Directional chemical variations in diamonds showing octahedral following cuboid growth

EIMF, DA Zedgenizov, B Harte*, VS Shatsky, AA Politov, GM Rylov, NV Sobolev

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

A progression from cuboid to octahedral growth has been observed in 16 natural diamonds from Yakutian kimberlites. X-ray and cathodoluminescence topography have revealed that the change in morphology of diamonds with cloudy cuboid cores may occur without mixed-habit growth but via generation of numerous octahedral apices on cuboid surfaces and subsequent gradual transformation into regular octahedral morphology. Nitrogen aggregation in both cuboid and octahedral domains of such diamonds suggests that they have had a long residence time under mantle conditions. Micro-inclusions in the cuboid domains of the diamonds testify to the nucleation and growth of cuboid cores from a hydrous-carbonatitic (oxidized) fluid. The transition from cuboid hummocky growth rich in inclusions to octahedral growth without inclusions may be linked to decreasing supersaturation in the parent fluid. Measurements of delta C-13 and N-ppm by ion microprobe show that the chemical variations observed between inner cuboid domains and outer octahedral zones commonly have a systematic character and as such they are probably not due to purely kinetic effects. The peripheral octahedral zones are always enriched in C-13 in comparison with inner cuboid ones, and the total nitrogen content decreases with the change from cuboid to octahedral growth. The octahedral outer zones show a gradual progressive increase in delta C-13, with an overall change of up to 5 parts per thousand from the cuboid core (delta C-13 usually between -8 and -6 parts per thousand) to the diamond margin (delta C-13 usually between -4 and -2 parts per thousand). Decreases in delta C-13 of this magnitude with a gradual increase in C-13 may be attributed to the Rayleigh fractionation operating on a single parent fluid of close to normal mantle delta C-13 composition with diamond precipitating by the reduction of carbonatitic fluid in a closed system. However, one sample shows a variation of delta C-13 of approximately -17 to -6 parts per thousand and therefore suggests a possible change of fluid source composition from one containing subducted crustal organic carbon to one with common mantle carbon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-57
Number of pages13
JournalContributions to Mineralogy and Petrology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006

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