Abstract

Recent advances in ion microprobe instrumentation and techniques have enabled the mapping of C isotope ratios across the whole of a polished plate of a natural diamond from Guaniamo, Venezuela. The resultant map of C isotope variation closely matches the cathodoluminescence image of the growth structure of the diamond and, therefore, indicates an extremely limited scale of diffusion of C atoms since the time of diamond formation. This result is compatible with the limited mobility of N atoms shown by the IaAB aggregation state of the diamond. Inclusions in the diamond are eclogitic, in common with many Guaniamo diamonds with temperatures of formation of around 1200°C. At such temperature the IaAB aggregation state indicates a mantle residence time on the order of 1 Ga. Such temperatures of formation and mantle residence times are common to many natural diamonds; thus the extremely limited diffusion of C isotopes shown by the mapping indicates that many diamonds will retain the C isotope compositions of their initial formation.

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