Skip to comments.Whoops! Earth's Oldest 'Diamonds' Actually Polishing Grit
Posted on 01/03/2014 2:26:38 PM PST by aimhigh
Evidence of Earth's first continents 4.3-billion-year-old "diamonds" are actually just fragments of polishing grit, a new study finds.
In 2007, an international team first reported discovering the tiny gems, which hid in pockets inside zircon crystals from Western Australia's Jack Hills, in the journal Nature. But it turns out that the gems weren't actually diamonds, but polishing paste, smushed into hairs'-width cracks when the zircons were prepared for laboratory tests, according to a study published online in the Feb. 1, 2014, edition of the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters.
(Excerpt) Read more at livescience.com ...
From PBS NOVA:
“Glittering stars in the night sky aside, scientists have long known that some diamonds hail from the heavens. In 1981, for example, when Smithsonian researchers tried to cut through a large iron meteorite that had crash-landed in the Allen Hills of Antarctica, the sawteeth on their blade got all chewed up. Subsequent X-rays showed that the stone was riddled with microscopic diamonds, the hardest substance known. The scientists theorized that the meteorite’s diamonds were born during a cataclysmic collision out in the asteroid belt.”
“Call it the Soviet Union’s most valuable cold war secret. This past weekend, Russia declassified the existence of what could very well be the richest diamond field in existence, located in the depths of a 62-mile diameter asteroid crater known as Popigai Astroblem in Siberia.
The diamonds found in the Popigai Astroblem are known as “impact diamonds.” They’re created when a meteor strikes a graphite deposit, as happened there an estimated 35 million years ago. Impact diamonds are significantly harder than normal diamonds, and are best suited for industrial or scientific use.
Given that diamonds can sell for $2,000 per karat with unusually large diamonds going for as much as $20 million, a discovery of “trillions of karats” could value this hole in the quadrillions of dollars. Of course, a diamond discovery of this magnitude is almost sure to have a serious downward impact in the per-karat price should full-scale mining operations ever begin.”
Maybe the people who found those “diamonds” would like to buy stock in my cubic zirconia mine?
Lol. Saw that posted here yesterday. But it is very weird if true. And how in heck did they (the researchers) first suspect it might be true?? Someone must have spent an awful lot of time in parks watching dogs taking craps.
“The researchers also noted that while most dogs preferred to poop while facing north or south, most dogs also avoided facing east or west. But why? The answer remains elusive, the scientists admitted.
“It is still enigmatic why the dogs do align at all, whether they do it ‘consciously’ (i.e., whether the magnetic field is sensorial[ly] perceived) or whether its reception is controlled on the vegetative level (they ‘feel better/more comfortable or worse/less comfortable’ in a certain direction),” the study authors wrote.
The researchers also found that when the Earth’s magnetic field was in a state of flux it changes during solar flares, geomagnetic storms and other events the dogs’ north-south orientation was less predictable. Only when the magnetic field was calm did researchers reliably observe the north-south orientation.”
Yes, But you have to keep the grant money flowing in.
You’re welcome. I thought it particularly interesting that diamonds could be formed in these 2 different ways: in asteroid collisions in space, and as a result of asteroid impacts here.
The Popigai crater was formed around the same time as the 60 miles diameter Chesapeake Meteor crater and a 9 mile crater of Toms River, NJ. This was about 34 million years ago and caused a significant die off of animals. I suppose it is too much to hope that there was a seam of carbon in those two locations. Of course, underwater recovery is not easy. Is it possible that the tiny diamonds found in the cut meteor came from the cutting saw?
I doubt it. I'm pretty sure they would be able to tell the difference.
...although they obviously couldn’t in the example in this thread article. So, perhaps. :)
But then the cases are somewhat different in that in one they know saw blade diamonds were there, and can simply examine the saw blade under a microscope if necessary to see if any of the tiny diamonds are missing from the blade, assuming it’s not a common occurrence to lose some while cutting.
When the research team gets a little too specialized and a little too large, someone can get careless.