Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 112, Supplement 1, pp 209–218 | Cite as

Formation of unusual yellow Orapa diamonds

  • Suzette TimmermanEmail author
  • Ingrid L. Chinn
  • David Fisher
  • Gareth R. Davies
Original Paper


Twenty eclogitic diamonds from Orapa Mine (Botswana) with an unusual yellow colour are characterised for their growth structure, N systematics, and C isotope composition, and the major element composition of their silicate inclusions. The diamonds show complex luminescence with green, blue and non-luminescent zones and occasional sector zonation. All parts of the diamonds have low total N concentrations (<50 at.ppm, with one exception of <125 at.ppm) and a limited range in C isotope composition (−5.7 to −10.6‰). Fourier Transform Infrared spectra show bands at 1334, 1332, 1282, and 1240 cm−1 typical for Ib-IaA diamonds. Relict unaggregated N defects (Nso and Ns+) are present and the preservation is likely caused by the low N concentrations and possible low mantle residence temperatures rather than young diamond formation (inclusion ages of 140, 1096, 1699 Ma; Timmerman et al. Earth Planet Sc Lett 463:178–188, 2017). Garnet and clinopyroxene inclusions extracted from 14 diamonds have an eclogitic composition with relatively low Ca contents and based on all characteristics, these diamonds form a distinct population from Orapa.


Carbon isotopes Nitrogen Silicate inclusions Zimbabwe Craton 



We thank Sergei Matveev and Susan Verdegaal-Warmerdam for their help with the EPMA and SIRMS analyses respectively. John Freeth of De Beers Technologies UK is thanked for laser cutting and polishing the diamond plates. Debswana is thanked for the generous provision of diamonds for this study. We thank two anonymous reviewers and editor Thomas Stachel for constructive comments that greatly improved the paper.

Supplementary material

710_2018_592_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (314 kb)
Electronic supplementary material 1 Photographs of the diamonds prior to polishing (PDF 314 kb)
710_2018_592_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (3.2 mb)
Electronic supplementary material 2 DiamondView™ images of both sides of the polished plates (PDF 3.19 mb)
710_2018_592_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (621 kb)
Electronic supplementary material 3 FTIR spectrum of each diamond in the one phonon region (PDF 621 kb)
710_2018_592_MOESM4_ESM.xlsx (13 kb)
Electronic supplementary material 4 Table of band height at 1282 cm−1 of the FTIR spectra (XLSX 13.1 kb)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vrije UniversiteitAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.De Beers ExplorationJohannesburgSouth Africa
  3. 3.De Beers TechnologiesMaidenheadUK

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