Russia : a major player in the export of diamonds
21% of world diamond production comes from Russia. Most diamonds are mined in Siberia in extreme temperatures and conditions. The Mir mine is the largest in the world (12,000 metres in diameter). In the 1960s, the mine produced 10,000,000 carats (2,000 kg) of diamonds per year, but only 20% were of gemstone quality.
The largest diamond from this mine was discovered in 1980 and weighed 342.5 carats or 68 g. This famous diamond is called “26th CPSU Congress”.
The rapid development of the Mir mine forced De Beers to buy Russian diamonds in order to continue controlling the market price.
The Mir mine was the first and the largest diamond mine in the Soviet Union. It ceased activity in June 2001.