Gems galore


DIAMONDS may be more plentiful than anyone dared imagine, say scientists in France. If they have not been washed into riverbeds, the precious stones are usually found in volcanic rocks associated with old continental crust. But Nicholas Arndt of the University of Grenoble and his colleagues have found diamonds in French Guiana among rocks that were originally part of an oceanic island arc (Nature, vol 399, p 456). The geologists suggest that mining companies might profit from expanding the range of places where they look for the gems. The rocks where the diamonds were found must have originated more than 250 kilometres inside the Earth,
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