MOSCOW (Commodity Online) : Russia said it is considering selling off the diamonds it bought last year for $1 billion from state-owned Alrosa, the world's largest rough diamond producer.

In a statement, Russia's finance ministry said, We are being asked to begin selling diamonds from the reserve we acquired last year,

The world market has woken up and prices for gems have recovered, completely justifying the government's decision to support Alrosa last year, said the statement.

Russian government bought the gems to support Alrosa after diamond prices plunged more than 40 percent from their 2008 record.

Russia has earned 15 percent to 18 percent on the diamonds after prices rebounded.

Prices of rough, or unpolished, diamonds have climbed this year after producers cut output and gem dealers rebuilt stockpiles.