The special features of impact diamonds are the orientation of the nanosized grains relative to each other, the presence of hexagonal diamond (lonsdaleite, L) in a large part of the samples and the increased wear resistance. Using Raman spectroscopy and XRD, two groups of translucent samples of Popigai impact diamonds (PIDs) were selected: with and without lonsdaleite and the effect of lonsdaleite on the optical properties of the samples was studied. In all L-containing PIDs there is a strong absorption band of about 1230 cm-1 in the one-phonon region, in the mid-IR. The absorption edge is blurred and described by the Urbach rule. The estimated value of Eg ~4 eV for L is consistent with the first principles calculations. Impurity nitrogen is found only in L-free PIDs: There are signals from nitrogen-vacancy complexes in the photoluminescence (PL) spectra. Variations in the number of nitrogen atoms (N = 1 to 4) in the structure of these centers indicate significant variations in the parameters of PID annealing. L-containing PIDs are characterized by large strains in the lattice and, as a consequence, there are problems with the defect diffusion. The narrow lines in PL spectra, uncommon for diamond, can be the result of several orders of magnitude higher concentrations of impurities in PIDs formed during the solid-phase transition. The broadened peaks of 180, 278 and 383 K are distinguishable in the curves of thermostimulated luminescence (TSL) for L-free PIDs, but in the presence of L the TSL glow becomes continuous as in natural IaA-type diamonds with platelets. In general, lonsdaleite deteriorates the optical properties of impact diamonds and makes it difficult to create certain types of impurity-vacancy complexes for different applications.