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We’ve traveled to the Carnegie Institution of Washington—more specifically the Institution’s Department of Terrestrial Magnetism—to document Dr.

Such crystals may preserve minerals from deep in the mantle and provide a record of temperature and pressure conditions there. Information that illuminates the earth’s early history and the planet’s structure at depths hundreds of kilometers beneath our feet.“Most mines have a very low frequency of inclusion-bearing diamonds to gem-quality diamonds, and so in some mines it’s almost impossible to get inclusion-bearing stones.” These diamond crystals, which bear sulfide inclusions decorated by rosette fracture systems, are suitable candidates for dating using the rhenium-osmium decay system.Pedro Padua © GIA, courtesy Carnegie Institution of Washington Once the researchers have enough inclusion-bearing diamonds for a valid study, work can begin.“So in one mineral species,” he says, “you have the deepest, the oldest, and the most resistant to secondary effects mineral that you can get, so it makes them very, very unique specimens.” Shirey tells us that the osmium-rhenium radioactive decay system allows researchers to date individual inclusions.Previous dating techniques required researchers to collect inclusions of other minerals—including garnets and zircon—from many different diamonds to obtain an age.

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