Tips for stone care

Where was the first diamond found in Russia?

190 years ago, peasant Pavel Popov accidentally discovered a diamond in a gold-bearing placer. The event created a sensation in St. Petersburg, which was in need of precious stones. However, some researchers have questioned the fact of the find, considering it a falsification. On July 5, 1829, 14-year-old serf Pavel Popov found the first officially registered diamond in Russia on the western slope of the Middle Urals. A significant event occurred when a teenager was panning for gold in the Adolf log of the Krestovozdvizhensky mines of Count Adolf Polier, located in the Keiva River basin near the Bisertsky plant. Mineralogist Fyodor Shmidt, who served as a manager for the owners of the mine, identified a 1,5-carat diamond in the unusual stone. Realizing that perhaps the peasant had accidentally stumbled upon the deposit, Schmidt ordered his workers to intensively search for transparent pebbles in the gold-bearing placers. Soon after, two crystals were found in the same area. “I came to the placer with the new mine manager, Mr. Schmidt,” Count Polier emphasized in his notes. “On the same day I was shown a diamond found among many iron pyrite crystals and quartz pebbles. The diamond was found the day before by a 14-year-old boy from the village, Pavel Popov, who, having in mind a reward for the discovery of curious stones, wished to bring his find to the caretaker.” The stone found by Popov was handed over to the German scientist Alexander Humboldt, who was on a long trip around Russia, and even before it began, at a reception at the Russian court, he assured the empress that he would try “not to leave Russian soil until diamonds are found in it.” Upon returning to the capital, Humboldt solemnly presented the stone to the wife of Nicholas I, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna. The event created a real sensation among the courtiers. Cases of discovery of precious stones in the Urals continued. A little later, diamonds were found in placers along the Poludenka and Tiskos rivers – near a church in the village of Promysla and in the village of Severnaya, 12 km from Perm. Subsequently, diamonds were regularly found in the region during the panning of gold-platinum placers until the 1930s. Up to 18 sites of such finds were identified, located on a vast territory of the eastern and especially western slopes of the Middle and Southern Urals. In St. Petersburg, Popov’s find was taken seriously. The very next year, an officer of the Bergkollegium, mining engineer Karpov, went to the Polier mine for an inspection check, who confirmed the presence of the find and, while washing the sands, personally discovered four more crystals, but did not establish the industrial diamond potential of this deposit. Before this, rough and polished diamonds were imported into Russia from abroad, emphasizing the position of the most prominent families of the empire. Empresses Elizaveta Petrovna and Catherine II were big lovers of precious stones. The attributes of royal power, in particular the imperial crown, were decorated with diamonds and diamonds. At the same time, Mikhail Lomonosov, back in the middle of the 18th century, assumed the presence of precious stones “in the northern depths.” “We cannot doubt that diamonds, yachts and other precious stones could have come into being, and that silver and gold, which our ancestors did not know recently, could be found,” the scientist wrote in his work “On the Layers of the Earth.” At the same time, the “Diamond Book of Russia” indicates that diamonds were probably first discovered in the 16th century in sand and pebble deposits near the Dnieper. The washer Popov, for his attentive and conscientious attitude to work, which allowed him to notice in the mass of the washed material and select a small diamond crystal, received his freedom. At the place that made him famous, a memorial stone later appeared with a plaque, the inscription on which reads: “Here, on July 5, 1829, the first Russian diamond was found by Pavel Popov.” Today this place is called the Diamond Key after the source of the same name. It is located 1 km from the village of Promysla, Gornozavodsky district, Perm region. However, there were skeptics who considered the find a falsification. According to them, the Ural diamonds were actually “Brazilian stones” planted at the place of “discovery” by Humboldt’s people. Another version attributed the Ural finds to “South African” origin. They were allegedly specially planted on Popov and then presented to scientists in order to provoke a decrease in market prices. Thus, the largest Russian mineralogist and author of the work “Materials for Mineralogy in Russia” Nikolai Koksharov wrote in 1872: “I don’t believe that those small diamonds that are passed off as Ural diamonds are actually from the Urals.” “Before 1917, about 100 diamond crystals were found in the Urals, the largest of which weighed 4 carats,” notes Edward Ehrlich’s book Deposits and History. – Many years later, in 1898, diamonds were found in concentrates from the riverbed deposits of the Yenisei tributary of the Bolshoi Pit River. By 1917, about 200 crystals had been found here, the largest of which weighed about 25 carats. After the revolution, intensive searches for diamonds were carried out in the Middle Urals. As a result, several small placers were found and by the beginning of World War II a small mine began to operate here.” The famous scientist Vladimir Vernadsky, in his work “An Experience in Descriptive Mineralogy,” published in 1914, wrote that “significant diamond deposits are still unknown in Russia.” “The finds known so far are exclusively mineralogical in nature,” he summarized. – It should be noted, however, that no one in our country was engaged in a systematic search for this precious stone. Diamond was observed in our country only in placers.” In his work, Vernadsky cited the story of the teenage peasant Popov, which reduces the likelihood of its invention or distortion. In 1929, during a geological survey, major Arctic explorer Nikolai Urvantsev brought a sample of rock close to diamond rocks – kimberlites found on the southern slope of Taimyr. In 1937, geologist Alexander Burov submitted a note to the USSR State Planning Committee on the need to compare the geological structure of the diamond-bearing provinces of South Africa with various regions of the Soviet Union. This scientist founded and organized the Soviet Geological Survey for Diamonds. Having transferred diamond prospecting work from the Urals to Siberia, he discovered the Yakut diamond-bearing province. In 1946, by decree of the USSR Council of Ministers “On the development of the domestic diamond industry,” the Ural Diamond Expedition was transformed into the Third Main Directorate of the USSR Ministry of Geology with the aim of specializing in diamond prospecting. 180 years ago, in 1829, the first diamond was found in Russia. This happened during gold panning at the Krestovozdvizhensky mines in the Urals. Then diamonds were discovered in other places on both slopes of the Ural ridge. The discoveries of Ural diamonds gave rise to the English geologist R.I. Murchison to inform the whole world that in the depths of Russia there is everything, even diamonds. True, despite ongoing searches, significant diamond deposits could not be found in our country for a long time. Russia’s breakthrough into the number of diamond-mining countries occurred only in the 50-60s. XX century and was associated with the discovery of Yakut deposits. In the 1940th century, the scientific and technological revolution dramatically expanded the scope of diamond use. It began to be used not only for jewelry purposes, but also as an indispensable tool in instrument making, radio electronics, optics and other industries. Without diamond drills and drills, without cutting and abrasive tools for particularly precise processing, without diamond powders and pastes for grinding parts, modern production has become unthinkable. Therefore, by the end of the XNUMXs, the need arose to significantly expand diamond mining. In addition, the discovery of diamond deposits would make it possible to export jewelry stones and receive foreign currency. In 1938, the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR decided to create its own diamond base. Geologists were tasked with identifying and studying diamond-bearing areas of the country. The first systematic searches for diamonds on the territory of the USSR were organized on the western slope of the Middle Urals. However, the numerous diamond-bearing placers identified here turned out to be poor in diamond content and relatively small in reserves. Industrial diamond mining, organized in the Ural placers during World War II, provided only a small portion of the country’s need for this important raw material. It became obvious that, despite the high quality of Ural diamonds, it was necessary to look for richer deposits in other areas of our country. It was known that all large diamond-bearing areas of the world are confined to platforms. The classic country for primary diamond deposits is South Africa. Soviet geologists found that of all the regions of the USSR, the Siberian Platform has the greatest similarity with South Africa in geological structure, covering a vast territory located mainly between the Yenisei and Lena rivers. This similarity allowed our scientists to suggest that the Siberian Platform may be diamond-bearing. This forecast was made back in 1940, but the war prevented search work in this inaccessible area. In the fall of 1948, diamond searches began in Yakutia. On August 7, 1949, the geological party of G.H. Fainstein found the first diamond in the Suntar region. However, after this discovery, another five long years passed before geologists were able to discover the first kimberlite pipe. Dozens of placers have already been discovered, there are already hundreds of diamonds extracted from them, but primary deposits have not been found. In the summer of 1953, geologists N.N. Sarsadskikh and L.A. Popugaeva discovered a frequent companion of diamond – the mineral pyrope. Associate Professor of Leningrad State University A.A. Kukharenko formulated the main principles of the method of searching for primary diamond deposits using diamond satellite minerals – pyropes. Understanding the processes of formation of kimberlite bodies opened up new paths for theoretical research and made it possible to make significant adjustments to the predictive assessment of areas of bedrock and placer diamond bearing on the Siberian Platform. The introduction of this technique led to the discovery of numerous kimberlite bodies. On August 21, 1954, geologist L.A. Popugaeva, guided by the method of searching for primary diamond deposits using pyropes, discovered the first kimberlite pipe in the Soviet Union and gave it the name “Zarnitsa”. A year later, the Amakinsk expedition team of Yu.I. Khabardin found the “Mir” kimberlite pipe, and a group of geologists led by V.N. Shchukin found the “Udachnaya” pipe. The discovery of rich diamond deposits in Western Yakutia was an outstanding event in the history of the domestic geological survey and allowed Russia to become one of the leading countries in the extraction of this wonderful stone.

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