MOSCOW — Russian scientists say a gigantic deposit of industrial diamonds found in a Siberian meteorite crater during Soviet times could revolutionize industry.
The Siberian branch of Russian Academy of Sciences said the Popigai crater contains ‘‘many trillions of carats’’ of so-called impact diamonds — good for technological purposes, not for jewelry.
Nikolai Pokhilenko, head of the Geological and Mineralogical Institute in Novosibirsk, told RIA Novosti news agency the diamonds include other molecular forms of carbon. He said they could be twice as hard as conventional diamonds and could lead to a ‘‘revolution’’ in various industries. ‘‘But they can’t upset a diamond market because it is shaped by diamonds for jewelry purposes.’’
The deposit, discovered in the 1970s, was left unexplored as the Soviet leadership opted for synthetic diamonds for industrial use.