Diamonds may not be so rare as once thought, study says

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Diamonds may not be as rare as once believed, but this finding in a new Johns Hopkins University research report won’t mean deep discounts at local jewelry stores. Sorry Ladies!

Published in Nature Communications, the findings constitute a new quantitative theory of diamond formation. Using a chemical model, researchers found that these precious stones could be born in a natural chemical reaction that is simpler than the two main processes that up to now have been understood to produce diamonds.

It is important to note that the diamonds being considered were not necessarily gemstone-quality for engagement rings. Most were only a few microns across and were not visible to the unaided eye.

The new research showed that water could produce diamonds as its pH falls naturally — that is, as it becomes more acidic — while moving from one type of rock to another.

Nobody has yet put a number on the greater abundance of diamonds, however as the new research suggests, it promises to help shed light on fluid movement in the deep Earth where diamonds are created: roughly 90 to 120 miles below the Earth’s surface at intense pressure and at temperatures about 1,650 to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

JOURNAL SOURCE

Dimitri A. Sverjensky, Fang Huang. Diamond formation due to a pH drop during fluid–rock interactions. Nature Communications, 2015; 6: 8702

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