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Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 112, Supplement 1, pp 243–257 | Cite as

Deformation-related spectroscopic features in natural Type Ib-IaA diamonds from Zimmi (West African craton)

  • Karen V. Smit
  • Ulrika F. S. D’Haenens-Johansson
  • Daniel Howell
  • Lorne C. Loudin
  • Wuyi Wang
Original Paper
  • 129 Downloads

Abstract

Zimmi diamonds (Sierra Leone) have 500 million year mantle residency times whose origin is best explained by rapid tectonic exhumation to shallower depths in the mantle, associated with continental collision but prior to kimberlite eruption. Here we present spectroscopic data for a new suite of Zimmi sulphide-bearing diamonds that allow us to evaluate the link between their spectroscopic features and their unusual geological history. Cathodoluminesence (CL) imaging of these diamonds revealed irregular patterns with abundant deformation lamellae, associated with the diamonds’ tectonic exhumation. Vacancies formed during deformation were subsequently naturally annealed to form vacancy clusters, NV0/− centres and H3 (NVN0). The brownish-yellow to greenish-yellow colours observed in Zimmi Ib-IaA diamonds result from visible absorption by a combination of isolated substitutional nitrogen (\( {\mathrm{N}}_{\mathrm{S}}^0 \)) and deformation-related vacancy clusters. Colour-forming centres and other spectroscopic features can all be attributed to the unique geological history of Zimmi Ib-IaA diamonds and their rapid exhumation after formation.

Keywords

Zimmi diamond Type Ib-IaA Spectroscopy Isolated nitrogen West African craton Deformation 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Israel Eliezri from Coldiam Ltd. is thanked for providing samples from Zimmi. Adrian Chan assisted with laser cutting and polishing the diamond plates. Phil Diggle, Mark Newton and Thomas Stachel are thanked for discussions that helped clarify some concepts. Thank you to John King for his help with the diamond colour descriptions, and Evan Smith for his comments on a previous version of this paper. Constructive reviews from Thomas Hainschwang, Eloise Gaillou, Sergey Titkov, an anonymous reviewer and the editor, Lutz Nasdala, improved the manuscript. D.H. acknowledges support from European Research Council Starting Grant 307322 awarded to Fabrizio Nestola.

Supplementary material

710_2018_587_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (2.2 mb)
ESM 1 (PDF 2212 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karen V. Smit
    • 1
  • Ulrika F. S. D’Haenens-Johansson
    • 1
  • Daniel Howell
    • 2
    • 3
  • Lorne C. Loudin
    • 1
  • Wuyi Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.Gemological Institute of AmericaNew York CityUSA
  2. 2.Dipartimento di GeoscienzeUniversità degli Studi di PadovaPadovaItaly
  3. 3.Diamond Durability LaboratoryNew York CityUSA

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