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Diamond contains never-before-seen mineral


Posted on Friday, 9 March, 2018 | Comment icon 5 comments

Diamonds can yield clues about the Earth's interior. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Swamibu
A tiny diamond has been found to contain a type of mineral that has, until now, never been seen in nature.
Known as calcium silicate perovskite (CaSiO3), the mineral was found inside a diamond excavated from South Africa's Cullinan mine, which is famous for the discovery of the world's largest diamond.

What makes the mineral so unusual is the fact that this is the first observable evidence of its existence in nature ever found, despite the fact that it is believed to be quite common deep inside the mantle.

While this particular diamond was found less than 1km down, scientists believe that it would have originally formed as far as 700km beneath the surface of the Eath.

"Nobody has ever managed to keep this mineral stable at the Earth's surface," said study co-author Graham Pearson. "The only possible way of preserving this mineral at the Earth's surface is when it's trapped in an unyielding container like a diamond."

Its discovery is helping scientists to better understand what lies deep down beneath our feet.

"We have this image of what we think is down there, but there's nothing like having a piece of this material in your hand," said Pearson.



Source: Live Science | Comments (5)

Tags: Diamond

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by paperdyer on 9 March, 2018, 16:59
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.
Comment icon #2 Posted by UFOwatcher on 9 March, 2018, 19:16
Wonder how much this very rare diamond would sell for?
Comment icon #3 Posted by kobolds on 10 March, 2018, 10:37
I don't understand, what is soo important about this mineral ?
Comment icon #4 Posted by DirtyDocMartens on 10 March, 2018, 17:33
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.
Comment icon #5 Posted by sepulchrave on 13 March, 2018, 0:12
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. 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 ... [More]


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