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Marc Di Duca

Russia reveals 'unique diamonds' created by gases and lightning from volcanic eruption

27 July 2015

Sparkling discovery of precious gems in solidified lava of Tolbachik flare-up.

The ministry expressed excitement about the quantity of diamonds found in the lava. Picture: Perm State University

Geologists are celebrating the discovery of a new type of diamond, says the Russian Ministry of Science. The find was in the lava of 3,682 metre Tolbachik volcano in the Kamchatka peninsula in the country's far east, and experts predict they will be commercially exploited. 

'The solidified lava of the Tolbachik eruption (2012-2013) carries within it a new and never-before-seen type of diamond,' stated the ministry.

'They are named Tolbachik diamonds. According to the Russian geologists, these unique diamonds are not formed in the magmatic melt, but are created by volcanic gases under pressure and as a result of crystallisation under the influence of electrical discharges of lightning.'

Geoolgists say that to the uneducated eye the gems look almost identical to synthetic diamonds. 

'But these are true diamonds that differ from any other known types of precious gems' from their geological and mineralogical characteristics, from combustion temperatures to composition of trace. There was a patent registered in 1964 in France to produce diamonds from gas by using extra powerful electric discharge. It is quite possible that Russian geologists found a nature-made - and real - alternative to French synthetic diamonds.'

New type of diamonds discovered in Russia


New type of diamonds discovered in Russia


New type of diamonds discovered in Russia


New type of diamonds discovered in Russia


New type of diamonds discovered in Russia
Tolbachik volcano eruption, and Tolbachik diamonds. Pictures: Lusika33, Perm State University


The ministry expressed excitement about the quantity of diamonds found in the lava.

'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).'

The diamonds are 250 to 700 microns in size. At least some of the lava yields are diamondiferous, in other words, capable of yielding diamonds for mining. 

In a report by scientists it was stated that the diamonds 'were identified using electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction.

The crystals, as a rule, represent a combination of cubes and octahedrons, with rare rhombododecahedrons'. They concluded: 'Such numerous (hundreds) diamond grains in lavas of the active volcano were found for the first time in the world.'

The Tolbachik complex comprises two volcanoes - Plosky (flat) Tolbachik (3,085 m) and Ostry (sharp) Tolbachik (3,682 m).

New type of diamonds discovered in Russia


New type of diamonds discovered in Russia
Tolbachik volcano eruption. Pictures: Lusika33


They are respectively a flat-topped shield volcano and a peaked stratovolcano. The volcano's best known eruption was called the Great Tolbachik Fissure Eruption (GTFE) in 1975. An eruption on 27 November 2012 started from two fissures of a strombolian type. 

Buildings some 4 kilometres distant were hit by the spectacular lava flows which went as far as 20 km.

The basaltic lavas with diamonds in the pores are similar in chemical composition to the lavas of the Great Tolbachik Fissure Eruption, but there are crucial differences. 

'The basalts of the new eruption contain slightly more SiO2 and higher Fe relative to those of GTFE.'

Comments (15)

Prices of various types of diamonds for industrial use as well as ornaments have drastically gone down. This is the time for entrepreneurs to import, polish, and sell them far and wide. Let them recruit and train apprentices for doing the needful.
Jaspal Singh Sociology, Amritsar / India
25/12/2015 12:27
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Dear author of this press release and Alexander and others,

I found the patent that is referenced in this press release. The patent is entitled: "Improvements to processes for diamond production" and is by Francis Bundy of General Electric. I have read this patent. I would like to clarify some of the science in the patent with regard to this 2015 disclosure concerning lightning transforming carbonaceous gas to diamond in the live lava of the volcano. The status of diamond synthesis during this time of Bundy during the 1960s was high pressure and high temperature. The apparatus patented by GE during those times involved use of huge vises to create high pressures on reactants typically solid reactants (graphite as was used by Bundy in this work) and (for the subject matter here electric resistive heating to raise the temperature of the sample so the reactant (graphite) with catalyst (iron) would transform to diamond under the high pressure. The electric current was discharged so as to rapidly raise the temperature of graphite and iron (solids) before the surrounding press would conduct the thermal energy away minimizing the conversion to diamond. This is the subject of this 1964 patent: huge pressures [100,000 atmosphere (1,000,000 psi) pressures] and low volt electric currents for resistive heating solid carbon and iron! Such system and the physics is much different from the phenomena occurring during lightning striking a sample like hydrocarbon gas or solid carbon as I discovered in 2005 and submitted a patent in June 5, 2006. Unlike Bundy's low potential (10s of volts) heating of the graphite, the huge volts (millions of volts) in lightning as noted by RBL in 2006 introduces magnetic and electric field effects on the electrons about the nucleus of the atoms to revolve the electrons into different hybridizations ('the Little Effect') in this case for carbon atoms sp2 (graphitic reactant) to sp3 (diamond product) thereby eliminating the need for extremely high pressures and in this case catalyst like iron for forming diamond of the carbon reactant. Such phenomena as discovered by RBL during early 2000 were unknown in the 1960s and not known by Bundy and this 1964 French patent. In addition to the differing pressure, temperature, and electric volt condition, the reactants of Bundy are not gases. RBL in Treatise on Diamond extended the effect from solid to gases in 2005 (where magmatic CO2 and iron where proposed to be struck by lightning to form diamond and the iron lava give stability to the formed diamond of the lava). The first discovery of this phenomena of lightning transforming gas to diamond as in the Tolbachik volcano is Reginald B. Little from 2006; it is not Francis Bundy from 1964.
Reginald B. Little, USA
03/08/2015 07:07
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Hi Carmen,
Thanks you. Art and science have relationship. The Universe is beautiful! I would like to enjoy some of your art work.
Reginald B. Little, USA
02/08/2015 00:57
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RBL, I will certainly be researching book chapter and website mentioned...it is a joy to hear such passionate expertise on the topic. I am an artist not a scientist but the wonders of the fusion forces behind such formations are inspiring for anyone that ponders on the cosmos...this story and topic could never be one dimensional it is a "layer cake" for much debate and inspiration...I personally feel it will be a great influence to my artwork.
Carmen, Ireland
01/08/2015 06:33
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Hi Carmen and others, I think it is important to note that I previously in 2013 advocated lightning forming diamond in the hydrogen methane atmosphere of the Planet Saturn. NASA scientists using the Cassini probe had obtained images and data from intense lightning storms on Saturn using the Cassini from such they determined that intense lightning produce carbon debris in the upper atmosphere and they reasoned that such carbon debris felt into the interior of Saturn and under the intense pressure transformed to diamond by classic high pressure and high temperature diamond mechanism. See website: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-24477667 I immediately contacted them and noted that the lightning in Saturn upper atmosphere could directly transform the methane gas to diamond. See Wikipedia article and section "A Different Belief and Theory" :https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diamonds_on_Jupiter_and_Saturn
Reginald B. Little, USA
31/07/2015 03:59
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Please see a book chapter that I published in 2008: " THE FERROCHEMISTRY OF CARBON NANOTUBES, DIAMOND, NUCLEIC ACIDS AND PROTEINS: THE MAGNETIC SYNERGISM OF MACROMOLECULES AND LIFE’S CHEMICAL PATTERNS" { https://www.novapublishers.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=16065} Click below PDF icon for free download. See page 239-240. I quote myself: " In the uncondensed H plasma process, the magnetic currents of p+ and e- in the plasma ferrochemically torque sp2 to sp3 rehybridization of carbon into diamond" And furthermore I quote: "But in the gas phases H plasma, both e- and p+ magnetically rehybridize and synchronize the C knitting into polycrystalline diamond. The magnetic polarized proton spins can organize ferrochemistry just as the magnetic polarized electrons. Recently Little has independently discovered the use of lightning bolts [23] for a source of high energy polarized spin currents to accelerate sp2 to sp3 diamond formation." Although back in 1964 scientists may have used weak electric field and currents for the purpose of heating the carbon and catalyst to form diamond under high pressure, I think it inaccurate to attribute their use of weak currents to their discovering strong field effects on this process. They employed weak currents to heat the reactants; the true subject of the 1964 diamond synthesis was the high pressures and temperatures and unknown catalytic effects of iron. On the contrary, years later RBL in 2000 gave solid direct magnetic and electric field effects for resolving the diamond problem. The subjects of RBL diamond synthesis are electric and magnetic fields with no cover by secondary mechanical pressure and temperature effects. This is wonderful observation by geologists in Russia for diamond formed by lightning in Tolbachik volcano .
Reginald B. Little, USA
31/07/2015 03:53
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So true Carmen. I also as a scientists am struck by the beauty and awe of the Universe as I keep trying to understand more of His creation! I believe He has guided some of my thinking. I tell you the truth that I perfectly imagined such process and even published it that during volcano lightning strikes can transform carbon to diamond and I reasoned that the cold atmosphere could quench such diamond or freeze the lava to diminish their conversion and expansion from diamond to graphite. I also reasoned that magnetic nature of the lava could diminish the graphitizing to save the diamond after transformation by lightning striking the lava!
Reginald B. Little, USA
31/07/2015 03:53
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There is basis for a fascinating discussion on this topic...obvious scientific knowledge is apparent especially from Reginald B...however for me this is an incredible example of how monetary value can never be put on a "spark from the heavens" so to speak and what right would we have to decide a selling price. Man has killed to gain rare diamonds, ladies have wilted from their charm...but this article really shows their true spiritual worth, from nothing but the elements these were formed aided by the charge of electricity and the melting ooze of lava, almost from an alchemical elixir they formed... This is a very fine example of how we are perpetually given "gifts from the heavens" and greed for monetary gain continually ignores the spiritual beauty.
Carmen, Ireland
30/07/2015 06:02
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Thanks for the July 27, 2015 press release concerning the lightning generated diamond from the live lava of the volcanic Tolbachik flare-up. July 27 is my birthday and it was a great birthday present gift!!!
Reginald B. Little, USA
30/07/2015 03:23
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Hi Alexander,
I thank you for the response and the patent number. I looked up this patent 1367388 and like Joshi noted the patent does not match the subject of diamond and electric discharge. This patent 1367388 has to do with purifying aldehydes from a synthesis. I would be very happy if this finding of diamond from lightning during the 2012-13 Tolbachik volcano is true as I proposed such process in 2000 as a result of realizing strong magnetic field could nucleate diamond at atmospheric pressure. In 2006 I submitted a patent on forming diamond from lightning bolts based on the strong electric and accompanying strong magnetic field in the bolt. On yesterday, I searched a French patent base and found 2 French patents on diamond from 1964: "Apparatus for synthesizing diamond" [Rocherolles Raymond] and "A method for modifying the electrical conductivity of the modified diamond and diamond obtained by this process" [General Electric] . Neither of these French patents involve gas and high electric fields for forming diamond as they both involve high pressure processes and use of electric current as a source of heat (much different from the role of lightning in forming diamond!!! One did note using electric field to dope a solid existing diamond with Al or B at pressures wherein diamond was known to nucleate over 5 GPa. But on the other hand, I would like to note that I gave a distinct new mechanism in 2000 whereby the high electric field and strong magnetism by what is known as Little Effect alters C hybridization to nucleate diamond in USA patent in 2006 (http://www.google.com/patents/US20090016950). I also noted my experimental formation of nanodiamond by a lightning strike at Florida National Lightning Research Center in 2008: ( http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0079678608000046).
Reginald B. Little, USA
30/07/2015 03:18
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there is a quote from article -"In this regard, do not be amiss to recall that in 1964 in France was patented a method of producing diamonds from gas using a strong electric discharge (French patent No 1367388)"
Alexander , Novosibirsk
29/07/2015 17:51
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Is the patent no correct it does not match in description?
Joshi , Singapore
29/07/2015 17:12
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@ Reginald B. Little It is french patent number 1367388 http://patent.ipexl.com/FR/1367388-a.html
Alexander , Novosibirsk
28/07/2015 17:26
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Dear Author, Can you or someone provide a title or author for this 1964 French Patent that sugggested diamond forming by intense electric discharge of gas?



Thanks, RBL
Reginald B. Little, USA
28/07/2015 12:58
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These images are magnificent and show the sublime wonder of our universe. The joining of forces beyond our understanding create such beauty...unique diamonds created from fire and electricity and displaying perfect geometry...our world created them so how could we use or learn from them for the benefit of all? Would anyone have the right to exploit for personal profit?
Carmen, Ireland
27/07/2015 06:15
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