Yakut diamonds are shrouded in legends. They say that they differ from stones mined in other regions – beauty, purity, size. Many Russian brands emphasize that they use stones from Yakutia when creating jewelry. Meanwhile, international diamond grading systems do not take into account their origin. For them, the weight, color, clarity and quality of the cut of the stone are important. To understand whether Yakut diamonds are better than any others, you need to understand the issue thoroughly.
Extraction of stones
Diamond deposits were discovered on the territory of Russia in the 18th century. But for the time being, they were of no particular interest to anyone: full-fledged development began already in Soviet times. In 1949 the first diamond was found in Yakutia, and in 1954 the grand opening of the first diamond pipe “Zarnitsa” took place.
At first, the stones were mined a little – up to 30 thousand carats a year. But their quality was excellent: almost a third of the stones weighed more than 2 carats. The production was exported, and most of the Yakut diamonds were bought by companies connected in one way or another with De Beers.
The city of Mirny became the center of diamond mining. It grew out of a tent camp in the middle of the taiga after the discovery of a kimberlite pipe. Today, 35 thousand people live in Mirny, most of whom work in the diamond mining industry. A ton of ore from the Yakut deposits contains almost 8.5 carats of diamonds. It is transported by dump trucks: the diamonds are sent to the processing complex, where they are processed.
Sorting and cutting
There is a diamond sorting center in Mirny. The stones are distributed by weight and undergo an initial assessment. The largest ones are carefully examined by specialists armed with magnifiers and microscopes: they look at each diamond at least three times.
90% of the world’s rough diamond production is cut in India. In Yakutia, the largest are cut, weighing more than 0.5 carats. The cutting production was founded here in 1963: the first enterprise appeared in Smolensk, then – in other Soviet cities.
The cutting industry in the USSR was based on strict cutting standards. They made it possible to obtain stones with ideal proportions: the cutters sought to fulfill the requirements of the Quality Control Department, and not to save raw materials. A special term has even appeared on the world market – “Russian cut”: it was not used in standard evaluation systems, but behind the scenes it could add 5-10% to the value of the stone. This feature of diamonds from Yakutia also contributed to the formation of the legend.
Yakut vs Canadian diamonds: which is better?
The quality of diamonds also depends on the work of the cutter. From this point of view, the Yakut stones really deserve attention: the cutting industry in the region is well developed.
But for the assessment of a particular specimen, its standard characteristics are more important. The geographic location of a diamond deposit does not determine its quality. They are formed in the bowels of the Earth, and are only carried to the surface in one place or another. At the same time, diamonds of very different quality can be found in one deposit: large and small, clean and not very.
Interestingly, there is another geographic trend in Western countries – “Canadian” diamonds. They are valued above others, but not because they are mined in the permafrost, but out of humanistic motives. These are one of the few gems whose mining has never been associated with war, terrorism and violence – unlike, for example, African diamonds. In terms of quality, they are no worse and no better than the Yakut ones.