New Mineral Is Discovered Within African Diamond


Diamond: It was in Orapa, a city in the interior of Botswana, a country in southern Africa, where a small 81 milligram diamond was found. The pebble was taken to the United States and sold to mineralogist George Rossman. What was not known until then was that it contained a rare mineral, davemaoite.

Oliver Tschauner, a professor at the University of Nevada, studies diamonds from the deep interior of the planet and became interested in the Rossmann specimen. Analyzing with x-ray, the researchers observed bits of other embedded material. It was a great discovery.

The material in question was calcium silicate. The molecules of this substance can organize themselves in many ways. One of them, called perovskite, was the structure found by the Rossmann group.

The mineral was named after Ho-Kwang ‘Dave’ Mao, a scientist who made important discoveries in the fields of geochemistry and geophysics. The study was published on November 11 in the scientific journal Science, one of the leading in the world.

Davemaoita’s unique characteristics provided clues to its provenance. In the interior of the Earth, far below the oceans and continents, in an unreachable region, is located the Earth’s mantle.