World's Largest, Rare Diamonds Form In Earth's Deep-Mantle Metallic Liquid

Posted: Dec 16 2016, 4:07am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 

World's Largest, Rare Diamonds Form in Earth's Deep-Mantle Metallic Liquid
This is an assortment of diamond offcuts used in the study. The largest is 9.6 carats. These diamonds could be analyzed by destructive means (polishing to expose inclusions) whereas many other diamonds studied were polished gemstones that were only borrowed and studied non-destructively. Photo Credit: Evan Smith; GIA
  • Large, rare diamonds offer window into inner workings of Earth's mantle
 

Huge diamonds have been salvaged from deep inside the bowels of the earth. They come from the mantle and have a different makeup from ordinary diamonds.

The latest research looked into deep earth diamonds which had a large size and also exceptional quality to them. They will help scientists to gather clues about the geology of the earth.

The unique qualities of these diamonds are such that they have been compared to the Cullinan, Constellation and Koh-i-Noor diamonds. Surely, they will aid us in our understanding of earth’s deep mantle. 

This portion of the earth is hidden beneath the tectonic plates (which are responsible for earthquakes). The region is generally not an accessible one for humans. The study was published in a journal.

A few of the exceptional diamonds of the world such as the Cullinan and Lesotho Promise have led scientists to believe that they are different from other diamonds.

How they underwent formation and what they reveal about the earth’s interior is a mystery. However, this is not so anymore. The Cullinan has singular properties that differentiate it from other diamonds. Such diamonds have small quantities of metallic elements as a part of their makeup. 

Their internal traits set them apart from the rest of the run-of-the-mill diamonds. The metallic inclusions coexist with little bits of methane and hydrogen. Certain minerals may also have taken a part in their formation.

These diamonds were built in the crucible of extreme depths where extreme pressures accumulated over time. 360-750 km beneath the mantle, these diamonds got manufactured at the hands of Mother Nature.

This is much deeper than ordinary diamonds. A thorough understanding of these large diamonds requires a keen perception. For one thing, the inclusions and what they are composed of form the nitty gritty details of these diamonds.  

Most of the metallic inclusions have iron, nickel, carbon and sulphur as their ingredients. Also, as mentioned previously, small amounts of methane and hydrogen are there too. Pure carbon is present.

Small droplets of this molten form of carbon got stuck in the context of these huge diamonds when they underwent formation. The cutting and polishing of these diamonds reduced any flaws in their makeup.

Some of the cut portions were available for research. A thorough understanding of the earth’s deep mantle will be forthcoming thanks to the study of these huge diamonds. 

The study is published in the most recent issue of Science magazine.

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