- © 2005 by the Mineralogical Society of America
Polycrystalline aggregates of diamond called carbonado and framesite have excited the attention of scientists because their crystallization histories are thought to depart markedly from established modes of diamond genesis. In contrast to kimberlitic diamonds, the geochemical signatures of carbonados are systematically crustal. Since the apparent age of carbonados is Archean (∼3.2 Ga), a number of exotic formation theories have been invoked, including metamorphism of the earliest subducted lithosphere, radioactive transformation of mantle hydrocarbon, and meteorite impact on concentrated biomass. Unlike carbonados, framesites are known to originate in the mantle. They appear to have crystallized very rapidly, shortly before the eruption of the kimberlites that brought them to Earth's surface, suggesting that old cratonic materials can be remobilized after long-term storage in the lithosphere.