Scientists Discover New Mineral - ‘Goldschmidtite’ Inside A Diamond

Science

US scientists at the University of Alberta have recently found a small rock- ‘Goldschmidtite’ inside a diamond from South Africa's Koffiefontein pipe.

Written By Suchitra Karthikeyan | Mumbai | Updated On:
Scientists

Its what in the inside that counts

Mineral - ‘Goldschmidtite’ - discovered inside a diamond

This proverb has been proven literally by Scientists recently. US scientists at the University of Alberta have recently found a small rock inside a diamond from South Africa's Koffiefontein pipe, according to international reports. The rock reportedly contains a never-before- unearthed mineral named 'Goldschmidtite'. Scientists believe that 'Goldschmidtite' has the potential to reveal unusual chemical reactions taking place inside the Earth's mantle. They further believe this new development will researchers unearth unexplored regions of the mantle, as per reports.

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What is ‘Goldschmidtite’?

The research which has been published in American Mineralogist states that the scientists had mined the diamond from the Koffiefontein pipe in South Africa, which has produced some of the world's most famous diamonds. The mine run by De Beers has produced this unique mineral-containing diamond. The study states that the new mineral ‘Goldschmidtite’ ((K,REE,Sr)(Nb,Cr)O3) has been named after renowned geochemist Victor Moritz Goldschmidt. The study states that minerals are generally unearthed from the depths when diamond mining is done.

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Who found ‘Goldschmidtite’?

The University has released a statement regarding the new discovery stating that Ph.D. student Nicole Meyer was responsible for the new discovery. Talking about the origins of 'Goldschmidtite', she stated that the team spotted the dark green, opaque mineral which had been approximately mined from a depth of 105 miles (170 km) under the surface. She shared the chemical composition of the mineral. Meyer is the lead author of the study and studies at the University of Alberta’s Diamond Exploration Research and Training School.

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Why is the discovery important?

Talking about the relevance of the discovery, Meyer stated, "Goldschmidtite has high concentrations of niobium, potassium, and the rare earth elements lanthanum and cerium. While the rest of the mantle is dominated by other elements, such as magnesium and iron. Goldschmidtite is highly unusual for an inclusion captured by diamond and gives us a snap-shot of fluid-processes that affect the deep roots of continents during diamond formation. There have been several attempts to name new minerals after Goldschmidt, but previous ones have been discredited."

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