New research may offer clue in search for rare pink diamonds

by | Sep 19, 2023 | Science

Sign up for CNN’s Wonder Theory science newsletter. Explore the universe with news on fascinating discoveries, scientific advancements and more.Pink diamonds are extremely rare and coveted — a now-closed mine in Australia has been the source of 90% of the colored gemstones. Polished pink specimens of the highest grade can sell for tens of millions of dollars. But a discovery made in the same area may help reveal new deposits of the jewels, researchers say.Scientists studying Western Australia’s Argyle diamond deposit, where the mine was located, said they now have a better understanding of the geological conditions necessary for pink diamonds and other color varieties to form, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications.Using lasers to analyze minerals and rocks extracted from the Argyle deposit, the researchers found that the pink diamond-rich site formed during the breakup of an ancient supercontinent, called Nuna, about 1.3 billion years ago.“While the continent that would become Australia didn’t break up, the area where Argyle is situated was stretched, including along the scar, which created gaps in the Earth’s crust for magma to shoot up through to the surface, bringing with it pink diamonds,” said lead study author Dr. Hugo Olierook, a research fellow at Curtin University’s John de Laeter Centre in Perth, Australia, in a news release.The Argyle diamond mine is located in the remote Kimberley region in the far northeast of Western Australia. – Murray RaynerUnearthing pink diamondsMost diamond deposits are found in the middle of ancient continents — within volcanic rocks that have rapidly transported diamonds from deep inside Earth’s interior to the surface.However, for diamonds to turn pink or red, they must be subjected to intense forces from colliding tectonic pla …

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