Scientists have recently made a groundbreaking discovery regarding the formation of pink diamonds, known for their rarity and exquisite beauty. Pink diamonds are among the world’s most expensive stones and have long been coveted by collectors and jewelry enthusiasts. The majority of these rare gems, over 90 percent, were discovered at the Argyle mine in remote northwest Australia, which recently ceased operations.
The question of why the Argyle mine produced such a high number of pink diamonds has puzzled researchers for years. Unlike most other diamond mines, which are located in the middle of continents, the Argyle mine is situated on the edge of one. In a new study published in the journal Nature Communications, a team of Australian scientists revealed that the pink diamonds were brought to the Earth’s surface through the breakup of the first supercontinent approximately 1.3 billion years ago.
According to the lead author of the study, Hugo Olierook from Curtin University in Western Australia, two out of the three necessary ingredients for the formation of pink diamonds were already known. The first ingredient is carbon, which must be situated deep within the Earth, at least 150 kilometers (93 miles) below the surface. If the carbon is any shallower, it would transform into graphite, a substance far less valuable than diamonds.
The second ingredient is the precise amount of pressure required to alter the clarity of the diamonds and give them their signature pink hue. Olierook explains that applying too little pressure would result in clear diamonds, while too much pressure would cause them to turn brown. It is worth noting that a large portion of diamonds found at the Argyle mine were of the less valuable brown variety.
This recent discovery sheds light on the formation process of pink diamonds and provides valuable insight for locating similar deposits around the globe. Further research in this field could unearth additional sources of these highly sought-after gems, offering a greater supply in the market. The study reinforces the allure and intrigue surrounding pink diamonds, solidifying their reputation as some of the most prized and exclusive stones in the world.
– Murray Rayner, Pink diamond discovery could help find new deposits, Phys.org
– Traffic Studio #B, Pink diamonds are incredibly rare — and expensive. Scientists know think they know how they were formed, Business Insider