In Russia’s far east Kamchatka peninsula, lava of active Tolbachik volcano has yielded numerous ‘never-before-seen’ diamonds. From a small sample of solidified lava of Tolbachik volcano’s 2012-13 eruption, scientists have found hundreds of diamonds, 250 to 700 microns in size. Apart from the Dachin fields in India (77 diamonds in a 1 Kg sample) and a magmatic rock in Canada (1,500 diamonds in 28 Kg sample), this is probably the first time in the world that lava rocks with unusually high diamond content have been found. But what sets this discovery apart is that these diamonds are almost identical to Lab-grown diamonds.
Dubbed as ‘Tolbachik Diamonds’, these diamonds are not formed in the magmatic belt unlike other earth-mined diamonds, but are formed under pressure by volcanic gases as a result of crystallization influenced by lightning’s electrical discharges. From combustion temperatures to trace compositions, these diamonds differ from other earth-mined diamonds in their geological and mineralogical characteristics but are completely real diamonds.
These diamonds were identified using electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction and represent combination of cubes and octahedrons with rare rhombododecahedrons. Russian Ministry of Science is of the opinion that at least some of the lava yields are diamondiferous and have got the geologists excited at the prospects.
Formation of these diamonds mimic the process of Lab-grown diamonds formation with again the only difference being the point of origin, like the case between Earth-mined diamonds and Lab-grown diamonds. Recovery of these Lab-grown like diamonds from volcanic lava go on to corroborate that Lab-grown diamonds are like any other diamonds, are real and the prefix of ‘Lab-grown’ just indicates the origin of the diamonds.