by Mark H. Armitage, M.S.  and Andrew A. Snelling, Ph.D.

In A. A. Snelling (Ed.) (2008). Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Creationism (pp. 323–334). Pittsburgh, PA: Creation Science Fellowship and Dallas, TX: Institute for Creation Research.


Radiohalos were first reported in diamonds more than a decade ago. Since that time little work has been done to locate other radiohalo-bearing diamonds, to explain the origin of the radiohalos, or evaluate their significance. We conducted a search for such diamonds secured from a variety of sources and identified radiohalos containing one, three and four rings, as well as strange features in the form of twisted crystalline “tubes.” New data suggest a radiohalo annealing temperature in diamond above 620oC. We offer an explanation for the radiohalos and for the “tubes” in these diamonds in terms of a hydrothermal fluid transport model for Po radiohalo formation.

Diamonds are probably the most intensely sought after of all the mineral gems known to man. India was the earliest producer of diamonds in the sixth century, with monarchs as their primary customers. Diamonds remained very rare and only a privileged few had them, until the first commercial diamond mine was opened in the late 1860s in South Africa (Meyer, 1985). It was Marilyn Monroe who in 1953 immortalized the phrase, “Diamonds are a girls’ best friend” in a song from the movie, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”. Of course, it had already become accepted practice for a marriage proposal to be secured with a diamond ring. It was DeBeers, a privately owned commercial enterprise, and still the largest seller of diamonds in the world with revenues of US$65 billion in 2005 alone, who in 1947 launched the successful “A Diamond is Forever” marketing campaign (Wikipedia, 2007). The unmatched brilliance of the sparkle of diamonds, their sizes and colors make them desirably attractive, but it is their unique hardness and resistance to physical weathering that give them their durability. Today, over 130 million carats (US$10–13 billion) of diamonds are mined annually (Wikipedia, 2007).
Tiny, microscopic radioactive halos (or radiohalos for short,) were first reported in diamonds only a decade ago (Armitage, 1993, 1995). This discovery elicited some brief discussion (Armitage, 1998; Gentry, 1998; Wise, 1998), but little has been done since to elucidate their enigma. The purpose of this study was to find additional diamonds containing radiohalos and to investigate in greater depth how they might have formed….

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