Rio Tinto Donates Diamonds To Smithsonian

Rio Tinto Donates Diamonds To Smithsonian

Rio Tinto recently announced that it has given 500 carats of rough diamonds to the Smithsonian Institution for exhibition and research purposes. The significant donation of precious stones come from the Argyle Diamond Mine in the northwest part of Australia. The collection includes rare, pink diamonds and fills a gap in the U.S. National Gem and Mineral Collection.

This will be the first collection of Argyle diamonds at the Smithsonian Institution. These rough gemstones will be studied by Smithsonian researchers at the National Museum of Natural History to better understand the geological history of the planet.

“Diamonds typically formed more than 160km deep in the Earth (below the crust) and provide an exceptional window into the geologic processes and conditions that took place there 2-3 billion years ago,” the museum’s curator of gems and minerals, Jeffrey Post, said.

There is a large interest in pink diamonds due to their rarity, and high value and researchers are looking to identify the origin of the color to possibly reproduce it in a laboratory setting. This is especially helpful for those in the industry because it may lead to technologies that help distinguish natural pink diamonds from synthetic ones in the marketplace.