Geologists have discovered a mineral known as calcium silicate perovskite (CaSiO3) trapped inside a tiny diamond that was mined from less than a kilometer of the earth's surface at the Cullinan Mine in South Africa.
For so long, the mineral existed in theory in spite of the fact it is fourth most abundant mineral inside the Earth. Humans have never seen it before because it becomes extremely unstable above a depth of about 650 kilometers (400 miles).
Scientists are of the opinion that the mineral survived the ascent because it was trapped inside a 'super-deep' diamond".
"Nobody has ever managed to keep this mineral stable at Earth's surface... The only possible way of preserving this mineral at Earth's surface is when it's trapped in an unyielding container like a diamond," said geochemist Graham Pearson from the University of Alberta's Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, according to a press release.
Things to know about calcium silicate perovskite:
1. Calcium silicate perovskite is there in abundance in Earth's mantle. To be precise, this mineral makes up about 93 percent of Earth's lower mantle.
2. The Molar Mass of CaSiO3 is 116.1617.
3. The diamond in which the mineral was found was most probably formed very deep, around 700 kilometers, in Earth. Generally, most diamonds are formed between 93 and 124 miles in the mantle.
4. Pearson said as the diamond was formed so deep, it has probably sustained pressures reaching up to 24 billion pascals. This is the reason it was able to contain the mineral that only occurs at very high pressure.
5. Silicate perovskites are a deep-earth mineral and are generally found between about 670 and 2,700 km.
6. It was in 1962 when the existence of silicate perovskites was first suggested.
7. Both CaSiO3 and MgSiO3 were artificially made before 1975.
8. Synthesis of CaSiO3 has been carried out in the lab by utilizing microbial environments and with calcium fluoride (CaF2) and quartz (SiO2).