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Monday, January 19, 1998 Published at 15:57 GMT



Despatches
image: [ BBC Correspondent Robert Parsons ]Robert Parsons
Moscow

Scientists in Russia have named a new mineral after Diana, Princess of Wales, who died in a car crash in August last year. They are calling it Dianite, and have plans to sell the mineral as souvenirs and jewellery. Our Moscow correspondent Robert Parsons reports:

Dianite is royal blue in colour - well a cross between deep blue and light blue really - and buried deep in the remote Murrun Mountains of Eastern Russia.

Scientists discovered the semi-precious mineral last Summer and hit on the idea of naming it after Diana, Princess of Wales, as a marketing ploy. They hope to turn the discovery into a commercial venture, using Lady Diana's fame in Russia and around the world, to popularise it.

The scientists say they have extracted several kilos from the deposit and are beginning to make jewellery with a distinctive blue stone. If they are successful, Dianite could soon be on sale near you.





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