Formation of Rare Pink Diamonds Linked to Earth’s First Super continent

The Geological Origins of Pink Diamonds

Pink diamonds, prized for their exquisite color, may owe their unique hue to a remarkable geological history, according to recent research. This study explores the fascinating connection between the formation of these rare gems and the collision of Earth’s first supercontinent, Nuna.

Nuna: The Birthplace of Pink Diamonds

The majority of the world’s pink diamonds can be traced back to the Argyle formation in Western Australia, where the ancient supercontinent Nuna once converged and eventually fragmented. Nuna is the oldest documented supercontinent, with its formation dating back approximately 1.8 billion years.

Remarkably, the Argyle formation houses an astonishing 90 percent of the Earth’s pink diamonds.

The Role of Pressure

Published in the journal Nature on September 19, a groundbreaking study suggests that the distinctive pink color of these diamonds is a result of the specific pressure conditions found in this region. The collision of crustal plates likely caused the diamonds to bend and acquire their pink hue.

Nuna’s eventual breakup, which occurred around 500 million years after its formation, allowed deep-seated rocks to erupt to the surface.

Accessing the Depths

Accessing these rare pink diamonds at great depths is only possible due to the continent’s tectonic activity and breakup.

Hugo Olierook, a research fellow at Curtin University in Australia and the lead author of the study, explained, “The breakup of these continents is fundamental at getting these diamonds up from these deep depths.” He further emphasized that even slight variations in pressure can turn these diamonds brown.

“Pinks are, say, a small push, if you like,” Olierook added. “You push a little bit too hard and they turn brown.”

The Quest Continues

The study’s findings suggest that similar troves of pink diamonds could exist in regions where continents once collided and separated. However, locating these hidden treasures would be a challenging endeavor, as they would likely be buried beneath layers of eroded rock and sediment.

“I do think we will find another Argyle, another pink diamond treasure trove,” Olierook expressed optimism. “But it’s going to take a lot of luck.”

The discovery of the geological origins of pink diamonds adds a layer of intrigue to these already captivating gems, offering a deeper appreciation for their rarity and beauty.

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