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Diamonds to Dust: Jack Hills Theory Disproved

Posted on: 12/19/2013
Using electron microscopy, University of California, Riverside, researchers have concluded that the purported Jack Hills diamonds are basically contamination, and not evidence diamonds existed 4.3 billion years ago. Their findings disprove an earlier suggested theory.

The team concluded that broken fragments of a diamond-polishing compound became embedded when a zircon specimen was prepared for analysis by the authors of the original papers. Those papers appeared in the journal Nature in 2007 and 2008, and proposed that diamonds had formed in a sedimentary rock section in the Jack Hills of western Australia before the oldest zircons, believed to be three billion years old.

The UCR research team confirmed the presence of diamonds in the Jack Hills zircon samples, but could readily identify them as broken fragments of diamond paste used to polish the zircons for examination. They also observed quartz, graphite, apatite, rutile, iron oxides, feldspars, and other low-pressure minerals common to zircon in granitic rocks.

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