knowledge on the subject.

Guess who's been buying up most of the higher quality material? Yep...the chinese. They can buy higher quality goods in the US with the strength of their JUAN (haha) and turn it in China for a considerable profit. Actually it's not even the color so much as the clarity. I've seen them swalow up parcels of VS J-K color goods without blinking an eye.

If you want to talk shop email me at nosebleed111@gmail.com


Mon, 09/17/2012 - 18:33 | 2805284 falak pema
falak pema's picture

so should we all marry those russian women; do they have a dowry of diamonds attached to their navels?

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 18:45 | 2805312 George Washington
George Washington's picture

There are a LOT of beautiful women in Russia ... and Thailand, California, Paris, Japan, Beijing and ...

As a matter of fact ...

(Ahem ... sorry, now back to your regularly scheduled commodities discussion )

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 22:27 | 2805894 Raymond Reason
Raymond Reason's picture

It's your choice:  Peace of mind, or piece of ass. 

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 18:21 | 2805249 deerhunter
deerhunter's picture

I have friends in South Africa and have traveled there on occasion.  The world is really awash in diamonds and DeBeers et al have run a very successful Cartel for the past century or thereabouts.  The Afrikaaners chuckle when they think of poor sods over here in USA paying 2 months salary for a stone.  Give me rubys or gold anyway says the wife. 

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 18:18 | 2805242 Robslob
Robslob's picture


Yeah but but how much of those "cartel" owned diamonds are Cubic Zirconium???

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 18:06 | 2805207 Banjo
Banjo's picture

Supply and demand :)

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 18:05 | 2805206 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

that bling-bling planet is gonna put Swarovski out of business in double-quick time 

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 17:09 | 2804990 infiniti
infiniti's picture

I was always under the impression that the world is awash in tiny diamonds whose clarity/color is not fit for the consumer market - but that larger (2+ carat) diamonds with no color or imperfections were extremely rare. Does anybody have any sources on that info?


Mon, 09/17/2012 - 18:12 | 2805222 Citxmech
Citxmech's picture

Industrial processes now exist for the economical manufacture of diamonds better than those found in nature.  In fact, this is part of the rational for de Beers serializing their product - so you can ensure that that you are getting a "real" dug from the ground diamond soaked in the proper quantity of blood.

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 19:45 | 2805490 jonjon831983
jonjon831983's picture

Useless kimberlite process with so many loopholes.


Please don't say manufactured diamonds.  They're called Cultured Diamonds.



Wed, 09/19/2012 - 09:52 | 2810743 Sweet Chicken
Sweet Chicken's picture

They are manufactured in a laboratory and are called synthetic diamonds. There is no difference in the material only the process in which they are grown. Same goes for synthetic Corrundum (Ruby & Sapphire) whether by Flame Fusion or Flux process.

Creating synthetic diamonds is not easy and nor is it cheap. At this point in time buying real diamonds is cheaper and more affordable. Also presently they are not able to grow 2carat plus gem quality synthetic diamonds.

This is a subjectI am very well informed and active in.


If anyone needs help/advice in this area feel free to email me at nosebleed111@gmail.com




Mon, 09/17/2012 - 18:09 | 2805209 Dr Benway
Dr Benway's picture

I posted a classic article here a couple of times called "have you ever tried to sell a diamond" from Atlantic magazine. Read it.

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 20:41 | 2805670 LoneuhRanger
LoneuhRanger's picture

Wow! A great eye opening, finger swelling, wallet closing article!

No mind control happening here!

Thank you Doctor, I feel better now.

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 17:22 | 2804988 eddiebe
eddiebe's picture

Well if this is true... Goes to show the power of cartels.

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 21:03 | 2805719 imbtween
imbtween's picture

It's totally true - diamonds are openly manipulated because the market doesn't fall under the auspices of any authority with any meaning, so the price is what deBeers says it is. You know how some people feel about gold in the "why is this more valuable than sand?" sense? I feel that way about diamonds. If they let them float in an open market they'd be worthless.

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 19:38 | 2805464 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

Fortunately only the diamond cartel has the power to create this kind illusion.  The energy market, for example,  is free, transparent and efficient.  And we have all the facts relative to the energy market.  We're running out!!

Mon, 09/17/2012 - 18:19 | 2805239 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

Well don't expect to hear about this in Western media anytime soon, they'll probably just air it 1nce to debunk it

they will put it right next to Sasquach and Yeti maybe even mention Elvis if they're on a roll that day

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