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December 26 2013

Whoops! Earth's Oldest 'Diamonds' Actually Polishing Grit


Evidence of Earth's first continents 4.3-billion-year-old "diamonds" are actually just fragments of polishing grit, a new study finds.

In 2007, an international team first reported discovering the tiny gems, which hid in pockets inside zircon crystals from Western Australia's Jack Hills, in the journal Nature. But it turns out that the gems weren't actually diamonds, but polishing paste, smushed into hairs'-width cracks when the zircons were prepared for laboratory tests, according to a study published online in the Feb. 1, 2014, edition of the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters.

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