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How were diamonds discovered in Siberia?

Siberia has among the highest grade diamond mines in the world. But did you know that we had two women to thank for their discovery?

The work of two female geologists, Larisa Popugaeva and Natalia Sarsadskhih, led to the discovery in 1954 of the first diamond deposit in the Soviet Union – a kimberlite pipe “Zarnitsa”.

Credit for this discovery, however, was claimed by the higher officials from the Amakinskaya expedition, one of the largest diamond exploration organisations in the country. Multiple efforts to restore justice did not succeed, with Larisa only being awarded the title of the “Discoverer” in 1970, and Natalia not until 1990.

Read more about the history of the Siberian discoveries here

Beautiful octahedral diamond from 23rd Party Congress mine in Siberia. Image by Daphne Wiggers de Vries (here)


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