The words Krupp and Cullinan refer to two of the world’s most valuable and popular diamonds. Have you ever wondered what these gemstones have in common besides their popularity and value? These are Type IIa diamonds, meaning stones without any measurable boron or nitrogen impurities. Therefore, these are chemically pure diamonds.
Through a study, the GIA’s research scientist Evan M. Smith and those who work with him at the organization have found that almost every Type IIa diamond is formed in the Earth’s lower mantle. Therefore, the GIA grading institute’s research scientist calls these super-deep diamonds. As for him, they are not formed in an identical way to other diamonds. These emerge only from an Earth area that is fourfold deeper as compared to the other stones. Nevertheless, these diamonds were discovered in many parts of the globe, including North America and Africa.
In a research paper, the GIA’s Wuyi Wang, Smith and some other authors described the natural development location of the stones as ‘a diamond factory’. Oddly enough, most diamonds produced in factories are Type-IIa stones as well. The study offers evidence that subducted sea rocks, which interact with saltwater, supply raw materials to the so-called diamond factory. For your information, subduction is a process in which tectonic plates fall to the Earth’s mantle.
As for Smith, the raw material source represents how any minerals, rocks, and other elements are carried down from the planet’s surface to its interior. That mechanism of combining things into the inside part of the Earth matters for humans’ understanding of many different large-scale phenomena, like the development of volcanoes, oceans, atmosphere and continents.
Smith has long been studying the diamonds, so his work may be slightly harder to comprehend than the general industry-centered work at the institute. Smith has discovered that unique inclusions are visible in the stones with isotopes of iron that offer hints to the events way below the Earth’s surface. The employment position at his GIA diamond grading institute allows Smith to examine an array of diamonds.
He reckons that his work possibly has practical uses, including forming ways of locating more economical mines. It is also likely to improve the mystique of the gemstones; after all, not many objects emerge from the so-called ‘super-deep’ area.
Nobody has been to the inner core of the planet, except in films and books. Smith views the diamond inclusions as a potential window into some hidden universe that human beings do not know much about.