Abstract

A pink-purple diamond crystal from the Internatsional’naya kimberlite pipe (Siberia) was studied by single-crystal X-ray diffraction techniques using an area detector. Direct indexing of the diffraction pattern suggested a primitive hexagonal unit cell [ahex = 2.513(4), chex = 6.172(11) Å], instead of the well known face-centred cubic unit cell (acub ~3.567 Å). Theoretical considerations and diffraction pattern simulation showed that the hexagonal diffraction pattern is the result of the superposition of two diffraction patterns with cubic symmetry due to spinel-law twinning along (111). These data are in good agreement with previous analyses of deformation microtwins in natural pink-purple diamonds using electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy and optical microscopy. The results suggest that natural epigenetic plastic deformation of diamonds occurs not only by dislocation slipping but also as a result of mechanical twinning.

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