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Diamond contains never-before-seen mineral

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paperdyer

If more diamonds start containing this substance, will we have a new jewelry stone or a shortage of diamonds for jewelry?  If the rest of South Africa's diamond mines contain this and it's undesirable, it could collapse a huge portion of S.A's economy.

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UFOwatcher

Wonder how much this very rare diamond would sell for?

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kobolds

I don't understand, what is soo important about this mineral ?

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DirtyDocMartens

The article says the mineral is "unstable" at the surface. Does anyone know what this means, exactly? Does is fall apart when it's not under pressure? I can't find it anywhere.

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sepulchrave
On 3/10/2018 at 6:37 PM, kobolds said:

I don't understand, what is soo important about this mineral ?

As stated in the article, this mineral is believed to be a common deep inside the Earth, at high temperature and pressure.

Since we cannot drill that far into the Earth, this is just a hypothesis. It is nice to actually find piece of this mineral that naturally formed, and of course now it can be studied directly.

On 3/11/2018 at 1:33 AM, DirtyDocMartens said:

The article says the mineral is "unstable" at the surface. Does anyone know what this means, exactly? Does is fall apart when it's not under pressure? I can't find it anywhere.

Probably it is only stable at high pressure.

A "perovskite" is a type of crystal structure in which the atoms form cubes (which all stack together to make the crystal). In CaSiO3, the Ca will sit in the middle of the cube, the Si at the corner of the cube, and the O at the centre of each edge of the cube.

This means that the Si atom is bonded to 6 O (forming an octahedron, with Si at the centre and O at the corners). However at lower pressures virtually every Si-based oxide mineral has Si bonded to only 4 O (forming a tetrahedron, with Si at the centre and O at the corners). Silica glass and quartz crystals are common examples of this, but there are many more rarer minerals.

This also means that the Ca atom is bonded to 12 O. However at lower pressures Ca-based oxides typically have the Ca bonded to only 6 O (as an octahedron).

These high bond numbers occur at high pressures when the atoms are all squeezed closer together.

But my guess is that at lower pressures the material will begin to separate into microcrystals of SiO2 and CaO, or possibly Ca2SiO4 (a calcium silicate that is stable at low pressures) and SiO2.

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