Sulfide inclusions in diamonds, the most common of all inclusions, contain critical evidence about the timing and physical/chemical conditions prevailing during diamond formation. Typically, sulfide inclusions are encapsulated as a monosulfide solid solution (Mss) in the Fe-Ni-S system, with a minor amount of Cu. This Mss and the enclosing diamond have sufficiently different thermal expansion properties, so that, after encapsulation, the Mss creates a series of cracks in the diamond radiating from the sulfide. On cooling, this increase in volume permits the Mss to undergo exsolution to an assemblage of pyrrhotite + pentlandite + chalcopyrite + pyrite. The kinetics of this exsolution is so rapid that practically no Mss remains in nature. Instead, in recovered diamonds, all sulfides that originally were Mss now consist of this fine-grained assemblage. Chalcopyrite prefers to form around the edges of the inclusions and also migrates into the minute cracks in the diamonds. It is the bulk composition of the Mss as encapsulated that is important for interpretation of diamond petrogenesis (P-versus E-type diamonds) and to the commonly used Re-Os dating technique. However, this bulk composition is definitely not attainable with polished sections cut through the inclusions. The assumption that the kernel of the sulfide inclusion for Re-Os age dating represents the entire original Mss may also be incorrect, depending what has been lost, mostly chalcopyrite, which has migrated into the surrounding cracks within the diamond host.

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