Fig Caption: A treasure from Outer Space, the Enigma Black Diamond is to be auctioned at Sothebys.
Enigma, a 555.5-carat rare black diamond (which may be selling for ~6.8 million dollars) is opening a lot of fundamental questions on how these minerals form. Answering these questions requires a unique set of skills and knowledge in experimental petrology, in addition to the basic mineralogy and crystallography subdisciplines. Dr. Ananya Mallik is an expert in high pressure experimental petrology that can be applied to understanding physical processes acting within the Earth’s deep interiors and on other planets at pressures required to form diamonds and other colored stones such as jade and ruby. Her new state of the art experimental petrology lab uses high-pressure equipment to simulate such conditions to answer fundamental questions in Petrology-Gem science.
Our new track in Gem Science provides students with the necessary knowledge to answer these types of questions. Our new effort in the Department of Geosciences to create an educational program on the science behind Gems is unique and potentially transformative for the field.