Big diamonds shed more light on Earth’s mantle

Big diamonds shed more light on Earth’s mantle

The biggest and most valuable diamonds hold particular interest to geologists because they may offer unprecedented clues as to how Earth's mantle works and what does it may be containing.

Diamonds are scientifically valuable simply because they come from a deep part of our planet that humans can not access. However, an analysis of diamonds can provide researchers with information about what our planet is containing deep under its surface.

Diamond geologists Evan Smith and Wuyi Wang of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) said some of the world's biggest and most valuable diamonds, such as the Cullinan or Lesotho Promise, originated from extreme depths in Earth.

Speaking on the topic, Wang added, "One, they tell us that these large, exceptional-quality diamonds originate from extreme depths in the Earth. exactly how these diamonds form and what they tell us about the Earth has remained a mystery until now."

In a bid to better understand the extreme depths of Earth, the researchers got the GIA to buy eight fingernail-sized chunks of big diamonds like Cullinan or Lesotho Promise that were leftovers from those big diamonds when the rough diamonds were cut into shining jewels.

In one diamond they found presence of methane, but they mostly found the same blend of materials along with the same thin methane/hydrogen layer in 38 out of 53 diamonds they analyzed. They also estimated that large diamonds were formed as deep as 200 to 500 miles underneath the surface of Earth, which is significantly greater than the 90-120 miles depth where smaller diamonds are normally formed.


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