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News From the Field

Diamonds in Earth's oldest zircons are nothing but laboratory contamination


December 18, 2013

microscopic image of a zircon with contaminants In 2007 and 2008, two research papers reported in the journal Nature that a suite of zircons from the Jack Hills of Western Australia included diamonds. Now, geologists at the University of California, Riverside, have discovered using electron microscopy, that the diamonds in the Jack Hills are not diamonds but broken fragments of a diamond-polishing compound that got embedded when the zircon specimen was prepared for analysis by the authors of the Nature papers. Full Story

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University of California, Riverside

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